Sunday, February 05, 2012

The Doorknob Incident

About a week and a half ago, I tweeted that I was the world's worst handyman. If you have been following me on Twitter, you might have had a few reactions--

reaction a.) What? No! Say it ain't so David?!

reaction b.) Well, of course you are. Have you not MET you, because I have . . . and, trust me that this is not news to anyone else. More proof that Twitter is worthless!

reaction c.) An interesting statement; can you provide more details to back up your assertion?

I am going to satisfy those who had reaction c. Reactioners A--thank you for you blind faith. Oh, and Reactioners B? A bit strong, don't you think? Do you have a show on the DIY Network that I am unaware of?

The Details:
A few weeks back, Sarah told me after work that her key had not been working and she couldn't get into the house after school. So, I took her key and tried it. Sure enough, the key wouldn't slide completely into the lock and resisted turning. I couldn't figure out what the problem was until Sarah admitted that she had--for some reason--stuck a twig into the deadbolt when the initial attempt had gone wrong. So, there was a bit of wood deep down in the mechanism jamming up the works. I knew that I wasn't going to be able to fix that, so I resigned myself to getting a new deadbolt and doorknob set.

Once I had bought the new hardware for the door, I set about doing the simple replacement work one evening after work. The kids got in and I set to work.

Taking the old stuff out wasn't hard. Just some screws to remove and the the knobs came off and the latch mechanism was freed. Similarly, a few screws turned and the deadbolt was out.


Then, I set to work putting in the mew hardware for the knob and door latch. I saw from the instructions that my old door had not utilized the faceplate on the side of the door, so I couldn't install it on this one without making everything too thick to allow the door to close. But the instructions showed me how to pop off the packaged plate and use an optional one in the packaging.

Done. Still easy.

So, I slipped the latch mechanism into the hole drilled into the narrow side of the door.And then I positioned the outside and inside parts of the doorknob in place and tightened down the screws. One half done, right? Well . . . no . . . because when I tried to latch the door, I found that I had positioned the latch facing the wrong direction. The little triangular bit that juts out from the door and slips into the hole on the door jam wouldn't slip because the sloped part was facing inward toward the house and not outward to the street. Dismayed, I loosened the screws, removed the knobs, and pulled out the latching piece. I checked the instructions to make sure that I was correctly identifying the problem, flipped the latch, reattached the knobs, tightened the screws . . . and then realized that I had unconsciously installed the knob pieces in the top hole where the deadbolt goes!

Pause . . .

. . . what?!

Seriously . . . what?!

It was at this soul-shredding moment that I sent out this tweet lamenting my ineptitude.But I managed to get over it and moved on. I (once again) removed the misplaced doorknob setup, moved it down to the proper hole, and did it all over again.

And then I got around to fixing on the deadbolt. It was a lot simpler, considering that I had already made just about every mistake that you might possibly figure out how to make. And eventually, it was all in place and things were set. But it was a cavalcade of errors to get there.

And if I can't manage such a simple task as this . . . then, well what else might I screw up next? Stay tuned to find out.

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