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Safe Hoist Operation for Lifting Stone

Calculating the Weight of Stone

Video Transcript

Catholic Cemetery in Natchitoches, La

Hello, in this video we’re going to cover the basic procedures for lifting a stone grave marker using a hoist or lifting system. Two things to keep in mind is always exercise personal safety and to do no harm to the monument itself. These stones are extremely heavy, but very delicate and caution should always be taken.

Many fallen or sunken grave markers are too large or weigh too much to be reset by hand. For these markers a mechanical hoisting or lifting system must be used. There are many types of lifting systems in use, from very complex cranes and truck mounted hydraulic booms to less complex gantries and tripod hoists. In this video we are going to demonstrate the use of the more economical and readily available tripod hoist.

Fallen grave marker

Fallen grave marker

Before we get started, we want to make sure that all of our parts are secured and stable. To do this we will probably have to move the headstone away from the base to give us room to work.

This is where our lift is needed. It is important that you follow all manufacture’s recommendations when setting up a lift. Failure to follow these instructions could result in a malfunction, which could possibly harm the operators and damage the historic grave marker.

Before hooking the load on it is important to make sure that the lift is level and that all of the footings are on solid ground. If the area that you are working in is muddy or has sandy soil you might consider placing large pieces of wood under the feet to help distribute the weight.

Marker base

Marker base

As we move forward with our reset remember to always keep safety in mind. Make sure that your hoist operator has steel toe boots and other personal protective equipment such as a back brace if needed.

The next aspect of safety is knowing that your equipment is rated for the load that you want to lift. All hoisting equipment from straps to our tripod hoist have their load limit printed or tagged on them. It is important to know if your stone is within these limits.

The weight of a stone can be easily calculated by measuring the dimensions of the stone and calculating the total volume. The volume is then multiplied by the stones density. More information and formulas for this are located on the NCPTT website at this address.

Tripod Hoist

Tripod Hoist

To move this marker we are using a woven nylon lifting strap. One advantage of nylon straps is that they can be tied and attached to your monument in a variety of helpful styles. There are a wide variety of nylon straps available for lifting and hoisting. More information on the different kind of straps and their specific uses can be found at this address. Chains or cables should not be used when moving historic markers for fear of damaging the fragile surface of these markers.

Now it is time to clean the stone. Pay particular attention to the two surfaces that we need to bond together during the resetting. After the stone is washed it will need to dry out before anymore work can be done. It is a good idea to let the stone dry for a few hours before continuing work.

Leveling

Leveling

Now that we have cleaned our stone, we are going to first focus on the base. The monument’s base is the most important part. Without a stable and plumb base any repairs done to the stone will risk the chance of failing in the future.

If your base has the remnants of metallic pins we will need to remove them before continuing with the resetting. Instructions on how to remove and replace the metallic pins are in the NCPTT video “Resetting a Stone Grave Marker, Volume 1” also available on the NCPTT website.

The next thing that we notice about our base is the traces of the old failed hard mortar. We must remove the loose mortar to get a good bond when the stone is reset. We are going to carefully remove the old mortar with a hammer and chisel. This procedure will need to be done to both the base and headstone.

Remove existing mortar

Remove existing mortar

Now that our stone is dry and the old mortar is removed we can prepare the base of the headstone. For this reset we are going to use a two part epoxy on the broken tab and a lime pointing mortar around the edge of the headstone. Care should be taken when mixing a two part epoxy.

We start by laying out the mortar around the edge of the stone about a half inch away from the outside of the headstone.

Next it is time to place the headstone back on the base, making sure to guide the stone slowly and carefully. It is important to have enough help to safely lift and control the stone while it is maneuvered back onto the base.

Application of new mortar

Application of new mortar

For this particular head stone two lead shims are inserted on one side to help level the stone. This is particularly important on larger stones but may not be needed on smaller ones. The lead is soft enough to flex and help level the stone without causing damage.

Once you have checked that the headstone is level and plumb and made any adjustments necessary, you must then remove any extra lime mortar.

Now that the stone is set we can carefully remove the lifting tripod. The stone should be braced while the mortar sets.

Guiding the stone marker

Guiding the stone marker

Now that you have watched this video on the basic procedures for reseting a stone grave marker while using a hoist or lifting system, you will have the confidence and knowledge needed to reset stones in your cemetery. Remember to always exercise personal safety and to do no harm to the grave marker itself. And good luck in your preservation efforts.

Levantamiento de piedra restableciendo escrituras

Catholic Cemetery in Natchitoches, La

* abre en Cementerio Católico en Natchitoches *

Jason: Hola, en este video vamos a cubrir los procedimientos básicos para restablecer una lapida de piedra usando un sistema de levantamiento o elevación. Dos cosas importantes a tener en cuenta son la seguridad personal en primer lugar y no dañar la lápida. Estas estructuras pueden ser sorprendentemente pesadas, pero delicadas, y se debe tener cuidado al moverse y en su manejo.

