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A New Day in Shipping :-) Part 2

Friday, February 9th, 2018 at 7:01 pm by Dan Musick

Many years ago I learned an important lesson about life: “When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.”¬† A similar expression I heard elsewhere is that “opportunities often come disguised as problems.” The lemon – or the problem – is the change in shipping lengths for garage door parts, in particular, our garage door seals.

On our other blog titled “A New Day in Shipping ūüôĀ” I explained the extra cost of¬†shipping packages over 96 inches. Until this year a higher cost was attached to packages over 108 inches, but now a much higher cost is applied to packages with lengths from 96 to 108 inches.

In the door industry, many of our products are eight feet long and the extra half inch or so of cardboard padding multiplies the shipping cost five or six-fold.

I ran this by Andrew, our sales manager /operations coordinator a few months ago and together we have come up with a solution for homeowners so they don’t have to pay the exorbitant shipping fees for eight foot or longer products, in particular, the weatherstripping. The solution is cutting and gluing.

Super glue¬†is super for garage door seals. Many of our seals are made with a hard PVC that can bond in less than a minute. We recommend the gel type because it stays where you squirt it. It will also bond the flexible part of the seal, but it does tend to stiffen. That won’t normally be a problem, but if it does we recommend the E6000 glue.

The E6000 glue bonds the vinyl well, especially on the soft twin contact bottom seals. The major consideration with this glue is that it can take a day or so to dry and bond. You will need to leave your garage door partially open for up to two days.

Here is an example of how the products look when they have been glued. On the lighter color, a little calk or filler might help with aesthetics.

 

 

A New Day in Shipping :-(

Friday, January 19th, 2018 at 6:23 pm by Dan Musick

It appears that UPS and FedEx no longer want to ship boxes that are over eight feet long.

As of January 2018 boxes that are eight feet or longer have surcharges attached to the shipping costs.

The following is an example of the exorbitant¬†surcharges. If a 4″ X 4″ box weighing 10 pounds is shipped by UPS from our zip code to one of our suppliers at 43447, and if the dimension is 96″ long, or eight feet even,¬†the cost is $24.36.

If we increase the length one inch, shipping for the 10-pound box is billed at the 90-pound rate of $154.35, which is more than six times the amount just for the extra inch.

WOW! What an unprecedented opportunity for smart entrepreneurs to step up and cash in on this market niche. Please call us when you get your business up and running!

Way to Go FedEx!

Friday, January 5th, 2018 at 9:18 pm by Dan Musick

Image result for fedex

We had hit a quagmire in synchronizing our shopping cart with FedEx website. I told our customer service rep, Kevin Kedzior, about the problem. It seemed insurmountable. In just a few days he brought over two of FedEx’s top software guns,¬†Justin Cagney and¬†Ed Cohen. An hour later all the pieces of the puzzle were aligned.

Just as the best vioinists make their performances seem effortless, so Kevin and his associates made the impossible look like a cake walk. That’s the mark of true professionals.

Way to go, Kevin! Keep up the superb work!

Christmas: What Child is This?

Monday, December 25th, 2017 at 1:49 pm by Dan Musick

The gospel of John opens with these words: ‚ÄúIn the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In verse 14 John continues: ‚ÄúAnd the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.‚ÄĚ

John writes these words after having 60 or so years to reflect on Who Jesus was. To showcase the eternal Deity of our beloved Christmas baby, John parallels his opening words with the opening words of Scripture: “In the beginning God . . .‚ÄĚ and here, “In the beginning was the Word . . .‚ÄĚ

Both God and the Word are eternal; they have existed from the beginning. Moses writes in Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”

In verse one John distinguishes the Word from God: “the Word was with God.”

But he also equates the two: “the Word was God.”

What is the relationship between the Word and God?

John provides the answer in verse 14: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

We see here that Jesus is “the only begotten of the Father.” Jesus was begotten from the beginning, before time.

But we also see here in verse 14 that Jesus, the Word, eternal God – “became flesh.” This is the incarnation, this is Christmas!

