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Thread: Hydraulic Lift Table Question

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
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    13,840
    Cut a short piece of scrap wood, install it per the picture below. It will keep the height at the same level and one pump of the hydraulics will allow you to remove the shim. For very heavy loads put one shim on each side.

    IMG_1360.jpg

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    87
    I bought a Northern Tool lift table about a year ago. I haven't experienced any leaking down. I did have a caster go bad, and Northern Tool replaced it. I put an MFT style top on it. It's very useful.Northern Tool Lift Table.jpg

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
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    387
    Keith -- Yep, that's what I've been doing to hold the table at roughly counter height.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Whitehorse, Yukon
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    45
    Perhaps check the adjustment for the release handle. It may just be a bit tight and keeping a tiny bit of pressure on the release plunger in the cylinder.
    My daughter recently bought one (HF 1000lb version) and it had that issue, even though it appeared there was a bit of slack in the cable.
    I backed off the adjustment a bit, and now it stays up for days (no nasty jokes now!)
    The lift takes a few seconds longer to get to the bottom, but that's actually a good thing since there's better control when lowering heavy items.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
    Posts
    387
    Quote Originally Posted by Gustav Gabor View Post
    Perhaps check the adjustment for the release handle. It may just be a bit tight and keeping a tiny bit of pressure on the release plunger in the cylinder.
    My daughter recently bought one (HF 1000lb version) and it had that issue, even though it appeared there was a bit of slack in the cable.
    I backed off the adjustment a bit, and now it stays up for days (no nasty jokes now!)
    The lift takes a few seconds longer to get to the bottom, but that's actually a good thing since there's better control when lowering heavy items.
    Gustav -- I wish mine stayed up for days!
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    5,442
    Tie a string to that block of wood for easy removal. Maybe drill a hole to hang it. Good idea
    Bill D

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,547
    Let's shift focus for a moment. There are a few hydraulic cylinders in everyone's garage that never leak. They are the brake cylinders in our vehicles. The difference is the machining standards set by the requirements.

  8. #23
    I have the second cheapest one from Harbor Freight. I have never noticed it to leak down but have never really paid that much attention to it. I guess I've never left it loaded before. I will say that dang thing has changed my life, though. Can't imagine life without it.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
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    1,427
    As has been mentioned it's all about manufacturing tolerances and the quality of the seals, back up rings, and wipers. There are plenty of places for a cylinder to leak especially a low quality one. But also the control valve, and the pump/piston itself. Keith's suggestion is a good fix and Bill's suggestion of a laynard as well. Safe installation and removal is important as well. We don't rely on hydraulics to hold any load that has the potential to fall. Mechanical lockups are employed for those instances.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    55,531
    It doesn't surprise me that there is settling on any kind of hydraulic lifting setup...it's normal in many cases because of minute leakage and other factors. This is one reason why many lifting devices have mechanical stops/pins that can be used to maintain a fixed height, particularly when loaded, for safety.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Crozet, VA
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    387
    In my “dream shop master plan” I had thought about repurposing a motorcycle lift as the base for an adjustable height assembly table (with a torsion box on top). I might need to rethink that plan if all of these devices are prone to leakage.
    There is a very fine line between “hobby” and “mental illness.” - Dave Barry

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bain View Post
    In my “dream shop master plan” I had thought about repurposing a motorcycle lift as the base for an adjustable height assembly table (with a torsion box on top). I might need to rethink that plan if all of these devices are prone to leakage.
    As long as you can pin it to height...which honestly should be a safety requirement for the "normal" application for such things...you'll be fine I would think. That wouldn't likely be inconvenient, either, because most folks with adjustable height work surfaces are not normally moving them up an down constantly. They get set for the major task and you do the work.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #28
    How stable are those things? I’m assuming you would bolt it to the floor. You could do a 3ftx7ft top pretty easily. Maybe a little bigger. No storage space underneath though. I’ve been looking at them too
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bain View Post
    In my “dream shop master plan” I had thought about repurposing a motorcycle lift as the base for an adjustable height assembly table (with a torsion box on top). I might need to rethink that plan if all of these devices are prone to leakage.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    4,345
    I'd be very cautious of converting many of the ATV/Motorcycle lifts for shop use. Im sure some are rigid but a lot of the low to mid consumer/commercial use lifts like that will have a lot more slop than any one would want for a shop table. If its merely an assembly or support table thats one thing but if your going to be doing any type of work on the table where you may be hand planing, chiseling, bench work type stuff, that wobble will be miserable. You can search the net or youtube if you havent seen/been around a really nice hydraulic lift table that will handle most all of the standard bench work. They are robust. We dont have the floorspace for them but they sure would be handy.
    Sometimes I just want to look at pretty pictures,... Thats when I go to the Turners Forum

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Lebanon, TN
    Posts
    1,079
    I have a motorcycle lift and am getting real close to doing exactly as Tom describes.

    The lift is rock solid, it is pneumatic rather than hydraulic. Mine's rated at 1000lbs, but I've lifted my old 2008 Goldwing on it several times without issue.

    It has a mechanical brace that can be set for various heights. When I raise the lift and set the desired height, I bleed the air out.

    (Old video of mine, but it still works just as good today.)



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