Where I was and what I was doing.

13 06 2018

My list of odd or unusual handyman requests continues to gro. It seems the media has convinced the public of a need for anti-tip straps or devices for dressers, wardrobes, TVs and TV stands, and almost anything that a child can climb on and tip over — a good approach to child safety. There is a small downside: if you change or rearrange furniture  there will be visible holes in the drywall. If the walls are light colored then Spackle might blend and in some cases will not require painting. I’d suggest saving any paint, or at least the label or lid of the paint can, so paint can be matched to cover the repair if needed. Kitchen stove manufacturers have know about the tipping danger for years. Yet some still don’t include an anti- tip device with the sale of a new range. They should. The device is inexpensive but often hard to find. Ranges are fairly light and have a high center of gravity. Refrigerators are heavy and have a low center of gravity. With the current trend of the freezer on the bottom, there is the possibility of the freezer drawer being used as a step by a child followed by tipping.

With the aging population I have experienced an increase in the need for grab bars in bathrooms. I have installed grab bars of several designs and manufacturers. A problem with installing them in older homes is finding a substantial framing member for attaching the bar. I prefer to secure at least one end of the bar to a stud for stability. Often I have to rely on toggle bolts to fasten one or both to the wall rather than into a stud. I always explain the situation to customer and make sure they know I may not successful finding a stud. I wish builders would put plywood behind the tile and backer.

I have hung several porch swings in the last couple of years. About 12 months after installation a swing fell with someone in it! And from the side where the lighter person was sitting! Fortunately, no one was injured. There was, however, company on the porch and some wine and cheese involved. That first time, I had hung the way the homeowner requested. The second time I went back and hung my way. I used two swing hangers with two lag-bolts in each. With this swing I knew where the rafter above the ceiling was located, so I installed two bolts on each end and hung the swing from the bracket. It is still up.

A customer recently asked me to clean out the pipe from the disposal in the kitchen. I did and found something resembling shredded corn stalks in the pipe. After removing the shreds, the sink and disposal both worked correctly. About three months later I had another call asking me to clean the same drain. More roughage in the drain. After the clean-out, one resident blamed it on the other resident. I suggested she buy him a chipper/shredder for Christmas for his roughage instead of using the disposal. I havn’t cleaned it again. I think we are still friends; he has called me again.

Pocket doors. I don’t like them. I worked on one at our church. It was a mess. The trucks the door rides on were missing along with other parts and pieces. I cut two small holes in the drywall inside a pantry to reach everything I needed to take out of the wall and install new components to make the door work correctly again. I think there is a better way! Manufacturers and builders, how about working on that?

For several years I’ve helped a family move their Christmas tree from the top of their SUV, install the base, take the tree in the house, and set it upright. They have 10 or 11 foot ceilings but are selling the house and will be in a new one before the end of summer. I am willing to bet the new house will have even higher ceilings.  If, so it might take a rigging crew for the next Christmas tree. Merry Christmas. I have another client who asks me hang garland and twinkle light on the front of their home. It is a labor of love for me. I enjoy the season — except when it’s cold. And I like the way the lights look and the scent from the garland.

More later.

 


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