* imágenes de una lapida caida*

Fallen grave marker

Fallen grave marker

Jason: Muchas lápidas caídas o hundidas son demasiado grandes o pesadas ser restablecidas a mano. Para estas lapidas se necesita un tipo de levantamiento mecánico o un sistema de elevación. Actualmente existen varios tipos de sistemas de elevación, desde las grúas mas complejas y camiones con brazos hidráulicos, hasta grúas de corredera y grúas de trípode de menor complejidad. En este vídeo vamos a mostrar el uso del trípode para levantamiento más económico y de fácil disponibilidad.

JASON:. Antes de empezar, queremos asegurarnos que todas nuestras piezas estén fijas y estables. Para ello, tenemos que mover la lapida lejos de la base para que nos dé espacio para trabajar.

* Imágenes fijas de solo la base *

Marker base

Marker base

JASON:. Aquí es donde nuestro tripode es necesario. Es importante que siga todas las recomendaciones del fabricante al instalar este sistema. El incumplimiento de estas instrucciones podría resultar en un fallo que posiblemente podría perjudicar a los operadores y dañar la lápida histórica.

* Escena levantando el trípode elevador *

JASON:. Antes de conectar la carga es importante asegurarse que el tripode esté a nivel y que todas las zapatas están en tierra firme. Si el área en la que se está trabajando es de barro o tiene suelo arenoso puede considerar la colocacion de piezas de madera bajo los pies del tripode para asi ayudar a distribuir el peso.

* Escena de Jason nivelando el tripode y colocando madera bajo los pies*

Tripod Hoist

Tripod Hoist

JASON:. A medida que avanzamos con nuestro restablecimiento recuerde que debe mantener siempre en mente la seguridad. Asegúrese de que su operador de grúa tenga botas con punta de acero y otros equipos de protección personal, como una faja para la espalda si es necesario.

* Escena escena de los EPP *
JASON:. El siguiente aspecto de seguridad es saber que su equipo está clasificado para la carga que usted quiere levantar . Todo el equipo de levantamiento tiene su límite de carga impreso o marcado en sus partes. Es importante saber si la piedra esta dentro de estos límites.

Leveling

Leveling

* Escena de etiquetas de carga en las correas y montacargas *

JASON:. El peso de una piedra se puede calcular fácilmente mediante la medición de las dimensiones de la piedra y el cálculo del volumen total. El volumen se multiplica por la densidad de la piedra. Más información y las fórmulas para ello se encuentran en el sitio web de NCPTT en esta dirección.

Application of new mortar

Application of new mortar

*Diapositiva de la dirección web de NCPTT*

JASON:. Para mover esta lápida estamos utilizando una correa de nylon tejido de levantamiento. Hay una gran variedad de cintas de nylon disponibles para levantamientos. Más información de los diferentes tipos de correas y sus usos específicos se pueden encontrar en esta dirección. No se deben usar cadenas o cables cuando se mueven marcadores históricos, por temor a dañar su frágil superficie.

*Diapositiva de la dirección web*

JASON:. Una de las ventajas de las correas de nylon es que pueden ser atadas y conectadas a su monumento en una gran variedad de estilos útiles.

JASON: Ahora que hemos limpiado la piedra, primero nos vamos a enfocar en la base. La base del monumento es la parte más importante. Sin una base estable y aplomada las reparaciones hechas a la piedra correran el riesgo de caerse en el futuro.

* Escena de Jason nivelando de la base *

JASON:. Si la base tiene restos de clavos metálicos tendremos que eliminarlos antes de continuar con la reposición. Las instrucciones sobre cómo quitar los pines metálicos están en el video NCPTT “El restablecimiento de una lápida de piedra, Volumen 1″.

* Escena de una base con pernos antiguos*

JASON: Lo siguiente que notamos de nuestra base son las huellas de un antiguo mortero duro. Debemos quitar el mortero suelto para conseguir una buena adherencia cuando la piedra se restablezca. Vamos a quitar cuidadosamente el mortero viejo con un martillo y un cincel. Este procedimiento tendrá que ser hecho a la base y la lápida.

* Jason cincela todo los restos del mortero*

Remove existing mortar

Remove existing mortar

Jason: Ahora que nuestra piedra esta seca y el mortero viejo se ha removido vamos a utilizar un epoxi de dos partes en la pestaña rota y un mortero de punta y cal alrededor del borde de la lápida. Se debe tener cuidado al mezclar un epóxico de dos partes.

* Fotos de Jason aplicando el epoxi *

JASON: A continuación ponemos el mortero alrededor del borde de la piedra a aproximadamente media pulgada de distancia desde el exterior de la lápida.

* Fotos de Jason aplicando el mortero *

JASON:. Ahora es el momento de colocar de nuevo la lápida en la base, asegurándose de orientar la piedra lentamente y con cuidado. Es importante tener suficiente ayuda para controlar con seguridad la piedra mientras se maniobra de vuelta a la base.

