Can a door be art? Piss off.
This is a word-tale about a a proud man and his perfect door.
It is also—perhaps more so—the account of a stubborn man and his stupid, 400-hour masterpiece.
Mostly, though, it’s a pointless story about finagling an old, wonky bathroom door in to an equally-old, differently-wonky doorframe.
Find the saddest banana in the fruit bowl and just destroy it. Spray the jellied mess far and wide: slippers; nose; ceiling.
Repeat for an hour or two, fifteen times, over three weeks. Make it the highlight of your afternoon.
Likewise, paint removal. Ming; everywhere; forever.
My journey began prophetically: with great energy and underwhelming progress. Almost a month scraping off paint followed by a week of putting paint back on.
The perfect assistant.
93 years young and woefully ignorant of modern labour laws.
I believed my door to be a perfectly normal door removed from a perfectly normal doorframe.
“Did you think to check before artsyfartsying with…?”—Oh hush your mouth.
This door was crooked, the doorframe comprehensively borked, and the threshold neither flat nor straight.
When fitting a door that’s all the variables.
Armed with tools I barely knew how to use I measured, I doodled, I calculated.
Then, inevitably, I shaved millimetres off everything tens of times until the carpentry gods smiled upon me.
Dead horse, well flogged
Perfection cruelly highlights the imperfect.
Thus did I notice the screaming gap over my otherwise pristine door fit.
My trusty wood-filler cut zero mustard.
But glue-sandwiched MDF sawed at a perfect 86 degree angle and nailed to buggery? Condiments duly sliced.
Have your cake and drop it
A well-fitted hinge lies flush. A flat, shallow depression of a few millimetres is the ideal bed.
An inch-deep crevasse because someone doesn’t know how to use a chisel is not.
Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
Half a tube of glue and three sighs of woodfiller later and my shame was concealed.
How does one cut a door?
Four hands, improvisation, and pant‑wetting terror.
Handles require holes, which in turn require a blade spinning at all the Rs-per-M.
To stray from center is immediate ruination. Pretty much the only skill you need is to drill straight.
I did not have that skill. When in doubt, go meta.
I couldn’t make a straight hole so I attempted a straight-hole-maker.
I began with toilet-, kitchen- and heavy-duty rolls of different thickness, art supplies and pages of measurements. A fever dream of unsurpassed genius betrayed by reality. Hours of fiddling later I admitted I was an idiot.
Three sleeps later I unleashed attempt II: the Drill Pyramid. One perfect hole! Two! THE DRILL GOD COMETH!
The Drill God is a goddamned coward.
For the riskier latch holes I bought a pre-made tool.
Generally, 1mm matters very little. Here, specifically, it mattered enormously.
‘25mm holes suitable for all standard internal doors’ was a lie on both counts. ‘24mm holes suitable for America’s stupid version of a stupid door,’ perhaps, sold fewer products.
My shortcut left me with a hole that—while straight—was too short and too narrow, another latch hole still to go, and the first stirrings of racism. America can get in the bin.
2 days of rageful chiselling took care of the first latch. Nervous drilling and liberal use of The Drill Pyramid saw to the second.
Tunnel lights, Oncoming Trains
The difference between a painted, holey slab of wood and a functional door is a majestic swing.
In one spectacular day I measured, hacked, and drilled my way to an open, hingèd door.
Pity about the whole not-shutting thing.
Wisdom is taking measurements after applying three layers of paint to a door and another three to the frame.
A quick rehanging and my door finally door’d. But you can’t unsee a shitty hinge.
Fortunately you can, if so inclined, matchstick, faggot, and glue it to goodness.
Dotted i’s, crossed t’s.
The final stretch—handles and locks—was ominously straightforward.
Something was… missing.
Can a door be art? Piss all the way off.
Right, sure. Right. Okay. But what if it sparkles?!
Golly / Art.