Saturday, February 16, 2013

Holy Sh*t! It Worked!!!

Seriously... not 1 of the 4 of us here for this adventure actually believed it was going to happen.  And it nearly didn't.  I mean it.  Had we continued on our starting path, and gotten any further than we did, the secret door would have been a sad technical error.

I got the hinges a few days ago, and was very excited about them.  Too excited.  I'd never seen anything so creatively simple, that felt so solid and quality made.  I was so excited, I made a video this morning to show you what they looked like and what they did before we put them into the wall.

Here's the video... which I did in a rush before M&D arrived to help.  Sorry about the beginner video skills, it's the first one I've done and I didn't really plan or prepare too much.

Also before M&D arrived, I took the hinges and the door handle off the old door.  I managed to get the whole thing off without any damage.  The key had actually been stuck in the lock since I moved in years ago, but I got it out today without any issues! I put all of the workings into a bag for when we find a place to use them in the future.


Once they arrived, Dad and I got moving on the hinges.  There are three things I can tell you about doing hinges:  One, the more you use, the harder it will be to get them all lined up;  Two, always read the instructions, figure it in your head, then read the instructions again before you start;  and Three, if you're even 1/8" off on any of them, you're toast.

Here's where we almost lost it, where the secret door almost became a "secret beaded curtain" (as the peanut gallery kindly suggested when I noticed the mess we made).  With the special hinges, there were special instructions.  We put the template on upside down for the first one.  No, there isn't anything on the template marking which way is up... we just didn't stop and figure it out in our heads before deciding that we were right.  SO, we bored five 3/4" holes for the first hinge at least 3/8" too far to the right.  Crap.

For all the ones after that (and in redoing the top one), we thought twice, drew lines, used masking tape, and then chiselled like crazy to get a perfect fit.  Mum came in to help with the chiselling part, as it definitely requires a delicate hand, and there were 6 holes to fit hinges into.

The 5 holes we had to make
for each side of a hinge
Delicate chisel work...
Hinge in!

Once we got them fitting, we really had a moment of pause - or at least I did.  They door would either fit when we held it up, or the hinges would be out by a bit, and all our work would be a waste.  They'd either go in well, or we'd just lean the door back against the wall and go have a beverage to celebrate our brave attempt.

Doing chisel work on
the wall
Making sure pilot holes
were drilled for the screws
Here we go!
Holy Crap

My Dad held the door up, and my Mum and I popped in the hinges one by one.  "Holy Sh*t.... it worked".  I know this went through my head, and I'm sure something similar came out of my mouth.  Very little sanding, and only a bit more chisel work and BAM!  SECRET DOOR!!

Almost closes!
From the other way!
Looky there!
Time to trim a bit...
and BAM!

Well, the door isn't a secret yet, but my Dad told me a secret when we were all cleaned up - he said after he saw the hinges I got, he had no idea how we were going to do it.  But we did :)

Two outlets?
Not anymore!

OH, In the midst of my Mum and I sanding, my Dad also took the mysterious middle-of-the-wall electrical outlet apart so when the panelling goes up, I won't have to go around it.  Phew!

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  1. We loved the video and story. Those hinges are amazing. Next: the concealed doorknob?

    1. Haha, I wish! Next is panelling (a very big project). For now, I'm going to worry about patching the old hinge and knob spots

  2. Yay!! Well done! I hate that feeling of anticipation after some hard and confusing work... did we do it right? Congratulations on 'doing it right'! I bet it will look great with your paneling in place :) looking forward to seeing it all done!

    1. I wish I could say the next step will be just as quick, but I think the panelling is going to be a doozy!