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Problem:
I have a sliding patio door set that I need to get up to the second floor of the house.
It's freaking heavy. The frame is aluminum, the doors are thick thermally-insulated tempered glass. Figure 400-500 lbs. or in that neighborhood.

My stairway is one of those that switch back and forth, and it's a pain in the ass getting things like furniture in or out. The task of moving this thing up those stairs was daunting, even with a couple of people.

The ideal solution would be to rent a crane. Unfortunately, renting a crane isn't an easy or cheap solution.

It is for this and other purposes that I bought an electric hoist. It's a relatively light-duty hoist with a straight load capacity of 750 lbs, and it comes with a doubling hook so I can lift 1500 lbs. half as far if needed. They make hoists that can lift more, but my needs aren't quite at that point.

Unfortunately, the hoist doesn't work by itself. I need to lift the door frame up and over the roof.

This is where I get clever.

My plan is to use a boom. The hoist I will mount up at the peak of the roof, run the cable over the boom, and attach it to the door frame. Then as the hoist pulls the cable, the frame lifts straight up until the cable stop hits the end of the boom, which then starts lifting and pulling the door frame up and onto the roof.

Or if you will, pictures:






You can follow the lifting sequence.

The idea isn't completely mine-- the boom has been around for a long time and is used a lot on cranes and ships to move cargo. I just figured out how to make it work for me.

There are some complications. The boom has to be pretty strong, and in this case I don't want it swinging left-to right at all, just up-and-down. But the spiffiest damn thing: it turns out that my extension ladder fits the bill almost perfectly. All I need to do is add a garage-door pulley at the end, and back up the base with a section of 2x6 scrap.
Mounting the hoist is another beast entirely, and I may have to weld a frame for it. That isn't beyond my means either, and it's probably not the last time that I'll need to haul things up to the second floor, so it would pay to actually make it robust enough to withstand some use.

Not gonna happen this week.

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