Counterbalanced Shelf

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Old 02-07-07, 04:48 PM
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Counterbalanced Shelf

Hi all,
working on a custom side desk. It goes up against the wall and sits flush against a corner computer desk I built. The rear left corner section (about 14" X 18") I want to cut out and put a raising open shelf system in.
The catch is I want to counterbalance it so I can simply put a spring loaded latch that holds it down, flush with the desk, and upon releasing the latch, it will self-raise up to a locked position. The raised shelves will look like 3 small shelves are sitting on the desk and the lowered appearance will look like a flush desk with no shelves.

Ideas on counterbalances? I'm probably going to use weights, a pulley and some cable. Anyone know of a slick idea or system that exists already? Like those old sewing machine desks that would self-raise up.

I've looked at electric motors, but I'm a bit old fashioned and would like something non-electric. Nothing overly expensive.

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-07-07, 06:24 PM
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Welcome to the forums! You may want to refer to Rockler's catalog (Rockler.com). They have rising components, and may be what you are looking for. If not, post back and we will take another stab at it.
 
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Old 02-08-07, 01:54 PM
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Thanks Appreciate the welcome

Rockler does have some nice slide systems, though I'm not sure anything overly suited to a vertical slide system with a counterbalance of some sort.

Wondering if anyone has a slick idea other than a pulley system to auto-raise a set of shelves on a sliding track? Springs? Still thinking.

Thanks for any input
 
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Old 02-08-07, 04:04 PM
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One other thought. Would there be any way to incorporate those window lift pistons, like on your car? With a lock in the down position, once released it will raise only at the rate the piston will allow.
 
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Old 02-08-07, 10:10 PM
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Hey! That's a good idea!

Going to go look at some, maybe like those for screen doors or car hoods. I'll report back
 
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Old 02-08-07, 10:59 PM
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Well, having some trouble determining exactly what it is I'm looking for. Seems to be called an air spring or pneumatic spring, though there are air cylinders and actuators.
I think air cylinders require an outside source of air. Trouble I'm getting is reading on air springs. Some sources say they hold their air all the time and sound perfect, some sources say they need an outside source to fill their bellows.

Anyone have experience with this, please pitch in some info
 
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Old 02-09-07, 05:32 AM
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Actually your idea of the hood or trunk holder opener is good. They have internal springs, but are dampened by hydraulic fluid, so they don't slam open, but compress easily enough. May be worth a look. Good luck.
 
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