• Wizard Steve

Stable door - finishing touches

Now that the door is made, a lock and handles needed fitting. Only one problem; the door is bespoke. That meant that getting standard locks, latches, etc. was not an option. I searched everywhere. It was not easy. Eventually, I found a lovely rim lock. However, the keys supplied were not long enough. They needed extending. I couldn’t get any blanks as mortice keys that long are not manufactured as standard. Then, one day an older man happened by. We got talking, soon getting onto the subject of the keys. He said that he would have a look in his shed as he felt sure he had something that would solve the problem. A couple of weeks later, he reappeared with a small length of round bar that looked perfect. He took a key and returned a few days later with the extended key. Brilliant! I was out at the time, but Daniel was here caravan sitting. He left the key saying that he was going away for a couple of weeks and would return to collect the other key and also take my kettle away to repair. (The spout has become loose.) However, he has not returned and I’ve not heard anything from him since.

(Talking of people going missing; do you remember me mentioning Steve, a bloke who was visiting regularly with logs and a bifter? The last I saw of him was when he said that he would clear some rubbish from Michael’s garden. He never turned up and I’ve not heard anything since. Odd.)

I then chiselled out a section of the doorway to accommodate the stay. Due to the direction of opening, I had to recess the stay.

I found some nice old brass handles. However, fitting them was going to be an issue. Originally, they would have been fitted using grub screws. I couldn’t find any small enough. Lots of ideas were muted until I finally found some tiny connector screws. They are the smallest I could find, but still 1mm too thick as well as being much longer than required. I cut both male and female screws down to size and drilled the holes in the handles wider. Perfect. I then had to grind a tiny amount off the spindle I had so that the handles would fit. (The handles were made before the introduction of decimalisation, the spindle is fairly new.)

With Michael’s extra pair of hands, I measured, cut, drilled and fitted the lock and attached a wrought iron escutcheon. I painted one of the handles black and fitted both handles, using a washer (Michael’s idea) on the outside where the handle meets the wood of the door. I also nipped a bit off the handles to get a better finish.

I bought a slide bolt, made a little block to mount it on and fitted to the lower section. I also drilled a hole in the internal doorway to accommodate the bolt in the locked position.

I found a small piece of aluminium and made the strike plate.

Finally, I mounted reflectors all along the running board and one on the door.

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