Hinge fix done! And so is the van. :-)

This morning, I was off to the garage to get the EGR valve replaced. I dropped it off for 10 and had thought it might take an hour or so. He told me it would take two hours, which is a lot of time to fill, when there is nowhere to go to just sit. I ended up walking across town towards the lake – with high winds and blowing snow, I wasn’t going to go right to the beach! – and back again. Then I very, very slowly did some grocery shopping. We have yet to do our big monthly shop in the city, but with having to buy locally so often, it’s messed our budget up quite a bit. 😦 Ah, well.

By the time I was in line to pay, I’d only managed to kill 1 hour. Thankfully, the line was slow, but I still ended up done very early. I was able to leave the cart by the exit and walking over to the garage to see how things where, stayed there a while (they let me wait in the office, alone, even though they’re not really supposed to do that anymore. I didn’t stay long, though, went back to claim my cart of groceries, then waited in one of the corners the grocery store has with picnic tables.

It was only somewhat sheltered from the wind. :-/

I went back and forth a couple of times before finally moving the cart to a different corner around the entry, where it was slightly more sheltered from the wind. I knew the garage was close to done with the van, so I walked into the parking lot every now and then to see if it was outside yet.

Two hours passed, and still no van!

After walking out to the parking lot to check again, I came back to a cashier coming outside to talk to me. She could see me through the window and was worried about me being in the cold! She told me I could take my cart inside the vestibule. There isn’t a lot of space there, with how traffic is blocked and redirected now, but she told me it was okay. So I got to be indoors for the last 25 minutes or so! The only downside was that I had to wear my Mingle Mask, which would fog up while I was inside, then when I stepped out to see if the van was outside, the condensation would freeze! LOL

Of course, I could have just waited for the garage to call me on my cell phone, but the last time they did that, I never heard my phone ringing in my pocket. I happened to have it in my hand this time, though. 😀

It turns out the van was not very co-operative for them! I can’t say I’m surprised to hear that. 😉 As I was paying, he made sure to tell me to not buy gas at the co-op from now one. I told him I’d already stopped! He also warned me that, while he cleaned the lines out as far as he could, I might still feel some stutters or hiccups as bits of carbon breaks loose. He recommended that, when the opportunity arises, such as when leaving a stop sign, to floor it. That is something I normally avoid! LOL It’ll help clear the carbon out faster, though. So I’ll do it. Just not today! It was just too icy out there.

Once the van was paid for, I drove to the grocery store. The staff in the vestibule, there to sanitize the carts, recognized me as I drove up. By the time I stopped at the doors, she had the cart out and helped me load it into the van!

We had issues with this place when we first moved out here, but since then, they have really improved, and these days have been going above and beyond. It is much appreciated!

Once at home, I pulled into the yard to unload. The girls very carefully opened the main door and propped it up, so it was all ready and waiting to be finished while the girls put away the groceries.

Drilling the pilot holes was a pain. I’d hoped not to need to, with the lilac wood I used already having soft spots in the middle; I could easily push a nail through the middles. I was only able to get one of the original screws in, though. Even with using the Dremel and a carving tip to enlarge the pilot holes, the last 2 screws would go only so far before I found myself stripping the heads instead of going further. The lilac is a surprisingly hard wood.

In the end, I replaced the original screws.

So now I have two Robbies and and Phillips. 😀 I really should have replaced the third one, but the new screws are slightly shorter, so I left the longer screw in place. The new screws were still pretty hard to get all the way in, but the square tips handle the strain a lot better than star tips.

Then came the litmus test: removing the supports under the door and seeing if the hinge would hold!

It held. 🙂

The door now opens and closes smoothly! I was going to say “again”, but honestly, it’s been a problem since before we moved here. Which makes me wonder, how many years was the door just getting noisier and noisier, and being more and more of a problem to open and close, and no one thought to look at the hinges? There are other problems with the door that we identified since moving here – which is why the goal is to replace the doors and frame completely – and I even remember checking the hinges in the frame myself, but somehow, no one thought to squeeze their heads in to see the hinges on the door side.

The centre hinge has not been done, and with the weather forecasts right now, it’s going to wait until things warm up again. If we even bother to do it at all. Not being able to open the door any wider makes getting into the space a real pain!

There are other things that are a much higher priority!

Which means we can take this down, now!

The Re-Farmer

Hinge fix, continued

It looks like we’re being hit by the edge of a storm passing to the south of us, so we wanted to make sure we could close the inner door overnight.

