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I decided to build a beam clamp to lift slightly heavy or awkward loads using an I-Beam I have in the garage. I cut 1/4" plate material with plasma CNC, painted, and assembled it. The first test was today.

Before welding the clamp bar (the center link) and before paint
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Welded and painted
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Installed and ready for use. I had to cut drywall away to get to my beam. I easily lifted a ~150lb load today. It should be able to lift considerably more but I'm not looking find the limit.
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JDDave
 

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Nice build!! :good2:

I went the easy way, and purchased two of them when I built my shed.

I easily lifted 40 foot 6X4-8.5# beams with one clamp. Those beams weighed 340 pounds.

One beam I lifted weighed over 1,000 pounds, but, I used 2 clamps.
Now, the clamps are ceiling decorations in my shed,, I have used them once or twice,,,
my tractor loader does most of my lifting,,,
 

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Very nice fab work there. :good2:
 

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Nice job!
 

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Very nice work! Probably a good cost savings vs buying.

Used a bunch of those beam clamps about 10 years ago to build out a new Verizon switch. The clamps were used to hang threaded rod from ceiling I-beams to build a Hilti-Strut grid for all the overhead cable racking.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That clamp looks very well built, professional, even. The beam you're using to lift with, was it put there for that purpose and finished over?

When I had the house built, I told the architect I didn't want posts in the garage. The garage is a four car. It took two I-beams to do the job. The builders said they thought they were building a Walmart when they set the beams. Since the garage is a finished, the beams were drywalled. I wasn't crazy about cutting an opening, but I rather lift heavy stuff at this point.
 

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:bigthumb: u done a nice job on that clamp. so u made that to clamp to ur beam in the garage. and now u will lift off of that clamp. going to hang -like a chain hoist-i suppose.:munch:
 

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Very nice job on the clamp.:bigthumb::bigthumb:
 

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That clamp fabrication is fantastic. I have the same I-beam configuration in my garage. Mine is also enclosed in drywall. I honestly would never have thought to do that for that type of support. Do you happen to know what is supporting that beam on both ends? Mine is sitting on another I-beam (16' garage door header) on one end and a stack of 2X6's (embedded in the wall of the house) on the other. I wouldn't know how to calculate how much weight you could safely hang in the middle of the beam without exceeding the capacity of the beam or the support on either end. I am probably too paranoid to be comfortable hanging too much weight in the middle of mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
:bigthumb: u done a nice job on that clamp. so u made that to clamp to ur beam in the garage. and now u will lift off of that clamp. going to hang -like a chain hoist-i suppose.:munch:
Currently using a fence stretcher. The loads I'll be dealing with will be light. But I know the beam and clamp can handle a lot more. I'll upgrade to something better if I lift higher loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Do you happen to know what is supporting that beam on both ends?
My I-beam if sitting on (2) 3-1/2" steel posts like you see in many basements. If I start to lift heavy loads I'll do some calculations to ensure I don't have a problem. Right now the beam is holding up attic space with little load on it. So I should be able to lift things like engines, etc. We'll see.

JDDave
 

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That clamp fabrication is fantastic. I have the same I-beam configuration in my garage. Mine is also enclosed in drywall. I honestly would never have thought to do that for that type of support. Do you happen to know what is supporting that beam on both ends? Mine is sitting on another I-beam (16' garage door header) on one end and a stack of 2X6's (embedded in the wall of the house) on the other. I wouldn't know how to calculate how much weight you could safely hang in the middle of the beam without exceeding the capacity of the beam or the support on either end. I am probably too paranoid to be comfortable hanging too much weight in the middle of mine.
An alternative approach that my engineer wife suggested is a couple of bolt on hooks attached about in the middle of the "webbing" of the I-beam, on opposing sides. Most steel I-beam are not engineered to take point loads to the bottom flange. So, your beam clamp would probably hold an v8 engine block. But, your header beam might not.
 

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Wow, that's sure pretty.

My beam clamp is basically two brackets that trap the flange, held together by a 1/2" grade 8 bolt. I might have spent 10 minutes making it. I only used it for raising the 840# beams my crane is made of. It hasn't been used since.


As was mentioned, you need to be careful with how much weight you apply to the flange on your beam. I-beams do funny things under a load and you don't want yours flopping over sideways and coming down on you. I'm always surprised how much my 12" S-beams wiggle when loaded at near-max. I've got a 5:1 safety factor, and they still move around.
 

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Dang
Very impressive clamp there you built!:good2:
 

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This

"Most steel I-beam are not engineered to take point loads to the bottom flange. So, your beam clamp would probably hold an v8 engine block but the beam may not". Another issue is your garage is most likely covered in 5/8" fire code board and now you have a hole in this, great place for fire and smoke to spread into living space. Nice work on the clamp.
 
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