Tuesday, September 8, 2009

come on in...

so. theoretically. if one were to get locked out of the house, both front and back doors, and said doors did not have keys (like, for example, if one only locks the metal security door and does not have keys to the wooden doors...but they mysteriously got locked anyway) and instead of calling a locksmith, one decides to kick in the door because "we're planning to replace it anyway." theoretically. one might find oneself in the position in which we found ourselves a few months ago.

what now? roll into the home depot and snatch up a pre-fab aluminum door and wedge it in place? oooooh no. not us. that's far to uncomplicated. howsabout roll into home depot and pick up a giant wooden slab:

and make that sucker into a door from scratch? indeed. when captain fantastic asked his buddy contractor brad for advice, contractor brad said, "my advice? when you go to home depot to buy your second door, call a professional." oh contractor brad, ye of little faith.

after removing the old door and purchasing the new slab, we removed the hardware and hinges from the old door:

then, we measured the length of the old door and cut the new slab down to size, using captain fantastic's fave new toy:

nothing like a project to necessitate new tools. next up was measuring the distance between the hinges on the old door and marking the placement on the new door, which we did both by using the measuring tape and by laying the new door on top of the old door, for extra insurance. measure twice, cut once. or something. below, the captain uses a hammer and chisel to carve out indentations in the door, so that the hinges will sink down and be level with the edge. if that makes sense.

next, i drilled holes for the hinge screws:

do you like our sawhorse? it is our patio table. other backyard landscaping gems include that plastic chair and the old owners' children's swing set. plays nicely off the mustard-yellow 1968 winnebago (not pictured). awesome.

after we screwed the hinges into their recessed homes, it was time to hang up the door. for the first time. the hinges were old and crotchety, so it was a giant pain in the A to get it up there. then we had to take it down and plane the edges of the door to make it fit in the doorway properly. planing is taking what's basically a big razor and shaving wood off, bit by tedious bit, so that the door fits perfectly in the door frame with juuust enough gap to close. we hung, took down, planed, rehung, took down, planed and repeated approximately 15 times. no lie. want to know what it feels like to do that? it feels like this:

(that's a drill. and grumpy captain.) forever and a day later, we had finally achieved a near-perfect fit, woohoo! aaaaand then we took the door down again. to attach this contraption and drill holes for the handle:

and lock set:

like so:


another rumble with the hinges and ta-da!

aaaand this is how the door stayed for approximately two months.

tomorrow: painting the door, installing the hardware and jazzing up the front porch.


ErinQ said...


Can you and the Captain come and put up a door in my house? After the umpteenth time Dominic locked the bathroom door from the inside, (and the old crappy doorknob fell through the back while trying to unscrew and unlock it) I too kicked the door down. And there is a big wooden slab in my living room now.

Unknown said...

I cannot believe yall did this. Isn't this supposed to be the hardest thing ever or something?

Anonymous said...

daaaannnng this is impressive!

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