Making garage doors...

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Hi DD,

I'll use 3" track, per your suggestion...if I can find it. I have 6" of headroom.

They will eventually have a motorized opener...they will be heavy, I am sure...

OK, thanks for the great info, once again.

Wow, I've been told I can't even do it with 6" of clearance, but I refuse to believe that, and you have confirmed that it is possible.
Regards,
Austin
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Doordoc wrote...

I'm interested in this, from a theoretical point of view. How does one ever wind springs if one never does it the first time? (Or dismantle a bomb, or build an airplane, etc.) How does one go about learning to do a potentially dangerous job safely, without asking how?

I recognize that it is dangerous and should not be done without proper precautions, equipment, and perhaps training, but certainly a clear understanding of what is to be accomplished and how to do it safely. I also understand the admonishment to not take the task lightly. But to suggest never doing it a first time doesn't make sense to me.
Please don't interpret this as an attack on you. I'm really just trying to understand the mentality behind what I perceive (perhaps wrongly) as excessive caution. We hear the same warning all the time. "Don't try this at home, folks! Bill here is an expert and has been doing this for 34 years. He's only been bitten six times!" Sometimes, of course, it is something that *should* never be done, but winding heavy springs doesn't fit into that category.

This makes great sense to me. Still, one has to ask in order to reach the point that one no longer needs to ask, and can safely accomplish the task without doing so. I'd suggest the same thing for, say, ripping a timber on a tablesaw.
Cheers!
Jim
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that's why they invented apprenticeships.

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You can thank the American Court system for the perceived excessive caution. There has been a number of court cases around the country where the ruling was that those who give advice on changing or winding springs can be held personally liable for the personal injuries to those that don't follow or understand the advice.
Giving a warning along w/ the advice does not relieve the liability. Either the plaintiff claims ignorance & states they were not warned or they claim they can not understand why you would explain how to do something when you obviously knew it was so dangerous. It is a classic can't win (from our side) example.
This is one of the reasons some of us are so adamant and why many dealers will not even sell springs for DYI. It has nothing to do w/ not getting the money for the labor as one mocking website claims. However the main reason is that it truly is dangerous. I equate it to putting your hand near the end of the barrel of a loaded shotgun & pulling the trigger when you don't do it properly & w/ the proper tools. Sometimes you will come out unscathed, other times you may not.
I understand that you can not learn how to do something without someone explaining it. However since there is not an easy way to judge one's mechanical ability and/or their comprehension level in conversation I for one will continue to simply warn people not to do it & offer no advice whatsoever on how to do so. Many of us feel that for the consumers safety, our piece of mind, & our financial well being there can be no gray issues on where we stand.
Thanks for asking! Doordoc (He who has no trouble sleeping at night)
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Doordoc wrote...

Interesting! Thanks for the answer.
Jim
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snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net (Doordoc) writes:

While we're on the subject, can you tell me why torsion springs are preferred over extension springs?
The house I grew up in had extension springs so I just assumed that's what everyone used.
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snipped-for-privacy@shell.core.com (Ron Bean) wrote in message (Doordoc) writes:

Extension springs work independent of each other. Therefore the door will tend to rock back & forth as it opens & closes & sometimes the door will stay partly open on one side when fully closed. It is also necessary to install the garage door opener dead center & sometimes this is not possible without moving lights, fans, or attic access for some examples.
Torsion springs (except for real old ones that had two separate shafts) work in tandem & the door will always stay level regardless of where you pull up & down on the door. We have installed some openers that are completely outside of the horizontal track when there isn't room over top of the door.
Also most of the older extension springs did not normally have safety cables as a common practice & they fly like missiles when the spring or cable breaks.
There are still some dealers that use extension springs on single car doors, but normally many of them will use torsion springs on double car doors.
In my opinion they all work smoother & better with torsion springs then extension springs, especially as the door ages & parts start to wear.
Good question! Doordoc
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scribbled

<snip>
On tensioning your own garage door springs, see the thread about a year ago:
DAGS on "Torsion spring for garage door opener"
http://groups.google.com/groups?dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&selm=Xns92A3E874E6B02someconundrum%40216.166.71.230
This individual did it on his own & posted how he did it on the web:
http://www.truetex.com/garage.htm
Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" twice in reply address for real email address
"Man is a tool-using animal. Weak in himself and of small stature, he stands on a basis of some half-square foot, has to straddle out his legs lest the very winds supplant him. Nevertheless, he can use tools, can devise tools: with these the granite mountain melts into light dust before him: seas are his smooth highway, winds and fire his unwearying steeds. Nowhere do you find him without tools. Without tools he is nothing: with tools he is all." Thomas Carlyle
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Luigi Zanasi wrote...

