Saturday, October 3, 2009

Privacy, please!

Every time we have guests over, we remember that the guest room door doesn't close all the way, and we add it to the list of things to do. Somehow, it never actually gets written down on the actual list of things to do - and we forget. Then, guests are over again, and doh! we forgot to fix the door. So they have limited privacy, and run the risk of having cats but in & wake them up, or the dog breaking into the room while we're out and eating their belongings (e.g., a clean (thankfully) baby diaper - sorry Daniel!).

We've had guests the last couple of weekends - the last of the summer season before we button up the house - and somehow I remembered to fix the door before they arrived (ok, so it was like 3 hours before they arrived, but still before!

I did a bad, bad thing and planed the top down until it fit. I always feel guilty doing that after swearing about other people doing it - but we had tried everything else in this case. So I planed and made a huge mess (in the room I'd just cleaned) for about 45 minutes. The door closed!

But it didn't latch. It was going to be one of those projects. Ugh. I noticed that the little latch was not going into the strikeplate - a common problem, and it usually is rectified by shimming out the strikeplate. After we removed about 8 metric tons of paint from the trim, things tend be a bit slimmer. So I got to try out an idea we had.

Last year, we were thinking about shimming out strikeplates, and we thought it might be a clever thing to use a piece of leather as the shim - it's easier to cut, we could get brown (and not have to stain it), and you could easily add multiple thicknesses. Plus, if you make a mistake, you can easily trim it or make a new one.

So we bought this hideous (leather) purse at the thrift store for like 25 cents*. And then it sat around in the closet for a long time (carefully stashed lest someone think I would own this thing). Here was the opportunity to try it out. I cut a piece out of the flap, traced the strikeplate, and reinstalled it with the leather shim behind it - which worked out perfectly.
Unfortunately, though I think the shim was necessary in the end, it turned out that the strikeplate was too low on the jamb and the latch still wouldn't grab! So, back to the garage for the chisels, I re-cut the mortise, then reinstalled the strikeplate and leather shim - and it stayed shut! Finally, some privacy for guests. And it only took about 2 hours - 1:55 more than I estimated. As per usual.
* There's no cents sign on a keyboard? Huh.


Kathy from NJ said...

Hold down the alt key while your type the numbers 0162 - and you get ¢ 25¢

Kathy from NJ said...

Also the degree mark for "Bake at 350° for 45 minutes." Hold down the alt key and type 0176 °

If you go to the windows character map you'll find lots of neat symbols - click on the character you want and the keyboard equivalent is shown in the lower right corner.

Kate H. said...

Why is it cheating to plane down the top of the door? If it's swollen and won't close, it's swollen and won't close. Plane away, and guilt, begone!

(Personally, I like other people's cats insinuating themselves into the guest bedroom when I'm staying at other people's homes. Keeps me from missing my kittehs so much.)

Todd - Home Construction Improvement said...

Great ideas on the leather shims! The reason the latch wasn't working any longer is the latch side jamb was now lower than the hinge side. Basically the door opening was not square anymore due to settling. The only way to fix it other than what you did would have been to take the door frame completely apart and hang it over again while squaring everything up. That would have resulted in some issues at the base of the latch side jamb. Never easy!

Susie said...

You're so ingenious! I love it!

Leslie @ NE Portland Bungalow said...


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