Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tool Time at the Muffin Tin

Faithful Cupcake Mafia Readers will know that I have been engaged in a brief love affair with my power drill, Bruce. Well, on Sunday we hit a speed bump in our relationshp. I was installing a new door knob and lock in my bathroom door. I had mastered the art of opening this tempermental door, but everytime I had a guest over, the knob invariably came off in their hand. It was getting old. Once I discovered that new door knob kits cost about ten bucks and it would give me an exucse to see Bruce again, I went for it.

I knew installing the knobs was going to be a bitch anyways because of the location of the knob in proximity of the screws, I couldn't get Bruce in there to do the job, so I would be doing the work myself with a Philips Head Screwdriver. But first I had to install the new latch and lock. I don't know what happened, I really don't. Basically, I stripped the heads of both screws before driving them in all the way. Okay, I'll admit. There was some serious forcing of this issue on my part. I though Bruce was maybe just having some performance anxiety and needed a little coaxing. Soon it became clear that no one was going all the way with these screws. When I switched to reverse to pull them out and replace them with new screws, I just did more dammage. Then I picked up the Philips to try to complete the job manually, but they were too destroyed to to respond. Likewise, I couldn't get them out with an unscrewing motion.

Result: my screws are sticking out halfway and my door doesn't seal shut.

Questions: What did I do wrong to strip the screws in the first place? How am I going to fix this? I just need to get these screws out so I can get new screws in. A wrench? A ratchet? The back end of a hammer?

Please, if anyone wants to come over and help with this problem, you can have some of the cake I baked (see above). It's a little dry, but I have milk. Come on, you know you love a challenge. My weekend is open.


Tiffany said...

Had the same thing happen once to me... If you (or someone you know) has pliers - that's how I got my terribly stripped screws out.

When you go to put the new screws in make sure you have the right size attachment for Bruce... If the tip part is too little it just spins around and strips the hole.

I'd come help but it's a bit far from California for a weekend jaunt!

Cupcake said...

Thanks Tiffany. That was really helpful! I guess the new question is, do any of my friends own a pair of pliers?

La Hipster said...

I have no pliers, but I DO have a free weekend in which to purchase some and help mastermind some door repair. Holler.

Cupcake said...

I looked at the door again last night and I'm concerned that pulling the screws out with pliers will dammage the wood. We are talking about a Brooklyn studio apartment cheap door.

LaHipster, you are on standby. Thanks for volunteering.

bbrug said...

You've probably dealt with it by now,* but just in case: I wouldn't try just pulling the screws straight out--yes, obviously, that would shred the wood. I'd try to grab the head of the screw with the pliers and unscrew it. Locking pliers might be most useful for this, and I'm pretty sure I stole some from my dad last year and never gave them back. So if you're still searching, drop me a note.

* I'm catching up on the last week's posts after accidentally deleting your site from my newsreader.

Cupcake said...

bbrug, I'm glad you're back. Your blog can be tricky to find and I neglected to bookmark it.

I called my Dad from Target this weekend, explained the situation and said, "So, do you think I should get a pair of Slip Joint Pliers or Bent Jaw Pliers?"

"I don't know, just get a regular pair of pliers. I have no idea what you're talking about."

"Okay, I think when you say "regular" you're talking about the Slip Joint, but it looks like the Bent Jaw could really come in handy here."

Looks like I am quickly surpassing the Old Man in terms of handiness. I ended up buying both pairs but haven't had a chance to use them yet because my weekend was so busy. I'm feeling pretty good about my chances.

Tiffany said...

Any update?? Jus tcurious how that worked out for you!

Cupcake said...

I used the bent jaw pliers to get the screws out last night with little difficulty. They were quite dammaged. I think there were unnecessarily long for the job at hand. I replaced them with some shorter screws that I screwed in manually and the whole thing looks great and seals shut.

Thansk for everyone's tips!