Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Garage Solution

So how did I get the door from a fancy 500 pound immovable wall to a functioning roll up door?? With just a $2.00 part of course. I ended up buying an eye bolt for each cable that is closed about 320 degrees - just open enough to slip the cable through. These act as a guide for keeping the cable lined up from the bottom attachment point on the bottom panel, up to above the top panel. Then through the eye and a slight change in direction clearing the beam and wrapping around the winding drum. As the cable moves across the drum the eye keeps the cable in place. Granted there is a slight concern for wear over time and a permanent solution is in the works. But I probably could get several years from this solution easily and it proved my idea will work. Long term I would like to make a pin with a wide roller that will keep the cable in line, but will also let the cable drift some (unlike the sheave with a single fixed groove), and will roll so there is no wear between it and the cable.

With this solved came adjusting the springs. These springs have two set screws that you loosen, then insert a 1/2 inch cold rolled steel rod into one of the holes in the winder and crank clockwise, when you can't move anymore, take a second rod, insert in another hole, pull out the other rod and keep going - counting the number of turns as you go on the spring. Of course a few turns in and the spring really starts to fight your arm! I didn't have the factory winders, so I made a pair out of 18inch long rebar and grounded the ends down till they inserted snug into the winders - worked really well. Now the chart I downloaded from Coplay (marked on the track) said a 7 foot door should be about 7 1/2 turns. The setup they showed only had two springs, mine has four - but I figured it would get me in the ballpark.

Framing complete

So 6 1/2 turns on the outside springs, I then started on the inboards.... on the 5th turn the door started to raise itself! Guess the charts wrong - imagine that, so backed down to 4 turns on each inboard spring and the door stayed shut. I pulled the door up with no real effort and actually had to slow it down near the end of the run. But then... I couldn't pull it back down! There was still to much tension on the springs, so with the help of my neighbor we got it back down. I took 2 turns off the outside springs and tried again - PERFECT! One arm up, one arm down, cables stayed in place.

Door goes up

Now all to be done was build a filler for between the top of the door and the header and trim everything out. Here are the final results. Now all I need is a little power and I can start thinking about reproducing some woodwork.

Door goes down - ready for paint and power

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