Jul 102018
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No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip. It’s OK if you call me “cheap.

“Cheap” doesn’t have to mean inferior materials. I found some discarded sign material, aluminum with a rubber sandwich filling, and I knew it would be valuable someday. I just had to hang on to it long enough. And store it long enough. It was thin, flat and lightweight, so it lay under my boat, and has been waiting for it’s moment to be used.

Meanwhile, I’ve been watching the wood on the bottom of the door of our cedar deck deteriorate for a few years. The door is irreplaceable because of an imprint.

Our first granddaughter was only a month old when her mother, Regina, got the idea to make a terrific Father’s Day present for me: a tie with her hand and footprints on it.

As some of you know, my favorite saying in the world is, “Timing Is Everything.” This process started with timing.

Controlling where an infant puts her hands and feet is considerably easier when that infant is asleep, or nearly so.

Regina and Brenda conspired to have everything ready so that they could pounce when the baby was well into her nap.

What better present for a grandfather than a tie made from his only grandchild’s feet and hands?

Making the tie went so well that Brenda decided, on the way to the bathinette, the excess paint could be put to good use by planting toes and fingers on the door stile.

Now, I’m a grandpa, and, even though our first granddaughter hadn’t been on the ground quite a month yet, I was thoroughly head-over-heels in love with her.

However, when I saw those pastels on that perfect cedar door, Brenda said my eyes flashed for a moment. Soon, however, I was OK again and I’ve cherished those little manos and pies ever since.

When Brenda first got the idea to “paint” on this door, I was a little upset. But, what grandparent hasn’t said, “What the grandbaby wants, the grandbaby gets?” I will always treasure these foot and handprints.

Now that the door needs to be replaced, I’m torn. I can save that part of the door easily enough, but I’m undecided about what materials to make a new door from.

As I struggled with the decision, it occurred to me that a kickplate made from the aforementioned discarded aluminum might be just the thing as a temporary fix.

No fancy brass like the White House, as this will be temporary (famous last words).

Good as new! Well, almost. This aluminum won’t rust and the heavy-duty sign paint will resist scratches. The Festool Carvex glided through the aluminum just like wood. There is an identical panel on the outside (thus, the offset screw positions), which has given the decaying cedar enough support while I decide about making a new door.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

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