email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Garden Enclosure Screen Door

The garden enclosure door is giving me trouble.  The posts holding it keep getting out of alignment.  Sometimes the top sticks.  Sometimes, the latch won't catch.

I've bought some additional pvc pipes to help hold it in place, but I had to get the frame in alignment first.  One post had to be raised 1/4", and that was trickier than I thought.  Since it is stuck in the ground 2', the idea was to pry it up 1/4" and then hold it there while nature lets the soil below it expand and fill in.

So the first part was to lift the post.  Easier said than done.  I dripped water in around it for an hour, and that did loosen the post.  But lifting the post isn't just pulling it up a bit.  There had to be something to hold it up the 1/4".  And I don't mean to suggest that I am strong enough to just pull it up that much.

I had the idea of screwing a 2x4" board to the post and prying on the bottom of that board.  That would work, but how would I hold it there?  I tried putting a 4x4" post against the top of the frame and then lifting it with shims.  I did that, but the frame didn't rise.

All I was doing was pushing the post into the dirt...


And if I put a board under the 4x4" post, that was too tight to make it fit under.  I had to re-think it.  And the 4x4" post I was using to raise door frame was the wrong length by 1".

AHA!  I set a scrap piece on board in the screen doorway and set the post that was "just" too long on the board at an angle.  Pounding that 4x4" post that was at an angle, toward the post I wanted to lift worked!

Look at it another way.  The door frame post and the ground made a right angle, with the bracing post resting on a board at the bottom making the hypotenuse.  By pounding the bottom of the bracing board with a small sledgehammer, I pushed the top of the door frame up the required 1/4".  Hurray!

But how to hold it up?  The bracing post prevented the door from closing...

Well, that baffled me for a few minutes.  But then I realized that if I screwed on a board near the bottom of the door frame post  on the opposite side, it would hold it up for ever.  Well, I didn't need "forever", just long enough for wet soil to settle below the door frame post.

SO...   I set a cinder block next to the door frame post, stomped on it a few times to settle it into the soil so it wouldn't sink under pressure, and put a scrap piece of 2x4" board atop the cinder block.  And I screwed that board into place.

So the post holding the latch side of the screen door (that I had just raised 1/4") won't settle back down (the piece of 2x4" is resting on a cinder block that won't settle into the ground and the 2x4" board is screwed solidly into the door frame post).

I can leave all that in place forever.  Its not in the way of the door closing.

But the latch doesn't "catch",  I can solve THAT.  A small piece of aluminum fill fix that.  Actually some would a plastic credit card.

Just accept that the door and latch will now work, and that the screen door closes as smoothly as silk!

1 comment:

Megan said...

Well done that man. I would have conceded defeat a looooong time ago. LOL

Sydney, Australia