Things have been rather hectic lately. On top of the normal (and abnormal) bureaucratic stuff, there was a little matter of moving our clocks to their new home in another building. The capacity for disaster was simply terrifying, because this represented several Simoleons worth of equipment, and scientist-years of effort. Breaking a vacuum system isn’t really that hard, and even though it would be fixable, it would represent a significant delay and so there was a wee bit of stress in all of this. We had mentioned the impending move at the conference a few weeks ago, and that induced a retelling of lab horror-stories of moving heavy and/or expensive apparati, and that fed our rampant paranoia.
But we pulled it off.
The air sled system worked like a charm; even when a hose popped out of place it wasn’t a problem — there’s a check valve that prevents the air from releasing through the hose attachment, and the load settled down gently. We gathered a contingent of folks to do things like manage the extension cord so it wasn’t a trip hazard, and move the 4’x8′ polyethylene sheets to the front after we’d slid over them. Our group did the pushing and pulling — we weren’t about to trust things to anyone else — which was a decent workout on the inclined surfaces.
I may post some pictures later on, but for the moment I’m taking a breather to relax and try and shed this cold that’s been attacking folks.
There’s a little motorized hand truck used at yacht clubs to move boats on trailers from storage to dock crane and back. Go electric (Greeen!) and move what you want no sweat. Did you have something with more than a tonne of displacement? (If you want it to work, maybe you should instead add an exhaust hose.)
Yeah, Physicists doing manual labor… ;).
PS I’m a computer scientist, so we probably have similar work out schedules.