Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Draft Door

It all began with a very bad smell.  We had just paid a chunk of money to have the chimney cleaned, to have a cap put on it and to be told that the damper in the flue was rusted/broken/inoperable and in the open position.  So a day after using the fireplace, it was not a pleasant surprise to find the house, especially the living room, filled with a damp, heavy creosote smell, again.  I had hoped that the recent work would keep that from happening.  Not so.  Since taking care of the smell wasn't something the chimney man accomplished,  it became one of the Things I get to do today.  But how?

Being stumped is not a state I hang out in very often.  There's always a solution, a way out or around an undesirable situation. I began envisioning what I wanted:  outside air blocked from coming down the chimney and into the house bringing with it all the chimney odors.  And then the idea came.

Plywood, a hinge and some flat, dark paint were all that was needed.  Oh, and some generous plarking as well.  (If you are new to this blog: "plark" is focused play, with purpose, on purpose, but still play.) I had the hinge left over from my "root cellar" project, and after two trips to get the plywood (silly me, not ever having a load that wouldn't fit in my Fit, and not being handy enough to figure that a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood--even cut in half--would not fit in my Fit so having to go back home to get the pickup) and a can of spray paint, I was ready to roll.

Plywood cut and hinged

Cord secured at the top for pulling the "door" closed when in place

Three points left to file
Simple project: measure plywood, cut to fit, attach hinge, test, paint.  Only one slight catch, and it was multiplied by 20.  The little screws for the piano-type hinge were 3/32" too long and poked sharply out the back side of the plywood.  My construction consultant (husband) suggested using fencing pliers to snip off the tips of the screws.  I was glad he demonstrated the snipping for me since it took considerable muscle that I could never develop to snip one tiny screw.  19 left to go and even the snipped one was too ragged to leave.  So I found the tool that fit my muscles and filed the tips smooth and flat.  Note to self: make sure construction consultant continues with his personal trainer.  There are other projects in the works that need big muscles.

Finished "draft door" 

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