September 3, 2007

Building the Wing Stand - 6.0 hrs.

Over the last few days, I finally formulated in my mind a way to build a wing stand and still get my garage door open. I wasn't sure how strong or sturdy it would be, but I decided to give it a shot and modify it if necessary. It turned out much better than I expected! And like so many other things with this project that you worry about and fret over, once you get going and get into it, it's not as hard as you thought it would be. I had been worried for a long time how I was going to attach vertical 4 x 4's to my ceiling and floor. My floor is standard concrete, but my ceiling is sheetrocked, painted and finished. It's not like I had some convenient rafters or joists up there to bolt an upright beam to. How was I going to do it? After thinking through a number of possible elaborate support structures and studying a lot of websites out there, here's the method I came up with.

This first vertical 4 x 4 beam goes from floor to ceiling. It's cut to within about 1/8" of actually rubbing on the ceiling. The two cross-member 2 x 2's were screwed into ceiling joists above the sheetrock, once the joists were located with a studfinder. As you can see, they sandwich the beam in between them. Then I put 2 screws going crosswise through each of them into the beam to hold it in place. The beauty of this is, when my wings are finished and this is ready to come down, all I will have to touch up will be 4 little screw holes that can easily be spackled and painted over, with no lasting damage or marks on the ceiling. The horizontal 2 x 4 that you see is hanging in a bracket found at Home Depot. It goes over to the other 4 x 4 beam 114" away, to help support it.

The bottom ends of the two beams are secured to the floor with construction adhesive, both underneath and around the sides. I'm confident that this, too, can be scraped off once I'm done and not leave any damage or markings on my floor.

Now the trickiest part was this second beam. It had to be cut short to allow clearance for the garage door to open above it. You can see my garage door in the background. I wanted to be able to open my garage door without bumping into this jig. The bottom was secured to the floor with construction adhesive like the other one, but for the top, I decided to add two simple horizontal braces and brace it against the wall about 5 feet away. The other 2 x 4 brace on the left goes over to the other beam 114" away. These inexpensive brackets from Home Depot make the assembly easy and strong. I used screws instead of nails so it will be easy to take apart later. These 2 x 4's are under the garage door but well above my head, so they don't interfere with walking around and working on the project at all.

The other end of the wall brace attaches to the wall as you see here. Two screws hold this 2 x 4 to the wall studs behind the sheetrock, making not only a secure and strong attachment, but one that will easily come down when I'm finished. And like the ceiling damage, all I will have to touch up will be two little screw holes that will be spackled and painted. This brace is strong enough for me to do pull-ups on. So if it can hold all 190# of me, it will work just fine!

Another 2 shots taken later in the project. This has worked so well, and it's far better than the triangular supports I had been contemplating that would have gone to the floor, and been much harder to walk around.

From this angle, you can see how the braces and vertical beam are under the garage door railing and shop lights, allowing the door to be opened, but with plenty of clearance over my head, so I can walk around and work easily. In retrospect, I wouldn't do this any other way, if I did it again.

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