Monday, August 11, 2014

"Half-open" position for exit window with hinged rod

The emergency exit window on the left side of our trailer has just two positions:  fully open or fully closed.  That’s because the window swings outward when pushed by a rod -- there is no “halfway” position.  But sometimes, it would be nice to have the window open just a little, rather than completely closed or open all the way.

The solution is a rod that hinges in the middle.  I happened to have a hinged brass lid support, which is used to hold open a cedar chest.  It has a friction locking mechanism.  (These are sold in many hardware stores -- just Google "locking brass lid support.")   Here is a picture of the original rigid window opening rod and the hinged brass lid support, prior to modifications:

Using the hinged rod and some aluminum stock, I fashioned an exact replica of the original rod.  Here it is in its fully extended position, so that the window can open all the way:

The underside at the end of the rod (near my thumb in the preceding photo) has a channel, which sits on the window sill to hold the rod in position.  The channel is made up of two pieces of thin aluminum stock, riveted to the handle.  The rivets are also aluminum and were pounded flat so that the handle can still pass all the way through the opening in the window -- when the window is used as an emergency exit, the screen pops off, the handle pushes through and out, and the occupants gracefully vault through the swinging window.  (I hope I never have to pass that test of agility.)

Here is the rod when partly folded:

And here it is when secured in the half-open position.  The cable tie slips over the hinged section of the rod to hold the rod in that position:

And here is the rod when the window is fully closed -- the end of the rod is held by the original black plastic clip, attached to the window frame:

No comments: