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 Post subject: Repairing Attic Stairs Arm Hinges
New postPosted: November 10th, 2011, 12:19 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 4:51 pm
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Location: Metairie
Yesterday I repaired our drop down attic stairs. The counter balance arm was bending from the hinge pin wear and it was almost impossible to open

A new set of these is about $50 plus shipping but I was able to replace the hinge pin with a 3/8" lag screw as shown....works great now.
If anyone wants more details on this I'll post it.


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File comment: Before
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Last edited by Jerry on November 10th, 2011, 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Attic Stairs Arm Hinges
New postPosted: November 10th, 2011, 12:46 pm 
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Joined: March 29th, 2008, 7:08 pm
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How many people does such a task entail? I remember a This Old House program where Tom Silva (love that guy's BAHston accent) said don't attempt it with less than two stout lads (or lassies or any combination).


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Attic Stairs Arm Hinges
New postPosted: November 10th, 2011, 1:41 pm 
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CopCop wrote:
How many people does such a task entail? I remember a This Old House program where Tom Silva (love that guy's BAHston accent) said don't attempt it with less than two stout lads (or lassies or any combination).

I did it all by myself in about an hour (including a trip to Basil's Hardware).
Removing the spring is what they were talking about I bet...
With the stair open and extended I just disconnected the low end (shown in photo)from the stair upper section and released the spring tension slowly.
I first secured the side I was removing with a rope to the attic but if removing both arms the stairs could be folded back out of the way and a step ladder used to repair the arms...

Afer cutting the loose hinge pin off with a hacksaw, leaving the original plate, I drilled a 3/8" hole in the arm (after straightening it out in a bench vise) to make it round again...used a fender washer and 3" 3/8" lag screw to secure it through the original stair well and into a ceiling frame.

Total cost $ 0.98


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File comment: Remove nut and carefully remove the arm - the spring tension is not that great...
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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Attic Stairs Arm Hinges
New postPosted: November 10th, 2011, 2:50 pm 
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Location: O-O-O-O-OKLAHOMA! where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...
Jerry, I've considered replacing my wooden steps with the kind that are sort of like an aluminum extension ladder. any experience with those?


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Attic Stairs Arm Hinges
New postPosted: November 10th, 2011, 2:57 pm 
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OkieYat wrote:
Jerry, I've considered replacing my wooden steps with the kind that are sort of like an aluminum extension ladder. any experience with those?

No but they are probably lighter than the wooden ones.....Using our attic for our retail store's storage puts a lot of wear on them.

The nuts/bolts that hold the different parts together come loose frequently and cause problems...


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Attic Stairs Arm Hinges
New postPosted: November 10th, 2011, 3:41 pm 
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We originally had wooden attic stairs in our house. We have a large storage attic with a high pitch roof so we have a lot of things stored in the attic. Over the years, the metal hinges kept getting weaker and had to be constantly retightened. Also, I was concerned that the hot attic heat over time might weaken the wood and break when we were using the stairs causing injury.

Last year, I made the decision to replace the wooden attic stairs with aluminum attic stairs. I still can hardly believe the difference. The aluminum stairs are lightweight but many times stronger than the old wooden stairs. The new stairs are rock solid stable no matter what items I'm carrying up and down. They have an extra strong hinge the full width of the stairs at the top. Also, they have a very quiet operation because they have no springs but hydraulic cylinders for the opening mechanism. They cost more but well worth the extra investment for safety reasons. I'll never have to worry about attic stairs getting weak from heat or breaking again. I highly, highly, highly recommend these aluminum attic stairs to any homeowner !!!!!. You will not be disappointed for sure !!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Attic Stairs Arm Hinges
New postPosted: November 10th, 2011, 7:50 pm 
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Joined: March 29th, 2008, 10:11 pm
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Location: O-O-O-O-OKLAHOMA! where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...
Thanks, Big Dale! Those look really nice and you can't beat Werner for any kind of ladders. I will look in to getting a nice set of those. I floored the attic over the garage where our attic stairs are and use it for all kinds of storage so I'm up and down the steps a lot so it would be a good investment.


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 Post subject: Re: Repairing Attic Stairs Arm Hinges
New postPosted: November 10th, 2011, 8:10 pm 
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Thanks, all of you for the helpful hints. Keep 'em coming, please?


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