It is very often desirable to unite two rooms by a large opening so as to practically make one room of the two, or to divide a given space by means of movable partitions so as to form several separate rooms or one large one at will. To close these large openings coiling partitions or flexible doors have proved as a rule to be the most practicable device, and the architect should therefore be acquainted with the manner in which these coiling partitions operate, the best way of providing for them and their limitations.
Coiling partitions operate in two ways, A by coiling about a horizontal shaft placed above the opening, and B by coiling about a vertical shaft placed at the side of the opening; the former will be hereinafter referred to as horizontal partitions and the latter as vertical partitions.
Horizontal Coiling Partitions. - The limitations of these partitions are that the opening for a single coil shall not exceed 20 feet in height or 15 feet in width.
If the height is over 10 feet it will be better to keep the width down by sub-divisions to 8 or 10 feet as the smaller the door or partition, the less will be the force required to operate it. For churches and schools a height and width of from 10 to 12 feet will be found to give the best results as a rule.
Where a greater width than 14 feet is desired, the opening may be divided by permanent posts, or by guideways put up so that they can be readily removed when the partition is raised. At the sides, horizontal coiling partitions require only a grooved guideway about 3 inches wide, but at the top a box of considerable size is required to enclose the coil.
The best method of putting up the partition will depend somewhat upon the structural conditions of the building.
Where there is but a single opening in a 6 or 8-inch partition, the method shown in Fig. 501 is the simplest and gives a neat appearance. Brackets for receiving the shaft are screwed to the face of the jamb and the coil is encased by narrow ceiling as shown. If the height of the opening will not permit of this arrangement, the brackets may be placed on the face of the partition so that the coil will be above the opening, as shown in Fig. 502.
When there are several openings side by side, or at right angles to each other, as in the plan, Fig. 503, it will be better to make the posts forming the permanent partition large enough, so that the box containing the coil will go between them. A favorite method for finishing such partitions is shown in Fig. 504, which represents the elevation of a portion of the partition in a room 14 feet high.
The casing of the large post is made deep enough to receive the paneled transom enclosing the coil, and transom sashes are placed above. At P is shown a removable post or guideway, which is secured at top and bottom by flush bolts so as to be quickly removed when the coiling partitions or doors are raised.
Where such removable posts are used, it is necessary to place a plank or iron bracket in the coil box directly over the post to receive the end of the shafts on either side.
This block or bearing may be hung from the ceiling by iron bars enclosed in the division between the transom sash, and where the transom is over 8 feet long it should be supported in the same way. Removable posts may also be used when the coil is placed and enclosed, as in Figs. 501 and 502, a bracket being placed directly over the removable post.
Fig. 505 shows a cross section of the transom and coil, shown in Fig. 504. One side of the box or transom enclosing the coil should be put up with round-headed screws so as to be removable at will.
There are at least two different makes of horizontal coiling parti-tions,-those made by J. Godfrey Wilson having been the most extensively used. The Wilson partition works very satisfactorily for openings within the limits previously given. It is composed of wood slats 1 ½ to 2 inches wide and ½ to ¾-inch thick, fitted together with rule joints edge to edge, and threaded upon tempered steel bands running from top to bottom about 16 inches apart. These bands are riveted to the top bar of the partition, and each band is attached separately to a spiral spring anchor concealed in the bottom rail and fitted with simple means of adjustment for regulating the tension. This tension on the steel bands holds all the slats in close contact and also permits of the extension of the steel bands as the partition is coiled on the shaft. The partition is hung upon powerful spring rollers which exactly counter-balance the weight, so that the partition may be coiled with comparative ease and will stay wherever put.
Fig. 502. - Wilson's Rolling Partition.
Fir. 504. - Casing for Wilson's Rolling Partitions.
One side of the partition may be prepared with a flat smooth surface for blackboard use or decorative purposes if desired.