The angel Gabriel had told Mary: ‚ÄúThe Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35) In Matthew we read that He is also called Immanuel, God with us. (Matthew 1:23)

Jesus was begotten of God before time, and in time he was begotten of the virgin Mary.

These truths are reflected in our historic creeds and in our church’s statement of faith.

In the documents of Nicaea (325) we read: “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made.”

The later Creed of Chalcedon (451) builds on the story of Mary’s visit with Elizabeth to help define Christ’s human and divine natures. When visiting Mary, Elizabeth correctly recognized that the baby she was carrying in her womb was God. Elizabeth asks: “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43) A favorite Christmas song asks, “Mary did you know?” But from Scripture we know what Mary knew. She begins with these words: ‚ÄúMy soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Question: was Mary looking up to heaven in praise to God, or was she looking down?

Here are some of the words from the Creed of Chalcedon that distinguish us as Christians: “We declare that in His Divinity, He was begotten of the Father before time, and in His humanity He was begotten in this last age of Mary, the virgin, the mother of God, for us and our salvation. We declare that the one selfsame Christ, only begotten Son and Lord, must be acknowledged in two natures, without any co-mingling, or change or division or separation, that the distinction between their natures is in no way removed by their union, but rather, that the specific character of each nature is preserved, and they are united in one person.”

In the Creed of Athanasius, the Trinitarian Creed, we read: “The Father is not made by anyone, nor created by anyone, nor generated by anyone. The Son is not made nor created, but he is generated by the Father alone. The Holy Spirit is not made nor created nor generated, but proceeds from the Father and the Son. . .” And the words continue: “We believe and profess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man. As God He was begotten of the substance of the Father before time; as man He was born in time of the substance of His Mother.”

In my church’s statement of faith we affirm:

“We believe that the eternally existent Word of God, Jesus Christ, is God‚Äôs only begotten Son, The Second Person of the Trinity, and who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles and His teachings are truth. He is fully God and fully man, possessing both deity and humanity united in one person, without division of the person or confusion of the two natures.”

God assumed a human body. The infinite, transcendent, omnipotent, creator God became a finite, helpless, creature without ceasing in any way to remain fully God: omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent.

What a Child This is!!!

(All scripture references are from the NKJV)

How to Replace the Bottom Rollers on Garage Doors

Friday, December 15th, 2017 at 6:59 pm by Dan Musick

The most dangerous part of replacing garage door rollers is replacing the bottom rollers. The bottom fixture not only holds the roller, but the bottom of the cable is secured to the bottom fixture. Tension from the spring pulls on the cable making removal of the bottom fixture extremely dangerous.

Several years ago we posted a YouTube video titled “How to Replace Your Garage Door Rollers.”¬†In the video we showed a way to bend the tracks to replace all the rollers, including the bottom rollers. However, some people prefer not to bend the tracks.¬†In a recent email exchange,¬†William S. of Las Vegas shared his ideas on how to replace the bottom rollers without bending the tracks. Since the topic was fresh on my mind, I decided to post this blog.

For safety it is best to replace the bottom roller on one side at a time.

First, open the door and mark the bottom of the track where it meets the garage floor.

Next, remove the track bolts and nuts that secure the track to the track brackets.

There are normally two or three track brackets, or jamb brackets on each vertical track.

Now, remove the two nuts that secure the top of the track to the flag bracket. Check to make sure the bottom of the door is above the top of the vertical track.

Now that the fasteners are removed you can now remove the vertical track.

Carefully pull down on the bottom of the door until the bottom roller clears the bottom of the flag bracket.

At this point you can remove the old roller and install the new one.

To complete the job simply reverse the steps above, and then go to the other side of the door to replace the other roller.

 

How to Bend the End of a Spring

Friday, December 8th, 2017 at 6:53 pm by Dan Musick

Sometimes a customer will order the incorrect spring, and we will try to offer the least expensive solution. If the spring is too long, one option is to shorten the spring with a torch or a with a hand grinder such as a Dremel tool.

