Attic drop-down door

I seem to be up in the attic many many times a week and doggone it, the 'spreader blade' wore out and is now bent.
Easy enough to push back in place but it soon bends again.
Place in town has replacements...so next time I'm in the area I'll get a new set.
To replace... I see that I will have to first remove the spring and the best way to do that is with the door closed to minimize tension.
What that means is I will have to close myself up in the attic to do this.
Told my wife she better rescue me it I screw something up and can't get out of the attic.
If my postings here disappear for a week or so, please send out a search party.
My house will be easy to spot as my wife will be having a HUGE celebration!
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On Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 10:24:41 AM UTC-6, philo wrote:

May be you should have this on FB, and your friends can come help if your wife leaves you up there?
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On 02/05/2015 10:31 AM, bob_villa wrote:

Darn good idea, thanks
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philo wrote:

Take all the credit cards up there with you.
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You don't need those drop down stairs to get out of the attic. All you need to do is not step on a ceiling joist and gravity will do the rest. However, some minor drywall repair may be necessary. ;-)
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I actually recently fell part way through.
I had planks across the joists to walk on and I am always carefull. I did not mis step but this time one of the planks BROKE as I put my weight on it. It happened in a split (no pun) second.
I fell part way through. Luckily I was not seriously hurt, but it did make a big mess of the sheetrock.
This is not a joke.
Be careful and make sure whatever you have up there to walk on is up to the task.
Mark
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On Thu, 5 Feb 2015 12:17:50 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

When I was building the addition on my house I shoved sheets of plywood up in the attic while the ceiling was still open. It added a few bucks to the construction cost but every time I have to go up there I thank my lucky stars that I spent it. All of the space open enough to move around in has a solid floor. I came up with some carpet remnants to make it even more user friendly.
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On Thu, 5 Feb 2015 12:17:50 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I believe you. I have 4x8 sheets of plywood, cut lengthwise into thirds, the largest size that will go up through the hatch.
They are spread where I want to walk, but after about 60 trips to the attic, I missed one once and put a hole in the bathroom ceiling.

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You've got it easy. If I go up in the attic and then knock over the ladder, I don't have anyone to rescue me.
I've taken to unlocking the front door and taking a cordless phone with me. (The hard-wired phone I put there wasn't working anymore.)
But then I got fat and had to saw 2" notches in the closet shelf, so now the ladder is much more unlikely to fall over.

You got it. Be sure to post your address.

Maybe they'll hear you yelling.
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wrote:

If you are that worried about it, why not just keep a rope in the attic you can slide down or one of those rope ladders people keep for 2d floor escapes.
I can make you a heluva deal on some 1.5" poly rope that is easy to climb.
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On Sat, 07 Feb 2015 00:07:09 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

That's not a bad idea.
The one time I did knock over the ladder, I could lower myself part way, although the shelf was in the way, pushing me up near the top of closet door frame, and jump down the rest of the way. The problem was I had not enough control to avoid landing on the ladder. A good way to break an ankle. But the ladder has empty spots between the rungs, and I didn't hurt anything.
When I lived on the 5th floor in Brooklyn, for some reason I had bought a 100 foot rope, and I kept that next to the bed, in case fire meant that I couldn't go otu the door and couldn't make it to the fire escape either. There was a long 1x8 shelf next to the window, maybe resting on the radiator, and I figured I could tie the rop, in the middle to the radiator or shelf or both, and go down the rope. But there was no fire.

I'll keep that in mind.
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wrote:

If I was going to do that I would invest in one of those figure 8 rings rapellers use and a climbing harness (although there is a trick to make one from 1" webbing") , With a little practice you could fast rope out of that window in seconds.
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On 02/08/2015 12:10 AM, micky wrote:

Before the pull-down door was installed, that room had been my daughter's bedroom. After she grew up and moved out, the room was converted to a studio for my wife.
When I bought the house there was a 'drop-ceiling'. To get into the attic I had to move one ceiling tile, then remove the wooden attic door. One day I was too lazy to get the tall ladder because there was already a shorter ladder in the room.
When I was lowering myself down I could not quite reach the ladder, so I slipped and fell. Instinctively I grabbed the false ceiling and took the whole thing down. My daughter was impressed.

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On 2/8/2015 1:10 AM, micky wrote:

That sounds like a very wise decision. I'm pleased there was no fire. But, Brooklyn is known for fires.
I think yours was a reasonable choice / action.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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Now fixed
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1i8n4r42fl1b813/Spreaderbar.JPG?dl=0
I decided not to get a new spreader bar as the replacement would have been as flimsy as the original.
In the time it would have taken me to drive to the parts depot, I disassembled it and plated in two places... put it back together and it works better than new.
Wife cooperated and did not leave me locked in the attic...but before she opened the door asked if I would take her to lunch.
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Smart man : )
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So you reinforced the original arm with that one extra metal piece? Or is there a second one, too? Were you able to buy those reinforcement pieces as-is, or did you have to fabricate them?
I think my attic door needs a similar operation.
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On 02/07/2015 01:43 PM, Nil wrote:

I made two reinforcement pieces, just cut then to size with a Sawzall. They were 1/16" thick... same thickness as the arm which really should have been 1/8" anyway.
One of the pieces is visible in the photo and the other is on the part of the arm that attaches to the spring, If you look close you will see that it's doubled up.
From up inside the attic with the door closed,. the spring is easy to take off and replace. Do not try it with the door open! You will need an assistant to close and open the door for you.
On the far left you will see a nut and bolt. Originally there was a rivet there which was easy to drill off.
In the center of the photo is a lag bolt (3 1/2") that I put there to replace the pin that fell out of the plate. I lost it but it would not have worked anyway due to the increased thickness of the doubled up arm.
I also drilled a small but deep pilot hole for the lag bolt.
My entire time fooling with it was maybe an hour.
It works better than new because more than likely the arm was warped from the first time it was used. I left the other spreader arm alone as it is still ok.
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