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.