Thursday, March 21, 2013

Separating Doors - A Double Entendre

Doors serve very few purposes. Noise separation and visual privacy/separation. That's it. Pretty straight forward, not a lot you can do to mess that up.
This door serves neither of those purposes. It's purpose, back in 1930 was of a more social nature. It was a separation of public and private space. This door controlled who was allowed to visit. You could come knocking all you wanted, but until you passed through the second door, you were no more a welcomed visitor in this home than the stranger walking down the sidewalk. In 2013, it serves practically no purpose at all. Other than it's history and it's reminder of days and social expectations of the past there isn't much for this door to do. It won't serve as a "functional" part of the house as it will either always be open or always be closed. Closing it behind us when we go to answer the front door will be a hassle, not a statement. But I absolutely, positively love it. I love the entry, I love the door. This door, along with the curved, french dining room doors and curved living room trim directly adjacent to it are the reasons I fell in love with this house in the first place.

But a door, having only two purposes, only functions one way. If it closes it works, if it doesn't, well, it doesn't. This completely, un-purposeful door in 2013, didn't even function correctly. It was broken when we bought the house. The wood was separating (this is where the title actually makes sense - took us awhile to get here, huh?), causing the whole door to be extremely out of alignment and far from being able to fit snugly into it's frame. I had no idea how we we're going to fix it. I've never repaired a door, especially one that is separating and full of 15 individual glass panes.  A sub-contractor we had bidding a job offered us some free advice, "Get you some large clamps and glue that sucker back together." Wow, geez, thanks. We hadn't really thought of that before. But, seriously, we hadn't.
Well, after pricing out clamps, we decided we were not buying large clamps to repair one door (turns out we have another one to fix in a similar fashion). A clamp large enough to secure this door was too expensive for our blood. So we phoned a friend. A friend who had four of them. My dad and Paul injected a strong wood adhesive into the separating panels, clamped the puppy together and I knew immediately it was going to do the job. We let it sit for a little over 24 hours, per the instructions on the bottle.

The next evening, we took off the clamps and I was right, it had made an amazing recovery. The door still doesn't latch properly but it at least sits inside of it's own frame. I love it even more than I did before.
I get excited when I pass the front door and catch a glimpse through that leaded circular window of another (closed) door. I get excited when I wake up in the morning and come downstairs to see a separated space. It's weird, but it's my thing.

The door directly across from this door, separating the passage to the kitchen/stairs, will need to be shored up as well. Maybe we'll tackle that this evening, or tomorrow, or this weekend, or at some point in our lives.

PS: There are very few doors in our house that don't need some TLC. They all desperately need a good cleaning and fresh paint but I would say at least 1/3 of all the doors need to have a wood plane taking to their sides and tops to get them to close. We'll also get to this maybe tonight, or tomorrow, or.....

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