Why I Hate Garage Doors In A Shop

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Got a reminder today. I had the engine crane out and was pulling the head off my drill press. Almost at full extension when I got it off, with the garage door closed. Without thinking, I decided to open the door so I could wheel the crane and DP head outdoors. Yeah, right, as one granddaughter loves to say.
The opening door caught a panel on the upraised end of the crane, tipping it. My wife tried to close the door so I could release the damned thing, but instead the opener did its usual up and down dither, tipping the crane into the shop. It missed me, for which I am grateful since I was standing where I shouldn't have been (inside the crane legs). Dropped the DP head onto my Shop Fox benchtop mortiser also sitting there waiting to be loaded this evening. And the lawnmower. Missed my router table.
A PITA to pull the mess apart, but we did it, I stood the crane up and it was mostly unhurt (one clevis pin bent), and the mortiser appears OK, except for a bent depth gauge rod. Knocked one lawnmower wheel out of adjustment.
Basically, that loss of ceiling height as a garage door opens is why I installed a sliding door on my Bedford shop. Here, I simply forgot about the clearance difference. Fortunately, no real damage to anything but my wife's nerves...she was afraid the crane arm would nail my head, which is slightly--not much--softer than mild steel. I was too busy to worry about it.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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I agree. I had to mount the lights in my shop above the door because of clearance issues. That means that whenever the door is open, it blocks the lights so the last 25% of the shop is dark.
I have considered replacing the garage door with large swinging doors. Has anybody done that?
Mark

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On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 14:16:09 GMT, "Mark Wells"

Make them strong enough and restrain them so that they can withstand strong winds.
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My garage (which isn't my shop, but then again, it's not really my garage either; it's more like a random storage area) has swing-out doors. Two doors, each almost 4 feet wide. There are a few problems.
1) They're old, and sagging badly. When I bought the house (about 4 years ago), I managed to get the worse one pretty straight and then applied a mess of 1x3 diagonals to hold it in shape. The other door was a bit better, and only scrapes the outer corner a little bit. Building replacements is on my "to do" list of projects. I'll get to it someday (yeah, right, as Charlie's grand-daughter might say).
2) Since they open out, you can't open them if there's anything in the way. Consider the following. It's early winter and an unexpected snowstorm has dropped 8 inches of snow on your driveway. Your two snowshovels are still inside the garage, behind the out-swinging doors. You need the shovels to clear the driveway so you can open the doors so you can get the shovels. It's things like this that keep snowshovel manufacturers in business :-)
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Roy Smith writes:

I know about that. My swinging door opens out, but is up 2 steps off my little brick patio (the fanciest touch on the shop). But one bigger advantage: The opened door takes up NO wall space in the shop. Got a buddy who has doors that open in and they eat enough space that I'd guess they're going to be replaced in the next year or so. But all his doors are up a couple steps or more. In our area of Virginia, that's enough.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 14:16:09 GMT, "Mark Wells"

Why not consider putting the lights (fluorescent?) on the walls a bit lower than the door when open? Light tends to travel in all directions. You might even have "these and those" lights optionally with two switches.
Bill.
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Mark Wells asks:

I did sliding doors, as in track above the exterior opening type. A PITA to seal in winter, but otherwise great. Slam 'em right back out of the way and there's a 7' 10" space that is also about 7'8" tall. Doors are each 4' x 8'. My smaller door is a swinger, using barn door hinges, and is 48" x 8', leaving a 46" x 94" opening. I made the doors for each, using 2x4 frames with a central X support, foam insulation, 1/2" plywood (Exterior) and stainless steel screws from McFeely's. They are heavy as all get out, but will easily outlast me.
It really shouldn't be a whole lot more trouble to make a two door opening, with doors of any width you like. Use the biggest (12" or 14") Stanley Lifetime barn door hinges you can find, at least 3 per door.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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When I built my shed, I installed a 7-foot steel door that rolls up above the top of the door. I don't know if there is something along those lines that is a) large enough and b) suitable for a garage.
todd
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Mark Wells wrote:

I did on the garage end of the shop, its 12' wide. It opens to the inside.
The garage is pole construction. The door is a bi-fold with gate hinges at the poles and 3 standard door hinges for the folds. I have a caster at the folds which carries most of the doors weight with the door closed and open. The lock is a 2x6 dropped into lugs. I can park a small truck 'uncomfortable to walk through' close to the door.
It's not for everyone, SWMBO likes it. She's the fiscally responsible one, a couple hundred to build this door, or buy one where prices start at $1000 for a decent door.
--
Mark

N.E. Ohio
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How about track lighting? I mean lights on a track with a pull cord that brings them in when the door's open, pulls them out when closed. I've got the clearance for a swing arm, with no drop ceiling but I daresay a track would do.

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On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 14:16:09 GMT, "Mark Wells"

If you're not using it as a garage, you can do what I did and just replace the whole door with a pair of french doors and either a side window or wall.
... snip
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Mark Wells wrote:

An alternative (I don't have swinging doors - but have heard that they can be a real PIA) is to split the door the other way and hinge it at top and center.
I'll post a picture of my shop door on ABPW. I think it's a scalable (simple) solution to the problem...
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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Yikes! Good to hear no one was seriously injured. Put in a lotto ticket :)
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com Over 50 woodworking product reviews online! ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 6 Reviews: - Spaceage Ceramic Bandsaw Guides - Infinity "Dadonator" Stacked Dado Set - GMC LS950SPJ Scrolling Jigsaw - Triton Powered Respirator - Veritas Power Tool Guide - Ryobi 6" Grinder/Stand Combo ------------------------------------------------------------
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SawEyes notes:

I'm glad no one got hurt either, particularly since I was the only one within range. I hate it when I get hurt because of stupidity, especially my own.
Thanks for the idea on lotto. I'll do a quick check on Powerball to see where that stands.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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Lessons learned with only damage to inanimate objects are my favorite kind.
Glad you're okay.
djb
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I'm runnin' out of scar tissue. Glad you're OK, Charlie.
Bob BTW, the Barzun quote is a keeper, so I kept it.
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minimal. Hearing what just happened to you and seeing photo after photo of over crowded shops, it seems we all naturally overlook a significant safety factor, that being trying to cram too much stuff in too little space. We all know setting up a woodshop tools and equipment is very expensive, which costs we are willing to bare (or is that bear?), but not the cost of building an adequate space to put it in. Maybe there should be a minimal square footage standard for every piece of workshop equipment. Glad you're doing ok.
Gary
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Gary responds:

Yeah, well...this is a garage, not a real workshop. And, oddly enough, it has very few tools in it right now. Most of the stuff is down in Bedford awaiting my move. It was a matter of positioning, rather than a matter of overcrowding. Stuff is shifted towards the door so it can more easily be lifted into a cargo van tonight and tomorrow.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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I'm laughing with you, not at you! I dumped the carcass of a large dresser that I am building for SWMBO onto my table saw the same way. The saw was unhurt, but there is a big dent in an edge (a front edge of course) of the dresser.
Grant
Charlie Self wrote:

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Grant Beagle responds:

Always the front edge. I've got a small letter box that proves that rule. It is the only project where a screw-up is on the back edge. Everything else that I've screwed up has been wildly obvious--at least to me.
Charlie Self "The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
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