So… I’d been giving a LOT of thought to one difficult question — HOW, exactly, to make the sliding drawer humidor MOVE? I looked into available liner actuators — there are a TON of them available, but they’re all so darned expensive, and all require some kind of ‘programming’ to make them work… Prices seem to start at around $1,500 without controls — YIKES, that’s a lot of money! So I ‘backed up’ to consider pneumatic cylinders and valves — I’ve already got a small but very noisy compressor, and a cylinder and valves might run closer to $500 — still too much, really. So I thought I’d just use ropes and pulleys and counter-weights and struggle with it manually — but this humidor/drawer moves awfully far — about 70 inches and this didn’t seem like a very cool or efficient solution.
Finally, I had a major “AHA” night before last when Linda, my wife, hit the button to open our automatic garage door! YES, that’s IT! So… Yesterday I did a little research on the Internet and found a nifty ‘screw driven’ garage door opener manufactured by Genie and widely available for about $170! I ran over to Home Depot and bought one — they had about 50 of ’em on the shelf — includes all the electronics and controls I needed, plus the linear actuator — they sell so many of them that they are CHEAP for what’s in the box, I think!
Last night and this morning I assembled the thing with some modifications to the limit switches so they’d work upside down which was the best way for me to mount the thing to my humidor drawer. Went together EASY and works like a charm! The seven inch per second action is pretty ideal for the way I want to use it, and I can actuate it by foot or by knee very easily — even came with three remote control devices (which I don’t imagine I’ll need), so I can very easily open the drawer, register the paper to the block while the drawer holds the paper up above the inky block, hold it in place with both hands and hit the switch to close the drawer — looks to me like it will work like a charm! I’m VERY happy today!