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Apartment Projects #3: A Better Entrance

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 1742 days ago 1273 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: An Ugly Situation Part 3 of Apartment Projects series Part 4: Paying the Bills »

One of the very first things I noticed moving in over ten years ago was that the porch entrance had no screen door!! I arrived here in mid-January, in the dead of Winter, so it wasn’t an immediate issue, but it was on the top of my priority list for that coming spring. There are too many beautiful days, when it’s nice to be able to throw open the windows and doors and let some fresh air in. Of course, I didn’t want to also let in every manner of flying insect, cats, bats, etc. so I considered my options. I could have asked the Landlord for a new one, which would have been greeted with a lot of hemming and hawing, and with the end result of me getting one of those Aluminum jobs that I really can’t stand and that don’t really match the age of the building (1920-ish). Or I could have made “something”. But I didn’t have the wood, or the tools at the time to fabricate a proper door…
What I really wanted was what my Parent’s have on their entrances:Ice on 47 January 29, 2009
The Red-painted door pictured, is one of the old wooden doors with interchangeable screen and paned glass inserts. What were my hopes of getting one of them…?
Actually, not that bad!! Near where I live, there was a place called Vermont Salvage, a place that bought up bits and pieces of buildings that were being demolished. They’ve since moved across town, because their own place was demolished for a highway-widening project, but what a place it was to browse through!! Around every corner, big and small treasures from the past were to be found! A friend of mine bought a pedestal sink for a bathroom re-model he was doing at his folk’s house, cost him about $50…
Anyway, after measuring the door frame, I took my tape measure there to see if they might have something… What they had was about 40-50 screen doors of varying size and condition, but one of the last ones I looked at was exactly what I was looking for! It even measured right!! I selected it, and rummaged through their hardware and found some hinges to match (they even had the screws taped to them!), and a knob and locking mechanism. Brought it to the front desk, fearing the dent this was going to put in my wallet, but the total cost was only $65!! Whatever people say about me, or what I sometimes think, I guess I was born lucky!! As I said, this place was just down the street, and I was fully prepared to carry it home, but who comes driving by but my Dad, taking his F-2 Pick-up out for a spin!!My Dad's F-2
What Luck!! He gave me a ride back with it and within an hour, after mortising for and attaching the hinges, I had this:With window insert in place
Not bad, huh? And I didn’t have to shave a whisker off of it to get it to fit!
The screen insert needed a little work, it had been pushed in on the bottom by a small child or dog, so at first I just tacked some thin plywood on the inside to cover that section. When I made the flag cases I bought a 3’ X 4’ piece of lexan and had a large section leftover, so when I got around to replacing the old screen with new, I made a protective barrier for the outside, complete with slots so as not to impede the air circulation.Slots in Lexan
This will keep inquisitive cats from screwing up the screen and kids from pushing on it…
When I got the thing, I also needed some method for it to be self-closing. I devised a way that uses the same force that wants to keep me in bed in the morning, gravity. Using nothing more than a sash weight, sash pulleys, and a little bit of clothes line that I had kicking around, that simple task was achieved…Door closer for screen door
It has a dog leash quick-release hook on the end so I can disable it if I’m moving something in or out…
And there you have it. Aren’t the landlords (I’m on my fifth owner in ten+ years!) going to be surprised when I move someday and take MY door with me?! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.



22 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2902 days


#1 posted 1742 days ago

A clever door closer. Does it tend to slam the door fairly hard?

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View patron's profile

patron

12973 posts in 1944 days


#2 posted 1742 days ago

you mutha ,
thats invention !

looks like your
good to stay !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View nmkidd's profile

nmkidd

758 posts in 1776 days


#3 posted 1742 days ago

Cats and bugs begone. Good salvage job.

-- Doug, New Mexico.......the only stupid question is one that is never asked!........don't fix it, if it ain't broke!

