Tuesday, January 19, 2010

One Door Done

What?  You want to know what happened with the doors?  I tried to post last night, but I was just too darn tired.  Either that, or I have lead poisoning.  One of the symptoms is fatigue, you know.  But I digress...

First we turned the second parlor (reknowned for its pee-pee carpet, which is almost gone) into a workshop.  See? 

Lacking sawhorses or a decent worktable, we improvised with my extension ladder and two pieces of lumber that used to hold up the gigantic cornice in the dining room.  (By the way, the curtains on the left are soon to be gone; the curtains on the right are the keepers.  And does anyone know the name of the pattern of that quilt in the corner?) 

My idea was to take pictures of the door repair process as we went along, but Mare didn't really want me to.  "If it doesn't work, I'd rather not have my failure all laid out in photos," he said.  So, briefly, what we did was this:  we used maybe a dozen or so biscuits and a gob of wood glue, clamped the two halves of the door together with those big bar clamps you see at the left of the photo, and waited for the glue to dry.  And waited.  While we waited we went to KFC and had lunch, drove past an old farmhouse he used to own and learned it's for sale again, took the rest of the doors off the hinges and stacked the steeple hinges in the Crock-Pot for later.  Then we checked the glue.  Still not dry.  So we wandered into the front parlor to look at the line where the picture rail used to be and discussed how putting it up again ought to be the Next Big Thing we do while I lamented the cost of this Bradbury frieze I'm in love with. 

And then we hung the door.  See?

It still looks like a door sawn in half because of that big seam down the middle and the holes where the dorky cabinet knobs used to be.  Those will be filled in later with Wood Bond.  But it feels like a regular door.  Yes it does!  We took turns opening and closing it at least 20 times.  It works smoothly on those hinges I cooked the paint off of.  It might work even better with a doorknob, right?  I have one, a nice mortise set of Eastlake brass knobs that I scored on ebay.  But the old mortise hole was filled in with water putty which is hard as a rock.  Mare will have to drill it out to put the new mortise set in there, and we just ran out of time yesterday.  He'll be back next week to biscuit together another door and finish up this one.

But wait...what's that to the right of the door, on the trim?  Is that...could it be?....Yes, it's restored transom window hardware!  Here's a somewhat better look:

(I really need to get a better camera.)  Bigify that photo and check it out.  The operator rod seems to be bronze, the little knob I showed y'all earlier is brass, and the thumb lift (that little thing at the bottom of the rod) is copper.  Wow!  Who knew that was hidden under all those layers of paint?!  We got the paint off by sticking first one end of the rod and then the other into a big pot of boiling water...but that left the middle still painted.  We figured out that if we laid the rod across the pot and turned it rotisserie-style, the heat from the steam would soften the paint enough for us to remove it.  Hence the lead poisoining comment at the beginning of this post.  We had probably half a cup of paint flakes, most of which I'm certain contain lead, all over the range top, the floor, and our shirts.  But of course we took safety precautions, right?  Yeah.  We pulled our t-shirts up over our faces.  This is why we get our lead levels checked every year or so.  We are Not Careful. 

One door done (almost) and only six more to go...

16 comments:

  1. Lovely transom window and hardware! (Nice door too!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh WOW! Totally blown away by your resourcefulness. That’s going to be fabulous when you finish it. As for having more to do … at least you have your method established. I’ve found that the first of anything almost always takes the longest.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Biscuits are great! I find myself using them on more and more projects.

    Looking good.

    ReplyDelete
  4. WOW is right! This is why I love reading blogs. People think of & try things that most times, I never would have thought of in a million years.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great job! I so envy the transom.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That's incredible! Once the wood bond is on you'll never know they were split in half! You should pat yourself on the back! I'm impressed, I never would have thought of that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I laughed at your lead paint fatigue comment. Been there :) The door looks great. I'm sure it will look near perfect once the wood fill as done. Good work!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kudos on a job well done! I knew you could do it. I had to laugh about Mare not wanting photographic evidence of his failure. Been there.

    I don't know the quilt pattern off the top of my head but I have a book and I'll try looking it up.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do you have storm doors over your transoms?

    We have one that's been covered over to put in a storm door, and while I hate hate hate it, I can't think of any other way to do it, and it does seem like a storm door is wise both for heating costs and for protecting the door itself.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can now add to my transom envy, restored transom window hardware envy.

    The door will look as it did originally once it's filled in and the holes for the knobs are done. I worked on the inside doors on my bungalow, and doing stuff with a hole saw and patching is not hard, and looked great, if I do say so myself.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful door! and Bradbury's papers are heartbreakingly gorgeous. I pine for them as well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. NV, We're sure hoping you're right and that the next door doesn't take all day to finish!

    Planting Oaks, The transom windows on exterior walls do have storm windows over them. I debated taking the storms off when I painted the house but decided against it, mostly because of bugs that would probably fly in during the warmer weather. I am terrified of June bugs.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I forgot to comment on the hairy butt in the first pic - cracked me up! Which fur-butt is that?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kate, The furry butt is Christopher Columbus, my giant cat and the sweetest of the three. I didn't even realize he was there until I posted the pic!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I so love transoms. They are a fond memory of my childhood.

    ReplyDelete
  16. When using hinges above the transom window , you should mount your transom window bracket at the lower corner of your transom window. Yours is too high. You mount the bracket that high if you are using pins to pivot the transom window at the window's center. I have both kinds in my house, and have made the mistake also.

    ReplyDelete