Author – Chris G.
I Like to Move It, Move It
Sometimes you need to move something and there’s no one around to help. What can you do? Use your noodle.
I love to work alone, but now and again the job has within it a task too heavy for one person. I sometimes get around this by using BRUTE STRENGTH, but when that doesn’t work (more often than not) I get creative.
“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world,” Archimedes.
This stuff is not new, but it might seem new to us. Have you ever wondered why a wrench works to turn a nut or why a pair of pliers help twist a stubborn thing that needs twisting? Why you struggle to remove a bottle cap by hand that is so easily removed with a bottle opener? It’s all applied force and leverage. By using that beautiful brain God gave you and simple machines like levers, you can move almost anything.
I recently changed my gas furnace. That pig must have weighed 100 pounds. What made matters worse, it was in a four foot crawl space and suspended from the floor above. Impossible? No. Challenging? Yes. I removed it by using a strong board as a ramp and a smaller board as a lever to lift and “walk” the unit to the ramp when gravity could then help me out. Installing the new one posed the new challenge of proper alignment. To achieve this, I cut sections of an old, 1/2 inch plastic pipe, placed pieces under the unit, and rolled it into place. Also, the smooth, plastic surface was easy to slide on, which brings me to my next point; friction.
Friction is probably the biggest factor when moving heavy objects. If you can reduce the friction enough, you can move it. Furniture sliders are a wonderful product, and I recommend them, but before I had my own, I improvised. Cut squares of scrap carpet are an excellent way to move that couch over that hardwood floor. I have moved a large pieces across multiple surfaces using this method. I lift using a board and a block by making the worlds least fun seesaw.
Standing on the end of the board I slide the carpet pieces, pretty side down, under the furniture. Repeat on the other side and now you can use those strong legs to do the moving.
My wife weighs 60 lbs less than I do, but I swear she can out push me when it comes to leg power. For a carpeted surface, use a plastic bottomed slider.
Outdoors we sometimes find heavy jobs like removing overgrown bushes. I typically don’t cut them down. Instead, I use a strong tow rope; the flat kind with loops at the ends.
I wrap it around the thick part of the trunk then slip the loops over the hitch ball of my vehicle.
I move slowly forward paying close attention to what I hear and feel. The bush is soon liberated from the captive soil, roots and all.
Keeping it outdoors; I once moved a large boulder across a paved drive without damage by laying down “tracks” out of steel square tubing and sliding it inch by inch, prying under it with a digging bar. Seriously, it was the size of rock you move with a tractor.
Hand trucks and dollies are wonderful tools but aren’t always practical when working alone, in a tight space, or with limited strength. I use what I have and make up the rest as I go. I love physics and feel grateful when I can apply it’s principles around the house.
Think outside the box when it comes to moving objects. However, keep it safe and use all precautions when attempting to move objects. What works for one person might not work for another. Think physics!
Cook your noodle… When my former classmates used to say, “that sucks” in response to an unsatisfactory outcome or particularly difficult assignment, my high school physics teacher would promptly respond, “there’s no such thing as suck.” While the statement frustrated the students, the fascinating truth is that the concept is misunderstood. We think of a vacuum as a loud machine that “sucks” up dirt. What it actually does is generate a low pressure and the physical world around it does the work. Pressure systems equalize themselves so as the high pressure outside the appliance causes air to rush in to balance with the low pressure inside, it carries with it the dirt and debris nearest the flow of air. The term “vacuum” ironically means empty. It is actually used to reference a space absent of atoms.