Saturday, May 16, 2009

5-Panel Doors & Other Interior Excitement

Antique raised 5-panel doors: Installed! Master bed, study closet, bathroom

And Matt said he thought we weren't doing enough on the inside of the house...

Three Doors Hung
Javier the Carpenter installed three of our antique doors today for us: Dottie, Greg, and Ezekial, which are the three raised five-panel doors. Now that they've been trimmed and the hardware applied, we need to stain and varnish them. On the whole, it seemed to go smoothly, but as is always the case with our house, Javier was challenged by its lack of perpendicularity. He hung the doors level, but the frames into which he had to fit them are sort of trapezoidal, which is interesting. This is particularly noticeable in the master bedroom, so he's going to bring a wedge-shaped piece of trim to offset the gap at the top right.

Rimlock Reassembled

The mechanism of the reassembled rimlock. Click for bigness.

Inspired by the general door-related hustle and bustle, Matt finally got the old rimlock that came with the house to work. This took so long (we both worked on it most of the morning), and there is so little guidance on the internet about how to reassemble a rimlock with all its pesky springs that we decided to make a video for the benefit of other DIYers. Matt was the talent. I directed. If Blogger ever succeeds in uploading the darn thing, I'll post it below.

How to Reassemble a Rimlock: The Movie

A side note about the rimlock. There is no company name on this one, but there are numbers. Several of the components are stamped "1085" (or "1035"--hard to tell which), and the back plate is also stamped with an "8." The front plate bears a number "2", and both front and back have these odd braille-y looking marks: eight dots on the back; six dots on the front. Not sure what it means, but is interesting.

Interesting markings on the rimlock

You Have Been Diverted...
In other news, our washer motor went out a week or so ago. We figured we have 3 options: (1) repair it, which Matt thinks would be a waste of money, (2) replace it with a cheapo stop-gap piece o' crap, which seems to me wasteful and galling, or (3) bite the bullet and get one of those fancy-dan front loaders I've been yearning after for ages. Guess which one we (I) chose. (It's good for the environment! Reduces your utility bills! Looks super-sexy!)

There is, however, a wrinkle. The mudroom has always been this weird hybrid. It had a door to the outside, a washer and dryer, a shower, a toilet, a sink, and the water heater. I think it may have been the house's original front entry, which explains why it also has the fancy portico and a sidewalk that dead-ends in the middle of the east yard.

Somewhere along the way, it was demoted from front door to side door, and it was a steady downhill slide from there. The reason for the laundry appliances is clear enough, but I have no idea why an extra bathroom--in the laundry room-slash-mudroom--was necessary. We long ago yanked the toilet and sink in the interest of simply being able to navigate the room, but the shower is still there in a partially assembled state. The old washer is currently sitting in it.

This looks not entirely genteel (by which I mean "is gross" and also "looks icky"), the new washer will need more space, and the shower surround cuts into the room in an utterly gratuitous manner. So now seems like an opportune moment to rip out the shower, clean the scuzz off the walls (it's the one room in our house that has never felt the tender caress of my latex-laden brush), paint, and generally try to make the place look less likely to incubate the latest variant of swine flu or SARS or bird flu or whatever the CDC's flavor of the month happens to be. Because right now, there's a deeply ground-in, decades-old grodiness that no mere mop or broom can vanquish.

We were going to try to hit a daylily open house tomorrow, but I think we'd better spend that time on the laundry room instead. The laundry project also pre-empts any staining, gutter-hanging, bermudagrass-fighting plans we had. Resources hastily re-allocated. Attention re-focused. Vision re-imagineered. We used laundromats for years. No way they genie's going back in that grimy, over-priced, time-sucking bottle with uncomfortable plastic chairs.

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