Hi Glen, Ian, John and Adrian!
Thanks for all the suggestions, gents.
First off, Glen, I took your advice and added the additional lugs to the roof of the elevator car. It really reduces the amount of deflection and twist so the car will stay in line instead of trying to bind.
Ian, I see exactly what you're saying. In a way, you're addressing the same sort of issue as Glen. By balancing out the two switches on either side (even if one is a dummy) I can prevent twist and deflection. good call!
John, I have read your post several times to absorb all the info contained within and think I am almost there. I was picturing a circuit similar to the one you are describing, with a DPDT knife switch with the central neutral and opposite polarities for the two throws. Then, I was thinking of making a brass spring switch for the ceiling and floor of the elevator shaft.
I pictured it working like this: Positive power would cause the elevator to rise, but when it reached it's limit at the top, it would cut it's own power on the cut-off switch above. The only way to reactivate would be to throw the knife switch to negative causing the car to descend to where it would cut that circuit's power on the cut-off switch on the floor.
The knife switch would allow kids (and adults bored with the dinner conversation) to manually stop and start the elevator at intermediate floors.
Big question is: Do you think I still need the diodes to protect the circuit in the scenario I've described? To tell you the truth, I'm new to diodes, but I'm here to learn!!
Adrian, you ask how comfortable I am with electrical things.
To quote from Steve Bennett's response to John Garaty's 500th post: " All that lectrickery, would give me nightmares"
Seriously, I'm comfortable with mechanical things, OK with electrical stuff, and totally befuddled when it comes to electronics.
Hopefully, as I spend more time here, you folks will be able to lead me into the 21st century.
In the mean time, just to show you how backward I am, here's the other project I'm working on right now:
It's a Hero's Engine made from a copper toilet float and steam ports of copper tubing. Below is an alcohol stove made from aluminum cans. Temporary superstructure by Erector. You fill the float with water, and when it boils, steams jets out of the ports and spins the shaft pretty good.
Last night I managed to get the engine to turn this gear box and crank arm:
Eventually, I want to use the power from it to make these copper wings flap up and down:
So, as you can see, I have a ways to go before I work myself into modern times...