We are in the planning stages of building a new house that will include a 'workspace', which will be used primarily for woodworking (among other things). I would like to make sure I design this workspace around any future needs I may have. Right now it's in the plans as an empty 11' x 13' room (10' ceiling) with a garage door to the outside and a laundry tub in the corner. The primary function of this workspace was to allow me to woodwork through the winter, but now I see additional value as an area to install or store a system to help work with overly-heavy slabs.
Shortly after moving in I'd like to begin making some larger pieces, starting with a 14' live edge dining room table. Online calculators are telling me that a slab large enough to work into this will weigh in the 500+ lbs range. So far I have worked with some heavy pieces, but nothing beyond 100-odd lbs; until this point I could always manually carry the slab in and out and flip it using my own strength. I'm aware of the math, but cannot expand my workspace; I will either need to work with this particular slab outside or choose a smaller size.
What options are available for working with slabs like this that cannot be managed with brute strength? This would include both machinery (like some sort of hoist) or techniques (force multipliers).
I expect to have the following needs:
- Ability to work with slabs alone, without a second person available.
- Moving a slab from storage (possibly along the side of the workspace) to a working area (possibly in the middle of the workspace).
- Flipping a slab so that I can work on both sides.
- Moving a slab from a pickup truck to my storage space upon delivery.
- Moving a slab outside would be a bonus, so I can spray coatings, sand, etc without worrying about dust and fumes so much. Also so I can work with slabs larger than my workspace. So mobile equipment is preferable.
- Reasonable cost (under $3,000)