First, a note of apology that it’s been so long since we’ve posted a blog post. We’ve been plugging away at The Duckling on a number of projects, but just hadn’t found the time to sit down and chronicle it all. So we’re hoping that we can catch you up over the next few weeks on what’s been happening here since January. Enjoy!
A good friend of mine often regales the story of the time that she was descending the stairs to the subway in Philadelphia and a woman was squatting in the middle of the stairs relieving herself. The woman looked up and said, oh so matter-of-factly, “Gots to go, girl. Gots to go!”
In the more than 15 years since I first heard that story, I’ve managed to apply “gots to go” in a myriad of situations – sometimes it’s in its original use (the urgency of needing to relieve oneself, not the squatting on a public stairwell part – I’m adventurous, not insane!) and other times for any moment when “gots to go” seems the perfect summation of the situation.
When we moved into The Duckling, it wasn’t long before we looked at the brass doorknobs a-plenty and said, “gots to go.” Despite not being a huge fan of brass anything, we did it give it the old college try with these brass beauties. The original 1950’s varnish was well-worn off most of the knobs, but we thought, let’s try and polish them up. The polishing didn’t really accomplish anything. If we’d managed to remove the varnish, then we might have had more success, but to be honest, most of the knobs were so far gone that no amount of elbow grease would have saved them.
So with that being the case, we made a plan to update all of the doorknobs in the house – first floor first, then on to the other floors. Since the second floor also includes a plan to update the single-panel hollow core doors, we haven’t quite made it upstairs yet. But our efforts on the first floor have paid off immensely. So here’s the recap of what happened.
First, it’s important to note that we had a_lot_of_snow this winter. And as any good snow day (or five) will do to someone, they spurred me into finding ways to fill my time. And I immediately knew what I needed to do – get those knobs out of the picture! So here’s a picture of what the before looked like:
The interesting part of this project was the fact that our beloved two-panel classic 1950’s doors did not have one single hole in which to install the new knob, the way the newer, six-panel doors that the last owner sprinkled around the house did.
This created a unique situation where I needed to drill the large hole to fit the knob. So off to the local hardware store I went to ask for some advice. What they recommended was the hold drill bit attachment for my drill. In addition, they recommended the guide that I could attach to the door to keep the drill from bouncing around and to make sure that my hole was drilled through completely and evenly.
So off to the races I went with the drill bit and guide. In a matter of hours, I had drilled through the seven doors that needed a new single hole. And out popped the “donut hole” from the door.
After the holes were drilled out, I was able to install the new door knob and the new strike plate. And voila – the brass was gone and our new, classic black door knobs were in place!
We’re thrilled with how they turned out and definitely can’t wait to start moving to the second floor. Before we go there we want to find the two-panel doors that match the original doors in our house. So we’ll get there at some point – hopefully in the next year or two. We’ve got some bigger fish to fry in the meantime.
Coming up soon – tree removal and garage makeover!