Parabolic Sliding Gloryhole Door

* June 29, 2002*

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Tom Ash was kind enough to supply these photos of his energy saving, parabolic opening (the opening in the door is a parabola - the door itself slides straight to the right), pneumatic gloryhole door. The first three photos are in sequence with the door closed, about 1/4 open, and about 2/3 open. The last two photos give a better view of the opening mechanism and how he uses pivots and leverage to utilize a short travel air cylinder to open the door, which saves money on parts. Here is the description he sent along with the photos:

"Because the door is fully closed when not in use, and you only have to open it just enough for the size of the workpiece, [it] really cut[s] down on fuel costs. In fact, during our big gas rate hike last year, a couple of folks had me retrofit their existing glorys and they both got a $500 rebate from the utility company."

Tough to argue with a rebate like that! Looks like a nice setup to me. So nice that I installed a similar door on a small gloryhole I just built. I love it! Very easy to operate even though I don't yet have it set up for pneumatic opening. I work alone so I just used an extra-long handle that I can reach while at my bench, although it would be in the way for anyone with extra people in the shop.

To possibly save someone else some unnecessary aggravation, I will mention that I made a mistake on mine. I put the wheels a little higher than Tom (too close to the door) and omitted the shield over them. Because of that they are subjected to more heat than is necessary. In the long run I think this may cause the bearings to wear faster than they should. (Mine uses garage door wheels.) So don't try to get too creative if you build one of these. Tom obviously knows what he is doing. I'll be installing a wheel cover when I have a chance. You could get creative on the opening mechanism, though. I'm sure that there are more ways to open the door than just the two I've mentioned, although Tom's air cylinder is certainly the nicest way .

In addition to gloryholes, Tom is also the maker of the Pine Ridge Ribbon Burner. Contact info for him (listed under Pine Ridge) is on the suppliers page of the website.

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