Project Barn Lift

I used to write fairly often about my projects. People who read this column haven’t seen a project column for some time and could therefore assume I no longer work on projects. They would be wrong, this is project barn lift.

I believe the last project column was making tractors from sewing machines. I’m still stuck on using old sewing machines only this time I wanted to use the ornate, metal legs. Lots of people make sewing machine legs into tables but I wanted to do something else.

Old sheds used to have pulleys mounted high in the peak of the roof on the outside of the structure. These pulleys could be used to lift material to the second level of the building. There was a door opening just below the pulley to access the storage area. Although I had no use for a pulley, a door nor storage-I decided to make this whole scenario happen to one of our old sheds.

I had one sewing machine base so I dismantled it as I only needed the metal portion. I then assembled some treated wood at a 90 degree angle. This created two legs of a triangle and the third leg was created with colored chain stretched between two of the three corners. This created a strong base to hang the sewing metal legs.

I then fitted the metal legs horizontally to the base. When it fit perfectly, I took the legs off as I would have to mount the base to the shed before I slid the metal, sewing-machine legs back onto the base. Together, they were just too heavy.

Mounting the base was pretty easy and the metal legs slid right into place. I had already built a nice barn-style door and still had old rail and hardware to mount the door. The peak of the roof is about 13 feet but I now have a little scaffolding so each foray about 5 feet high is much safer. I also find I do better work when I am not completely terrified.

Barn lift doorAfter everything was in place, I took time to attend to a few details. Old time pulleys would need rope to operate so I added some yellow rope to the old circular band wheel which really looks like a pulley and also mounted a hook on the lower wall to tie-off the rope. The chain on the base was also yellow as it’s hard to see so I wanted a color that would capture attention.

A good project, well-executed, is a constant source of pride and joy. Every time I drive by this little project, it makes me happy. I feel nostalgic and resourceful each time I see my second floor lift. It’s also kind of a relief to find an outlet for the occasional pair of sewing-machine legs instead of making them into a table.

I’m back into the projects even though I never really left. I hope you enjoy the pictures and this has been project barn lift.

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