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Old 01-23-2008, 04:14 AM   #1
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pull down ceiling storage


I want to make a device where I can make stuff disapear into and fall out of the ceiling. Imagine a shelf stored vertically in the ceiling and I press some switch and the whole shelf slides slowly and elegently out of the ceiling supported and dampened by rails and suspension. Of course when I'm done with the the shelf I can push it back up into the ceiling with minimal effort (thanks to the suspension) and the shelf clicks back into place.

Of course this doesn't just apply to shelves. Projectors, a rectangular table area supported by ceiling suspension... etc. Ideally I want to walk into a house thats completely desolate, press a switch, and have all the furniture roll out of the ceiling at the same time. heh.. prob not gonna happen.

Anyway, say I just wanted to make a pull down ceiling shelf. Where would I get suspension and how would I make it? I was thinking of putting sliding door rails vertically on the back of the shelf to keep it straight, but what exactly do I buy to keep the shelf from crashing down? Springs? Air pump thingies? where do I buy these things?

You know those things they have in office chairs where if you're off the chair and you pull the lever under the cushion the whole chair springs up while sucking in air and when I press the lever again when I'm sitting on the chair, the whole thing sinks downward while letting air out with a hiss? Is there any way I can buy a stronger and stand alone version of that thing in my office chair? What is that thing called? and would it be realistic to use with a pulldown shelf?

Also... I'm new and I don't know which section to post this so I'm posting it here.

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Old 01-23-2008, 05:11 AM   #2
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What is Above this Ceiling,..??..??

It sounds like an admiral Idea,...... But not very Practical.....

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Old 01-23-2008, 05:48 AM   #3
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empty space is above the ceiling. It's not even an attic cuz their's no flooring or anything.

and you're right, it's not practical at all for most people.

The reason why I want to do it, is because I like the minimalist designs I see in magazines and pictures. Unfortunately, I have a lot of junk, gadgets and random stuff I like to be able to access conveniently which sort of conflicts with the whole minimalist design thing. If I store all my stuff in shelves that drop down from the ceiling, bam! problem solved.

Also, I got this idea after looking at my table. I don't really need my table every time I'm in the house, plus it makes the house look smaller because it takes up space, why don't I have the thing drop down from the ceiling with spring loaded inverted legs? Same with my bed... I don't need my bed during the day, it's taking up space... why not shove it up the ceiling?

All those racks and tables that fold into the walls work, but I have no room inside my walls, plus all the stuff I put on my table must be taken off before I fold it, and all the stuff on my rack must be hinged or hooked onto it or it will fall off if it's folded into a wall. If i'm doing some sort of project on a table and I suddenly need a break, I can shove the whole thing into the ceiling and go take a nap or whatever then comeback later pull the table down and start instantly where I left off.

plus I swear I seen this somewhere before, probably in a movie, and it was quite cool.

Anyway back to the topic:Anyone know where I can get springs/suspension/ or dampeners that are required for this sort of device? and if so what are these things called?
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:12 AM   #4
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empty space is above the ceiling. It's not even an attic cuz their's no flooring or anything.
Ayuh,..... I guess you're missing my point,....

There has to be some sort of Structure up there to support the Ceiling,+ then to support the Roof......

If you start cutting Holes in it,.... The Support has to come from Somewhere.......

Due to the fact that your Idea is Soo off the wall,.....
Quote:
Anyway back to the topic:Anyone know where I can get springs/suspension/ or dampeners that are required for this sort of device? and if so what are these things called?
You're going to have to Design,+ Create it Yourself.......
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:34 AM   #5
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Once you have figured out your supports for all this added weight, buy a couple of linear actuators and attach it to a vertical rail system, add a switch or some smarts in a PWB and presto. I did something very similar for an engineering project back in college. It would actually be quite easy if you make the shelf or structure fit in between the trusses. Just verify and calculate out the loads before building, wouldnt want the whole house coming down

Note: Just realized you want this to extend all the way down to the floor....linear actuators are out unless....you use some pretty advanced linkages. Better hire an engineer!

Last edited by tigerbalm2424; 01-23-2008 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:55 PM   #6
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Cool idea,

I think it would work great out in the garage. Be cool to be able to retract shelving into the lofts when not needed.

Crimson,
maybe you should design something and patent it. Might make alittle $$$.

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Old 01-23-2008, 01:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by skeeter_ca View Post
Cool idea,

I think it would work great out in the garage. Be cool to be able to retract shelving into the lofts when not needed.

Crimson,
maybe you should design something and patent it. Might make alittle $$$.

skeeter

Shelving would be easy if you just want it to drop down a cabinet or two with power tools or something but beds and tables are a different story. Extra garage space is HUGE to us homeowners
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:11 PM   #8
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Right, I've seen this done in garages. You'd have to design it yourself, and like Mister Ayuh said the support has to come from somewhere. Definitely custom.

I was thinking of doing some sort of "Murphy" system to utilize the wasted space in the roof slant of my toolshed. There's no crime in being creative, just don't kill anybody. :D
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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Offshoot patented.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6336692.html

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5203619.html
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thanks for the responses guys.

"There has to be some sort of Structure up there to support the Ceiling,+ then to support the Roof......"

I was thinking of using the horizontal wooden beams. If that's not sufficient for handling the load, I'll learn/find out about adding more support.

"Right, I've seen this done in garages. You'd have to design it yourself, and like Mister Ayuh said the support has to come from somewhere. Definitely custom."

Designing it and creating it myself is okay, it's just where would I find the parts to build this type of thing, what process do I have to go through to design it.. and if I had to fabricate the parts myself... how would I do it? For example where would I get a custom spring?

Also does anyone know any good books to handle the mathematics behind this type of thing? A textbook on statics probably isn't sufficient, I need a book that has a lot of specific info on practical stuff as well.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:27 PM   #11
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What if instead of using linkages and dampers, you used a cable and pulley system?
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:37 PM   #12
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take a look at the mechanism on a double hung window....cables and pulleys. A friction source will prevent the crashing. Definetely not something you will find on aisle 5 at a big box store
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:21 PM   #13
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"Murphy beds" fold up into a wall. And what keeps the bedding on them when they fold?

Garage door kits require side rails.

I remember on Star Trek and other sci-fi TV of 50 years ago, and up until today, all doors slide sideways into walls. A neat techie effect, but 50 years later we still find such doors a rarity. And impractical.

To hide clutter, you need cabinets with doors on the front. And an old-fashioned roll-top desk.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:22 AM   #14
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after pushing ideas in and out of my head on this thread, (also considering if this might be a practical thing for my packrat wife) i've come up with a couple ways how i might do the same thing. you certainly should consider going in between the joists only, not only for safety, but ease of installation too! and once you've established a way to work on it up there, and support it when done, how about
A: a 'truck bumper winch' which already has a switch to operate it. (needs to be reversible, of course) with 12v adapter or
B: study up on how dumbwaiters are installed, might adapt the knowhow there to this or
C: a remote garage door opener motor might be adapted to serve this purpose. (chain drive, not screw i should think with pully wheels as suggested above) i really like the idea though, now to find the right spot to put it..... heh heh

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Last edited by DangerMouse; 09-08-2008 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:26 AM   #15
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dangit, now you've got me thinking i can hang a bed from the ceiling with cables and just have it go up into the ceiling in the A.M. i'd better not mention this thread to the wife just yet...........

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