Weather Sealing Your Door Jambs

The other day I mentioned that I put off replacing the weather sealing around our sun room door because of the heat. Yesterday, I did it in the morning before it got to 100 degrees, because there was another Excessive Heat Warning.

I saw a YouTube video of how to do this, and a guy was pushing the replacement strip in the kerf with a chisel. “Kerf” is a just fancy word for a slot in which you push the tab of the strip into the door jamb.

As I watched the video, I thought to myself, “I hope he doesn’t tear a hole in the strip with that chisel.” Then the guy actually warned viewers to be careful not to rip the weather seal with any sharp tool used to push the seal into the kerf.

It’s actually pretty easy to push the seal into the kerf. You just press it in with your fingers. The hard part is trying to keep your hands and work area clean while you’re peeling out the old strip. You do this by gripping it with needle nose pliers and pulling it out of the kerf just to get it started. This can lead to what amounts to a mini-rock slide spilling on the floor and maybe even in your face. You might think this would make you look like you worked really hard, mitigating any fallout from the mess you made.

Of course not! That’s because it’s hard to explain to your better half why there’s a pile of dirt, pieces of old seal on the floor, and grime on the fresh, new seal (the color of which is, of course, white) in addition to the swarm of hornets and flies, sparrows, the odd skunk—which you tried to hide by wiping things off with a new sponge that is earmarked for other cleaning jobs around the house, and calling pest control.

You can either try to measure the strip first and cut it before installing it or just start pressing it in at one end and estimating where to trim it (You can easily trim with a pair of stout scissors; don’t use the pair in the kitchen) when you get to the other end.

I tried the latter and the technical term for the unfortunate resulting quarter inch piece across the top of the doorway I added to make up the shortfall is “tacky.” Because of the orientation of the kerf tab, you can’t just flip it around to make it look like there’s no gap. That trick never works, apparently.

Fortunately, I’m entitled to a limited number of tacky handy man moves. Good luck.

Zinus Bed in a Box Assembly Notes: Bring on the Liniment

Well, we spent all day Friday the 11th assembling the Zinus Omkaram 48-inch Upholstered Navy Platform Bed, Full. We also ordered the Zinus Support Plus 14-inch Hybrid Mattress, Full to go with the bed. I posted a short slide show in my post Friday. I made the YouTube video yesterday.

The mattress reinflated up to 12 inches overnight after opening it on the bed. We’re not sure if it will reinflate to 14 inches. You’re supposed to let it reinflate over 72 hours.

Zinus provided all parts and tools, although in our case, one of the side rails had a Velcro piece that was factory-installed upside down. I had a smaller size allen wrench on hand, which was lucky. I just flipped it over.

The included small ratchet wrench was useful, although it had a little play in it. It’s a good idea to hand tighten the screws first, and wait until you’ve got all parts assembled before tightening them down. There’s not much give to get the side rails and slats assembled.

Sena saw one reviewer’s claim that he got the thing assembled in a half hour. We don’t believe it. The job took us all day, although to be fair, we stopped for things like breaks, hauling the mattress inside because FedEx just propped it against our garage, lunch, trips to the emergency room, physical therapy, rehab, kidnap by aliens wanting directions to the best rib joint, rescue by Men In Black, subjected to a big-ass neuralyzer, etc. We were sore when it was all done. All things considered, it went OK.

You might be wondering about the meaning of Omkaram. I don’t know what Omkaram means and googling it isn’t much help. Could it actually be a TV serial, a spiritual show that guides you in astrology? Is it a girl’s name in Sanskrit? Does the name mean you’re compassionate, friendly, spiritual, humanitarian, and—a workaholic?

Does that make any sense when it comes to platform beds? Right off hand, I don’t think so, but it probably doesn’t hurt to be a workaholic when it comes to assembling platform beds.

All I Want is a “Big-Ass Neuralyzer”

OK, we gave up on the wedge concept for eliminating or even mitigating the snoring problem. We bought an “extra bed” for those nights when sawing logs gets above the decibel level gets above pain level. We didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars because we got a DIY project. We figure it’ll be far better than trying to get by with the air mattress.

