Fixing the garage door

With the snow starting to show up, I had no excuses.

Time to fix the garage door.

Back in April, the old handle on the door simply fell off.

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It wasn’t the original handle to begin with.  I have no idea what was holding it in place, really, since there were no screws.  Just the bar running through.  There had to be something inside the handle, but I never found the pieces.

We were in no hurry to fix it, since leaving the door open was so handy, though we didn’t expect to have to deal with cows getting in. 😀

I got a new handle, but on taking things apart on the inside, found the old cable ends to be quite frayed, and I wouldn’t be able to thread the end through the inner handle again.  So I got new cables, too.

Then the parts and pieces just stayed in the garage, managing to not get lost after being tossed about, including when a cow knocked into the bin they were on.  Thankfully, things fell INTO the bin, and not onto the dirt floor. 😀

So here is the fix I did today.

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Here is the latch end, with the old cable still attached.  This end wasn’t as frayed as the others.

And… I just realized, that’s a dead spider in the old web above it.

Ew.

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This is the underside of the inside mechanism that the handle attaches to and opens the door.  I have threaded a new cable through it.  The new cables came with loops on one end, as you can see in the photo.

The non-loop end of this cable was later affixed to the door on the side opposite of the latch.

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Here is the assembled door handle mechanism, which took some doing to get right – including reversing things from the first time I put it together, because I couldn’t remember which way that washer was supposed to go.

The door handle came with wood screws, so I had also picked up nuts and bolts to use instead.

That special washer is essential to how this works.  Without it, the squared post of the handle would just spin in place.  That washer ensures the entire plate turns, pulling the cable, which in turn pulls the latch on the side of the door.  You wouldn’t believe how many times that thing almost got lost!  And I have no idea where we would have found another, if it had disappeared.

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Here is the latched door, with the new cable.

(The dead spider is gone…)

When the door closes, the latch catches on the plate, but as you can see, there’s not a lot catching!  This was an issue before the door handle broke.  When closing the door, we often had to slam it several times before the vibration moved the latch far enough out to catch on the plate.

At one point, after assembling it all, but not tying off the new cables completely yet, I tested the door by closing it from the outside.

Then I couldn’t open it.

The cables had loosened when I shut it, resulting to so much slack, turning the handle did nothing but wiggle them!

It’s a good thing there are other ways into the garage!

There needed to be at least some slack on the cable, though.  Without it, the cable prevented the latch from springing back far enough to catch on the plate at all.

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The old cables were kept in place with knots.  The new cables came with S hooks, so I used both of them, facing opposite directions, to attach the two cables together.  I figure that, this way, even if one fell of, the other wouldn’t.  And it would still be easy to remove the cables if needed at some point.

The door now opens from the inside with a quick twist of the plate.

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The new handle came with a lock and two keys.  I can’t imagine bothering to lock it, since there are two other ways to get in that have no locks (or even door knobs), so it’s not like it would solve any security issues.  But I guess it’s good to have.  So long as we don’t loose track of the keys!

Another thing off the list of stuff to get done before winter. 🙂

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That was a much dirtier job than I expected it to be! 😀

The Re-Farmer

2 thoughts on “Fixing the garage door

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