* La colocación de la piedra *

JASON:. Una vez que haya comprobado que la lápida se encuentra nivelada e hizo los ajustes necesarios. En esta piedra tenemos que insertar dos cuñas de plomo en un lado para ayudar a nivelar la piedra. Esto es particularmente importante en las piedras más grandes, pero puede no ser necesario en las pequeñas. El cable es lo suficientemente suave para flexionar y ayudar a nivelar la piedra.

* Escena de la colocación de cuñas de plomo en la lápida *

JASON:. Una vez que haya comprobado que la lápida se encuentra nivelada e hizo los ajustes necesarios, se debe eliminar cualquier mortero de cal adicional.

*Escena eliminando el exceso de mortero con una pequeña paleta*

JASON:. Ahora que la piedra esta puesta, con cuidado, se puede quitar el trípode de levantamiento. La piedra debe ser reforzada, mientras el mortero se fija.

Guiding the stone marker

Guiding the stone marker

*Escena de la piedra siendo arriostrada*

JASON:. Ahora que usted ha visto este video sobre los procedimientos básicos para el uso de un sistema de levantamiento para restablecer una lápida de piedra. Usted tendrá la confianza y el conocimiento para comenzar el restablecimiento de las lapidas en su cementerio. Por favor, recuerde que debe mantener en mente la seguridad y no hacer daño a la piedra. Buena suerte en sus esfuerzos de conservación.


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4 Responses to Lifting and Hoisting Stone Grave Markers Video

  1. David Matteson says:

    Thanks for this video. I have been resetting gravestones for about ten years on a volunteer basis. I built my own hoist using sawhorse hinges. I basically have an eight foot tall 2X4 sawhorse with a heavy “u” channel steel overhead between the two pairs of legs. I brace these with a 2X4 on each side. I used a one ton chain hoist and will now use a two ton. I used this for eight years before it failed and am now rebuilding. I use PL 400 premium construction type adhesive rather than the epoxy. I have used web belt to lift but prefer rope as the belt rigidity makes it difficult to move the stone in position if it is heavy. The stone in the video is fairly light and there is more than one person guiding. I secure the rope on each side of the stone opposed to just a sling connection as the stone is much easier to guide onto the base if it is not tilted at a 45 angle. Most of my stones I have set by myself as volunteers are few, if any, and timing is difficult. The video method for propping the stone during the set up period is wanting. If I have to prop I use a rope or belt over the top of the stone secured front and back to the ground. The adhesive I use sets fast and if the stone is plumb and level it should stay. Would love to have an honest-to-God tripod but they are expensive so am setting stones with my “quadpod”. Thanks again.

  2. I’ve been watching to see if there would be a response to Mr. Matteson. Since there hasn’t, I decided to weigh in. I realize the cost of tripods such as the Spanco illustrated in the NCPTT video. When I purchased ours years back it was about $1,000 and that is a huge investment — even for a conservator. On the other hand, I really can’t recommend home-made devices. They aren’t tested, they aren’t rated. Lifting devices, hoists, and trolleys are assemblies, working together. A 1-ton gantry or tripod should be matched with a 1-ton hoist and 1-ton rated gantry. Mismatching or un-certified components put the entire assembly at risk.

    As Mr. Matteson’s post indicates, they are prone to failure and this failure is usually catastrophic. It can cause significant injury to the user, not to mention damage to the stone. While individuals are not subject to the same health and safety standards as conservators in private practice, it is still appropriate to think about the risk and whether the repair of a stone is worth that risk – to yourself or volunteers that may be helping you.

    Best,
    Michael Trinkley
    Chicora Foundation, Inc.

  3. Blair Carmichael says:

    What tips do you have for re-setting headstones that did not get installed with a base? There are quite a few in the cemetery I have been volunteering at that only weigh a little over 100 lbs and are rectangular block in shape. A level base is the issue as rodents tunnel underneath and make the stones list to one side or another.

    I have been excavating and pounding the soil level with then a bag of pea gravel that is then stamped level, with the stone then set level on top. This foundation I felt would discourage rodent tunneling while providing a sub structure.

    Any thoughts?

  4. Jon Wilk says:

    Tripods and gantry cranes are nothing you want to take advantage of. As with all , they deserve their due respect. A training seminar specifically for their use would be suggested. The costs of these devises are an investment for someone who is serious in the task they are undertaking, not for the hobbyist.
    As far as the rodent issue, it makes me smile. Those critters are only doing what they know best, burrowing, seeking shelter. What I have done in the past to help “combat” this tunneling affect, is to place two stone supports on both sides of the base below grade. When I prepare my soil (backfill) I pack around those stones so when the critters do burrow under, my stones are still supporting the weight, even though base material has been removed.
    +
    _{-}_
    / ¶¡þ \
    |_______|
    /{‘___’}\
    ______[“——-“]_______
    ###II## II ¤# I = stone supports
    ####II## II Ç # # = base material
    ¤
    Ç = CRITTER :)
    ô¿ô
    Jon

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