A.R.M. (kinkyturtle) wrote,
A.R.M.
kinkyturtle

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Whew, minor door-latch fiasco averted.

One of the last things we needed to do to prepare for the storm was close the outside back door, which leads into the garage. But Dad didn't want me to close it right away because he had laundry to do, and he didn't want the garage heating up too much.

He finally got all his laundry done, and I went out to close the door. Now, the house has shifted a lot since it was first built. The last major shift was when we had the house jacked up and supported by concrete piers set deep into the ground to the bedrock (which is under several feet of topsoil). So the doorknob latch doesn't connect anymore. Hasn't in years, in fact. There's an old metal hook screwed into the doorframe that hooks into an eye on the door, and that's how we've been closing it when it was necessary to do so. The last time the door was hooked shut must have been years ago.

Well, guess what: the doorframe has bent enough that the hook doesn't reach anymore! Now what? I went in and told Mom, and she handed me a box of new hooks she'd bought for just this purpose. I went out and examined them. They're a bit longer than the old hook. Good. So I removed the old hook and screwed a new hook into the hole.

It was long enough to reach, but it was too high! Halfway in, the bend of the hook was at the wrong angle and wouldn't go into the eye any further. If I was going to make this work, I was going to have to drill a new hole to put the hook in.

We have a power drill and a hand drill. The power drill's bits are all way too big; they're for drilling 1/2-inch holes and up. So I had to use the hand drill. Except I couldn't get it to work. The bit would cut into the wood a little bit, and then stop turning; the chuck rotated on it with no way to grab it. And the wind started picking up as I worked, blowing the door open and then shut. Oog!

So I got Dad to help. Turns out I just wasn't tightening the chuck enough. He put a bit in, tightened the chuck nice and hard, and drilled a perfect hole. So then I laboriously screwed the new hook in, using pliers (difficult because the hook kept getting in the way of the pliers, and part of the doorframe kept getting in the way of the hook)...

...but I finally got it in, and the door hooked shut nicely! We are now officially closed for the duration.
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