Tuesday, 22 March 2016
TWO HELPING HANDS WITH A DIY REPAIR
"Grandpa, Grandpa . . . stair rail broken . . . me fix, now!"
And with that my dear little grandson, Peter, fetched his tools . . .
. . . . proceeded up the stairs . . . .
. . . . and laid them carefully in a row when he reached the top.
The problem was well known to me. For as long as I can remember the top fixing bracket of the stair rail had come away from the wall and the rail was flapping about. I had tried several times to repair it with larger fixings . . . to no avail, and I had always meant to do something more drastic to fix it. So I thought no better time than the present, and we could make it into an interesting little project.
We had been watching Bob The Builder on TV and, being a favourite of Peter's, I quoted Bob, saying, "Can we fix it?" . . . and together we laughed and said, "Yes we can!"
I said we needed some stronger tools so I got my drill and drill bits and I asked Peter if he would like to unscrew the top stair rail bracket from the rail and from the wall, and without hesitation he did ~ no problem. He already had a good appreciation of screws, screw drivers and which direction to turn for screwing in and screwing out, so it came quite naturally for his 2.5 years.
It looks as though he is left handed like his mum and dad, but I am not so sure. Anyhow, it took him a while but he got all five screws out and then we took the fixing bracket away and kept it safe with the screws. The wall was very soft and crumbling so I cut out all the loose stuff and removed a lot of very soft and quite useless cement. I got a large drill bit ready and fitted it into my electric drill and Peter passed it to me:
Fortunately we did not need anything as big as this . . . lol
Peter was watching, wide eyed and taking it all in.
I drilled it out deeply ready for filling with a special paste which sets rock hard like concrete after 24 hours.
There was quite mess so I asked Peter to fetch the vacuum cleaner which was in my bedroom, just across the landing. He brought the attachments and then pulled the hoover, unwound it and plugged it in then switched it on and then used the nozzle to clean out the holes ~ all by himself. Then he hoovered the stairs clean.
"Good boy, good job!" He looked as proud as punch to be helping. Then he switched the hoover off, switched off at the wall, unplugged it and wound in the cord again. He did it all in the right order.
I got the paste ready and worked it into the holes and said I would have to fill it in two or three goes because it was so deep. He understood and said, looking at it, "Grandpa, wet, wet, don't touch!" . . . and then we went downstairs.
Two days later, after more filling and allowing to set rock hard, he came to help me again and we attached the bracket to the rail and piloted three new holes into the wall. Then I drilled three new screw holes, knocked in the plastic fixings, and screwed the bracket firmly into the wall.
It has never been more secure ~ well done Peter.
I asked him if he was Bob the builder and he said, "No, Grandpa ~ you Bob!" . . . bless him.