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It came orf in me ‘and!

I was rushing to work one morning last week, and pulled the porch door shut behind me on the way, as I’ve done literally thousands of times over the last two decades. Except this time, the door slammed shut and the handle came right off in my hand! The base plate was still firmly screwed to the door, but the knob was no longer attached….. On investigating further, it appeared that the insides had completely rusted away over the years, and it wasn’t a simple matter to reattach the knob. I’d need a whole new handle.

So I went to an ironmongers at the weekend and bought a new Victorian-style round brass door knob, as close as possible in style to the broken one. If only it was as easy as that!  The original fitting was probably genuinely Victorian, and was clearly made to imperial measurements. The new one, though it looked the same size in the shop, was clearly manufactured to the metric “equivalent”, and was about a millimetre and a half smaller in diameter than the old one. Which meant that there would be a ring of bare, unpainted wood right around the edge of the baseplate, clearly a recipe for rot to set in. And when I unscrewed the old base plate to make a start on fixing it, it was clear that it had been replaced a couple of times already – there were so many screw holes in the wood that it looked like it had woodworm!

Fortunately, I found some wood filler at the bottom of my toolbox, so was able to roughly fill in the holes. Rob the decorator had left a small amount of left-over paint of the right colour in the garage precisely for occasions like this, and though the paint had dried out, I was able to break through the thick rubbery skin to some liquid beneath. I touched up the paintwork around the edge of the baseplate, managing to get paint pretty much everywhere as I did so – it’s clearly the right choice to get a professional in to do the decorating rather than doing it myself! And I’ve managed to screw the new fitting on to the door, though I wasn’t able to get the screws as straight or as flush as I would like. 

All in all it’s something of a botch job! But it will do until Rob is back for his regular slot over the summer, when he can do it properly. And in the meantime I can at least now close the porch door behind myself!