Dan's Garage Door Blog

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!

Friday, January 12th, 2018 at 6:09 pm by Dan Musick

Ordering the correct Powermaster Operators can be simple if you begin with the correct details. Here is what you’ll need in order to order one of our hoist operators.

  1. Voltage. These are normally 115, 208-230, and 460 volts. Check the voltage on your existing operator or the voltage readily available in the building.
  2. Phase. The 115-volt operators are all single phase; the 208-230-volt are either single or three phase; the 460-volt operators are all three phase.
  3. Horsepower. If you are replacing an existing operator, and if that operator worked fine, you can replace the operator with the same horsepower. If you are installing an operator where there was not one before, you can check our horsepower chart to determine the best operator for your application.
  4. Height. This is needed to determine the hand chain length. Measure from the floor to the center of the operator. On standard lift doors this dimension is usually the same as the door height. On vertical lift and high lift doors the operator will be mounted higher.
  5. Shaft Diameter and Key Size. Most sectional doors use one-inch shafts with 1/4″ keys. Steel rolling doors use a variety of shaft sizes and key sizes.
  6. Mounting Side. As you look at the door from inside the building, determine the side on which the operator is mounted. The drive chain is mounted closer to the door and the hand chain is mounted further from the door. On sectional doors you can normally install the operator on either side, but on steel rolling doors the operator can be installed only on the drive side.
  7. Steel Rolling Door Mounting. If your door rolls up around itself like a window shade, there are a variety ways to mount the operator. Let us know how you plan to mount the operator; it needs to be built to fit your framing. This Steel Rolling Door Ordering Sheet should help.
  8. Special Situations. Please advise of any special situations such as space limitations, center mounting, international voltages and cycles, special accessories needed, and whether the operator needs to be water-proof or explosion-proof.

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: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In verse 14 John continues: “And 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.”

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 . . .” and here, “In the beginning was the Word . . .”

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: “The 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: “My 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’s 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.

 

Who are We?

Friday, December 1st, 2017 at 8:04 pm by Dan Musick

As I mentioned in an earlier blog about our kingdom purpose, the Convene business network has been instrumental in helping us identify who we are. This helps us keep in touch with the truly important as we continue to see God direct this business through all of us here at DDM Garage Doors and DDM Web Services.

Kingdom Purpose

God has uniquely positioned, gifted and called DDM Garage Doors to glorify God by exemplifying Christ-likeness in our leadership, by praying for and discipling our employees, by sharing the gospel with our customers, and by funding ministries that take the gospel to the ends of the world.

Mission

We help customers find, order and safely install garage door and dock components.

Vision

If and only as God so chooses**, do-it-yourselfers and maintenance personnel around the world will select us first for our clear instructions and for quality garage door industry parts.

Core Values

God: “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” (Mark 12:30)

People: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)

Perfection: “Be perfect just as Your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Stewardship: “The Earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness.” (1 Corinthians 10:26)

__________________

Explanation of Core Values

God: “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” (Mark 12:30)

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 3:20)
“You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” (Luke 4:8)
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to Whom be glory for ever.” (Romans 11:36)
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23)
“Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.” (Romans 12:1)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
“I die daily.” (1 Corinthians 15:31)

People: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:14)

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. . . . And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 13)

Perfection: “Be perfect just as Your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

“As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:16) This is our source of excellence.

Right living is accomplished only by being born again of God’s Spirit by faith: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:5-16).

It is by abiding in Christ: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)

And it is by walking in the Spirit: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

When right living is interrupted by sin, we confess our sin and God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Only by living transformed lives are we able to follow the golden rule – to treat others as we want to be treated. This is the only way we can fairly and ethically conduct business in the global market place.

Stewardship: “The Earth is the Lord’s and all its fullness.” (1 Corinthians  10:26)

God owns everything, and we will all give an account.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.”

“So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’”

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’”

“But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.'”

“For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.” (Matthew 25:14-29)

___________________

**”Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit;’ whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16)

All verses quoted are from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Spring Anchor Bracket Alignment

Friday, November 24th, 2017 at 4:05 pm by Dan Musick

Most installers eyeball or guess at where to install the spring anchor bracket. As a result I’ve seen many where the the center support bracket is mounted one or two inches too high. Doors will work for years this way, but the the poor installation may result result in the torsion shaft binding or fatiguing and actually breaking.

The most logical time to realign the spring anchor bracket is when replacing the springs.

Proper alignment is also necessary when converting from Extension Springs, EZ Set Springs, or Torquemaster Springs to Standard Torsion Springs. The torsion tube should run parallel to the top of the door. Here is the easiest way to accomplish that.

