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Remote Control Makes “Dumbwaiter” Smart
Moving heavy objects from his basement is easy for Bernie Coulthorst, thanks to his “smart” dumbwaiter.
  “I built it for less than $150 to relieve the burden of carrying things up and down the steps,” says Coulthorst. “Now we just put things in the basket or on the shelf and push a button.”
  Installation was easy. He pulled up the carpet and cut a hole in the closet floor in his wife’s office. He didn’t even have to cut a floor joist; his design fit between the wall and the nearest joist.
  “I bought a new Sears garage door opener from K-Mart and installed it vertically between the joists,” recalls Coulthorst. “The lever that is normally attached to the overhead door is used to support a permanent shelf. It can easily handle 20 to 30 lbs.”
  Coulthorst installed the chain drive motor in the upper part of the closet and anchored it to a frame installed in the basement. The wired button for the motor is mounted near the motor. The remote control is mounted to the dumbwaiter frame in the basement.
  “A cable-driven unit would work, but I think the chain drive is best for this use,” says Coulthorst. “We use it for everything from food to tools, potting soil to cat litter. It is the best thing I ever built, and my wife Carolyn loves it.”
  Coulthorst says it has made life easier and safer. He prints a square dancing magazine in his basement, so carrying paper up and down the steps was something he wanted to eliminate.
  “Both of us can go up and down the stairs without carrying anything, and are able to use the railings for safety purposes,” says Coulthorst. “We’ve been using it for about 10 years without a problem. It’s an idea that worked.”
  Coulthorst says he would be happy to advise FARM SHOW readers interested in installing their own “smart” dumbwaiter. He’s also glad to share information about square dancing.
  “If you want information about square dancing in your area, we can help,” says Coulthorst. “We have worldwide square dance connections.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bernie Coulthurst, 4852 County Road K, Amherst, Wis. 54406 (ph 715 824-3245; bbccmc@wi-net.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #1