Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 10:12 am
I have an idea for something that I would like to make that requires a gizmo that would allow me to positon a line (something like a heavy fishing line would work) to specific lenghts, hold it there, and then retract when I wanted to raise it.

I have seen some lighting fixtures that have hanging lamps that allow you to position the light at a variety of heights but I haven't found a store that will allow me to dismantle the fixture to determine what gizmo allows this.

Do you know what this gizmo might be called and where they might be for sale?

Thanks!
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 7,360 • Replies: 26
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CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 10:47 am
You're probably referring to a mini hoist, where you can hold the chain/line
at any height you want to. Something like this
http://www.lakewoodconferences.com/direct/dbimage/50247226/Mini_Lever_Hoist.jpg
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 10:56 am
That might be it CJane!

I can't tell from the photo but do you have to clamp it down somehow or does it hold its length on its own?

The ones I'm thinking of just hold the length so you can mount it up high and not have to go back and fiddle with the contraption. Having it happen automatically is pivitol to my idea.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 11:48 am
I don't know for what purpose you need it, boomer, the one pictured is a
manual mini hoist, but they have electrical ones, you can use in your garage
for example, to get bicycles up to the ceiling and hold it there. Regardless
if mini or larger electrical - it's a "hoist".

Look here
http://www.ajprindle.com/products/sku-12790__id-27__orderby-nw.html
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 04:45 pm
@boomerang,
They also make retractable dog leashes, but I think they default to the released position, and have a button to put them into the hold position. Dunno, I don't have a dog.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 05:07 pm
I'm going to try to explain it better....

The only place I've ever seen them used is in light fixtures. The device allows you to adjust the height of the overhead light -- you can pull them lamp down then, give it a little tug, which must unlatch something in the gizmo so that the string rewinds into the fixture and the lamp goes back to its normal, higher position.

You used to see them over pool tables too.

In my case it would only need to support about a half pound, tops.

The problem with anything that requires manual unlatching is that you'd have to get out a ladder every time you wanted to raise the device.

Hmmm.....

Maybe I could figure out some kind of counter weight and use a pulley kind of like in venitian blinds......

MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 11:23 pm
well, pop up ads to the rescue. The ad that appeared at the bottom with this thread was for lampsplus.com, and I went to their ceiling lamps section and they had at least one adjuctable pool table lamp, and I quit there. I'd say try a lighting store. I remember they used to have overhead lights with something that looked kind of like an ostrich egg in the middle of the cord from the ceiling. It stored extra cable inside it and you could move it up and down easily, somehow.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:31 am
@boomerang,
I think I know just the thing you are talking about. The house I grew up in during the 60's had just such a light centered over the kitchen table. We kept it at the upper height when the table was not in use and pulled the light down closer to the table during meals.

It had an egg-shaped bulbous thingy in the middle of the vertical line. My guess is that the cord wrapped around a spool in the inside of that egg shape, much like a fishing reel. It had some sort of internal locking spring mechanism that kept it at a certain height until you decided to adjust it. As the light aged, the spring mechanism got worn out and the lamp would gradually lower itself on its own until it became a nusance.

I bet Lightwizard would know exactly what you are talking about.
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:41 am
@boomerang,
Golly boomerang for a moment there I thought you had invented theyo-yo.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:43 am
@Butrflynet,
Here's one that uses a different kind of mechanism for the same purpose.

http://www.simplypendantlighting.com/spl66712ek.html

Ah ha! I found a picture of the exact same light I remember us having and it has that egg shaped mechanism I was talking about. The ad was put on on Craigs list a couple weeks ago so you might be able to buy it for a low price and tear it apart.

http://albany.craigslist.org/mat/1019117825.html

http://images.craigslist.org/3kf3oc3p5ZZZZZZZZZ923ac14ec3a0f5813a0.jpg
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 12:46 am
@Butrflynet,
By the way, while searching I read on the This Old House website someone looking for the same kind of mechanism to use on a ceiling hung ship wheel they're using as a pot rack they want to install a light in the center of it and be able to pull it down for work surface lighting.

http://advice.thisoldhouse.com/showthread.php?t=6917

Is that what you're thinking of doing too?
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 02:19 am
here are some simple ideas that may help.

think about the retractable pull starter rope on a lawnmower. It is a springloaded pulley with rope wound onto it. which is fine if you want the rope to retract after being pulled out.

To stop the rope retracting install a spring loaded jacket toggle similar to those seen on a ski jacket. Install this on the rope and slide it down to the pulley casing to stop the rope retracting any further. Slide it up to allow the rope to retract.

Roller blonds may work as well depending on the situation.
http://www.shadesshuttersblinds.com/images/Roller-Shades-Image-10.jpg
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 07:53 am
@dadpad,
Roller blonds, Dadpad?

Freudian slip? What was on your telly as you typed that response?
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 08:04 am
@squinney,
http://coedmagazine.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/pam-amderson-header.jpg
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 08:23 am
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 09:03 am
Yeah! Yeah! The lamp thingy!!

But I don't want the lamp, I just want the gizmo.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 10:54 am
Since it sounds llike you don't need to support a lot of weight, how about one of those retractable keychain things you attach to your belt, with the keys on the end of a cable of some sort, which pulls out of the little case. I think the cable retracts automatically if you let go of the keys, but dadpad's idea of attaching some sort of clip to the cable, so it can't retract, would work, then just detach the clip when you want it to go back
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 01:31 pm
@MontereyJack,
That keychain type line would probably work but the clip is a problem becuse I would need a step stool or ladder every time I needed to clip it off.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 02:00 pm
No, I don't think so. You're going to have to be able to reach whatever it is you're going to rig in order to pull it down. It would pull up flat against the case when it retracts. So you mount the case at that height, pull your thing down, reach up, put the clip at the case, and you're set.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 02:08 pm
Nope -- think of it more like the retractable lamp -- you can't reach the ceiling but you can reach the lamp. The gizmo needs to be up high but it will hold something that dangles.
0 Replies
 
 

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