Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fixing the front door - older boy's house

Due to settling during the last rainy season, the front door to the older boy's house got very tight in the frame, to the point that it only closed with great force or by slamming it.  I thought for a few months that the house foundation would eventually return to its former position, and that the problem would abate, but that proved not to be the case.  So, recently, we decided to modify the door.

Camilo Castro got nominated for the job, so we began by removing the door from the hinges and carrying it down to the shop.  There, we removed the hinge pieces and ran the back of the door across the joiner a couple of times to reduce the width of the door.  Then we re-cut the hinge mortises with a chisel and re-installed the door hinge halves.
Camilo re-installing the door hinge half on the door

We decided to replace the door lock on the door, as well.  The original door lock is the type that remains locked from the outside at all times (typical on exterior doors in Colombia).  That was manageable when the door didn't close easily - for years now it has rubbed against the frame so it could remain mostly closed, but still able to be opened from the outside.  But since our goal was to make it shut easily and normally now, we needed to change the lock style to one that can be locked with the push of a button on the inside knob.

Camilo assembling the new lock on the door.
It actually took us a couple of tries to get the door cut down to the proper size, so Camilo got some good practice at the requisite skills of aligning and installing the hinge pins.

Camilo re-installing the door
We applied some stain and varnish to the newly cut edge of the door, so that it will be protected and looks the same as the rest of the door.  Now the door closes perfectly - smoothly - and no more need to slam it.

Camilo now satisfied with a job well done!

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