Sunday, January 18, 2015

Another Project, Another Challenge...Part I

Installed evenly with a piece of cardboard!
Recently, I stood at my living room window watching a contractor across the way replace some deck posts that I guess had weakened over time. I watched with interest as he unloaded his tools, lined up lumber and grabbed the tape measure from his belt. Here is where it got interesting to me.

He measured, made a mark, and measured again...and again."Measure twice, cut once" is a well known term among tradesmen, but six times seemed excessive.

Now, I've witnessed this repetitive action before with other contractors and my ex, but this time, I became convinced that men are either obsessed with measuring things, or, have a real problem with short term memory loss. In any event, my real reason for the persistent observation was to see what drill he would be using. But his damn tape measure was holding up that part of the job!

Let's start from the beginning. A couple of years ago, a friends husband was renovating their already large kitchen, when he decided to remove some cabinets and take a wall down. Short of it is that he had a full box of new cabinet knobs that he didn't use or return. So when I started renovating my kitchen, he gave me a box of new, polished silver knobs that went well with my new stainless steel appliances.

If you've ever purchased cabinet door hardware, you know that it can be expensive. Sometimes, $4, $5, $6 (or higher) each. I needed 25 knobs. So even though I had my eye on something a little more upscale, free was cheaper. And it would look fine.

One of the things I didn't change when I renovated the kitchen were my cabinets. I may paint them at some point, but for now they are in good shape. They didn't have door knobs before, so there were no pre-drilled holes. So one cold winter day with nothing much going on, I decided to tackle the job of installing the knobs. How hard could it be?

That will be the last time I ask that question. My first concern was making sure that all the knobs lined up evenly on each door and drawer. As you knew I would, I went to YouTube to see how exactly this is done. After several videos on the correct use of protractors and other measuring devices, I finally said "screw this" (no pun intended) and tore the cardboard backing from my grocery pad and made a template. It worked perfectly!

Burnt drill bit
Onto the next step, drilling holes for the knob screws. Using my handy dandy template, I marked up all the cabinets and was ready to commence drilling.  I figured all 25 holes would take about 30 minutes. I figured wrong. I had no idea how hard cabinet wood is. At least my cabinets anyway.

(I should stop here and tell you that I have a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. It only bothers me when I'm doing something really stupid. Now let's get back to my story about doing something really stupid).

So, I find 3/16" drill bit, which is what is suggested to use, take aim and pull the trigger, and went absolutely nowhere. After several minutes, there was just a tiny hole in the wood and smoke was pouring out of it. I pulled the drill bit back and the tip was black...burnt black. Remembering something I read recently, I switched drill bits to use ones made of titanium. TITANIUM. Used in the assembly of commercial air crafts. I better be careful not to go through the wall and into my neighbors kitchen! This should work much better...and it did. Not. Although, there was a lot more smoke coming out.

After several minutes of applying intense pressure, I broke through the wood and a hole was born, but my shoulder was killing me and the kitchen smelled like a wood burning fireplace. This can't be good...or normal. I put all my tools on the dining room table and then reached for the Advil. After mastering all the other projects in my house, this tiny one was shaking my confidence (along with my right arm for several hours.) I actually spent the afternoon drilling one hole. ONE HOLE. There were 24 more left to go. What was I doing wrong?

Tuesday Part II: The solution and a pitch to Lowe's and Home Depot

No comments:

Post a Comment