Thanks, man. Worthwhile reading.
Jim
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Sure you can build your own...and there's several ways to do it. I build them (at the 6K number you mentioned) for historic and high dollar homes. I'm not sure where you're located, but it may be worth you while to talk to some of the door companies in your area. If you're able to find one that will work with you, life will be much simpler. You'll need a pro to make sure you get the right hardware. That door is going to weigh a LOT more that a standard garage door. You'll need rollers that won't blow out, a spring that will properly counterbalance the door and track that can safely hold that 700 pound sucker up over your head. Standard hardware won't work (at least for very long).
Building the door is pretty simple for someone with basic woodworking skills and tools. Here's a link that shows the construction technique that I use:
http://midwestgaragedoors.com/const.htm
Forgive the condition of our site, it's been under construction for too long now. But it may give you a good starting point.
Another link that gives some other construction ideas (if I recall) is:
http://www.garagedoorsinc.com
Your welcome to email me for more info (or if you're in the central Indiana area, call me to build you a $6,000. door ;~)
Larry L.
Austin Franklin wrote:

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--------------------------------------
There's nothing wrong with making your own sectional garage doors but I don't think your door would compete in price with the ones on the market. I am assuming that you have researched the doors and now know how to make them, including safety features such as the one that won't allow the door to come down on an obstacle and the springs are adjusted properly without injuring someone. All of the door harware including door openers and tracks is readily available. Insert "Sectional garage door hardware" into Google and you will see.
Good luck Bill
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Hi Bill,

don't
I am getting estimates of $4k+ per door, and I need four of them. I made a material list, and they are about $1k each for material.

I have an idea of how to make them, but have no experience making garage doors...so I was hoping someone here had that experience...

come down

someone.
That's got nothing to do with the actual door it self (as in the panels), that's something that I'd have to deal with if I bought the doors or make them, or had someone else do it.

available.
Great suggestion, thanks!
Regards,
Austin
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Hi Austin:
I just noticed higher in the thread that the doors will be installed on a Gothic 1800's era barn. In that case, I don't think sectional doors would be the appropriate design. I believe that slidding wood doors would be more appropriate with the modern touches such as automatic openers being hidden. What's wrong with the old style vertical hung doors that are and have been on barns for ages then you could hold to the original design.
Bill
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Hi Bill,

Gothic
hidden.
on
Here's a picture of the door design I want to make:
http://www.darkroom.com/MiscDocs/GarageDoorDesign_2003_1111.jpg
and I believe I can make it in horizontal sections quite easily (note section breaks in the drawing). The carriage bolts on the outside are easy to hide, behind the cedar trim.
The doors need to open vertically...I don't have room for sliders, be automatically operable, and be able to seal well, as we are in New England (cold), and the garage is heated (radiant in the 7" cement floor ;-).
Regards,
Austin
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So you get the look of a swinging door with the function of the vertical - disregard my earlier post then.

Interesting difference between where I live (Southern Ontario) and New England. The buildings around here in that style would more likely have swinging than sliding. A vet's barn comes to mind - late 1890's construction.
Mike
BTW - that's going to be a great looking building when finished!
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Hi Mike,

That was my hope ;-)

Swing would be fine as well, but again, sealing them would be a bear, as well as automating them. I also think they have to swign out (as the car is on the inside), and with the arch, that would be a problem.

Thank you very much. You should see the railings I did on the top and back sides ;-)
Regards,
Austin
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On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 07:26:44 -0500, Austin Franklin

If you can solve the swinging problem (which I'd have to see firsthand, but shouldn't be too difficult), you then just need an automatic swinging gate opener.
Many houses around here have them, so that the owner can feel secure, even though it'd be simple to just walk AROUND said gate if one had nefarious intent.
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On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 07:26:44 -0500, "Austin Franklin"

I don't think sealing outside swinging doors is a problem. Around the perimeter, standard weatherstripping (the stuff that fits in a slot in the jamb). Just make sure that the rebate on the jamb is wide enough (DAMHIKT). At the joint between the doors, a batten glued on one door (inside) that overlaps the other. If you're really concerned, a strip of EDPM foam rubber. Bottom of the doors: some form of sweep (of which many kinds are available).
Like others, I think swinging doors would be more in keeping with the design of the building, and you're going to have a hard time concealing the horizontal breaks. Of course, my not so humble opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it. :-)
Luigi Replace "no" with "yk" twice in reply address for real email address
"Man is a tool-using animal. Weak in himself and of small stature, he stands on a basis of some half-square foot, has to straddle out his legs lest the very winds supplant him. Nevertheless, he can use tools, can devise tools: with these the granite mountain melts into light dust before him: seas are his smooth highway, winds and fire his unwearying steeds. Nowhere do you find him without tools. Without tools he is nothing: with tools he is all." Thomas Carlyle
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scribbled

is
These doors are large (plus, they simply can't swing out because of the arch), and it'll be tough to hold tolerance...and the bottom of them will drag on the floor in order to open them. I just see that as just asking for trouble.

Except, I can't open the doors both because of the arch...and because of 3' of snow on them ;-)
Regards,
Austin
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I know this is moot, but...
I've never investigated the gory details of such doors, but I know that on some, the doors are rectangular and the top part that fills the arch is separate. I believe it can open, but I'm not sure if or how it works.
Mike
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