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What are some devices that could slowly lower and raise roughly 200 pounds roughly 2 feet?

I have been looking at hydraulic equipment, but they are all designed for tons and i do not need the ability to lift that much. I would like the device to be small, lightweight and self sustaining. I do not want to have to charge, fill with liquid, check for leaks, replace after a year... stuff like that. I want to install and forget.

I need it to be able to slowly lower and slowly raise.

My goal is to have a device that can lower and raise a desk.

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Related: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/1928/… –  Steven Aug 22 '13 at 16:53
    
@Steven, already seen that. But i am asking about a specific device to raise and lower. Not about how to build a desk. My question is more specific. –  prolink007 Aug 22 '13 at 17:07
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3 Answers

Cam and follower

Cam and Follower

Gears

Linear Gear

Hoist

Hoist

Lever

Lever

Linear actuator

Ball screw

Ball Screw

Hydraulic cylinder

Hydraulic Cylinder

Jackscrew

Jackscrew

Leadscrew

Leadscrew

Linear motor

Hyperloop

Pneumatic cylinder

Pneumatic cylinder

Rigid chain actuator

Rigid chain actuator

Rigid belt actuator

Rigid belt actuator

Roller screw

Roller Screw

Segmented spindle

Segmented spindle

Telescopic cylinder

Telescopic cylinder

Winch

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Scissors mechanism

Scissors mechanism

Windlass

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Weightlifter

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Amusing! Did you overlook the Saturn V booster? –  wallyk Aug 22 '13 at 19:37
    
@wallyk That's not slow, especially when only lifting 200 pounds. –  Tester101 Aug 22 '13 at 19:44
    
Or the flock of 10,000 sparrows with harnesses? –  bib Aug 22 '13 at 20:02
2  
@bib African or European? –  Tester101 Aug 22 '13 at 20:07
    
Depends on where we are in the migratory cycle. Or are you asking about the continent of origin of the harnesses? –  bib Aug 22 '13 at 20:08
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A scissor jack may be your answer.

scissor jack

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I am not a big fan of the scissor jack for two reasons. When i lower the desk to sit, the jack may be in the way of my knees. Also, there will be lots of cords and stuff hanging off the back of my desk and i do not want them to get caught in the arms of the jack. –  prolink007 Aug 22 '13 at 16:04
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What about pneumatic lifts, something like this?

gas lift

You would need additional hinges and attachment points, and might need a bigger version (at least a pair), but the approach might work.

Note that these are generally used with a rotational hinge, but you might be able to combine it with some other hinges or levers to raise something straight up as well.

SUPPLEMENT (in response to comment questions)

One end of the lift is attached to a stationary object, like a wall, and the other to a platform that can move, like a hinged shelf. Usually there is a stop at least at the lower range of the platform. The lift is like spring that is under compression. You lift the outer edge of the platform and the gas lift provides an assist (reducing the weight). If it is perfectly balanced, the lift will hold the raised weight in place. Or it can be latched when it reaches its upper limit. Some gas lifts are adjustable in the amount of lift they provide. Going down is the same. Your hand pressure overcomes the resistance in the system and the lift slowly lowers the weight.

SUPPLEMENT 2

An alternative might be a pulley system, like this bike pulley setup

bike pulley

This system has a 4:1 advantage, so a 200 lbs. weight would feel like 50 lbs. You would probably need two systems for stability, and the effective weight would be 25 lbs. of pull needed to lift 200 lbs. This, of course requires that you can find very strong anchor points in the ceiling, bolted into the framing, not just the finish material.

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How exactly does a pneumatic lift work? How do you get it to lift and lower? –  prolink007 Aug 22 '13 at 16:23
    
For instance, does it lower slowly by me just pressing down on the rod? How does it raise back up? –  prolink007 Aug 22 '13 at 16:38
    
Thanks for the explanation of pneumatic lift. I am not a big fan of the pulley system. Currently live in an apartment and i would have to have someway of stabilizing the desk so it will not sway or move. –  prolink007 Aug 22 '13 at 17:09
    
I am going to see if I can find a place to get a pneumatic lift off some sort. Thanks for the help, will accept if it works out. –  prolink007 Aug 24 '13 at 16:08
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