All I wanted to do was trim the pegs and get them flush to the surface, first.

You’d think that would be easy, right? Ha! Of course not!

I first tried using a small cutting wheel on the Dremel.

I went through two of them before I gave up. The space was just too tight, and the cutting wheels shattered!

I did have a small saw that I brought, just in case. I just couldn’t cut flush to the surface (may apologies for the crappy photos; the light sucked, too!

Unfortunately, that left me with quite a bit of wood to get rid of. For this, I switched to small sanding disks.

I don’t know how I would have done this without my Dremel tool. We probably would have had to take the door off completely, which would haven us a whole new set of problems!

It’s really hard to see, but the wood plugs are now flush with the surface.

This was enough to let us close the door, and that was the main thing!

Tomorrow, I’m taking the van in to the garage earlier in the morning, so we’ll finish the rest after I get home. We’re expecting snow all day tomorrow, and through to Friday morning, but the temperatures aren’t expected to take another deep dive until the weekend. That gives us time to get it done, without getting things too cold in the entry.

I’m glad we have a storm door, of this would be waiting until spring!

The Re-Farmer

Starting on the hinge fix

Well, for better or for worse, I’ve started working on the door hinges.

This is intended to be a temporary fix, until we can replace the door and frame completely, but I have no idea when we’ll be able to do that, so this patch job may need to last a while.

The first thing to do was to open the door as wide as possible (with a built in closet in the way, that isn’t as far as I’d like!) and place supports under it to hold the weight.

One of the things we’ve been finding lots of, while cleaning this place up, is laminate floor tiles. It’s amazing, how handy these have become. A couple of pieces of wood under the door made up most of the height, then it took 3 of these tiles to get it fully supported where it needed to be. We’ve also used them to put under bench legs and wooden shelves in the basement, to get them off the damp concrete, and so on. I’ve found a couple of cases of these tiles, just in the basement – there are more in the barn. Definitely things to keep, even though they’ll never be used as flooring! 😀

Once propped up, I could remove the screws which, I’m happy to say, were not damaged as I had thought they were. I do not have to replace the screws. I was able to remove 2 of them with just my fingers, and the only reason I had to use a screwdriver for the 3rd one was because it was the offset middle one, where the hinge wasn’t pulling away from the door as much.

The hinge still needed to be pried loose before I could take a good look at the damage. It fits perfectly in that recess.

Because of how close this is to the frame and storm door , I actually got a better look by taking a picture, then with my own eyes!

The damage isn’t actually as bad as I feared it would be.

The next step was to bring out the Dremel to clean out and enlarge the screw holes.

The Dremel just barely fit in the space available, but it worked. I used a couple of grinding and engraving tips; first a small cone shaped one to clear out the holes, then a metal tip to clean out further into the openings than the cone could go.

The wood is so dry, there was smoke coming out of the holes from the friction!

For the wood plugs, I ended up choosing some pieces of lilac branches I’ve still got hanging around. They were already the size and shape I needed; I only had to strip bark off the pieces, then make one end slightly narrower. Also, I will need to pre-drill holes before putting the screws back in, to prevent cracking, and the core of the lilac is already little more than sawdust that can easily be removed. They’re basically already pre-drilled. 😀

I was going to use wood glue to put the pegs in, only to discover it had dried out, so I went with all-purpose glue that I happened to have.

After making sure the pegs fit into the holes, I applied a bit of glue to their ends, then gently tapped them into place with a little bitty hammer I happened to have. With a normal sized hammer, I wouldn’t have had the space to swing, without hitting the window of the storm door.

The pegs will now sit for a few hours before I check the glue and decide to cut the pegs flush tonight, or wait until tomorrow morning. If I can cut the pegs, we’ll be able to close the door most of the way as the glue finishes setting overnight. If not, we’ll be stuck with this all night…

These are the pieces of insulation we’d cut last year, to fit over the inner door, held in place with Velcro strips, to keep frost from forming on the bottom of the door, and ice on the windows. It worked well, but there were some issues with the strips, and we haven’t found a workable alternative, yet. Thankfully, this winter has had only a few days cold enough for the ice and frost to form.

The arm bar is coming handy for holding the pieces in place!

If this works out, we’ll do it again for the middle hinge. That should tide us over until we can replace it all with an insulated steel door and a steel frame.


The Re-Farmer