The lost art of handiness

I’ve been thinking this week about being handy around the home.  Jamie from work raised it.  He’s a thirty-something (maybe late 20s) generation Y and he was lamenting how he is rubbish when it comes to those fixes  around the house that our grandfathers and fathers just… well they just do stuff.

Need a new surround for your oven?  Right on it.

A wooden box for your computer.  No problemo.

You want a picture hung where??

A couple of years ago Rory and I built a pergola with decking out the back.  Well when I say we built it, it’s probably more accurate to say Dad built it and we assisted him.

Engineer of the Year in 1995, he is the master builder.

Occasionally though, we got to play with the grown ups tools.

This is dad supervising me on a circular saw:

Now we need a new pergola out the front and I’m hoping Rory and Hugo might be persuaded to have a go.

In the meantime, today I have been pretty handy myself.

the light works

I’ve got a rowing light which a couple of months ago just stopped working.

Very annoying.

I thought at first it was the battery nodes as they were looking a little rusty, but even cleaned the light wouldn’t work.

So I got out my handy phillips head baby screwdriver and undid the screws and took it apart.

There was moisture in the “light” area so I dried that off first and then I realised that the little wires going from the battery to the electronics had lost connection.

(the second one especially so after I wiggled it to see if it was firm… as you do)

So I got out the wire stippers and the soldering iron and as you can see from the picture… voila!

Isn’t soldering fun.  Fun in an annoying – wish I had a magnifying light lens thing – damn it that solder ball got away again – kind of way.

I am pretty impressed with myself.

Fingers crossed the light stays working!


How to fix a sliding door

Our well used sliding doors into the granny flat and out of the back doors have been bumpy and sticky for a while now.

The door to the cabana (our granny flat) so bumpy as to actually bump out of the track which is why we had banned the kids from hanging out in there.

Over the holidays I had tried to get a man in to fix them little realising that I slept with such a man every night.

To be fair, Groover didn’t know he was that man either until a recent trip to the hardware shop to buy a new toilet seat (cracked for at least six months).

There he saw roller thingys…

So this weekend we set about fixing our sliding doors which really should be called rolling doors as they roll along on these little wheels.

You know, I’d never even thought about how sliding doors worked. I guess I imagined ball bearings if anything.

Anyway they don’t “slide” if the little wheels look like this:

It took us a while to get them out and we undid screws that didn’t need undoing and were tricky to get back in.

Basically with this roller all you need to do is loosen the little screw at the top of the unit… this is the one that adjusts the height of the rollers – there is only one screw. Don’t take it all the way out!

Then it’s just a matter of tapping in the new unit, adjusting the rollers to the minimum height, replacing the door and then raising the roller until the door “slides” smoothly.

Piece of piss really.

And it only took us about ALL DAY to do the three doors that needed their rollers replacing.

Of course they had different rollers so a second trip to the hardware store was required!

The rollwes were between $12-$16 each and with a number of screwdrivers and two people to remove the doors and encourage one another the job was easily accomplished by two handy-noobs.

And it was a lot more satisfying than writing an outrageous cheque to a fellow who might do it in five minutes.