For the Wilson partitions ½-inch thick, the following spaces are required inside of the coil box (D, D,) to permit of coiling, the actual diameter of the coil being ½-inch less:
Height of Opening.
Width D for Partitions upto 10 feet wide
feet to 9 feet.
feet, 10 feet to 11 feet.
feet to 13 feet.
Height of Opening.
Width D for Partitions up to 10 feet wide.
feet 10 15 feet.
feet to 29 feet.
The Wilson partitions in whitewood, ½-inch thick, varnished, are listed at 53 cents per square foot, and in quartered oak, varnished, at 65 cents for openings containing over 35 square-feet and up to 10 feet high, all partitions being measured 1 foot above the sight opening, or to the top of box in which they coil. These prices include the necessary grooves, shaft rollers and iron handles.
Iron brackets like those shown in Fig. 502, are sold at $3.00 per pair, and a special iron bracket is also made to go over movable posts.
Vertical Coiling Partitions. - These are constructed in the same general way as the horizontal partitions, but the shaft about which the partition coils is placed vertically in a box at the side of the opening.
Vertical partitions may be used for closing much wider openings than is practicable with the horizontal partitions, unless the opening is divided by movable posts. Openings up to 50 feet wide may be closed with two of these doors, one at each side, without difficulty. These partitions, however, cannot be made as high as the horizontal partitions, 12 feet being the maximum height for the opening.
The first party to place a vertical coiling partition on the market was the Flexible Door and Shutter Co., who are still, the author believes, the leading manufacturers of this type of coiling partition.
The vertical flexifold partitions manufactured by this company, are constructed of solid wood mouldings connected by a series of concealed interlocking steel hinges which run through the entire width of the doors and are hung on steel rods in boxes ready for shipment The rods revolve on a ball-bearing which reduces the friction to a minimum. The arrangement of the pocket is extremely simple, as the erection consists merely In setting the box plumb
A clearance space of 10 inches over the box above the soffit of the opening is necessary for the coiling attachment, hence the header or supporting timber should be kept at least 10 inches above the top of the opening. Between the coil boxes, however, the soffit may be boxed down to receive the casing. When the opening
Fig 506.-Casing of Coil Box, Vertical Flexifold Partitions is in an 8-inch partition (6-inch studding), the cheapest method of arranging the coil box and casing the opening, is that shown in Fig. 506, which shows the size of a box for an opening 19 feet wide, closed by a pair of doors. The portion in solid black indicates the coil box.
Fig. 507 shows the casing on each side of the partition with a section through the head. Both sides of the box may be furred and plastered if desired.
Fig. 508 shows a style of casing adapted to openings 10 or 12 feet wide with the trim and doors finished in white enamel.
To save room the coil box itself, may be paneled and finished at the factory.
Coils may be placed at one or both sides of the opening as desired, unless the opening is greater than 35 feet wide, when two coils are necessary.
When the opening is closed by a single flexible door, it will often be a convenience to hang an ordinary door at the other side of the opening, as in Fig. 509, for use when the coiling partition is drawn out.
The dimensions of the box enclosing vertical flexifold partitions depends upon the width of the opening.
Following are the dimensions for C and B, Fig. 506, for various widths of doors, measured from the box jamb to the edge of the door when drawn fully out:
For width of
The bottom of these doors slides in a hard wood grooved track, set flush with the floor; this track is furnished with the doors.
The price of flexifold partitions depends on size of doors, kind of wood, finish, and if opening is to be closed with a single or a pair of doors.
For partititions in North Carolina pine, varnish finish, bronze trimmings, track, etc., all ready to set up, the price is about 70 cents per square foot for the openings between finished jambs. These partitions may be finished in white enamel if desired.
This company also manufactures small doors for closets, wardrobes, book cases, etc., and flexifold steel clod fire partitions, for fire wall openings and shut off which are approved and accepted by the
Boston Board of Underwriters, and recommended in many places where the standard tin covered swing or sliding doors are impracticable, cumbersome, ungainly, or in the way.