First, remove the cone at one end. We show how to do this on our Torsion Spring Cone Replacement tutorial.

The next step is to cut off the extra coils.

Next, if you don’t have a vise, you can bend the end of the wire using a vise grip and a pipe wrench.

Grip one side of the spring 180 degrees from the end with a pipe wrench that is tight enough to keep the coils from slipping. Grip the last half of the spring wire and push down on the pipe wrench and the vise grip at the same time.

The final step is to reinstall the cone in the spring.

 

Hormann Garage Doors

Friday, November 10th, 2017 at 5:11 pm by Dan Musick

Hormann is a German garage door manufacturer that has set up a manufacturing plant here in the United States. The purpose of this entry is to show many of the unique features of the door parts.

The bottom fixtures incorporate spring loaded arms to prevent the cables from coming off the drums if the cable tension loosens.

This fixture is normally covered for safety.

The end hinges are graduated and uniquely designed, but their function for supporting rollers is similar to the function of American end hinges. Notice the standard 2″ roller with the 7/16″ stem.

The center hinges are similar to many of the American-made hinges. Here we see the number 3045112.

The adjustable top fixtures look similar to those made by Napoleon and Arrow Tru-line.

The torsion assembly functions the same as American-made systems, but there are serious compatibility issues to consider when replacing parts.

One is that the torsion springs use German Spring Sizes. None of the American measuring or engineering charts work with these wire sizes. Springing the door will require weighing the door.

Another complicating feature is that the cable drums on residential doors are not the standard four inch. They’re considerably larger. Notice also that the end of the cable is secured with a set screw. When spring the door it will be necessary to replace the drums and cables, or to get engineering information from Richard Kinch’s site.

The springs appear to have two inch inside diameters, but the ends are hooked like the old BarCol door springs.

Here you can see the end hooked over a pin on the winding cone.

The other end of the spring hooks over a pin on the stationary cone.

The spring anchor bracket holes do not have the standard 3 3/8″ center line spacing, so a conversion from the German hardware will require replacing this part as well.

One nice feature of the Hormann spring assembly is that the shaft has a one inch outside diameter and the bearings have inside diameters of just slightly over an inch so these parts can be reused if converting to standard torsion hardware. This also applies to the end bearing plates, pictured below. These plates also are larger to support the junction for the vertical and horizontal tracks.

Notice also that the doors use standard 2″ tracks, but rather than the curve being only on the horizontal track, half the curve is on the top of the vertical track and half is on the jamb end of the horizontal track.

 

The Myth of Free Shipping

Friday, October 27th, 2017 at 3:42 pm by Dan Musick

In this age of Amazon and instant deliveries it is easy to conclude that shipping always is or should be free.

The fact is that shipping products is never free. If the customer does not pay for shipping, it is because the seller adds shipping to the cost of the product. Discerning shoppers recognize this, and they add the product cost to the shipping cost to determine the real cost.

A wise shopper also checks for quality of product. “Where is it made? What kind of comments have customers posted on Google, Yelp or Amazon reviews? How well does the product perform or last?” Here, again, wise shoppers take reviews with a grain of salt.

Awhile back I ordered a mini SD card from Amazon. As I remember, all the five star reviews were certified. I ordered and then returned the defective part. I suspect the seller sold OEM parts in the beginning, secured positive reviews, and then switched their product. Breaking even on the first 100,000 might allow a seller to retire on the next 100,000 lower quality cards that the seller purchases at a fraction of the cost.

DDM Garage Doors, Inc. Warehouse

Wise shoppers also check for quality of service. They ask, “Does the seller stock the product, and how soon will it ship? Is there an extra charge for normal shipping times?” We have competitors who sell products on Amazon at our wholesale cost, and they make their profits on exorbitant shipping or on handling fees if the customer can’t wait a few weeks for the item.

Shoppers also look for support and technical advice. The garage door business is highly technical. Our sales support staff advises DIY customers as well as wholesale customers.

