Author Topic: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials  (Read 2282 times)

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« on: February 26, 2017, 05:51:13 AM »
Up until recently the only metal sheet materials I've had 'in stock' are relatively thin steel or aluminium in 8 foot by 4 foot sheets up to about 2 mm. They are 'just about' manageable single handed, especially as I use a pair of 'glaziers suckers' to get a good grip without getting cut to shreds. This lets me slide them down the side of the guillotine on a couple of battens to keep them off the floor.

It's not ideal - but it just about works  :scratch:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2017, 05:56:47 AM »
Now things have changed a bit since I've got the CNC plasma table up and running - I'm now working with much heavier sheets. The last bit was a full 8x4 of 3/8" steel, which I had to cut up with a hand held plasma cutter to get it into manageable bits, and even then I need to use a 'scissor lift' to get plate onto the table
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2017, 05:59:59 AM »
So today, things have come to a head - I've taken delivery of 6 off 6 mm 8 x 4 steel sheets - this was an ebay bargain that couldn't be resisted, and as a bonus they came with two massive switch on/offable magnetic lifters each rated at 200 kgs  :clap:

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2017, 06:12:20 AM »
Now each of those sheets weigh about 140 kgs. In itself that's not a problem - I can lift them with a fork lift. BUT - just propped against a wall they are potentially dangerous and virtually impossible to move about when standing up.

I had intended to cut them into 4 x 4 sheets - I even have an electric nibbler that can chomp through 1/4" like butter to do the job, but it seems stupid to cut them up un-necessarily as you can be sure I'll need a long thin bit some time  :bang:

So far I have in mind something like the trolleys that you see in D-I-Y stores that have slots to slide sheets in - but it would need to be stoutly made and lifting sheets on edge is not that easy (although I do have a self gripping 'plate clamp' )

... so the challenge - imaginative, practical and safe solutions to storing heavy plate in a limited space in a workshop  :ddb:
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 06:42:51 AM by awemawson »
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline redshift

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 45
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2017, 07:48:52 AM »
 perhaps something along the lines of a car roller ?
Dave

Offline sparky961

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Country: ca
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2017, 07:59:33 AM »
Forklift-accessible shelving is the only solution I've seen that works well. If space is at a premium, go up.  Look for unused overhead space, like directly over the plasma table.

The shelving will need to be strong (duh) but it will be worth your efforts to avoid manhandling those big sheets.

A jib crane with magnet is another idea to get the sheet from close by onto the table. But this won't work if all your stock is on a pile on the floor. Not to mention it's a waste of floor space. I can only see this being useful to avoid damage to your table with the forklift or to more accurately position sheets thereupon.

Offline tom osselton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 850
  • Country: ca
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2017, 05:38:40 PM »
Could you not pick them up with a vacum and trolley system? I've seen videos of complete cars being lifted by the roof using not much more than a vacum cleaner.

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2017, 05:42:54 PM »
Good suggestions chaps but sadly no room upwards.

Keep the suggestions coming please !!!
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline sparky961

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Country: ca
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2017, 06:20:22 PM »
Can you live with rust?  Lasers and rust don't mix but plasma doesn't have much of an issue with it.  An outside storage rack is an option, though certainly not ideal.  I'm not sure about your climate, but here it would be more the condensation cycles that cause the rust rather than the direct rain.

Something else I was thinking about after my other post was to have some sort of "tilting shelf/rack".  Something like the rolling cart that you had mentioned earlier, but with a tilting mechanism to allow you to pick sheets from it horizontally with the forklift.  At the same time you can save space by tilting them vertical for compact storage.  You'll be limited in capacity by the overall size and weight but it might work if you just want a sheet or two of different thicknesses to keep in stock.  You'll have to be careful to keep it balanced and/or mechanically supported in rotation for safety.  Though if you can figure out how to keep the center of gravity ... well, centered, then it might be as simple as a large gas spring, threaded rod, or gear/crank.

The key to storing sheets is that as soon as you have one heavy sheet laying directly on top of another it's a PITA to get the forks between them without damaging them.  It can also be a hassle to pick up just the top one with a magnet, as the next one or two are attracted as well.  You need to get a prybar in there and "pop" then apart quickly.  The design would need to have separators that allow you to pick individual sheets.  You also need to account for some extreme bending of thinner sheets' ends under their own weight on narrow forks.  You can get away with keeping one or two along with a more rigid (1/4 or 3/8 maybe) sheet that doesn't allow the ends to sag when you're trying to insert it into a narrow shelf space.  Then you just pick up the pile, bring it over to the table and hand-bomb the thinner sheet from on top without too much trouble.  Alternatively, you pick out a thick one and bring it right under the storage space for the narrow one and slide it out on top.  Opposite for putting it away again.

Now that I've mentioned it, I'm thinking this is likely along the lines of what Dave (redshift) was suggesting with the "car roller" (though in fewer words).  When I read it I was thinking "dollies", but I think he meant more like a car "rotisserie".  I don't know what types are available - whether they have a pivot point and stationary base, but I know I've seen at least one that would require a lot of floor space to roll over.   

If nothing else, maybe this will get you thinking about the problem another way and spark an offshoot idea.  It all helps.  Judging by the other "big" projects you take on, I'd say such a gizmo should be fairly easy for you to manage (in an afternoon or two :P ) .

Offline Joules

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
  • Country: gb
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2017, 06:27:48 PM »
Lean against wall with wood spacers, install some recessed loops in the floor to allow the plates to be chained from floor to above the plates securing them when not needed.   My sheet metal is stored behind the workshop stove as it makes a great heat store when the stove is on.  Only thin sheet though 4mm.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline sparky961

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Country: ca
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2017, 06:56:08 PM »
Here's the type of rotisserie I was thinking of.  I didn't realize it sat on a base with wheels.  I figured you just rolled it across the shop.... lol

(YouTube: Not embedded so you can skip to the relevant time)
https://youtu.be/FzPzO6ECh8c?t=249

Interesting, though I think you'd get along better with something smaller that has central pivot points.

