OCD Alert!

What's wrong with this picture?Of all the little things that trigger a meltdown, this comes close to a pinnacle event. It’s not just the cheap Home Depot hardware with plastic internals and lousy zinc pot-metal with a 5-year warranty that breaks at year 5.2, it’s also the poor fitment, the sheer carelessness, and the obvious disregard for visual symmetry. Just to get the door to work right I had to tighten knob-screws that were so loose the handle almost fell off inside, but once tightened the whole mechanism seized up and had to be operated with Gorilla Strength™.

So we went to Wayne’s Lock to find something more in keeping with our style – but not so contemporary that it reminded us of a Hospital, Industrial Park, or School. Bucking the latest on-trend directive we got in the Wayback Machine and returned to Antique Brass instead of Brushed Nickle everywhere – like the Bay Area insists upon. Baldwin got the nod on the style-front, and when the order arrived Jeff came out Wednesday with all the bits and parts including a new set of deadbolts for three other doors, all keyed alike.

With the double-doors it was a bit of a struggle, and I had to get out the aircraft shears to cut some sheet-metal shims for the bottom hinge. In the basement I found a piece of leftover duct-hanger tin from the re-arrangement of the AC/heater ducting, and made some marks for the hinge-jamb screw-holes to line-up. The shims closed the gap between the doors so the deadbolt throw was correct. But the hinge was painted-in and had to be whacked a few times with the 20.oz. Eastwing framing hammer to free it up. In the end it’s smoother, more secure, and looks a lot better. Three shims later and *Phew!*  Now I can rest easy without the nightmares…
Yay they match!

Bent Corners

We got the curve without breaking it by layering it. The first attempt with half-inch MDF snapped in many places. Sawn-down to two 1/4-inch slivers, the pieces snuggled up against each other on the 45-degree corner bevel.

In other news, my tiny little bug-out-bag crank-it-up (& solar) emergency radio is about the size of a Sig P220. The coins are for size-comparison.

Busy Boy

Between supervising the installation of new sliding doors on both balconies, and beginning with my gun-buddy carpenter friend to re-do the baseboard moldings and door casements, I’ve been busy.
More pics to come but not today. I have a bathroom vanity to go pick-up, and there’s some light electrical work and furniture moving on Teh List. And the Master Bedroom will get a fresh coat of paint for the first time in fifteen years, after the new clerestory windows are installed…

UPDATE: The windows guys are here and on the roof cutting holes…

Ceiling Ass-Crack! Oh Great…

I got Plumber’s Ceiling.

It’s not raining inside yet but there must be a bit of a lake overhead, and the temperature and moisture have conspired to rip an ass-crack in my ceiling.  It’s about two-feet long where the paint and base-layer of mud has split.  You can see the joint where two pieces of drywall – thankfully still dry – have blown-out the tape.

I hope it holds-up until later in the year when we’re scheduled to get the roof re-done.  I hope we can afford the assessment that will bring… But the roofs are old, and under-engineered.
Lovely day isn’t it?  View out the clerestory window facing due north.

Happy Father’s Day All You Pops

My wife and I went over to see the Folks yesterday, bringing with some us a small selection of exotic ice creams for my Dad and some cookies. It was a nice visit in the shade on a warm afternoon, and my Dad enjoyed the Father’s Day card that had a picture of some Buddhist monks with upraised arms and excited faces, yelling with glee on a roller-coaster’s descent. Buddhists generally don’t have a problem with taking themselves too seriously, at least not the enlightened ones. We talked about stuff and I talked about some projects and helping clear out their garage, talked them into letting me have the old 10-inch band-saw. Dad got it back when he was in High School – so it’s made back when they, “Made ‘em like that, anymore.” It’s got a cast-iron base and fittings, the bearings are in good shape and spin true – it just needs a bath and a haircut.

Today Dad helped me get it out of the garage into the truck, while in turn I put his bicycle in the back and took him to a Dental appointment a few miles down the road. He’s gonna ride his bike back home – he’s 82 and in great shape, he used to be on the Annapolis Crew Team, Class of ’49… Now it’s in my garage and getting prepped for a bit of TLC.

Grandpa had had it for a while and re-wired it with thick, fabric, electrical tape, and it looks like I’ll have to re-wire it to restore it to safe-operating condition. Heat-shrink tubing and the soldering iron will be put to work. The motor’s a 1/3rd HP job and has a wire brush and an extra chuck on it – but the bench has gotta go. I’ll bolt it to a base that can slide off the table and drop onto one of my rolling cabinets, and wire it up with a safety-switch. That and some vacuuming out and a wash-down with cleaner – maybe even a fresh coat of paint. I wonder what the model and serial-number is? Dad was in High School in the mid ’40′s.
UPDATE: Appears to be a model 103 (since that is a number cast into various and numerous parts of it) which Dad outfitted with a rather fierce blade-guard.

Paint Drying


There’s the back surround, the back-wall, sides and ceiling. My bike looks like a medieval horse with some old drapery covering it. Once this is dry and cured the wall cabinets and bench can go in. Then I can finish painting the rest without all the crap in the way. Gotta get some 2-1/2″ decking screws for the wall-system thingies, and bring-down the laser-level which is actually kind of a bitch-goddess who I may resist.
The pinkie finger is turning into a nice scab, deep because of the blood-blister effect, and since I don’t want to see it turn green I have to keep prodding it to get clear fluid out. Heh. Simple toys of childhood remain.

A Disturbance in the Force

Early in the morning around 7:30 AM I was taking the garbage down and accompanying my wife to the car as she left for work. Over the whining-grinding sound of the garage-door opener in action came a deeper rumble-sliding thumping sound… Wahaa??

Damn!! The shelving I installed a few years back has given-way. I don’t think it was an earthquake. The worst was the two-stroke exhaust that landed square on her car-hood and left some little dents. Her car is a fine (but oldish) Europeener car, unlike my truck that can take a scratch and dent or two (and has). I didn’t realize how much stupid crap I had stacked up there in my little garage. Camping gear mostly, and I haven’t been camping in ages. There’s even more crap threatening on the other side.

UPDATE INSERT: Even though well-screwed into the wallboard and anchored, they just un-zipped down the length. It could have been the door-opener that starts with a twisting kick of torque, gave it just enough of impetus to let go.

Now I have a garage project. Fortunately the case of Coleman propane (our earthquake backup-supply) was already on the ground or the car-dents would have been major.

So I go back upstairs to the reloading bench to continue my load-work from yesterday. I set about calibrating the digital scale and powder dispenser. The scale calibrates easily.

From the tall powder dispenser comes an unusual sound. A grinding graunchy raspy noise. Powder is dropped easily with a smooth whine in the first stage, but in trickle mode the machine emits a wretched gear-jumped noise like a bad chain-wheel. It finally measures-out but something is clearly not right with the device. I call and the phone rings and rings without answer. I call again with the same result. Third time’s a charm, if a recorded message is what charms you. They close at 12:30 on Fridays in Texas, and now it’s past 12:30 – something not noted on their website.

Fate has changed my priorities for this weekend. Now I’ll really have to set the Garage straight and outfit it properly.