2009-05-18: Pure Sean Lunacy: The ForkeningLast night, I puzzled until around 4am on how to replace lights on Hatton's tall ceilings. I actually was wondering about a number of things, really. Whatever method I was going to use, had to:
At first, a scissor lift seemed the appropriate answer, but the $70/day rental did not seem appropriate, nor did the ~$3k used price tag. And even if I got past all of that, there's still the weight that would probably crack the floor tiles and a width that would prevent me from getting it through the various doors. After I did some research, I discovered that Genie Industries makes just the thing. It's functionally a pallet jack with a crank operated fork lift built in. I did a little bit of searching on the internet, and although they seem to cost around $1.7k delivered, I found that I could actually buy a used one locally from Otay Mesa Sales for $950. Weight, on the other hand, promises to be evil. Package information claims that the 12' version weighs 200lbs, while the 24' version weighs 375lbs. They do however happen to fit through standard residential doors, being a little under 3' wide when collapsed into transport mode.
Texie and I took a drive down there today, and discovered that the 125 south was a toll road. We were unaware of that little detail until today. Once we arrived at Otay Mesa Sales, we were shown an area out back where several of the Genie lifts (18' and 24' versions) were sitting. We looked through the ones present, and since they were all the same price we settled on the 24' version. This should take care of anything up to and including lifting things up onto the very roof of the house. Maximum payload on a Genie is 650lbs. We got ours for $900 plus tax, delivered. They're even being nice enough to deliver it free of charge, after the mold remediation is done at our place.
The neat thing about this is that even if I decide to upgrade to a scissor lift down the road, this lift is well under what they go for used. I could easily get my money back out of it. We're also going to look at removing one of the balcony bits when moving, so that we can lift boxes of books, etc directly up to the second story without messing with the stairs.
So, basically I'm going to line up a hand crank operated fork lift underneath the light I want to change, sit on an improvised platform between its tines, and have Texie winch me up. As a gesture in sanity's general direction, I have agreed that a large bean bag chair will be placed directly underneath the drop zone. I also intend to acquire a climber's safety harness to clip onto the frame somewhere, in the event of a fall. Realistically, this harness will probably just chain me to the platform as it and I both topple sideways in an exhilarating pirouette of DOOM. But hopefully between the bean bag and the safety harness, I will succeed in not getting myself killed working with this thing. If I do die, it will at least be a splendid death worthy of my own Darwin award.