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2017, 03:17:08 AM »
Some good and thought provoking ideas chaps thank!

I love the car chassis rotator in the video, it gives a whole new meaning to a Rolling Chassis  :ddb:

Keep the ideas flowing, this is very useful to me, thanks.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Will_D

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 477
  • Country: ie
    • National Homebrew Club of Ireland
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2017, 05:09:15 AM »
Do you have enough ceiling height for an I bean, rolling carriage, and a chain block?
Engineer and Chemist to the NHC.ie
http://www.nationalhomebrewclub.ie/forum/

Offline Pete W.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
  • Country: gb
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2017, 05:20:01 AM »

SNIP

The key to storing sheets is that as soon as you have one heavy sheet laying directly on top of another it's a PITA to get the forks between them without damaging them.  It can also be a hassle to pick up just the top one with a magnet, as the next one or two are attracted as well.  You need to get a prybar in there and "pop" then apart quickly.  The design would need to have separators that allow you to pick individual sheets.

SNIP


I'm sure I've seen catalogue pictures of a magnetic gizmo that's specifically configured to separate sheets of steel at one edge.  Maybe in my treasured hardback copy of the Buck & Hickman catalogue?  Works on the principle that like poles repel.

It might not be up to working on 6 mm thick sheet though! 
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2017, 05:32:56 AM »
Do you have enough ceiling height for an I bean, rolling carriage, and a chain block?

Sadly not Will. This bit of the emporium is a sloping truss roof with fibre reinforced cement sheets, and the purlins are  only 3x3 steel angle with the sheets directly onto them. The low end is only 7 foot and the high end barely 9
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2017, 05:35:04 AM »
Pete, yes I also remember something of the sort - I've a feeling that it used AC electro-magnets though rather than permanent ones  :scratch:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline wgw

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2017, 09:11:18 AM »
The only simple system I've seen has the sheets stored on edge. A cage with enough room between the uprights to be able to separate the sheets and pull out the one you want. The base a few rollers to help in sliding the sheet out. Then a plate clamp to lift it Use your forklift or loader?

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2017, 10:05:48 AM »
WGW I think probably in the end this is what I'm going to adopt. Certainly the rollers on the cross pieces will make individual sheets easier to pull (so long as they don't all decide to come at the same time rolling on the roller  :bugeye:)

It's the width / length ratio that's the issue - really need to approach from the narrow end, in which case there's 8 foot lengthwise on a fork that's only 42" long. Perfectly possible if there are 'fork pockets' that the tines engage in.

At the moment I have in mind a cage arrangement 8 foot long, 4 foot high and perhaps 2 foot wide on sizeable castor wheels and fork pockets. I can then stack the sheets on edge safely, and put the whole sheebang lengthwise into a storage container that I have spare at the moment, and when I need a specific sheet out I can lift the cage with the forks into the welding shop, withdraw the sheet I want, and post the cage back to storage.

All just theory currently, so please don't stop making suggestions - it's all been very helpful and plans might change  :thumbup:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2017, 10:57:51 AM »
It's amazing what some people think up - how about this way of shifting sheets that I found on the Interweb:


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYwryq0O-q4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYwryq0O-q4</a>
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline wgw

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 43
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2017, 11:30:17 AM »
I recently used a similar idea to get some sheets up onto the roof, except I cheated and used an electric winch . Cheap 12v winch ( 50 ) ladder with little wheels at the top and G clamp. Might modify for 8x4s ?

Offline Spurry

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 255
  • Country: gb
  • Norfolk, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2017, 12:33:56 PM »
I like that man with his mower gadget.  :thumbup:
Here's a couple of my pix. My large sheet materials are mostly of the wooden variety, so a little easier to handle.
1. Just different materials on pallets on the floor
2. Proper version of pic 1
3. Sheet storage of all types. Main uprights could hold the full sheets and offcuts go in the centres
4. ditto
May spark one of your cunning plans.  :D
Pete

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2017, 12:58:41 PM »
Nice Pallet racking Pete  :thumbup:

Sadly no room in the welding shop for that or it would be ideal.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline howsitwork?

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 261
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2017, 04:14:25 PM »
Andrew

I use ( for wood sheets 18 and 20mm ply) slotted beams on the floor. Cut slots into them at intervals to stop base of sheet sliding about . Then stack on edge with one edge in a slot. If you did that and put a wire rope over top or chain to stop em coming over at you should one get "nudged" by something /someone should be safe. To extract a sheet use your sheet puller on the end to withdraw lengthwise from the stack, assuming you have end access?

Regards Ian

Offline Pete W.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
  • Country: gb
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #23 on: March 16, 2017, 12:31:00 PM »
Pete, yes I also remember something of the sort - I've a feeling that it used AC electro-magnets though rather than permanent ones  :scratch:
 

I found the item I mentioned in my Buck & Hickman catalogue.  Here's the relevant entry:

(The prices are 1971/72!!)

Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Online awemawson

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5554
  • Country: gb
  • East Sussex, UK
Re: Suggestions Please for Storing Sheet Materials
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2017, 08:07:35 AM »
I gave up in the end, and, fed up with a pile of 6 mm 2.5 x 1.25 Metre steel plates on the floor of the workshop I cut them all down into half sheets that will lay flat on a pallet.

My old Duplex 1/4" nibbler worked overtime cutting many feet of plate, but worked an absolute treat, producing a  very impressive pile of 6 mm cubic shrapnel  :bugeye:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex