I was not in the right mental frame of mind to hang the last door of my house. I had asked and paid Scotti to do to this door, what he had done for the basement door, but with the holidays and his having family in town he returned to me a door slab and jamb; basically what I gave him in the beginning minus the lock was installed. That got the project started on the wrong foot because I knew I would not be able to hang by myself without the hinges set to the right place. Annoyed, but not deterred, I purchased a Milescraft HingeMate kit from Woodcraft and took the door to the WoodShop around 2:30 pm Saturday (one of only two open shop days) because I’ve allowed Scotti to use my router and table. I also hoped he’d help make sure I had the markings in the right place.
I’ve said it before and will repeat again, I’m not proficient, which means I’m not efficient. It took me 3 hours to route in the 3 hinges. I got the first one done and decided to put it back in the jamb with the hinge pin in to make sure the other marks were right. Well I cut it about 1/8″ to high on jamb, which made for a tight/close fit at the top of the door. Good thing I did the fit as that made my marks for the remaining hinges off and they appeared to be way off anyway. It was 4:45 pm at that point and the shop closes at 5 pm. Scotti helped me make the correct marks and I scrambled to try and finish by 5, hoping now that I had the process it would be fast.
Well with the second hinge, I put my jig on the wrong side of door, which meant the cut was reversed. I was in tears by this point, so Scotti chiseled out the piece of wood that should have been on the opposite side. Really not a big deal, but a mistake I was mad I made. The salvage door turned out to be slightly, 1/4″, smaller in width than the original door as recessing the hinges created too large of a gap at the opening. This is something Scottie could have corrected when he had the door for three weeks, but fortunately he made the correction now, so I could work on the third hinge. I left around 5:30. No pictures from any of that work as I was just frustrated at myself. The kit worked beautifully, so glad I purchased. Here’s a company video so you can see what I did.
Once home I ate first (hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast) and then got started hanging. This was the fourth door in jamb I installed by myself, so I really was expecting this to go quick. Oh so wrong. My house slopes, so the opening was not level and it created a gap at the top, right side of door that I just could not figure out. My mind kept saying cut the jamb on the high side, but my inner voice said don’t do it. I turned the top of the jamb into a pin cushion with so many nail holes from multiple attempts. I took a chunk out of the top of the door; I crushed my mother’s lamp, damaged the moulding on the closet door, and gauged the wall when I lost grip and it fell inward; and I cracked the drywall which will need to be repaired and painted before I hang the inside moulding. At 4:12 am I went to bed with more tears, dejected and defeated.
Sunday morning I was awakened at 8a (so four hours of sleep) by a text alert on my phone that turned out to be a you can earn $130 by completing this survey from Amazon scam (I really hate that our text are now being invaded in the same way our emails are with these scams). Tired, but in clearer mind, I decided to skip church, turn on my Pandora Yolanda Adams station, eat some bacon and toast, and climb back on the bull that had thrown me a few hours earlier.
What I needed most was another set of hands, so I went in my basement and got three pieces of lathe from a pile I kept and screwed them to the jamb. That gave me something more substantial to hold and kept the door in proper alignment. It also allowed me to step back, without fear of the door falling inward, and clearly see where my gaps were and their size.
The slope of house created large gaps on the upper right, bottom left and small to no gaps on bottom right, upper left. The large gaps were too big for normal door shims, so I headed to my basement for the scrap wood pile and proceeded to build out the opening in the areas needed until I could get to a point that normal shims would work. In just 2 hours and 45 minutes the door was hung. I had to plane a little off the side of door near top as it rubbed slightly, but the door was in. I’m not sure if the original door’s knob was in the same place as this one, but I was amazed how the knobs of the closet and door stacked, so they would never hit together; a great turn of events from a door that truly kicked my ass. I thought hanging this door would be my final post announcing It’s a Wrap, but I have to repair the damage I caused first, before I can hang the inside moulding.
Everything must be done by Friday as I’ve scheduled a Birthday Open House on Saturday, so no rest for the weary. I tried to send all my local followers an invite, so if I missed you, but you’d like to see her in person, send me a message.