Ever since we moved into our house, our boarder (who lives in the basement) has had a squeaky door.  We’ve used it as a sort of alarm system to figure out if he is home or not.  It was a clear indicator but it was also sort of irritating (not the coming and going of the boarder but the regular announcement of same).

I decided to put my burgeoning handyman skills to the test and began with some logical thought.  “Surely,” thought I, “it is rubbing on the door frame and a tightening of the hinge screws will fix it.”  I repaired to the basement to repair part of the basement (see what I did there?).  The hinge screws, alas, were firmly embedded in the door frame.  No solution, there.

Having gone to school for architectural technology, I refused to let this initial setback stop me.  I rent the door from the wall rented from us (and I top myself, again.  OH THE PUNISHMENT HO HO HO).  More accurately, I carefully removed the screws holding it to the frame and took the whole thing to what is rather optimistically called the workshop.

For Christmas this year, my parents gave me a set of hobby knives (Exacto-style and quality but a different brand whose name eludes me at the moment).  This set contains a small block plane.  A small block plane not exactly intended to shave the bottom of a 20+ year old door, but, as Dad says, things aren’t as exciting when you actually have the tools you need.  I spent about ten more-or-less fruitless minutes fiddling with the plane.  I didn’t remove any of my fingers or thumbs (a good thing) but on the other hand I also didn’t remove too much of the door.  I decided, rather than going and finding a real plane at my father-in-law’s well-equipped workshop, to fully extend a utility knife and try my luck with it instead.

Utility knives are very versatile tools.  I use one at work as a letter opener and now I know I can use it to plane the bottom of a door if need be.  Writing this reminds me that I need to sweep up the leavings of my work.  I pared it down but good.  Certainly, I reasoned, this must be enough.  I was wrong.

(That last, italicized sentence up there is designed to hold your attention and make you keep reading.  It is known in ‘the biz’ as a ‘hook.’  I have misused it terribly here.  The hook should go somewhere near the beginning of the story and I have shoved it into the middle, perhaps in the hope that the story would emit a Pillsbury Doughboy-like giggle at the prodding.  Alas, nothing)

Re-hanging a door is not difficult by any means but it does tend toward the fiddly.  My fingers remained relatively unmashed through the process and the door stood triumphant in its frame.  Triumphant and squeaky.  My home-brewed planing substitute had clearly been incompletely effective.  I needed to dig deeper.

Boarder’s room and rec room (or rumpus room, if you prefer) have nearly the same height of pile to their carpets (rumpus room being a fairly industrial brown and boarder’s room having elicited a gasp of dismay and exclamation of ‘How many stray cats had to die to make this carpet’ from my sister on her first viewing of it).  The former owner, possibly in an attempt to stop the carpets unravelling at the corners and possibly to limit tripping on edges, installed a brass or brass-esque threshold strip at the intersection of the two.  At last I had found my culprit, my squeaky nemesis.  I seized my mid-sized hammer (I have three hammers.  This is perfectly normal and not worthy of comment) and dealt mighty blows to the offending strip of alloy. 

Minutes passed before the red haze cleared from my vision.  When the rage and violence had subsided, the strip lay quiescent, roughly 1/8” lower than it had been before.  The squeak was banishèd and I was victorious.

will you please release me