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lifting beams, use a screw jack?
Sometimes we need to lift up an overhead beam ( to replace a rotted post, replace old beam, etc.). What we usually do is use a hydraulic bottle jack and a built up post ( usually a couple of 2x4's nailed together).
This works great EXCEPT I do not like the hinge point that is created between the bottle jack and the post. I think that it is an accident waiting to happen. Your post is not perfectly plumb or the load shifts or something happens and that post and bottle jack go kicking out!!
So I am looking for a better alternative. I would like something that I could throw in the truck and take to the job site. In Mike Geurtin and Rick Arnold's book "Precision Framing" they talk about using what they call a screw jack ( looks something like a lally column with a crank on it). Doing an internet search couldnt find anything like they had, best I could come up with was a screw jack from Ellis ( http://www.ellisok.com/ellisok/products_screwjacks.html ). Thinking about just using lally columns. Anyone know how much lift you can get out of a lally column? Also trying to think of how to make a solid/stiff connection between the bottle jack and post.
Anyone got any great ideas??