The standard winding tools are simply a pair of 18-inch lengths of mild steel rod, 1/2-inch diameter. Winding cones can have different socket sizes (such as 5/8 inch instead of 1/2 inch), so it is important to measure the socket and select a matching rod diameter. Also beware that poor-quality cones may have a sloppy fit to the winding bars, and a loose fit presents a severe hazard of slipping at the worst moment; anything more than about an inch or two of play at the handle end is too loose for safety. I bought a 3-foot length of zinc-plated 1/2-inch diameter steel rod from Home Depot for about $3, which conveniently cuts into two halves of just the right length (the store might even cut it for you if you ask). A steel supplier selling at commodity prices might charge about 50 cents or so for such a piece that weighs about 2 lbs. Drill rod would work if used in the annealed condition in which it is originally sold, but the added expense provides no benefit and the brittleness (if it had been hardened and not annealed) would worry me a bit. Rebar, threaded rod, screwdrivers, etc., are absolutely foolish as they will not fit the socket snugly. Aluminum rod is definitely too weak, and will bend under the torque that must be applied. Longer rods would make for more leverage but unwieldly swing; shorter rods make for uncontrollable swing. As we'll calculate below, the 18-inch standard tool length is an appropriate compromise. Note that you do not need 18 inches of ceiling clearance above the torsion shaft to use an 18-inch rod, since you need not swing the rods above horizontal when winding.
Critical measurements: Torsion springs come a variety of standardized sizes, so you have to carefully measure the old springs to know what to order for proper replacements. Tables of standard sizes and designs are on the Web, such as here [www.industrialspring.com]. The four critical measurements (all in inches) are: (1) the wire thickness (which I'm measuring here with a dial caliper; you can also measure the length of a number of closely stacked turns with a ruler and divide by the number of turns in the stack, measuring 10 turns this way makes the math easy), (2) the inside diameter (not outside!) of the relaxed (not wound!) coil, (3) the overall length of the relaxed (not wound!) spring coils, not including the winding cones, and (4) the right- or left-hand winding of the spring. One must glibly quote those figures to the spring supplier, otherwise one's lack of expertise will be obvious, and one will not be worthy of buying the parts.
Keep in mind that when the springs are released there is nothing to help with weight replacement. Garage doors weigh 150 pounds or more and if the door were not locked in place, there would need to be some way of holding it up until it can be lower manually. If no one is available to help, a clamp can be put on the track at the end of the door (Image 1). When ready, release the clamp and take the weight of the door.
You can choose from three basic types of steel door: (1) steel only; (2) steel with insulation on the inside; and (3) steel on both sides with 1-3/8 to 2 in. of insulation. Other features that add to the cost are thicker insulation and windows, especially insulated windows. The do-it-yourself tensioning systems also add a little to the door’s cost. Be sure to specify exactly what you want.
Smartphone Control: Many newer garage door openers allow you to connect the device to your home's Wi-Fi network, according to RW Garage Doors. You then can open and close the door through a smartphone app. In fact, many of these apps will give you an alert on the smartphone when the garage door is open for a certain period. Some opener models even can connect to your existing Smart Home system, incorporating all your appliances on one system.
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