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.