Snail Mail

No, I’m not referring to the post office but rather to how projects get done slowly around these parts. Actually, this one wasn’t so bad…I think it sat around for 4 months before installing it, and we could blame most of that on winter. Who wants to enlarge an opening in their exterior walls when it’s below freezing?

In a way this kind of project is symbolic of how far we’ve gotten on the house. We skipped a number of these items…the ones that look nice but get deferred because there’s always something more tangible/relevant/practical that gets first first dibs on whatever funds we’ve managed to set aside for the house. And so sometimes in lieu of new cars and diamonds I’ll give Stephanie a house part as a gift, and she actually gets excited about it. But then it might sit uninstalled for months, in which case the enthusiasm dies down a bit.

I finally felt guilty enough about this that I asked my friend Andy if I could borrow his multi-tool with the oscillating saw blade. I couldn’t think of anything else that would work well for enlarging a mail slot. Saw-zalls can be too rough (I didn’t want it ripping apart the side lights), and jig-saws aren’t great for tight spaces. The oscillating saw looked perfect, and it was. I’ve never used one before, but now it’s on my list of tools I have to buy someday. I wish I had had one back when re-wiring the house. It would have done a much better job of cutting holes for electrical boxes than my roto-zip. Unlike the roto-zip, the oscillating saw doesn’t tend to “wander.” The entire project took about an hour and a half, but most of that time was spent making a template. I’m usually too impatient to do that and just start cutting, but this flap was kind of complicated. The hinges needed to have notches created adjacent to the bolt holes, so I knew if I just started cutting things, I’d screw it up. It sure would have been nice if it came with a template, but it worked out OK in the end.

And stepping back…
So clean
Hole from old mail slot. Nice color!

4 thoughts on “Snail Mail

  1. Hi! I love your awesome blog–it’s an inspiration for an aspiring DIY-er.
    Is there any chance you’d be willing to rent out your nifty RRP-qualified lead paint stripper? Our project is a tiny 672 square foot bungalow and we just can’t justify the expense of purchasing one or renting it through the mail. But we also would really, really, really like to strip our 1924 built-in clear vertical grain Douglas Fir kitchen cabinets without permanently damaging the intellectual capacities of our future children. I can provide references, relatives to extort, and a deposit–whatever would be fair.


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