Panel loading and transporting cart

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Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Tailmaker » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:07 pm

The question of how to pick up and move full size plywood or mdf sheets comes up occasionally and obviously there are many home made and commercial solutions around like the tilting Rockler MaterialMate cart. However, most such contraptions still require lifting to sheet onto a ledge and some are limited in terms of height adjustability. Some are just very expensive. So, I set out to design my own cart that can pick up full size 4x8 or 5x5 sheets (even 1.5" thick) from the floor by a single operator and without undue effort. I designed it to use a dual linking rod mechanism that moves the table's center of gravity from an offset position while vertical to a centered position when horizontal (for the folks who went to the Vectric user group meeting in Vegas I showed a 1:2 scale model. Right now it can be adjusted from 32" height to 38" but my next design iteration would be a larger height range .

All the tool paths were done using Aspire, based on vectors imported from 3d-CAD. Material is mostly 3/4" baltic Birch, some 2x4 studs and 1/2" construction grade plywood.

See images below and a short YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dWUwHI1mvg

Image

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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby mtylerfl » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:18 am

Wow! A lot of thought and engineering went into that. Fantastic!
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Bob Jr » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:15 am

TM,
Nice project.
I really like how you joined two shorter side pieces together!
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Tailmaker » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:54 am

mtylerfl wrote:Wow! A lot of thought and engineering went into that. Fantastic!


Well, I am an engineer and have invented/designed stuff all my professional career. Now I am retired but I guess I just can not let go...


Bob Jr wrote:TM, Nice project. I really like how you joined two shorter side pieces together! Bob


Thanks Bob, if you mean the joint in the longer connecting links/rods that was not so much by desire but by necessity. I would have liked to cut the links as one part but they are 37" long and my machine can do only 34" max. So I had no choice but to join them. Actually they components look like that:
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby RebeccaJ » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:44 am

Wow, this is impressive!
Thanks for Sharing this!
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby garylmast » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:31 pm

Impressive!
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Bob Jr » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:32 pm

TM
After seeing your drawing, now I REALLY like your design for the joint!
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Leo » Wed Feb 14, 2018 5:32 pm

I need that - or at least something like it.
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Tailmaker » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:05 pm

Leo wrote:I need that - or at least something like it.


I am working on some way of marketing the design (after some further improvement/simplification). For now I have only submitted a provisional patent application. The idea would be to ship the parts in an IKEA-style flat pack at low cost and have the end user assemble it.

But I am in no position to manufacture in quantities as well as marketing and selling the end product. If somebody has a good idea for a suitable commercial outfit to partner with, please let me know (or email to "info *at* tailmaker *dot* net").
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Bobtail Farm » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:00 pm

Splendid, Ger as usual! Will look for notice that you are licensing the plans and the opportunity to purchase them. Only a request that you consider from a grateful reader.
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby copythat » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:36 pm

How much do you think the cart costs to make? Are you going to sell your design plans?
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Tailmaker » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:36 pm

copythat wrote: How much do you think the cart costs to make?

That would depend on the quality of the plywood, casters and other hardware (the latter depends on the type of clamping). It would probably take about one full sheet ($50?) and another $50 for casters and stuff. Maybe 30-60 minutes to cut on a full size machine and 2-3 hours hours to assemble. Pretty much every CNC cabinet shop could do that. As mentioned earlier, the simplest solution would be to package as an IKEA style flat pack and ship to customers for self-assembly.

copythat wrote: Are you going to sell your design plans?

I was not planning to sell the plans only (for now). I will be looking for a professional partner for production and marketing of this concept (let me know if there is somebody interested here) but need to do one more design iteration for the table surface and clamping system first. I will get rid of the vacuum holding (too complex and can be done easier) and increase the height adjustment range. Given other priorities, that may take a few weeks.
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Ms Wolffie » Wed May 09, 2018 3:02 pm

I really like that design.
With both of us in our 70th and my arthritis, we really struggle lifting sheets onto the machine and buying a scissor lift is outside what our bank balance can afford.
However, we are over on the other side of the pond and the shipping would be more than we could afford.
Please take this as an encouragement to sell just the plans.
We have an 8 x 4 machine and I gather we can do the cutting in one go.
Even if we have to struggle getting just one more sheet on the table.
Depending whether the bank balance will allow us to buy the plans of course.
Cheers
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Ms Wolffie » Wed May 09, 2018 3:15 pm

I was waiting to see how the height adjustment worked.
Did I miss it?
Cheers
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Re: Panel loading and transporting cart

Postby Tailmaker » Wed May 09, 2018 4:47 pm

Ms Wolffie wrote:I was waiting to see how the height adjustment worked.
Did I miss it?


This is not on the video. There are the two cranks coupled with the bike chain that operate 3/8" ACME spindles. They make the crossing "legs" operate like a scissor, moving the table up and down in a parallel fashion.
That works but I am not satisfied yet with the height adjustment range which is the reason why I am right now re-designing the table top to get at least 10" of range.

I may reconsider selling the plans but first I need to get this change completed.
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