Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Simple Solution To An Annoying Problem

With the completion of the velomobile project my attention has been moved to another large project this time for my home.  One thing that was missing from my house was an entryway from my garage to the inside of the house.  The garage had been added to the house years after it had been built and no stairway was built to get into the house.  This meant that I had to drive my car into the garage and then leave the garage to go into the house even though the garage was attached to the house. Annoying to say the least. Especially during cold snowy winter months when I had to bring groceries in from the car.  Rather than bore you with the construction of the new stairway I found something else within that project that presented another common problem which I found a simple solution for.

With the completion of the new stairway another problem came up.  On one side of the stairway is a window that looks out over my roof top.  This window provides light and fresh air to the stairway but now with the steps installed is impossible to reach the crank to open the window. 

I thought about this for a couple of days and came up with a simple baton that would fit over the top of the window crank and easily allow me to rotate it to open or close the window. 

I went into the workshop and found I had all of the materials that I needed to make the baton other than the 3D printed parts that would make it all work.  The shaft of the baton is nothing more than a two foot length of 1/2 inch aluminum tubing.  This was strong and light enough for the job I needed it to do so I set about designing the end pieces for this simple project. 

At one end of the baton is a 3D printed cylinder with a cavity large enough to easily slide over the window crank.  To hold this piece on to the aluminum tubing I drilled a 3/16" hole in the end  of the tube and fit the cylinder over the shaft.  In the cylinder is a mating hole with a hexagon cavity for the nut and another 3/16 inch hole through the part to mount it to the aluminum shaft. 

The opposite end of the shaft has a small end cap with the same mounting set up as the head of the shaft and makes for a simple nice looking finished end to the baton.  When I am not using this simple tool I lean it into one corner of the stairway where it is out of the way but still handy when I want to use it.  This simple solution cost me all of maybe a dollar to put together but will be a big help in opening a window when I need  fresh air without having to risk life and limb trying to do so.  So now I have a new stairway and still can get fresh air into the space when it is needed. 

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