Tuesday, July 26, 2011

True Story, For Reals

Whenever my friend Jennifer-A makes a declaration that might be met with skepticism, she begins by saying, "True story".  Faced with the same situation, I end my declaration with, "For reals".  So if, for example, I had an absolutely stellar day, an almost unbelievably good day, it might warrant using both "true story" and "for reals" at the same time.

Like this:

True story.  I accomplished more today (Monday) in restoring hardware than I have in the past two years.  For reals.

And, I owe all of this incredibly good day to a brand-new reader, DaveS, who commented on my last post (written in the wee hours of this morning when I had reached the limits of my frustration) with a solution for freeing the screws on my transom and door hardware from their paint prison.  Dave said, "A utility knife works very well for getting at painted-over hardware. You can use it to cut around the edges, to burrow down to the screws, and to clean out the screw slots. Once you get the blade down into the paint, it generally will flake off just by twisting the tool."  Genius.  I read that Monday morning (and by "morning" I mean a little after noon) while eating my breakfast.  I nearly knocked over the kitchen chair jumping out of it.  I even left a peach half-eaten on the table, and usually wild horses can't drag me away from a fresh Missouri peach.  Ten minutes later I had two sash lifts off the windows in the front parlor.  Sash lifts that I've been trying to remove for two years.  Bless your heart, DaveS, you have my undying gratitude.

An hour or so later I plopped all this into the CrockPot.

Five sash lifts, a hook & two hinges
And a few hours later, after a long soak in the CrockPot and a little scrubbing with a wire brush, that icky hardware was beautiful again.
I wish those two sash lifts weren't broken.  It occurs to me, though, that if you have a jackwagon mentality such that you'd blob paint all over original Victorian hardware, then you're also stupid enough to yank on a stuck window until the sash lift breaks.  The hook is broken too.  There at the top of it should be another hook. 

It's still beautiful, though.
Hello, gorgeous.
No way is that hunk of hardware gonna be hidden away in a closet again.  I'm putting it away someplace safe for now, and then this hook and its unbroken twin will have pride of place in the re-done bathroom.

And now, if y'all will excuse me, I have to go scrub the last little bits of paint off those hinges and check on the transom hardware that's soaking under a thick coat of CitriStrip. 


  1. Gosh! Glad I could help!

    As I read through your entire blog over the course of several days, I'd come across an entry where you were struggling with something (or maybe taking a less-than-ideal approach) and I'd think, "I should post a comment and give her some advice. Oh, wait, that was two years ago."

    The folks on the Old House Web Forum are a great resource. Post a question there and you'll almost always get a good solution.

    Oh - and if you want to see what my wife and I have been slogging away on for the last 7 years:

  2. Super blog, Dave. I'm only part way through, but what a difference reducing that porch to the original size made. I have unbelievable door envy also.

  3. Dave, do you have any suggestions on how to remove carpet glue from Jayne's wood floors?

  4. Sanding would be problematic because the sandpaper would clog almost instantly. You could do it, but you'd run through a lot of sandpaper.

    I guess I'd suggest using a long-handled carbide scraper. It'll be kind of tedious, but those things can remove just about anything and not damage the wood.

    They're also good for removing old paint from flat surfaces, getting it right down to the wood.

    You can get them in the paint department at Home Depot. Get some spare blades.

  5. Oh, hooray for new blog friends! Your house is incredible Dave! The hardware looks great, Jayne.

  6. Dave, Are those the things with the triangle-shaped blade and a knob to hold as you pull back? If so, I have one....I just don't know what it's called. I never thought about using that for my floors. Thanks again! (And thanks to Milah for asking that question!)

  7. Well, the kind I had in mind does have a knob, and the part that holds the blade is triangular, but the blade itself is straight. Here's an example:


    There's also a smaller kind that does have a triangular blade so that you can rotate it as it gets worn. This kind is great for getting into nooks and crannies. This is the one I have: