Chapter 14

The Right Tools for the Job

I’m one of those do-it-yourself guys. And I’m pretty handy. I’ve made bookcases before. I put in a pressed tin ceiling (once). I’m a pro at crown molding. In fact, I’ve taken on enough home improvement projects to know the importance of using the right tools. But I recently learned this lesson all over again, courtesy of a new French door.

I had always wanted a French door in my home office so I decided to put one in. Of course, being a do-it-yourselfer, I decided to do it myself. After picking up the door and getting it home, I immediately got started. After aligning the door and marking it for the hinges, I then ran into my first challenge.

The hinges needed to be recessed into the door so they would be flush. So I had to create a mortise for each hinge. To do that, you should have a chisel. Since I didn’t have a wood chisel (I had never hung a door before and didn’t know I needed one) I thought I could make do with a screwdriver.

Guess what?—I could. But as I banged away with my rubber mallet and screwdriver, I couldn’t help but think how slow and difficult this was becoming. I started thinking about all the doors being hung out there and wondered if they were all this time-consuming and difficult.

After finally getting the mortises carved out and hanging the door, the next step was the door knob. I had the hole-cutting saw and was ready to go. But I knew I had one more mortise to cut for the faceplate. This one required more precision, ...

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