When I was contacted by a designer about building some large doors I knew they would be really heavy and awkward to maneuver on the platen table so I decided to build an overhead frame with an electric hoist to make that easier.
Construction began with placing the four corner posts of 2” square tube into the corner holes of the platen table and connecting them at the top with a rectangular frame. On the east side a short bar, approximately three foot long was attached to the wall from the midpoint of the top long rail for added stability.
Then it was just a matter of making a track for the hoist to travel along from end to end. A carriage was built incorporating two pulley wheels supported by a piece of schedule 80 pipe stiffened by welding a longitudinal rib of 1/4” x 2” flat bar. A second pipe was placed above the pulleys as an additional guide. This was mounted to the top frame as high as the ceiling would allow.
To aid positioning of the hoist I added a wire rope pulley arrangement to each end of the hoist and to each end of the frame top.
In actual practice this is sort a good news/bad news story. The good news is it works well. The bad news is I probably haven’t used it enough to justify building it. Mostly it has been used as the starting point for building other much smaller framers to aid construction of various projects and it has been handy for hanging things and keeping the clamp assortment organized. More often it operated in “clutter mode” piled with work in progress.
End opening between posts = 4’4”
Side opening between posts = 9’4”
Table surface to top frame = 6’2”