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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fixing the Front Porch Door

We are working on another project on Our Old House, but I can't post about it until everything is installed.  So in the meantime I will post about something we took care of a couple weeks ago.

When you have a house that is 104 years old, things need to be fixed up from time to time. Especially when you want to keep the same things that are 104 years old as well.   The exterior front door on the porch is one of them.   Some people would just rip it out and install some fanky-swanky new aluminum insulated door.  But not us.... nope!

We know from an old 1930's era photo of our house, that the front porch door is close to original.  It gets opened multiple times a day, to put out our flag, grab packages delivered to the front steps, and take the flag back in at night.

Although we try to be gentle with things like doors and windows, (to make them last) the front door gets slammed from time to time.  Add to that the humid weather we have been having makes the wood heave and split and swell.  In the subzero winter temps it freezes and contracts too.

We noticed a pretty big split was forming along the frame on the lower edge.  Oh my!  We had to take care of that before it got any worse, for sure.

Steve sent me to the hardware store to get some long long 6 inch wood screws with a flat pan head that could lay down flat in a recessed hole in the wood (so it didn't scrape the opposite door jamb).  I searched and searched in the store and finally found some at the bottom of a bin, with other stuff piled on top. I guess they don't sell many of them, or nobody can find them?

He pre-drilled two long deep holes into the first part of the door....
(yes in his stocking feet with sawdust all over!) 

He decided this was a "sit down" job! 

Then he carefully installed the long screw into the pre-drilled hole in the first part of the wood, and then the threads pulled in snug as they dug into the second piece of wood. 

With a very careful and slow zip zip zip he let it tug in tight to the wood and draw it all together tight.  Not too tight that it stripped, but tight enough to pull the door pieces together. 

Look At That!  All Fixed! 

(don't look at his sawdusty sock)  

Then I took out my handy dandy paint brush and touched it all up again.  Good to go now for another hundred years????

Speaking of tools, did you know in the monthly newspaper from AARP (not the magazine, but the newspaper that comes folded in half in the mail) there is always a page of coupons from Harbor Freight?  They usually have something for "FREE" with additional purchase.  This month was a set of 6 magnetized screwdrivers.  Sometimes, if Steve has time to kill while his transport people are at doctor appointments in Appleton, he wanders around the nearby Harbor Freight until they are done. He has a phone on him for the transport bus that they can call him when they are ready. 

Most gals want their sweetie to bring them flowers, or candy, or sexy lingerie.... but I get a pitter pat to my heart when he brings me tools!!!  Ahhhhhh  I already have my own set of screwdrivers, wrenches, drill etc. in the house in my workroom.  Sometimes he swipes MY tools rather than go out into the garage to get his own.  I have to find them and put them back in MY drawers and cabinets. 

But I wanted a set of screwdrivers for ME for up in my sewing room.  Now I have a set!  It sure beats running downstairs to get a screwdriver when I need one. Sometimes my quilting frame needs a tweak or my loom needs to be tightened up at a joint.  Having them at hand on the second story is a good thing. Plus---- he can't swipe them.  I have a locking drawer in a file cabinet to stow them in. Tee heeee

Speaking of my sewing room, I got part of my newest quilt done on the quilting frame.  It would not stitch right on Monday when it was hot and humid. The thread kept fraying and breaking. ARGGHHH!!! I did everything, cleaned the machine, changed the needle, adjusted the tension both top and bottom, changed the thread type.  Nothing worked.  So I set it aside until Wednesday.  I walked up the machine, turned it on, and it sewed perfectly!  Gremlins, I tell ya....

This pic is a little dark, but then you can see the leaded glass suncatcher collection on the windows when I sew. This is a  Handi-quilter frame set up on two banquet tables butted up together and screwed down tight.  I set my domestic Janome machine onto a moving carriage and kinda "drive" it back and forth and around to make pretty stitching patterns.

It lets me do my own free-motion quilting on my own rolled up quilt tops, batting and backings.  I don't have the money to send them out to be done by a long-armer contract person.  This is working very well for me and the 9 or 10 quilts a year that I do manage to complete.

Here is a little video clip I made 
while working on another quilt of how it operates:

I wanted to write about our newest Our Old House project, but we are 90% done and just have to wait until tomorrow for the last 10% to finish it up... if the mosquitos are at bay? 


  1. Love the video of your quilting set up. So you move it around from the bottom?

    1. Yes, underneath their handles attached to the carriage kind of like bicycle handles. There's an on-and-off button in a speed control switch. Watch the Youtube video at the end of the blog and you can see better how it operates.

  2. Good door repair and once it was painted I'm certain the Screws will never show.
    Also certain that you are doing a better job on your Quilts then the expensive Longarms.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Awww thanks! Yes, the screws are hidden from view when the door it shut, and painted over the heads. At least the door is saved before it got knocked apart any worse.


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