Sea Trials – #1Liner Weds

You may remember a painful mathematical post last summer where I described the safety features in the design of my shop-built crane. Don’t worry, there will be no math today! The post I shared last year showed the crane lifting a load via the boom that extends beyond the end and higher than the scaffold on which the crane is built.

The other mode of operation, in fact the reason I built the crane, is that of a bridge crane. In this mode, the hoist lifts loads up into the space between the supports located at the end of the scaffold platform. I built the crane to help unload my utility trailer. In bridge crane mode, the rig is rolled over the trailer. The load is lifted, the trailer is removed, and the load is lowered onto the floor or, as was the case yesterday, onto sawhorses.

This was the first real test of the crane in this mode. I’ll give you the one-liner and then, if you’re interested, a few more details.

“It wasn’t pretty, but it wasn’t painful.”

The slideshow below shows the significant steps in the loading and unloading.

Given that unloading my trailer used to involve me lifting those sheets out of the trailer, carrying them from the driveway into the garage and lifting them onto the sawhorses, I’d say this was a success. I slid the sheets into the trailer at the home center and I used the crane to lift them out of the trailer. Secured them. Setup the sawhorses and lowered the plywood onto the sawhorses. No back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain or damaged plywood. For those that might be concerned, at no time was I under the suspended load.

In preparation for this test, I relocated the crane to the other side of my shop. It’s now closer to the door and much easier to move into the garage. I also installed a ramp over the stairs to the shop so the crane can be rolled in and out. Based on the experience yesterday, I made a simple modification to the crane itself, I raised the height of the platform. While I was able to unload the plywood with ease, I would have liked to have been able to raise the plywood a few more inches. Now I can.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you would like to join in on the fun, you can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.


  1. Beautiful shot of the Tithonia! A brave close-up of that fierce-looking cat — I hope that brush was handy! As for your crane and related maneuvers, I can only stand in awe. I don’t doubt you are saving back, knees, and assorted knuckles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maureen. MuMu isn’t as fierce as she looks, but she has a big voice and she’s not afraid to use it. The brush is right beneath that shelf. The crane was made to do this job, and it did it well. Even better, a clerk at Lowes helped me load the plywood onto their cart. Easy peasy.. Have a nice day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan, you forgot to include, “No animals were hurt during the execution of this entire operation”! Lol! What an incredible set up you’ve created over the years, and your ‘thinking ahead’ ability will pay off big time in your retirement years. You know, when you realize you’re not 20 anymore! 🤗

    MuMu looks like she’s glad to see you….just looking to see if the brush is in your hand where it belongs.

    Love all the foggy/misty photos. Even in the fog, Old Glory is a grand sight to behold. Long may she wave.

    That park sprinkler will be coming on in the winter me thinks! Bring your skates!

    The last photo looks like an extreme closeup from a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day celebration!

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. I am not 20 (30, 40 or 50) anymore. I have to start working smarter. No one, human or animal was hurt or placed in harms way during this project. I do my best top be very careful.

      The picture of MuMu on the shelf starts a couple of minutes earlier. She screams for us from the hallway. Once she has someone’s attention, she keeps screaming until we come down to the bedroom. Then she jumps up on the bed to be brushed. Once we’re done brushing, she jumps onto my desk and up on the shelf, where she screams again to be brushed. The shelf is the only place I can get a picture of her, but sometimes, I take too long.

      I’m waiting for the day the blow the sprinklers clear in preparation for winter. I’m sure this one will be the last to go.

      I like the fog. It settles into a few places where it stays around a little longer.

      I hope you have a good day.


  3. I think that crane is bloody brilliant! The only thing you have to worry about now are splinters. Job well done. I like the way the pictures are being presented with a caption in it. I guess you got it to work properly. Maybe your Horrible Engineers have taken a liking to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pam. I’m glad you like the captions. This is not the gallery I like. I prefer the mosaic pattern, where the sizes are different, but I just can’t get that one to work. No thanks to the Happiness Engineers on this one, I have acquiesced to the only option that works :(

      The crane actually reduces splinters as well. It’s very easy to get a splinter from the edge of plywood sheets. This reduces my contact with the sides.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, Dan, it appears both you and MuMu mean business with plywood and a brush. You’re such an awesome handyman, Dan. Perhaps you can create an auto-brushing crane-like device for MuMu so you don’t have to fear for your life.

    Have fun with your crane and workshop and have a wonderful Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary. I’m afraid MuMu demands a personal touch from her loyal subjects. Many years (and cats) ago, we bought a automatic brush. It was a self-adhesive corner brush that you were supposed to stick on any corner where your cats walk. Each section of the brush opened so you could put catnip in it. The claim was that the cats would rub up against the brush on their way by. Our big cat, Oreo, smacked the thing until both sides opened and the catnip fell out. It lasted less than an hour.

      The crane was fun to use, but it’s stored now and I can get to work. I hope you have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So I’m reading this and singing, “Smooth Operator.” Great set-up, Dan. Your neighbor’s tree (the season gauge) is so pretty. Do you know what kind it is? Your niece’s lamp globe is such a cool photo. I would not have known what it was if you hadn’t said. Must look beautiful all lit up. Happy first day of Autumn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s a maple tree, Lois, but I’m not 100% sure. It’s such a well formed tree, and due to a slight curve in the street, it’s always backlit by the rising sun.

      No fair planting “Smooth Operator” in my head, but I guess I’m to blame. The lamps are pretty cool looking. I wasn’t sure how a close up would look, but I like it.

      Happy first day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Dan – that mushroom isn’t mush, but is well shredded – great shot. So pleased the crane worked according to plan, with a few minor alterations … and yes those talons are almost out – zee brush must be nearby … probably hanging ready for use. Cheers – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • The brush is never far from that shelf, Hilary. It used to be, but we bought a second one. The crane is resting in a good place, easy to access and is now high enough to unload the trailer with ease – thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t given any thought to it, Teagan. It’s interesting. I wonder if I’d have to add safety features. The crane/process is safe, if the operator is safe. For now, I’m just happy it works.


    • Safety features would be more to the issue of marketing the device or selling the patent to a company. The biggest thing would be doing the research to learn if there is a similar device already patented. That’s why I said the crane plus the process. I seriously doubt that anyone has done that. (I worked in the information technology branch, so I don’t know all the details of getting a patent. Particularly since we were not allowed to get patents ourselves while working there.) If the idea interests you, email me your questions and I’ll ask the friend that I’ve mentioned to you before.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A day late thanks to WordPress. I just followed you ‘again.’ I wonder if there is a magic number. :-) Love that your crane is working well, but now I’m wondering what your project is going to be. I’m sitting here on an ice pack with a sore back from lifting so I applaud your solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Am glad this wasn’t painful! Can I borrow it when my kiln arrives? Knowing from Hubs what headache lifting can be, you will save yourself many sore muscles:) and a great one-liner! Emille/Jesh

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Do you have any idea how many workshop guys and gals would kill for a crane? Wonderful photos, Dan. You know I love your season gauge tree. The flag in the fog is reminiscent of Peter Spier’s book, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It was hard for Francis Scott Key to see which flag was flying as he watched the battle from a boat in the harbor.

    Liked by 2 people

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