Sunday, June 3, 2007

A Garage Story

Since first moving in, I've been really wanting to put a door on the garage. I really couldn't set up shop until then or risk having anything of value stolen - easy pickins. Well finally about a month ago I picked up a nice solid wood door that looks like carriage doors but is a roll up. It came complete with torsion springs and Genie lift - all I had to do was make it work.

The garage was designed originally for carriage doors and is solid 12 inches of stone. The opening is 17 feet and the door is 15 - so first I had to add 12 inches of wall to each side (this pic is on the previous post). The beam spanning the opening is an I-beam boxed in with wood. I ended up anchoring these walls to the top beam and drove steel rods through the base and about 18 inches into the ground. Later I will be adding some L-brackets to anchor into the floor and up onto the vertical parts of these filler walls.

Next with the bottom panel in place I started laying out the tracks and mounting brackets. This is where not having any instructions started to be a PIA! My first go around I had the brackets mounted on wrong face. I new the cable that pulls the door needed a channel to sit in and so I shimmed everything in to create a void.... well after doing this and seeing that the top track wouldn't line up.... take everything down, rip out the 2x6 shims and remount correctly. OK, so now the vertical tracks were right - now for the top tracks. I spanned double 2x6's between the two beams supporting the roof and nailed boards on the bottom so these could float left and right. The ends of the track get attached to these beams and once installed I could square everything up by moving the beams and then lock everything in place.

Torsion springs and tracks mounted

Well, that wasn't to bad - still a few evenings of work. Now to figure out the torsion springs. This is a real monster, 4 springs, two shafts that couple in the middle, brackets between each pair of springs, and end brackets with bearings for the shaft to rotate, plus the winding drum to roll up the cable attached to the bottom of the garage door. I had 8 1/2 inches between the top of the door and the beam, plenty of room to mount underneath - noting to line up the winding drum with the cable channel. So I get this act up and mounted and figure hey - not so bad - then I visualize the door coming up and guess what? It will smack right into the middle of the drum. I forgot to mention that the end brackets are supposed to mount where vertical and horizontal brackets all meet, but I didn't have room because of the beam above. So I mounted it a few inches lower.... now I knew why it had to go exactly where it was designed to mount.

Closeup of mounting bracket - see a problem here??

Great - so now what?? Can't mount under the beam, can't mount on the side of beam because the drums won't line up with the cable channel, don't want to take everything down to square one and remount walls to back edge of beam (later saw that this wasn't possible either!)

Great looking door.... but how do you open it???

Next time - the solutions.

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