The first step is to install the end bearing plates if you are converting from a different spring system.

Next, center the bottom of a torpedo level in the center of the end bearing. Mark the bottom of the other end of the level with the bubble centered.

Next, measure from the mark to the top of the garage door at both ends. If the measurements differ average the measurements.

Then, go to the center of the door, and measure and mark the same distance from the top of the door to the header above.

Last, locate the center of the bracket and line up that with the mark. Plumb the bracket and screw the bracket to the header with 5/16″ X 1 5/8″ lag screws with washer heads.

Sometimes there is no header board behind the drywall and it is necessary to support the bracket with angle.

Sometimes the framing will not support the screws so it may be necessary to support the bracket with angle iron.

 

 

 

Celebrating 20 Years on the Web

Friday, November 17th, 2017 at 8:26 pm by Dan Musick

The year was 1997. The Internet was just coming of age. Interest in the profit potential of web-based businesses was reminiscent of the gold rush in the last century. It was the year that my 12 year old son, Erich, posted our first web page.

It began, “Welcome to our web site. God knew we could not afford a computer guru to develop this so He gave us one about 12 years ago at the local hospital.”

We had registered our domain, www.garagedoor.org on April 16, 1997. The man who arranged this said businesses use the .org as well so I took his word for it as the www.garagedoor.com URL had already been taken. For more than a decade afterward customers would ask, “Why are You a .org?” That took a lot of explaining.

The company name at the time was DDM Enterprises, Inc. I was a dreamer; I didn’t want to limit the scope of our business to just the garage door industry.

My 12 year-old son was also experimenting with an email link. I can’t remember if he actually posted it.  

Erich also posted a picture made from a photo taken with an old 35 mm camera. At the time I was proud of it. If you can imagine how much computers have changed in 20 years, you might appreciate how this image degraded through multiple file transfers.

After explaining what I was doing, one of my suppliers warned me that people go to the internet just to get free information, and he advised, “you’ll never make any money that way.” I continued posting free information on our site. I later discovered that I was pioneering what later came to be called “content marketing” in college courses. And, we continue to offer service before the sale.

The wild web gold rush exploded in the next few years. Companies invested and lost millions. But not us. We certainly didn’t have any money to invest, and we hadn’t even made enough to pay the quarterly web hosting fee.

My family also had this thing about food, shelter and clothing, so I continued a full time job at Area Door from about 1995 until about 2010. I also had my own repair business on the side and I continued to sell parts. Many of these orders had come from printed catalogs we mailed in the early 90’s.

In 2005 we noticed that people started buying parts from us after getting our name and contact information from the internet. In the same year we posted instructions for replacing garage door torsion springs, along with a second page explaining torsion springs. This page also included a conversion program for longer life springs. These two pages soon provided enough income for me to leave my full time job.

In the same year we encountered what is still a lingering problem – intellectual property theft. One competitor stole both of our pages. He copied the text to his server but he linked to our images, so we found a nifty way to warn customers that the page had been stolen. In one of the earlier images we substituted one of the images with this one. It showed up on his page, but not on ours.

The thief who had stolen several of our pages and who still has much of our property on his site, was booted off Richard Kinch’s site. I had asked Google for help but I don’t think they had their DMCA notice program in place.

From there the business has continued to grow. My older son, Erich, went on to graduate with a software engineering degree from Milwaukee School of Engineering. Now, he’s a senior software developer at Microsoft.

In September of 2011 we moved out of our garage. I had earlier assumed that our kids would just clean out the garage when we died. But God had other plans.

My younger son, David, studied physics, math and German at Wheaton College. Early in his college years he photographed and posted most of our garage door parts, and during most of his remaining college years he worked on our high lift conversion instructions and conversion quote program.

There are three things I remember about his high lift work. One is that he was a perfectionist; he kept me up until 2 AM taking pictures as I installed that high lift for the tutorial.

I also remember the conversion quote program. The first month the program was up high lift purchases almost died. I later discovered that the diy-ers were doing their homework and it took more time before they were ready to order.

A third memory was that David’s program didn’t always match the calculations from our supplier’s program. After some testing we discovered he had actually improved the industry calculations.

David later picked up a masters degree in photonics from the Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and is now working in the same city for Jabil.

Much has happened since those early years. Today we’re in a large warehouse –  the size that customers used to imagine when they saw the magnitude of our web site. They assumed we had a big warehouse, and they were surprised when I would lead them back to our garage to help them get the part they needed.

God never ceases to surprise me.

 

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.