It Is My Job To Exist As...

...a shining beacon of hope in the heartland

By: Juli Eklund

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Thursday, 10-May-2007 22:39 Email | Share | Bookmark
Weekend Project: Install Dog Door

Way outside
Now that the yard is finally fenced, we have to put in a doggie door so the girls can seek shelter from bad weather in the garage. There's already a doggie door there, but it's a tight fit for both dogs and with Dallas' bad hips and knee we need to get something bigger going on there.

The door is a steel door with a foam core so it's going to take a tool I don't own to cut the hole. Fortunately the A*c*e Hardware in Wamego rents tools. There's this nifty thing called a Sawzall and I sure wish I had more projects that required this tool because it's really cool. Yeah, you can tell I'm a lesbian 'cause I get excited about tools...but I digress. They rent the tool, but not the blade, you have to buy the blade.

So I rent the tool. I tape the template that came with the new door to the big door and use a marking pen to draw my cut lines and mark where to drill holes for the screws. Then I have to drill starter holes at the four corners for the saw. The drill bits I have don't seem to be doing very well with the steel so I go back to the hardware store to get better bits. Thank heaven it's only 5 minutes down the road. Upon my return the new bits don't seem to be working all that well either. Hmmm, could it be that the last person who used the drill switched it to reverse and I've been too stoopid the check that little toggle. A-yup. All holes now drill quite easily.

The next step is to saw a rectangle out of the door to fit the dog door and flap into. The instructions say to remove the door from the frame and lay it down on two sawhorses. I do not possess saw horses. I'm sure A*c*e rents them but I'll be damned if I'm going to make a third trip to their store for this project. You can't cut with a Sawzall with the door still hanging in place, believe me I tried. You can't just lay it on the ground because you have to cut all the way through the door so it needs to be at least a couple of inches up off the ground. What to do, what to do?

I'm so smart. The tailgate of a Dakota truck and the tailgate of a Jimmy parked back to back make great saw horses! The rectangle is sawn and now it's time to fit the door in place.

Of course no project would be complete without do-overs. The cut lines are not perfectly straight and some spots are just too narrow to fit the framing into so I have to re-saw several areas. Finally the door fits. Now the screws. Of course the screw holes I drilled per the template locations don't exactly match up with the screw holes on the frame and they didn't tell me what size drill bit to use so the holes are also too small for the screw sheath to fit flush with the door. But now that I know how to have the bit spinning in the correct direction, re-drilling the holes is an easy task.

This project was completed Saturday. As of tonight, both dogs are madly running in and out of their very own door. No longer do we have to play doorman to the dogs. No longer do I have to rush home for doggie potty breaks. I can have a life again. I can go on vacation! I'm leaving for Oregon Saturday.

Please note, no feminine tools were used during this project.

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