And, what about orders that have already been placed? What happens if they receive the wrong item or if they need help with the order? About a year ago I went to Amazon’s site and I ordered two special cutters for our warehouse. Our order was mixed up with an order in Atlanta. The customer there got our two tools and we received only the single tool that they had ordered. There was no phone number to call and no email address. My only contact was through Amazon. I had to pay to return the incorrect order, I received credit only for the single tool I had received, and I had to pay a restocking fee. The net result was a return of only five or ten percent of what I had originally paid at the beginning. Filing with Amazon proved to be a waste.

Buyer Beware! Amazon does have high standards for sellers, but these standards do often have cracks filled with low life sellers. I shop for lowest prices, but I’ve also been burned. Sellers who lower their prices to increase sales may not be there when you need them. If they have a phone or email they don’t respond. And often they disappear after realizing their meager profits were not worth all the time invested.

 

How to Support End Bearing Plates

Friday, October 13th, 2017 at 6:12 pm by Dan Musick

For shafts to turn properly inside the end bearings, the end bearing plate must remain plumb. If the plate is not supported it can lean, causing the bearing or shaft to wear. Often a worn bearing will wear completely through the shaft causing the shaft and drum to drop and the garage door to become out of level.

Many of the bearing plates are flat and the horizontal track angle was not strong enough to support the plate, so additional angle was added. Here the bottom of the angle is bolted to the horizontal angle and the top is wedged into the jamb.

Another way to support a flat end bearing is the top of the flag bracket. On this door the drum was scraping the top of the flag bracket.

The simplest solution, without adding any angle, was to re-position the end bearing plate so the flag bracket supported the outside of the end bearing plate. Doing this may require moving one of the drums.

Another way to support a bracket on 12″ radius tracks is by wedging angle between the horizontal angle and the top of the flag bracket.

The support angle can also be bolted at the top and bottom.

One of the better inventions in the door industry for residential doors was the spring anchor bracket with the added edge that can be secured to the jamb. On 12″ radius tracks the top of the flag bracket supports the bracket. The top hole allows for an optional bolt but this is not normally needed on 12″ tracks if the cable drums are properly installed touching the races of the bearings.

On 15″ radius tracks, however, the top of the bracket must be secured. Normally a single 5/16″ X 1 5/8″ lag screw is needed, as shown here.

Sometimes additional support is needed as you see here where the top edge did not reach the jamb.

On one job a recessed I-beam prevented the normal installation and angle was run from the horizontal angle to the board on top of the beam.

Here is another solution where angle was added because the top edge of the bracket was above the header.

 

Long Life Extension Springs

Friday, September 8th, 2017 at 4:48 pm by Dan Musick

Garage door extension springs stretch as the door closes and contract as the door opens. Also designated “stretch springs,” these usually mount above the horizontal tracks, but sometimes they extend beside the vertical tracks.

Over the years there have been requests for better springs because customers’ existing springs have not lasted as long as they had hoped. Because of this we have begun offering longer life extension springs which last about three times longer than the standard springs.

We achieve longer life in our design by using bigger wire and larger inside diameters engineered to maintain the same pull. We also use clipped ends to extend the life. Open loops and double loops are heated before bending the ends; this often fatigues the metal causing the spring to break prematurely on one end.

One additional factor in producing longer life extension springs is that we have the springs produced in the U.S.A. and only with American made steel. Because of inconsistent quality control standards in China springs made there will often work for a while, but before long the springs don’t contract as they should, the door gets harder to lift, and often the cables come loose and prevent the door from closing. The metal doesn’t fatigue; it simply looses its tension.

Besides the Chinese manufacturers beware of companies who offer long life or 25,000 cycle springs based on what a supplier may say about their springs. A while back I ordered some of the springs from a supplier and I was surprised to discover they were the same standard cycle springs as offered by other suppliers.

All of the springs come in 10 pound increments and they are in stock for same or next day shipping. For questions please contact us.