Sunday, July 17, 2005

Coming Through!

This is the new mantra in our house after this weekend. No, no one hit themselves in the head or knocked anyone off a ladder, etc... Rather, Steve recuperated enough from his injured back to install our swinging door in the doorway between the dining room and hallway to the kitchen. Hence the "coming through" mantra as this door doesn't have a window.

There were a few ideas behind this door. One was the separate the house for better cooling in the summer. We are pretty economical with the a/c and separating off the back of the house will help keep the bill down. Also, if you cook in the kitchen, the heat won't spread to the rest of the house. Another benefit is that should one person want to hit the sack early, and another watch TV until all hours, the person in the bedroom won't hear anything through that door. Or if we have house guests, it gives a bit more privacy.

It's a salvaged 6-paneled Oak door and we got it at Renovation Source over on Southport Avenue just down the street from the historic Music Box Theater, which I can't not mention, and which is showing the Penguin Movie we did not go see this weekend.

The door came with some monster hinges and was not painted. I stripped it and sanded it and applied a light coat of stain. We bought it about 3 years ago I think, which is proof that while some things may take a while to get to, if you keep at it, eventually you get there!

We also bought some push plates for it from the same place and more recently got some hardware to hold the door open for the times we want it open. This will be most of the time I am pretty sure.

View from the dining room. The screws still need to be painted. I treated the hinges with rust remover and then painted them. They need to be retouched too.

We had a snafu occur while installing the door that is a bit embarrassing to recount, but maybe it will make someone else out there feel better for having made a silly fatigue-induced mistake themself. If it does, that makes me glad.

The hinges are inset into the door jamb for strength and in order to do this, Steve had to chisel out the precise space for the hinges to fit. Well, one went without the hitch, the other Steve had held the hinge backwards and as result chiseled out the wrong spot. Now he has to patch the wood in that spot in addition to filling the old spots where a different door was hinged.

Now I suppose we could have just replaced that part of the frame, but we had to replace a lot of missing wood in the kitchen and it added up to alot of money. Plus, I really prefer to keep the original super straight grain wood wherever we can, even with the nail holes and dings. Our wood is in pretty good shape and plus that's what they make wood filler and wood glue for.

Steve does a very good job at patching as well. Here's one example:

The funniest thing about our new door besides 2 grown adults yelling "coming through" like they are working in a restuarant is our dogs. They are completely stymied by the door. They are small dogs and I doubt they could even move this door. Maybe if I put a steak on the floor on the other side I could train them to open it. Like I said, they are small, but not dumb. They are wise to approach this swinging monster with caution.

I am kind of ambivalent on the door. The wood looks like red oak and most of our moulding in here looks to me more brown. The door was quite old and I stripped it but it has a patina that is a little red. I wonder if shellac would make it more brown. I know just who I can ask about that if he reads this- Gary?

As for me, this weekend I stripped the remaining trim for the entry and I washed it down w/ denatured alchohol saving myself that extra step of using stripper. See, reading houseblogs can make you work smarter. I am going to do a separate post on the stripping with a little how-to because I think my last one wasn't detailed enough.

"Coming through!" Actually the mantra is more like this, "zzzzzzzzz.....zzzzzz" as we are tired yet again. When will we ever learn?

Every Monday, it's like "Oh, I have to take a break." And then by the weekend, I'm feeling so much better that I'm ready to go again. It's hilarious to think that working a full-time job is my "break."


kk said...

The door is beautiful. I find myself staring across out dining room trying to figure out if there is a way for us to install such a door (there's not, between the dining room and kitchen are the stairs to the basement on one side and the side door to the house on the other. Damn you Cape Cod floor plan!).

I swore to J after the melting paint from last week and the melting me from this weekend that I was taking this week off from working on the house.

Right. Instead we are just talking about what we want to do to the house - coming up with more work. Somehow I think I am missing the point of a "break"?

Jocelyn said...

kk: that is exactly what we do! We go out to dinner and discuss future plans-eeeek!

Memorial Day we went to MI and we did not talk about the house much- that was a good recharge/break. It is hard to not talk about it when you are living in your project I think.

amanda said...

The door looks fabulous! I think that we had the same kind of door between the kitchen and the dining room at some point. As for the dogs- you'd be surprised what they will learn to do. Our lab won't open the back screen door with her nose, but the mini schnauzer and the bloodhound mix let themselves out all the time.

Aaron said...

The door is cool-it does look heavy, but you guys will get big biceps from pushing it all the time so it will be worth it.

We had a door like that in the last house we moved from. It was a thinner door, but still solid wood,and it swung from a pin on the top corner and a pin on the bottom corner. My girls thought it was fun, but also a finger pincher.

Sitting at a desk in the AC is definately a nice break from renovating...I know what you mean!

Greg said...

I came so close to putting in a swinging door between the kitchen and dining room. Actually, I still might because there is still no door there (stove and sink are a higher priority). I couldn't find a set of those big hinges. I found new ones that just didn't look right to me. I also found an old set that were in really bad shape. Still might do it, though. Your's looks great!

Gary said...

I finally actually read your post!

Interesting choice of telephone.
Now you have to go and buy one of those old wall mount "Country Store" oak phones with the separate listening tube to match your door!