I am looking for suggestions with regards to getting my equipment down a
straight flight of stairs into my new basement. I will try to get some
muscle gathered up for the event but am looking for any input that could
make it go easier. I will be moving in a bandsaw that weighs about 375lbs,
a Unisaw that weighs about 400lbs, shaper 550lbs and jointer planer combo
that is also about 550lbs.
Thanks in advance,
First step, figure out if you can take the various machines into smaller
When I moved my 6" jointer into the basement, the sheetmetal base (with
the motor installed) went as one piece, the fence assembly went as
another, and the main table assembly went as a third (this was the only
piece I needed help carrying).
My 12" bandsaw went in two pieces (stand w/ motor, and the saw itself).
The drill press went in several pieces (base/column, table, head).
If you're going down a flight of basement stairs, I think this is the
most logical thing you can do. Let's say you and a burly friend weigh
400 lbs together. Add 550 lbs of machine, and you've got half a ton of
live load. Are you even sure your basement stairs can support that much?
'Zactly!!! After all, I want something there to cushion the fall of the saw
if it gets away from you!
Really, if done slowly and with good judgment about the machine being secure
on the sled, there is little danger/risk. If the load gets so heavy that
there is doubt, it is time to be disassembling something.
Jim in NC
I never said anything about the sled. As a matter of fact, I agreed with
your method all except for putting people on the downside of the load, NEVER
DO THAT. I spent a number of years rigging, hoisting and hauling loads
weighing in the tons under the worst possible conditions. At no time was I
or anyone on my crew ever injusred dispite loads slipping, cables snapping
ect. The reason was that I never allowed anyone in a position where they
would be in the way if something slipped. You never plan an accident, they
I know, I was just asking.
As a matter of fact, I agreed with
My point was that with a load the size of what we are talking, with the
weight on a sled, and the friction of the sled on the stairs, it probably
coulde be handled by the guys on the stairs alone, and the guys on the rope
are insurance. Judgement must prevail as the type and weight of the load
I have already conceeded. I'm a loser! :-)
Jim in NC
4 guys could CARRY the kind of loads we are talking about.
I brought a DJ-20 in it's crate down my straight basement stairs two
years ago. No base, no motor. I violated the rules for which I thank
God nothing bad happened. That is, I used your plan. A rope looped
around the trailer hitch of a truck controlled by one guy, two guys
below. The crate slid on a pair of 2x4s. Two guys under
"controlling" the crate. Well, in letting the rope out, it did slip a
bit. Things happened far too quickly for the guys on the bottom to do
anything about it. Fortunately the crate slipped to the side and
stopped against the wall. What ultimately worked was straigthening
the crate out and the two guys alone easing it the rest of the way
(about 5 feet).
In hind sight I thing the rope should never have been part of this
plan if the guys were to be there at all. I don't think there's any
way for them to react and take up the load themselves if the rope
breaks, is fed too quickly, the rope guy above lets go, whatever.
Those guys are gonna be hurt when the crate comes down on them (in
this case ~400lbs) If a rope with or without block and tackle is to
be used it should be used alone.
BTW, I was one of the two guys below.
Start by being thankful that you are not fighting gravity!! Then slide the
machines either on a sled as described earlier or on 2x10s. Use a good rope,
(1/2 " nylon comes to mind) tie the machines off well. (Re read the Boy Scout
handbook?) You should not have anyone underneath the load when you slide it in
You can control the slide using a mountain climbing technique called belaying,
(similar to rappelling except you lower someone else instead of yourself). Wrap
the rope around a stationary smooth round object a few times. The friction will
slow the load.
I have installed several machines (South Bend and Oliver lathes, a 14" bandsaw,
a 6" jointer, several workbenches from a school sale, and most recently a cast
iron boiler/furnace) in my basement by myself using this method. In my case I
ran a couple of turns around a trailer hitch ball served as a belay point for
most of them. Once in the bsement a hand truck or flat dolly becomes valuable.
There is a special kind of handtruck designed to go down stairs with heavy
loads. It is hard to describe, but it has two rubber tractor-like belts,
one behind each wheel of the handtruck. When you run a standard handtruck
down stairs, as the wheels leave the end of a tread they drop down to the
next tread. With this thing, the tractor belts ride the nose of the tread.
I've seen 500 lb classified safes moved down stairs with this type of
truck, two guys. You should be able to rent one of these, maybe from a
This being said, a friend and I just brought in my new Dewalt TS -- only
275 pounds versus your stuff. We used my handtruck that has pneumatic
tires that are larger than the standard hard rubber tires. The saw bounced
a bit at each stair, but not much.
BTW, as someone else said, I would also suggest checking the stairs for
their ability to carry the load. Of course, it should be able to, but who
put in the new stairs?
Yes it can be done. All of which is in my basement.
PM 72 TS
PM S27 shaper
PM 12 " jointer
PM 160 planer
Dewalt series 35 RAS (Original Super HD)
Mini Max BS.
In pieces mostly by myself.
A good hand truck and a bit of Muscle will do it.
Take as much apart as you can and do it one at a time.
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