We ordered a Zinus platform bed and mattress and assembled it yesterday. We don’t believe the one reviewer who claimed he finished it in a half hour. It took us all day and I would just as soon forget at least certain parts of that ordeal, including the reason for it. So, the next thing I’m ordering is a “big-ass neuralyzer” from Walmart.

I’ve included a slide show below, and I’m considering a YouTube production about it as well. It was literally a bed in a box—boxes actually; the mattress was sent separate from the platform bed.

Zinus sent the tools—all but one smaller size allen wrench than the 3/16 inch included. It’s a good thing I’ve got a couple of sets. One of the side rails came with the part with the Velcro that holds the wood slats upside down. If you’re interested, have a 5/32 inch on hand, just in case. Sena noticed it first. Lucky all I had to do was flip it around.

Zinus sent a cute little ratchet allen wrench. It’s about as long as your middle finger. It slips a little so snugging the screw finger tight is a good idea before trying the ratchet. Sometimes it’s better to use the regular allen wrench.

If you’re thinking about getting something like this, it might be a good idea to wait before you tighten everything down. There are some pretty skinny tolerances between the side rails and the slats were kind of a tight fit, too.

The mattress came with a warning:

“This mattress knows Kung fu and may unroll itself at lightning speed. Keep small pets and children free from its kick radius. Please be extra careful when cutting it free from its bindings.”

No problem. I got my nosebleed stopped in just minutes. Remember, never tip your head back, pinch your nose, and be patient.

It looks like it’ll be more comfortable than the air mattress. We’re not thrilled about separate beds. The next home improvement project will be working on the laundry.

Cabinet Handle Switching for Those Who Crave Punishment

While we’re waiting for the snowstorm to hit today, we’re changing out bathroom cabinet drawer handles. This chore was probably invented by some satanic group. I would rather be shoveling snow, but the arrival of the blizzard keeps getting postponed later and later in the day.

You wouldn’t think changing drawer handles would be that tough, but then we didn’t plan on things like dummy front drawers. Why put dummy drawer fronts on a cabinet at all? Enter the chief dummy—me.

Putting handles on dummy drawers helps keep the appearance of the cabinet consistent. You can’t use them; they’re just for looks. I might add that it also makes changing drawer handles much more complicated. The screws securing the fake drawer handles are tucked away between the sink and the back of the cabinet. In fact, the fake drawer itself is secured to the back of the cabinet by a couple of satanic boards often screwed right on the back of the dummy drawer. It’s a very small space that makes using simple tools like standard screwdrivers impossible.

We had to buy Z-shaped screwdrivers we’ve never seen before. They’re called offset screwdrivers, made specifically for reaching screws in really awkward, cramped spaces. You have to make sure you measure the space between the obstruction and the screw. It turns out the length of the offset portion of the offset screw is not specified on the package or in on-line hardware store descriptions. They’re not all the same.

Offset screwdrivers

After bumping my elbows and knuckles a dozen times, Sena figured out how to simply remove the dummy drawer front. Remove the wood screw in the satanic board attaching the drawer to the back of the cabinet. There was only one screw per satanic board.

However, that worked only for a few of the handle screws. We still needed the offset screwdrivers to reach some of them which were cleverly placed right between the front of the sink and the back of the cabinet.

Another challenge is the disturbing frequency with which different size screws and variable-size screw holes in the drawers are used, giving the project a mix-and-match feel. Sometimes glue is a factor.

And there’s always at least one stubborn screw which won’t unscrew. This one baffled me and I was sure it was stripped. I went through the gauntlet of DIY tricks including sticking a rubber band on the screw, inserting the screwdriver and very slowly turning in the lefty loosey direction–which makes a pretty good impression of the screwdriver head in the rubber band. I also tried pliers, vice grips, and of course sprayed WD-40 liberally enough to step in it and track it all over the house. Sena was very pleased with this.

And then—Sena removed the screw in one second by simply screwing it all the way back in and unscrewing it all the way back out. She did not gloat.

It’s 2:00 PM and the first few snowflakes are starting to fly. We’re supposed to get 6-12 inches evidently, spaced out between this afternoon, tonight, and tomorrow. At this rate, it’ll be dark before there’s enough to scrape off the sidewalk.

But I would do it to go AWOL from drawer handle switching duty.

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