16 August 2014

Cutting the latch cerrojo

Before I begin, I want to type the name of an actor whose work I really love:

Amy Adams.

Every time I see her, she's ultra magnetic. Among the many performances of hers that I admire, I especially love her as Sister James in the movie DOUBT.

Now for our feature obfuscation...

The other day I wrote a post called "Door knob". In that post, I talked about my apartment's broken door knob. Below is an exact quote of what I said my roommate and I would do to solve the problem:

I guess we'll pull the pins out of the jambs and open the door from the "wrong" side; then remove the interior component that is supposed to release the latch bolt, and replace the knob with a new one.

The reason I am writing the present post is to explain that the above plan was a total flop. My thoughts were wrong, and all of my efforts failed...

(WARNING: This is going to be a long and boring post. But I'll share 6 visual images near the end of it — one of which shall be another badly lit, poorly focused, webcam selfie.)

After I removed the pins from the jambs, the door could not be budged. Why? Because the wall-side jambs obstruct all movement therefrom!

As soon as I learned this, I kicked myself for not being able to infer as much from simply LOOKING at the door — I had to engage in the crude experience of banging all the pins out with a hammer before I could understand this.

Next stupidity...

After reversing all the bad steps that I had taken, I wasted EVEN MORE of my time climbing forth & back through our bedroom window (which was the only way to get outside, since the front door was broken), and trying one foolhardy gimmick after another — like shoving credit cards between the door and its frame, attempting to break into my own home.

...But, of course, nothing worked... and I mangled many credit cards in the process. (Now I'm kicking myself AGAIN because I forgot to save the damaged cards — they would've been interesting to photograph.)

Plus my right thigh hurts now, from being the dominant lifter of my torso.

Unfair derision

At this point, my friend said "Why don't we just buy a tool that can CUT THRU the latch?"

Her suggestion made me laugh, and I explained condescendingly that the latch is made of INDESTRUCTIBLE METAL and that NOTHING can cut through it, not even a DIAMOND DRILL.

And then I laughed some more and felt vastly superior.

Taking action

...So then my friend clomb out the window, drove to the local hardware store, and returned with a handy saw that ended up slicing through the latch like butter.


Visual proof

Now, since my friend actually solved the problem by purchasing this metal cutting blade, I'll pose for a photo while holding the saw, so that it looks like I myself am actually the hero:

About the above image:

The awkwardness of my pose is due to the fact that I'm attempting (and perhaps failing) to display the metal saw in the same fashion that Norma Desmond holds her handgun when she rushes into the room of her kept lover Joe Gillis while trying to persuade him not to leave her, near the end of the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard.

Additional photographic evidence...

Since the blade of the saw in my photo above is almost as dark as the background of the room, to give a better idea of this saw's appearance, I'll share the illustration from the back of the package at the tail end of this post.

....The reason I don't want to share it just yet is that I have an illustration of the latch (cerrojo) that I want to share first:

The above image was taken from the instruction booklet that came with the new door knob.

And below are three photographs of the severed latch bolt itself. I like them because they are silvery. They remind me of a rock that fell from outer space.

Latch bolt, inside:

The above photo shows the part of the latch (cerrojo) that the metal blade sliced through.

And below is a picture of its BOTTOM. This part endured a lifetime of scraping against the brass of its strike plate, whenever the door was opened or closed, hence its discoloration.

Latch bolt, rear:

And, penultimately, below is a photo of the notorious CURVED part of the latch bolt. It is scarred from years of unimaginable abuse. Its gashes remind me of the magic signs and symbols that I would etch inside primitive caves, back when I was a shaman.

Lastly, an extra image of the handy saw:

Below, as promised, I give the illustration from the back of the package that contained the "handy saw nest". I have not manipulated this image at all — it really does pair the words "Downward Cutting" with an upward-pointing arrow.


The ad copy (not pictured) that appears on the OTHER (front) side of the handy saw's package features these two gorgeous phrases, which I wish I could claim I had written:

  • Cuts rusted bolts absolutely flush with ease.
  • Removes broken plumbing nipples from radiators.


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