Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


Home improvement: Sticky Back Door

Our back door stuck so badly it required a hip check to open and such a hard pull to close that the doorknob became completely defunct and pulled out of the door most of the time. 

I've been working on the doorknob situation and got it rigged back together, even if it did require a little duct tape.  A more permanent solution is coming. 

In the meantime, getting the door unstuck has necessitated a great deal of sanding, planing, lying on one's side, opening and closing the door, etc.  I managed to remove all of the paint from the door sill, which helped, and then to plane a small amount of material from the door itself, which helped even more. 

Which brings me to the real point: tools. Our first house marks my first time having the necessary room for the proper storage and maintenance of a good set of tools.  Although most of them are of the hand variety, (a Makita cordless drill from Kate's dad being the single exception) they are hugely useful and in the case of the plane I put to the rough work of fixing the sill, priceless.  When my father's father passed away, Dad had the unenviable task of salvaging the tools from Pa's basement.  He put a good collection of them away for me, kept them until we moved back to Vermont and bought our house. 

And so, soon after we bought our house last year, I found myself in the doorway, in the cold, with this wonderfully warm and heavy piece of wood and metal in my hands.  I put it away when the job was done, wrapping it in the piece of salvaged inner tube it came to me in, and laying it (never blade-down, as Kate's father once showed me) in one of the salvaged toolboxes among its other companions. 

Pa must have really appreciated a good screwdriver.  I went from having a few poor examples in my collection- mostly the kind you buy at the checkout counter at the hardware store with a supply of useless changeable bits in the handle- to having drivers of all lengths and sizes.  More flat than Phillips head, befitting the time in which they were purchased.  Wrenches, too, all smelling of carbon, steel, motor oil, and must- how can metal smell musty? 65 years in a dirt-floor basement amid crates of moldering Popular Mechanics and railroad enthusiast magazines. 

All is in its place now, in my home, in my basement.  The job of the door is done and done right, not halfway or so another who comes after will ever have to give it a thought.  Pa wouldn't have looked so favorably on the doorknob- but set-screws and other replacement hardware for 60-year old doorknobs can be hard to come by. It'll get done right, soon.