Garage doors, volume 1

Posted by Nate in Day to Day, Home Improvements.
Tuesday, December 6th, 2005 at 9:39 pm

Score: Doors 2, Duo Team 1.

Our garage doors hate winter. (I wonder why?) The main car door has started to jump its tracks – no real surprise as the garage is getting old and the cold / heat has started greatly influencing its shape. The tracks seem to have spread and the door just can’t quite meet the new width. But beyond that, even when I’m manually holding the jumped section in place, it will often act like it’s hit something and reverse itself at about 1′ from closing. And our in-car remotes won’t work again until it’s fully re-opened, a full 10 seconds at least. Worse than that, it seems to be totally beyond help from the car remotes, you have to get out into the garage where you can use the wall-mounted control to stop it as soon as it reverses, un-reverse it, and continue (if you’re lucky and it worked) on your merry way. This can slow down your morning by a whole 2 or 3 minutes. I know. Agony.

And the people door has started acting up too – the deadbolt no longer fits into its slot. For a while we could force it and get by with some aggresive key work, but this morning saw the end of those shenanigans. The deadbolt refused to work, we were late, and finally had to turn the knob lock and call it good.

Obviously, something had to be done.

So after some drinks at Herkimer with the Caveman, I came home and decided a little work with the dremel was needed to expand the metal slot for the deadbolt – 5 minutes work, tops. So I changed the bit to a good metal cutting one, headed out, and sure enough the lock was working in no time. Happy with my work, I stepped outside for one more test – what the… this handle should be turning… no problem, I’ll just use the remote to open the door… wait, the remotes are in our cars… which are in the garage… which is now totally securely locked!!!

So what followed was the second consecutive night of the comedic stylings of Nate in a panic – "let’s try this old garage door opener, I think it might work." "Wait, it needs batteries!" "They’re dead and a crazy size, no go, but I can stack some AAs together!" "Ok, that’s the right voltage, why isn’t this working?" "Crap!" "Karen, can you find the code for the (broken) keypad?" "Ok, let’s try it." "That battery’s dead too??" "Ok, I’ll hold this 9V battery together with these two AAs." "Hey, it’s lighting up! Enter the code using these keys to scrape the missing terminals!" "Shit, that code’s too many digits, must be a part number scratched in a margin!" "Ok, one more try with the old remote!" "Crap!" "Karen, want to walk Bruno while I try some percussive maintenance on the door?"

In the end it didn’t even take much. I’ll leave out the details so all the criminals reading this blog won’t know how to break into our garage (although now that the deadbolt’s working, the point is moot. Solid, baby, solid.), but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We’re in and all seems well, but… damn, where are the backup plans when you need them? Even now, I can tell I’m not going to make a backup plan. "Self, that won’t happen again," I’m saying. Perfect.

Stay tuned for more fun when I tackle the car door. You know you can’t wait.

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2 Responses to “Garage doors, volume 1”

  1. m Says:

    Yay for St. Nicholas Day! Sounds like a frantic beginning led to a fun morning.
    You have been having some interesting misadventures lately, what with garage doors, fixed locks that lock you out, and crashing jars of pistachios.
    I think this blog was a super-good idea. There’s no other way you could both keep us as in touch as these blogs do. It’s the little stuff that makes the day, and it’s so fun reading about the little and the big stuff, and getting pictures as well!
    So thanks for starting it and for posting so often. I love it!

  2. Rick Says:

    Yowza – I hope you didn’t buy any lottery tickets on your “lucky day”! I laughed out loud at your garage door adventure. You’ll have to save these – they will make a good read later in life. ditto to Mom’s comments on the blog.