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How do you handle heavy sheets of plywood?

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 1358 days ago 5953 views 0 times favorited 43 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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b2rtch

4272 posts in 1633 days


1358 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am getting older day after day, in case I forget my body reminds me of this fact.
I am 61 and in very good shape for my great old age yet sheets of 3/4” plywood are getting heavier every day.
Last week I bought sheets a 3./4 Multipour plywood and they were really heavy.
How do you handle such sheets to unload them from your truck and to store them and then to carry them from storage to the table saw and so on.
I am thinking about installing a small crane in my shop.
I know of devise which not only store the sheets but also it lift them and rotate them to put on the table saw but this device is way way out of my price range.
Thank you for your help.

-- Bert


43 replies so far

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1599 posts in 2047 days


#1 posted 1358 days ago

My 16 year old 6’2 450 lb step son handles that for me. I am lucky, not everyone has a gorilla at home to handle the ply. He is a little clumsy and sometimes damages the edges

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

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b2rtch

4272 posts in 1633 days


#2 posted 1358 days ago

MedicKen
‘My 16 year old 6’2 450 lb step son handles that for me”
Do you have to feed him?

-- Bert

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1659 days


#3 posted 1358 days ago

The people at the store help me load sheets in the truck. When I get home I often cut the plywood off the back of truck. If I want a lengthwise cut I pull it out and directly on to saw horses.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15263 posts in 1451 days


#4 posted 1358 days ago

I’m 60 and have a bad back and a couple of bad knees from a lot of hard work. I want to keep on woodworking so I know that I need to take reasonable care of myself which means watching what I do. I can easily pick up a sheet of plywood but I know that I shouldn’t and if I keep on doing it I’m going to be sorry.

Most of the plywood that I buy comes from HD or Lowes. I used to not bother with having them cut it but now I take advantage of it. I usually know what I’m going to do with the plywood so I think ahead about what is the best way to bust it up. So, I might have it cut into two or three pieces and plus or minus 1/8 or even 1/4 inch is usually fine. This way it is easy for me to handle it from there. I load it on my truck and take it home and usually lean it against the outside shop wall since my shop is small. I can then take in one piece at a time and cut it into the different parts to the proper dimensions. Sometimes it is convenient to rough cut it some more. I have four saw horses outside my shop that I can lay the pieces on and do some further cutting with a circular saw or saber saw, depending on what I’m trying to do. Then I take these to the table saw. In all it works out rather well. It is much easier and I keep from further injuring my back or knees.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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b2rtch

4272 posts in 1633 days


#5 posted 1358 days ago

I can buy an electric hoist at my favorite store, HF, for around $100.00 but I do not believe that my roof rafters would handle the extra weight.

http://www.harborfreight.com/1300-lb-capacity-electric-hoist-2954.html

-- Bert

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TheDane

3630 posts in 2248 days


#6 posted 1358 days ago

Bert—Getting older? You too?

I have an old (cheap) carpenter’s rip saw with a hole about an inch from the end. When I need to carry sheet goods, I have U-shaped bracket made out of strap iron that I bolt to the end of the saw. I just left the edge of the sheet up an inch or so off the floor, slide the bracket under it, put my arm over the top edge of the sheet, and with the saw handle pick it up.

I have a set of 4 roller stands and an outfeed table that I use as helpers when I feed sheet stock through my table saw.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Viking's profile

Viking

857 posts in 1780 days


#7 posted 1358 days ago

I have had same problem until I built a simple sheet goods cutting table from scrap PT wood from another project. I can pull full sheets of plywood, MDF or whatever directly from my pickup bed onto the cutting table. I then cut full sheets to manageable size with a circular saw.

Dimensions are on my home page projects.

Good Luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

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b2rtch

4272 posts in 1633 days


#8 posted 1358 days ago

helluvawreck, I have done that but now I prefer to store full sheets at home so that I always have some available. Also I now buy my sheet-goods at a lumber yard and they do not cut it.

-- Bert

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b2rtch

4272 posts in 1633 days


#9 posted 1358 days ago

Viking, good idea but as I said above I store the sheets at home.

-- Bert

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helluvawreck

15263 posts in 1451 days


#10 posted 1358 days ago

Bert, I don’t have your problem, really, because I mostly work with solid wood so I don’t use a lot of plywood. But when I do that’s the way I handle it. However, I can see how you would want to store the full sheets if you use them often. I wish that I had enough room to store some of both.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1839 posts in 2146 days


#11 posted 1358 days ago

My neighbor or a friend who lives nearby. Usually I have to purveyor cut it in half (or so) so I can handle it by myself.

-- Joe

View Tomoose's profile

Tomoose

310 posts in 1958 days


#12 posted 1358 days ago

Bert I don’t know if it would work, but maybe a drywall lift would work for you – they can handle large sheets and have wheels to move around. Perhaps you could find a used one on Craigslist or something.

-- cut it twice and it's still too short...

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15623 posts in 2803 days


#13 posted 1358 days ago

For me, it’s all about leverage. I managed a warehouse for a number of years, and I learned that it’s possible to move some very heavy things by letting the weight do the work. Just as an example, to put a 4×8 sheet of 3/4 ply into the back of a truck, I carefully tip it off the cart onto a corner (gently) and stand it up on the 4 foot edge. Now with very little effort you can “walk” it into position about 7 feet behind the truck, then slowly let the top tilt towards the tailgate. Once you have the top resting on the tailgate, go to the end that’s still on the ground, lift it up and slide it in. If done right, the whole process takes very little strength.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Viking's profile

Viking

857 posts in 1780 days


#14 posted 1358 days ago

Bert;

I get what you are saying. When I buy extras I still offload onto the cutting table then flip them from horizontal to vertical onto our rolling sheet goods storage cart with big casters. When I take sheet from cart I just reverse the procedure to get it back onto the cutting table and never have to lift full weight of the sheet.

At our age, it is better to work smarter than harder!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1568 days


#15 posted 1358 days ago

This seems to be an aging problem alright, LOL I too have this problem myself. One of the things I have been mauling over is getting a drywall lift. It allows you to put a sheet on vertically and raise to a workable height and then flip horizontally to slide over on to the table saw. If you have low ceilings this would be more feasible than a hoist system, not to mention that the lift is on casters to roll it into position.
Medicken, LOL don’t know if I could afford bananas to keep a gorilla around. LOL But glad to hear you have a strapping young man to help out.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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