Dumbwaiters in the Making

Different types of lifts are available to aid physically handicapped individuals in transferring from one floor to another, the dumbwaiters are also excellent contraptions for such people, especially for those who have limited mobility due to decreased strength (in the elderly), arthritis, disabilities, and other medical ailments.

Dumbwaiters are actually small elevators, which travel across different floor levels of a structure in a downward or upward course from the starting point or base. These units allow certain individuals to move laundry or grocery items, and the likes, without having to carry such items and climbing up and down the staircases. Doing the latter can further put the weak individual at risk for falls and other related injuries.

Dumbwaiter elevators are widely used in schools, nursing homes, hospitals and residential homes today. Most people consider the existence of dumbwaiters in the homes as an expensive luxury and extravagance. However, there is an increasing value for devices and equipment such as these since it can greatly aid the elderly or disabled consumers.

To cater to such needs, the mobility aid industry has created the dumbwaiter elevators that can be used by both special and normal individuals. With this, the dumbwaiter is now seen not solely as a lavish appliance but also as an aid for those people who need such equipment the most.

Dumbwaiters may be installed in a particular room, like a bedroom or kitchen, depending on the needs and preferences of the user or homeowner. And did you know that you can build a dumbwaiter elevator in an already existing wall in your own home without any professional help? Yes, you can. But doing so takes some right planning and skill. Here’s a simple set up.

How to Build a Manual Residential Dumbwaiter

Step One
Plan the direction of your personal dumbwaiter. Measure the floor space that your dumbwaiter will consume. Choose a spot that has no hindrances. For safety purposes, check for pipes and wires before starting. Plumbing that are accidentally cut can be really messy to fix up. Also, cut wires may result to electrical shock.

Step Two
Build a sturdy case (shaped like a box) for the dumbwaiter. Good quality wood or pine plank box will give the case a finished look.

Step Three
Purchase a ready-made dumbwaiter, or simply make one from an old cupboard or shelving unit. Make sure to place a rim around the base to contain the items and avoid them from sliding off the shelf.

Step Four
Drill holes. Attach beige sash cord to your dumbwaiter. Wrap the cord around the pulleys that are attached to the top of the dumbwaiter’s case on two sides.

Step Five
Attach weights to the cord as a counterbalance to the load. You may experiment with various weights to achieve the right balance for the dumbwaiter.

Step Six
Lastly, have four springs mounted to the base of the case to ensure that the dumbwaiter will not be damaged if in case it falls too rapidly on the bottom floor.