Friday, April 2, 2010

Cabinet Maker

Among the growing number of things that bother me, cabinet doors and drawers that are left open have a prominent position on the list. So when I noticed a large drawer in the kitchen was waiting to be returned to its proper place, I gave it a nudge. When it didn’t yield to my polite advances I gave it a push. Then, becoming frustrated with its uncooperative nature, I gave it a shove.

When a drawer is new and properly installed it retreats to its cave in silence. As it ages and loses its agility sometimes it makes a squeaky, scraping noise. This particular drawer screamed loudly as it jumped off its tracks and lay askew.

“I’ve killed it,” I said to myself.

“What happened? “ Rhonda, my wife, asked as she entered the room.

“Nothing,” I said. “This drawer just needs a minor adjustment. I’ll take care of it.”

My wife grew up in a house where her dad never took his car in to a garage (other than his own), never had a repair man to the house, never needed a plumber or an electrician to take care of a problem. Wayne was a cabinet maker. He could fix darn near anything. He's gone now or I would have called him. One time he talked me through a water softener repair over the phone.

“I’m sure you can do it,” Rhonda said. Imagine how disappointed she must be.

Al Sicherman, a retired columnist for the Star Tribune, said that ”any such project, no matter how apparently simple will ultimately require three trips to the hardware store.” It’s a good thing I like driving, because most every project I begin (notice I did not say finish) has me on the road several times before I surrender to the superior forces of the physical laws.

Upon inspecting the drawer I saw that the one of the rails was bent and broken. I brought it down to Jay Picha. Jay is a cabinet maker. He can fix darn near anything. I asked him if he thought I could find a match for the wrecked rail.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said rather casually. “Bring the whole drawer down.”

With my second trip to Picha’s Cabinet Shop (not a hardware store, but close enough), Jay gave me a new set of rails and a lesson on how to install them. He even had me take them apart and put them back together to prove to him (or maybe it was me) that I could do it.

When I got home five minutes later, the rails looked different, more complicated. It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure out to start the show.

For my first trick I decided to attach one of the rails to the interior wall of the cabinet. The drawer was designed to hold sheet metal used for baking cookies and building machine sheds – so it was kind of tall and long, but not very wide, so I was unable to fit the drill, my hand, arm and shoulder in the cabinet at the same time.

I went to the hardware store (third trip that day) for a drill made for just such an occasion: It’s got this right angle that works in tight spots.

Two hours later the rails were on and the drawer was back in its spot. But because of some unexplained phenomenon, the drawer doesn’t close completely at the top no matter how much I plead with it. That’s OK. I’ll try not to let it bother me. Stupid drawer.

1 comment:

  1. craigdorn@comcast.netApril 5, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Hey Jerry,
    This one really spoke to me as I am totally
    inept at anything mechanical!! I felt your pain throughout the column!
    Enjoy All That This Day Will Bring!
    Craig Dorn