DIY Forklift Elevator for the Shop or Barn

One Ohio farmer converted a forklift into a shop or barn elevator. Check out his DIY forklift elevator project for those rural Americans handy around the toolshed.

| March/April 2017

  • Larry built a platform onto the mast where the forks once were.
    Photo courtesy FARM SHOW
  • The elevator is controlled by electrically powered hydraulics.
    Photo courtesy FARM SHOW

Larry Wood turned an old Clark forklift mast into a heavy-duty shop elevator by mounting it along one wall and building a platform onto the mast in place of the forks. He uses it to ride up to the upper level of his shop.

The elevator is controlled by electrically powered hydraulics, so a simple electric switch is used to move it up or down. This makes it easy to retrieve parts or other equipment from the upper storage area.

“Now I can ride up to the balcony with whatever I want to store,” says Wood. “The 2-stage mast will lift 2 tons about 12 feet high, although the barn’s second floor is only 9 feet above the floor. The platform is big enough that I can load lots of stuff on it.”

He attached the mast to a 2-by-6-foot steel tube located between two of the posts on his shop wall. He welded a steel frame to the mast forks and bolted a 4-by-6-feet-long, 3⁄4-inch-thick plywood floor onto the frame.

He made an electric-hydraulic power pack for the elevator by combining a 12-volt hydraulic power unit and a 12-volt battery that’s attached to a trickle charger. Electric-operated elevator buttons are mounted on the forklift and on the wall.

“The elevator only uses power on the way up, so when I push the button, it coasts down. I store the elevator at the second floor level just to keep it out of the way,” says Wood.
5/15/2018 7:26:44 PM

I used the plans at WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG to build my own forklift elevator – I highly recommend you visit that website and check their plans out too. They are detailed and super easy to read and understand unlike several others I found online. The amount of plans there is mind-boggling… there’s like 16,000 plans or something like that for tons of different projects. Definitely enough to keep me busy with projects for many more years to come haha Go to WWW.EASYWOODWORK.ORG if you want some additional plans :)



September 12-13, 2019
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