Monday, November 28, 2011

Up Against a Door

If my father were still alive, he would be proud of me today.  I managed to fix a household problem by myself without hiring a handy man.  As a result I now know more about bifold doors than most homeowners will ever know.
We have bifold doors separating the main part of the basement from the workroom.  Until the recent “gym” project, the doors stayed open and it was not a problem that the right one was bumping metal-against-metal on the track instead of gliding smoothly.  (The first two pictures are of the repaired door since I didn't think about writing this until it was fixed.)
But just the other day, the metal on top fell to the floor and the particle board at the top of the door had come unglued.  It obviously needed some wood glue and some replacement hardware.  Upon closer examination, I could see that what was missing was the hard round roller piece at the top.
I headed off to the dreaded Home Depot yesterday where I managed to find replacement hardware on my own since the man making keys never seemed to get a break to help me.  But all I found was obviously the wrong size.  I thought perhaps I could pry the round roller thingie off the shorter metal spring-loaded piece and just put it on top of the one that had fallen on the floor.
Yesterday afternoon I carefully applied wood glue and secured the top of the door with masking tape while it dried.  But last night after the door had dried, I realized the new white thing was missing a small lip on the lower edge that kept it from going up into the track.
So today I went to what was once an excellent hardware store, only to find fairly bare shelves and fairly incompetent staff, who referred me to a store that sold appliance parts and had nothing to do with door hardware.
Driving home it occurred to me that I could possibly make a replacement part from the bottom of a spool that once held thread.  I had virtually all sizes from which to choose.
Just as I was going around the workbench to get a coping saw to cut up the spool, I noticed a little white round thing in an indentation at the corner of the workbench.  Upon closer inspection, I realized it was the missing part and it had probably been there for years.  You know that feeling of finding an object on the floor and not knowing what it is, putting it somewhere just in case.
I quickly reassembled the old hardware and it works like a charm!
My Ace friend Merle may be the only one who cares enough to read to the end of this saga.  I’ll bet he would have been able to save me some frustration.


Blogger e said...

Great fix! I'm sorry you had such a frustrating time at Home Depot and at the other stores...Didn't people once take pride in their work or is that my overactive imagination?

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hooray for you again, Barbara. What good fortune that you had "parts karma" right their in your own shop! Your father would indeed be proud.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

E -- I went to that particular hardware store because it had always been one of those "old-timey" stores where the clerks really did know the merchandise and how to use it. It seemed sadly neglected and empty today and the few workers seemed more interested in talking to each other than to shoppers like me.

Anon -- I hope he was smiling down from up above! My parts karma was just plain good luck.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

It's too bad the old-timey store couldn't help you. Customer service sure isn't what it was!

That really is a stroke of incredible luck. I was going to be impressed if your spool technique worked! (Not that I'm not impressed you found the actual part!)

1:36 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- I really think the spool might have worked. In fact I almost went ahead and tried it just to see, but that seemed silly once the real thing presented itself.

8:48 AM  
Blogger karen said...

What a triumph - well done!

Loved your mother/daughter Thanksgiving experience, too, by the way!

1:06 AM  

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