If you have done drywall work you probably understand how difficult certain areas are to reach. Without a drywall lift (Red Line Professional 11-Foot Drywall Lift Panel Hoist Jack) the job can be difficult and dangerous.
I had a ceiling job to do so that we can move forward with other projects in this room and we didn’t want to wait on the pros to do this section. I decided to fashion a lift to make the job safe and easy. The lift that I built was pretty straightforward and turned out to do a little more than I expected. At first this was going to be a 2 person job. When my co-worker didn’t arrive, I decided to give the 14′ ceiling a go on my own. Just prior to doing so, I taped my phone to a nearby ladder and turned the video on. I figured that this was going to go well, or terribly bad. Either way, I wanted to be sure that I captured it.
I modeled the lift using Google Sketchup. Sketchup is a terrific (and free) 3d design program. It is remarkably easy to use if you have any CAD experience. Here is a link to my Sketchup file.
DIY Drywall Lift
The material used was nothing more than 7 2×4’s and 3 hinges. I screwed the 2x’s together with 3″ drywall screws and fastened the hinges to a cleat that I then screwed to the wall (the cleat is the 7th 2×4 if you were wondering). By screwing the hinges to the cleat while on the ground it allowed me to position the entire lift at the correct height. I was then able to screw the cleat off at a few points without having to hold the whole rig up.
Once the piece closest to the wall was fastened to the ceiling (lift up to the 2×4 @ 48″ and swing up), I was then able to place the next piece a cleat at the base of the lift and lift/fasten. I was nervous about doing this solo since I hadn’t tested the strength of my setup. The sheets of drywall were 95 pounds each so a crash wouldn’t be without some damage below (me).