The Solid Core Door

The Solid Core Door

By O’Ceallaigh

I have a door in the entryway of my house. It has had a water stain on it for quite some time. You know, one of those stains that is noticeable to you but to nobody else?

Well, today was the day! I decided to pull the pins on the hinges, remove the door, sand it and re-stain it. It was intended to be a simple project, even for this old duffer.

I thoughtfully assembled the various tools I would need and sat down in my office chair to think things through. I’m not sure how long I thought about it. I was much too comfortable

When I awoke I went to the entry and inserted the screwdriver under the head of the top pin. It easily slid up and out with very little coaxing. Then the second pin was removed.  One more to go!

This one was a little tighter. The blade of the screwdriver wouldn’t quite insert itself under the head of the pin. With a bit of persuasion from a hammer it finally loosened and I was able to pull it the rest of the way out.

Now, the level of the door is approximately two feet above the entry floor and opens into the living room. There are three steps leading up to the living room.

Did I tell you that the door is a “Solid-Core” door?

Many doors are made from sort of a card-board honey-comb stuff in the middle with smooth luan on the outside making a sandwich door that is very light.

A solid-core door is different; the core is made of solid lead! Or, some kind of wood that weighs as much as lead.

I turned the knob…

I stand about six foot and weigh about 190 pounds on any given day. I’m no wuss, but I’ve seen better days! I just learned that I could use some of those better days!

When I turned the knob, the door did exactly what I expected it to do. It came toward me but with its center of gravity about three feet over my head!

After doing the most ridiculous looking dance, I finally got myself and the door under control. It wasn’t easy, but with some extra effort, and with several rest stops, I made the thirty feet to the saw-horses I had set up where I was going to do my work.

Then came the easy part. With my trusty Black and Decker sander I sanded the entire surface of the of the door and carefully applied the walnut stain…

When my wife and I returned from the chiropractor the stain was dry and I reassembled the door-glass molding and lock-set and stood back to admire my work. It actually looked quite nice. The nicest it’s looked in twenty years!

That’s when I began the process of re-installation of the door.

I took hold of the knob and the edge of the door and began to lift.

Then I remembered the lead in the core of the door…

I’ll go to the chiropractor again tomorrow.

Jeff came about a half hour ago, picked up the door, stuck it on the hinges and dropped the pins in.

My wife had the audacity to ask me, “Why aren’t you helping him!??” I explained that I was more likely in his way than able to help. By that time, Jeff was done.

Jeff was our neighbor when we moved in 38 years ago. He was only a newborn then. My daughter and Jeff grew up together and played together for many years.

He’s grown some since then. I’m very glad that he has. He was a good friend in a time of need.

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