Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Moving I-Beam

Moving I-Beam

Moving I-Beam

Hello all,

Our settup at our facility has a set of gravity rollers on either side of a band saw table.  The higher-ups have tasked me with adding some sort of locamotion to the feeding rollers.

To get the largest range of grab and push i was thinking of converting the gravity rollers to a belt system.  Most belt data that i find is all particle type or box type of material movement.  Has anyone heard of using a belt for this purpose, if not what would be the draw backs.

RE: Moving I-Beam

If, as the title implies, I-beams are being moved, there is a need to off load from a fork truck to the conveyor, plus the risk of belt damage.  Use a powered roll coveyor: chain-driven live roller (CDLR).

RE: Moving I-Beam

where would i put the roller? also some rough calcs suggest that i would need to have 4 rollers powered to overcome the effects of friction of the other idlers.

RE: Moving I-Beam

just looked up CDLR and it looks nice, tyring to fathom how to do it in house.  (we're heavy fab so delicate work isn't our forte')

RE: Moving I-Beam

on the question of where i would put the roller i mean at front of rollers at rear, or at middle.  i'm guessing at front but still 4 rollers need to be engaged so i guess CDLR would be the way to go.

Has anyone had success retrofitting a set of gravity rollers with chain drive?

RE: Moving I-Beam

You could take your existing gravity rollers and weld A-plate sprockets bored to the roller o.d. to the outside of the roller shell, if there is enough clearance.  Otherwise, run a shaft through the roller shell (with steel plate bungs to support the shaft) and support this with pillow block bearings.  Sounds like you know how to think heavy duty.  Don't undersize the shaft or bearings, they will be abused.

If you need some info on designing these type conveyors buy this standard:


OmniMetalcraft sells rollers if you want to buy them:


There is even a picture on the webpage that illustrates the sprockets welded on pulley shell.

RE: Moving I-Beam

I know you're against the belt idea, but just to beat a dead horse a little, our shop has an overhead crane which would load the beam onto the conveyor.  Also the saw is for cutting other items such as tube, angle, pipe, flatbar, etc... i just mentioned I-beam because it represents the heaviest thing we'll cut.  Do you believe the lbs per square inch would be just too much for the belt to handle?  hmm ... just had a thought, the beam could possibly sit there for long periods without moving so that would probably indent the belt as well.   

RE: Moving I-Beam

Saw conveyors have rollers. You could make a belt work, but you are causing yourself grief.  If you want some type of "belt" you could use a slat conveyor.  The slats need to be robust because all of the load will be borne on one slat for a very brief time.

Seems like loading something like pipe on a belt conveyor with an overhead crane will still require a choker that has to be pulled out from between belt and pipe.  Conveyor rollers make this task simple.

RE: Moving I-Beam

You cannot afford to have homebrew crap breaking down on what is clearly a single point of failure.

Trade the saw to your friendly local machinery dealer, and buy the one you actually need.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Moving I-Beam

oh and thank you DVD, about 99% sure i'm gonna go with the rollers.  your insight has been very helpful.

RE: Moving I-Beam

I suggest that you get a holed of the company that manufactured your saw and or the Lenox saw technician and see what is available off the shelf -- it is often much more cost effective to buy proven technology than to reinvent the wheel

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close