Be mindful when taking on a Freecycle item OR a Kijiji item…just sayin’.
It begins with this. This is a 3/8″ bolt. It doesn’t look like anything too too problematic, but stay with me.
“Oh, you have a bolt missing on this one bracket. But, never mind…this one is loose enough; just take it out and take it to Home Depot and they can match it up for you.”
Next morning…some time around 10, I go to unscrew the aforementioned bolt, to have it drop out of the hole and into my hand. I pop it into the upper and lower of two holes to learn, sadly, that it is totally too small for the job. Ok…the bolt isn’t threaded, so this must mean that both holes (not in the bracket, but in the baseboard of this cool antique hospital bed) must be threaded. Here begins my DIY dilemma.
First gent meets me in the hardware isle of Home Depot where I learn that there are some standard bolt sizes, 3/8″ being one of them. As well, there are 1/4″, 5/16″ and 1/2″. I was supposing I needed something like a 7/16″. Hmmm…I leave with these, thinking, just maybe the holes were larger than I imagined them. Folks, there’s a big jump between 3/8″ and 1/2″. Don’t do it!
I tell the same gent on my second trip, WE HAVE TO COME UP WITH A SOLUTION!
He gives me these…are you kidding?
Standing out in the parking lot, even anticipating the EPIC FAIL on this possibility, I have the foresight to go into the Home Depot for a third time and get washers. Will you look at the size of the heads on those screws? Compare them to the size of the heads on those Hex bolts! So, I buy these.
I decide to try Lowes. The guy who is spread out and changing oil under his car across the street, comes out from under the car and inquires, “Just what project has you going today?” I give him the short version and he adds, as he’s slipping back under the car, “Your neighbour is a welder.”
The guy from Lowes knows what he’s talking about, I think. He starts talking to me about Tap Kits and walks me over to the tools section. He is talking…but I’m not really listening. The voice in my head is saying, “What the heck? Is this really happening? How the heck am I going to learn how to use a Tap Kit??” When I come out of my apparent fog, he says the only other thing to do is to call Calgary Fasteners. They have the solutions and the hardware for pretty much everything. I appreciate that I am, at least, going home without more tools and bits in my pocket.
I call Calgary Fasteners. A very nice guy entertains my story over the phone, but in the end repeats the common story about what sizes of bolts are available, but promises that if I bring all of the pieces over to their location (somewhere in la la land), they might be able to show me how a Tap Kit can modify things. He says that I might not require a 7/16″ bolt, but something metric. It’s a precise art.
I thank him and put down the phone.
At this point I’m well into the day and feeling hopeless.
I look up the Husband-For-Hire number and leave the directory open on the kitchen counter and decide to pour myself some cold water and go over the natural consequences that surface when making less than ideal decisions.
Logging in to Facebook, I put out a helpless plea.
I’m in a bit of a fix-it conundrum presently. If you have knowledge of hardware/bolts/tapping new holes etc, please private message me.
It isn’t four minutes when I receive duo responses from two wonderful guys. Pretty much, in tandem, they respond with the exact solution…not necessarily the most aesthetic, but very strong and relatively easy.
I calculate the diameter of the steel tube and off I go, back to Lowes, where this time I feel confident that I’m going to resolve the function of the bracket for the bed. I purchase these items, as well as two lock washers and hex nuts. I purchase 2 1/2″ long bolts to account for the thickness of the tube, front and back, the washers and the nuts.
Next time? Yes…go ahead with the instinct that tells me, “Please, sir, will you put this thing together in front of me, so that I might see the pitfalls before I bring the pitfalls home with me?” A big day of learning for me!
While in the back yard, with tools and things scattered about…I quickly put together my bean-bed and decide it’s time that Max have some company.