Monday, June 15, 2009

Lifting Ruel

One of the things my mother gave me before she died was a marble bench she purchased to memorialize her close friend, Ruel Smith.

Ruel was a very bright and intellectually active man well into his early nineties. He enjoyed playing Risk with his children and elaborate word games with my mother.

Earlier in his life Ruel had a strong interest in trains. He designed elaborate model train layouts and acquired a large collection of cars, track, transformers, switches, and circuitry.

My mother thought of his interest in trains as his life's dream. She chose to remember him with a stone bench that had a silhouette of a train consisting of an engine, a coal car, and a caboose passing a railroad crossing.

Me, My brother Matthew, and my nephew Kenny loaded the bench onto my truck in Tennessee. However I had no ready team of bulls to unload it here in Raleigh, so I decided to construct a modular hoist frame to use in conjunction with a cable winch to lift the largest piece out of my truck.

It took a few weeks to stitch together the time to build the frame. It worked very well as you can see in the photos below.

Lifting from the truck bed:

Block suspended in air:

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