Dutchmen and Disaster

Last night I was sanding my banister when disaster struck. I decided that it was time to glue on the little piece of wood that I had broken off at the bottom.


So I went over to the stove where I had stored it for safekeeping and my stomach dropped. I rooted around. I stacked up all the random crap that wasn’t lost. I threw all the random crap I stacked. I looked through the kitchen cabinets. It’s not to be found. Is it gone? Or did I just move it someplace so safe even I can’t find it? I called my dad. Maybe he’d remember.

He gasped, and then he hollered. “It wasn’t labeled? You can’t blame me for this!”

This wasn’t the news I hoped for, but it was a good idea. I hollered back, “Yes I do!”

I heard him shout about it to my mom and that was about it. But then I calmed down. There were several little fragments of wood and they’re all missing, so there’s a good chance I moved them all and forgot where I put them. And if it doesn’t turn up, I can repair the damage, but it’s extra work so I’ll defer the banister until after Phase 1. I have a bandsaw and a router, so I can probably make a piece close enough no one will tell. Or if not, I’ve seen this same banister in 3 other houses around the city, so it was obviously an off the shelf product to modernize Victorian houses in the 30’s. I might be able to hack a piece off one to fix mine.

Back to constructive progress. The front bedroom closet doors had thick varnish residue that quickly gummed up my sandpaper and threw me into the depths of despair. But then I had a breakthrough. First I wondered if the globs would come off with paint thinner. And I found that the sort of did if I scrubbed hard. But then I got a better idea. The sandpaper says it’s good for wet sanding. So I slathered paint thinner on everything! This might have been totally insane but it kept the sandpaper from clogging and I could make it last longer by rinsing the goop out of it with yes, more paint thinner.

I may have come closer to restoring these doors to like new condition than I wanted to at first, but the grain is stunning, and there’s no way I’d want to mask this.


Then the other job was on the ends where the doorknob holes used to be. I dealt with the faces by getting massive pocket door hardware, but the ends were exposed. Luckily, I still had a thin piece of wood left over from when the Irishman cut these doors down, and the holes were clean rectangles, so it was easy to make stain grade Dutchman patches. I ripped them to width on the Irishman’s table saw, cut them to length, and then glued them in.


Then I went out for the day and let the glue dry. Afterwards I put coarser sandpaper onto the sander and went at it. You can barely tell it’s there right? So I’m closing in on the end of this dirty job.


So can we hope for a few resolutions in the next post, or is that too much to ask for?


4 thoughts on “Dutchmen and Disaster

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s