What I did on the first day of it, anyhow. On Saturday I turned this:
… into these.
I’m particularly pleased with these (below). I had no idea such pretty two-toned brass designs were hidden under decades-old globs of paint.
It took about three hours and involved rounds of various nasty chemicals — one of which was elbow grease.
In the afternoon and evening, I inserted the mortise lock into the new door on the new bathroom.
I did the major bathroom work last fall, but left an old wall and a doorless entryway until this month when a sort of wandering monk person tore them out, framed the final wall, and worked with me to hang a door. Now I’m drywalling and doing other finishing.
Anyhow, installing the new assembly didn’t go as well as the cleaning. Back to that in a sec. First …
This next was complete serendipity, but when the monk left the space above the door open instead of putting in a center stud, I went and got ideas. So I’ve drywalled and textured around the interior of that space and now I’m going to put in some sort of kludged-together transom window. Not sure what I’ll use. I have colored plexiglass squares but the thought of how to frame them hurts my brain and I may have something better, besides. I think I’ll use a pair of matching picture frames I got at a garage sale and put colored cling-film on the glass. Then the bathroom will get colored light from the rest of the house during daylight and give colored light to the house when the nightlight’s on inside. Still be private, though. Cool, eh?
Maybe it would help to see what I’m talking about. Keep in mind that this next shot isn’t some blurry mistake. It’s … um, Art. Yes, True Art. (Because if you saw what a construction zone I’m really shooting into, which you would if I used the flash, it would be hideous. This is … evocative.) And see the transom-to-be?
But back to that mortise lock. Weird. It works perfectly when it’s outside the door. Stick it in the door and the key won’t turn. Pull it out, key turns. Stick it back in, won’t turn. I’ve checked to make sure the keyholes are unobstructed and there are no stray wood chips getting into the mechanism. The key appears to be fitting in the lock exactly as it should. But … while the knob and latch work, the deadbolt is … dead.
I do have detailed instructions for fixing old locksets. And a rusty old lockset I could experiment on:
But given that the instructions are real big on lines like “be careful that the springs don’t fly into your face,” I’m reluctant to make the attempt. And the thing does work. As long as I don’t install it.
Still, even with deadbolt weirdness, the door closes, latches, and will eventually be pretty.
I put quotes on “new” when I mentioned the door because it’s actually from an old Craftsman house. Yeah, the doorknobs and plates are more Victorian, which clashes with Craftsman. But then, my house is Early Hodgepodge, so it’ll work. Nothing terribly Craftsmanish about the door, anyhow. It has a lovely beveled mirror built into it, but other than that, it’s just a door.
And that’s what I did on the first day of my Internet vacation. When I wasn’t either basking or going bonkers. More about that in my next post.