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  • #46
    pfcs49,

    Unlike most commercial elevator products, your elevator is aesthetically pleasing and it is immune to electrical outages. Some photographs of the mechanical details would be welcome.

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    • #47
      OK! Here are some photos of the mechanicals:
      I'm on the second floor here. The elevator goes to the basement.
      Operation is uber-simple: I back into the cab (which is 43 x 42"); and pull the rope, (which is a continuous loop of what appears to be woven cotton clothesline 5/8" diameter) left for down, right to go up.
      The gearing is about 4/1; four feet of rope moves the machine ~one foot.
      The huge cast iron pulley and smaller flywheel are keyed to a primary shaft. This shaft goes through mysterious "metal pie" which drives a robust U shaped piece, the two legs of which are coaxial to the shaft and enter the "pie" from the rear side.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by pfcs49; 05-27-2014, 04:38 PM.
      69yo male T12 complete since 1995
      NW NJ

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      • #48
        The primary shaft is mounted to the heavy angle iron frame of the lifting mechanism (where it is mounted on top of the 6x6" wooden "gantry" frame we built for it)
        The shaft has a small gear that is not clamped to it. That gear also has a U shaped nose that enters the mysterious pie assy from the front. The shaft goes through the pie assy where the second U assy is clamped to it with it's fingers going back into the mysterious pie. It then continues to the back side of the frame where it is carried by a bearing (there are two shafts supported by four bearings replete with oil wells and spring-loaded covers like many old machines)
        The small drive gear turns the large gear on the lifting drum that the cable wraps around. The small gear is not connected to it's shaft, but turns freely on it; it also has a "U" shaped pair of fingers as part of it which enter the mysterious "disk assy" and inter-meshes loosely with the pair locked to the primary shaft/turned by the rope/pulley; when you pull the rope, the first U moves a bit until it couples with the second U which then begins turning the small gear. The small gear turns the larger gear on the secondary shaft that a drum is mounted on. The cab is hung from a pair of cables that hang from the drum. Each cable wraps around the drum 1 1/3 times, then goes over the side of the machine frame via individual 10" V groove pulleys and down to a counterweight assy. These 2 pulleys are fee to spin and slide as they are turned. That's good because the drum has spiral grooves that the cables run in which move them along the length of the drum; the grooves are bi-symetrical or mirror imaged, so they move equally in opposite directions; when the cab is at the top, the cables are nearly touching, but as it descends, they move til nearly 18" apart; but the cab always stays centered while suspended in the wooden frame-only three 2x2" hardwood guide-tracks, loosely locating the cab in little cast iron tabs, are needed to control things.Click image for larger version

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        Last edited by pfcs49; 05-27-2014, 06:14 PM.
        69yo male T12 complete since 1995
        NW NJ

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        • #49
          Remember the three hardwood guide-rails? There are three because the counter-weight assembly takes up the center of one side of the apparatus; there is a single simple one on the left of the cab, but the two on the right have a channel in their two facing sides that the ends of the counterweight carriage are guided in.
          A full maintenance might include waxing the guide-rails, but we haven't since doing the insulation about 15 years ago
          The counterweight assy is a rectangle of 1/2" flat steel stock pinned at it's four corners so it can be a parallelogram; the two lift cables are attached at either end of the upper face; in this way, the cables maintain equal tension all the time. (There is actually only one continuous steel cable; where it picks up the cab, it simply loops around a large steel clevis)
          The actual weights are cast iron sections about the size of 2x4 lumber; they have grooved ends that locate them in the steel frame and can easily be removed or added to balance the machine to your weight so you become virtually weightless when you rope it.Click image for larger version

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          Attached Files
          Last edited by pfcs49; 05-27-2014, 06:18 PM.
          69yo male T12 complete since 1995
          NW NJ

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          • #50
            OK now! What a simple device! But, what happens when a 200lb load (me in wheelchair) gets OUT of a cab that is balanced to my weight? Doesn't the cab fly through the roof?
            Thats where a little Victorian engineering comes in-some iside the "pie" thinking!
            Inside the pie there are three plates. The center one is stationary and has a large hole in the middle that the U shaped tuning fork-like fingers (that mesh up to drive the gear) both go though from their opposite sides.
            The first and third plates are discs with small arcing slots the four fingers go through.
            The outside discs are tied together by two adjustable through bolts that communicate through the large opening in the middle/stationary plate.
            The geometry is such that when the tuning forks are in the driving position, the through bolts are parallel and the discs don't drag. But when you get out of the cab and the gear wants to run backward, the plates are pulled together and the mechanism is locked. This is probably why there is a smaller flywheel in addition to the already massive main drive pulley! If there were less inertia to overcome, it might not work so well!
            Last edited by pfcs49; 05-27-2014, 06:23 PM.
            69yo male T12 complete since 1995
            NW NJ

