Common in Victorian times when the main source of heat in many homes was the open fire in kitchens, ceiling-hung drying racks with pulley systems are still on sale today. Once installed, you can easily deploy one by releasing the rope wrapped around the cleat on your wall and lowering the rack into place. Likewise, you can soon put the rack away again when your washing is dry.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Joist and stud detector
- Tape measure
- Drill and bits
- Wall plugs
Measure the distance between the pulley screws on the drying rack if this is not given in the assembly instructions. Decide where on the ceiling you would like your drying rack to hang. Set up ladders below that point. If your ceiling does not have prominent beams from which to hang your drying rack, you'll need to find a joist. Climb up the ladders carefully and use a joist and stud detector to discover where the nearest joist is.
Mark points on the ceiling or beam where both the single and double pulleys will go, bearing in mind the distance between the pulley screws. You'll also need to fix a cleat on the wall. This is a metal fixture with two extending limbs that you wrap a rope around to take the weight of the rack. Fix the double pulley as close to where you plan to place your cleat as possible.
Drill holes slightly smaller than the pulley screws into the joist or beam, so the screw threads will grip tightly. A drying rack is a heavy item, especially when loaded with wet clothing, so the more grip the pulley screws have, the better they will be at supporting the load. Screw the pulleys into the holes by hand and align them so their grooved edges are in line with the beam or joist.
Drill holes in a safe place on the wall below, at about chest height, to fix the cleat. Insert wall plugs into the holes. Hold the cleat to the wall, aligning its holes with the drilled holes, and screw the cleat into place.
Thread the rope through the single pulley and the first wheel of the double pulley then make a loop. Send the rope beyond the loop through the second wheel of the double pulley and then wind the loop around the cleat. Make sure the ends of your rope are securely attached to the cast iron airer ends.
Unwind the rope around the cleat and be prepared to take the weight of the drying rack. Pull on the rope and the drying rack will begin to travel towards the ceiling. When it is at the height you want it, wind the rope around the cleat again several times so the rack stays in place.
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