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2887 posts in 2105 days


#4 posted 1742 days ago

Mr. & Mrs. C: It wants to close, there’s no doubt about that!! But it doesn’t close riotously hard, no worse than most… It’s actually better with the glass in it. The added weight makes gravity work harder, so it closes more slowly. Plus the door fits so snug, there’s a “pillow” of air at the end of the closing. I also put a door sweep on the bottom, low enough so it scrapes the deck of the porch. The added friction helps too… I live alone, and know that it’s there, so I don’t usually let the door fly…
When people come over they never see it on the way in, but when they leave they never fail to notice it. I usually get a, “Wow, that’s cool!!” :)
David: The Mothers of Invention! Good Band!! Don’t tell me you knew them too, along with Frank Zappa!!
Doug: Thanks! So long as gravity continues to work I should be all set. Those pesky cats can still get their claws through and reach the screen, but not enough to do damage. I keep an old Windex bottle around full of water, for spraying the plants, but it works really well for discouraging cats too. One spray in the face…they don’t like that very much. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike cats, had 2 or 3 at a time most of my life, but they can be annoying when they’re using a brand new screen, that was just replaced, as their scratching post!!
Mario: Yeah, we get some Winter, no global warming here… That chair has been a thorn in my side for years!! It’s a school chair, so it’s uncomfortable as can be! It doesn’t even make a good plant stand, the writing leaf sticks so far out, it catches the unsuspecting waist or leg every time you walk past it, knocking over all the plants. It’s actually one step closer to the trash sitting on the porch, but found one redeeming quality of being a useful place to set down groceries while I fumble for the keys…So it has a reprieve, for now…
My dad would be happy to here you like the truck! It’s a 1948 Ford F-2, 3/4 ton pickup, from the year they began the F-series. It’s been a work in progress since he got it in ‘66. The thing starts on a 1/4 turn!! He slowly and meticulously restored everything but the back, but despairs now of ever finishing. He’s no longer able to work on it, and it frustrates him to the extreme…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View patron's profile

patron

12973 posts in 1944 days


#5 posted 1742 days ago

for your dad ,
this is my f-1 1948 .
just needs points !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2887 posts in 2105 days


#6 posted 1742 days ago

That looks like it’s in pretty good shape! Why isn’t it up and running?!
Dad’s had his apart more times than I can rememberMy Dad's Truck
He has “new” front fenders for it, that he already painted, bought them from some warehouse down in Texas years ago. Still had the factory original Ford replacement parts tags on them from ‘48! $300 for the pair!
He also had this little honey for a few yearsMy Dad's 1935 Chevrolet sedan
A ‘35 Chevrolet. He sold it to some guy that led him to believe that he was going to baby it like my Father had. The guy slapped some paint on it, and my Dad saw it listed in Hemmings’ a month or so later for a grand and half more than than the guy paid. Broke his heart…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2180 days


#7 posted 1742 days ago

I get confused easily snow, doors, trucks,cars . So I’ll coment in order cold, cool,cool,cool again and to bad.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View stefang's profile

stefang

12596 posts in 1937 days


#8 posted 1742 days ago

As usual one thing leads to another and we are richer for the experience. Thanks for the tour Mike (I like that name)
It’s good to see old things that are still useful recycled. Nice job on the door and thanks for automotive part too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ellen35's profile

ellen35

2557 posts in 2035 days


#9 posted 1742 days ago

Mike,
That is a really fine looking door. I love that you recycled the door.
I think we have become a “throw-away society”; it is always nice to see something put to use.
That piece of plexi is a stroke of genius!
Ellen

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2902 days


#10 posted 1742 days ago

Here’s some nice pictures of a restored 1948 F2, really nice.

It sold for $33,000.

My Dad had a 1935 Chev. that he used for a work car in the early 1950s.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2276 days


#11 posted 1742 days ago

Nice work!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12851 posts in 2586 days


#12 posted 1742 days ago

Well done ….

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2887 posts in 2105 days


#13 posted 1742 days ago

Hi everybody!!
Had to finish a box and glue on the hinges…
A1Jim: You’re not confused at all, you have it entirely correct!!
stefang: You know, Sir, I’ve never personally met a Mike I didn’t like!! Through LJ”s, now I’ve met another!!
Ellen: If I owned this place (or any place) I’d be the type who would aim for restoration rather than renovation. It’s 2009 and no one has to wash clothes on a washboard anymore, of course, but the old stuff was made to last longer. My apartment is the only one that hasn’t been re-done lately, in the time I’ve been here, but by luck or chance whoever lived here before me didn’t punch holes in the walls or similar recreations down through the years, so it’s in fair condition. I do the best I can to keep it that way… I don’t re-use out of any Green responsibility, it’s more out of a Yankee Thriftiness I learned from my Parent’s…A Good Farmer never throws anything away!!
As far as the Plexi, nothing smart there! We had two German shepherds for many years… My Dad installed a 3/16” sheet of Aluminum to keep the house dog from going through Theirs!!
Mr. & Mrs. C: That Truck is Breathtaking!!! I sooo wish that I could talk the folks into getting a computer, so my Dad could see those pictures!! I think they’re starting to weaken on their resolve not to have one though. ;-)
Charles & The Man Wearing the Mask: Thank you very much, my Friends! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2902 days


#14 posted 1742 days ago

I don’t know your Dads age, but I got my first computer at age 70.

We’ve been having a ball with it. Tell him it’s almost impossible to break a computer

if that’s what he’s worried about, & if he’s retired, he has plenty of time to learn.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View studie's profile

studie

618 posts in 1750 days


#15 posted 1742 days ago

Great post! I want to make doors but for $70 wow maybe not. The truck, is it a 3/4 ton F2 (not F1) old cars got to be as endearing as old tools, got to have em!/Users/scottater/Desktop/IMG_0189-1-1-1.jpg

-- $tudie

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