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            • #51
              Some history: When I matriculated from Kessler in 95, they gave me a list of elevator suppliers. At my shop (www.philscars.com) I needed a 30" lift to get to the office area. In 1996, I was glibly quoted prices from $8000 to $12000 for a lift in a semi-public area!
              I found a Braun 12v electric/hydraulic from a Ford van for $250 and modified it. I run it off a small car battery with a trickle charger. They and the pump unit are in the basement and a single 5/16 steel tubing runs upstairs to the lift. I am on my second battery in 17 years!
              If anyone is interested I will get and post photos.
              So I knew I didn't want/couldn't have a commercial elevator: they're incredibly expensive; they're incredibly ugly (they look like giant three story refrigerators); and there just barely functional because they're so damn slow and a PITA to operate!
              But I knew about these "dumbwaiters" because i used to get thrown out of the Hainseburg Inn back in the day (before I got sober) for getting into one just like mine and joyriding. (the Hainseburg Inn is now a 4 1/2 story victorian veterinary clinic! A neat old building I expected would burn one day but finally found an owner willing to stand the extraordinary maintenance of a huge white elephant. In the basement there still was an acetylene generator and all the basement gas-light jets)
              I wanted one of those, but how to find? I figured it would require me to resort to the (then new) internet to find something so esoteric, but first I called the elevator listings in the Morris County Yellow Pages.
              Immediately I had a live one!! Two companies, one in Irvington, one in Newark, all Italian elevator men, wanted to help me. They explained that i was looking for a dumbwaiter-they're not just for dishes! That they're not to current building code-that they couldn't install it-but that a lot of mansions in Morris Co, etc, have/had them and often they are called too remove or replace them. They were incredibly helpful and worked so hard to figure out where to get me connected! This one I got for $1200. It was in pieces but all there in a barn in NY.
              We studied the parts that were laying covered with hay, and made a pretty good guess that everything was there (if not, we were fucked!). In the course of a major re-do of this barn-house, my carpenter built the frame of 6x6 pine and somehow got the heavy mechanism to the top. We didn't pull a permit.
              Later, when we were doing permitted stuff, we removed the rope and filled the cab with plants. Figured, if asked, we'd say it was here and we never used it. The question never came up-hallelugia!!
              It's one of the few things I need because I'm hurt, that is truly satisfying-I still get a kick out of joyriding it. Much more fun than pushing a wheelchair up some damn hill!
              69yo male T12 complete since 1995
              NW NJ

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              • #52
                @pfcs49 seems like great design and engineering.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by POPO367 View Post
                  I had a lift installed in my house which was less expensive than your traditional elevator. The contractor made it look like an elevator.
                  what kind as I am looking at all options

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                  • #54
                    Keep It Simple Stupid

                    http://ilcaustralia.org.au/search_category_paths/164
                    Enclosed and platform lifts.
                    You don't need all the BS that public elevators have if you RTFM.
                    These have very simple controls and hold the button to call the lift.
                    You must close the door before you can call the floor.
                    If it pinches you take your finger off the button.
                    http://ilcaustralia.org.au/
                    http://zagam.net/

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                    • #55
                      Compliance with locl/ State building codes do not necessarily apply to homeowners installation, however, licensed porfessionals must use currently complying equipment and methods to install such items. The homeowner can run into problems when they sell a home with non-compliant internal structural elements. Such items should be contracturally agreed to with the buyer before settling on an agreement. The Compliance officer has nothing to do with private agreements or contractoral agreements, in private homes. He cannot enforce homeowner association agreements. They are according to law beyond his authority. However, he may make notes on his permanently required documentation for that residence of any known agreements for later reference, or as a addendum to the Certificates of occupancy and/or compliance.

                      Rather complicated but very protective for all involved.

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                      • #56
                        I got an outdoor elevator its great my neigbors have the same my sis got a cargo lift its nice too

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                        • #57
                          31" (3 steps) elevator for free pickup

                          I have listed a 31" elevator lift in the equipment section for free pickup, N NJ

                          See here for more info:31" (lift) wheelchair lift free for pick up in north NJ
                          Attached Files
                          69yo male T12 complete since 1995
                          NW NJ

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                          • #58
                            Do most of these in-home elevators only span 2 floors or does anyone have one spanning 3 floors? EG: main& 2nd story VS basement, main, & 2nd story

                            Anyone know how much the cost increases to add a 3rd floor?

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                            • #59
                              I *think* most of the companies are probably able to do this rather easily. Mine reaches 3 levels...basement, main and 2nd story. There was obviously a cost increase, but it wasn't that significant.

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                              • #60
                                Maybe $5K add-on.

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