May 9, 2011
The Handy Hazzan Teams up with David Levinson and Big Sunday… plus ... Toothpick Magic!
I’ve been away for a couple of weeks and it’s good to be back. I hope you all had a fuzzy wuzzy Mommy’s Day. We had fun in Santa Monica. Next Sunday, May 15th is Big Sunday – the giant mitzvah day for all humans wishing to participate as created by tikkun olam guru David Levinson right here in Los Angeles. I am honored to be a Project Captain for some cleaning, painting, building and more at the Mid Valley Family YMCA in Van Nuys, 6901 Lennox Avenue CA 91405-4002. Our project is #461 and WE STILL NEED VOLUNTEERS. The following link will take you to Big Sunday’s “all about” page. From there, you’ll easily figure out how to sign up: http://www.bigsunday.org/about-us/who-we-are/. Next week I’ll feature photos and possibly a video about what promises to be a great day (9 a.m. – 3 p. m) at the Y.
During my break I spent lots of time learning to play the guitar, thanks mainly to my clergy pal Rabbi Cantor Mark Goodman of Congregation Valley Beth Israel in Sun Valley, who introduced me to a great guitar teacher named Tim Murphy. Tim teaches privately in Burbank, California. Come join us at Valley Beth Israel Friday, May 20, 2011 at 8 p.m. for “Rockin’ Shabbat.” Rabbi Mark created this several months ago with Rabbi Steve Finley, another Academy For Jewish Religion graduate right here in Los Angeles,….and it has become a bit hit. Yours truly Cantor Harris Shore, AKA The Handy Hazzan will be playing guitar and singing. It’s a lot of fun. While I love having the services I lead accompanied by piano and other instrumentation, being self contained with my very own guitar is a new tool in my bag of “Do-It-Yourself” tricks. It’s never too late to embrace change …. and dance with it!
THE ICEMAKER WORKETH
With all this strumming and other business that needed my attention, I let a few things go around the house. Repair needs seem to multiply when you’re sleeping and then creep up on you (like “THE BLOB” - filmed in my hometown when I was just a kid), if you don’t conquer them when they first appear. Several items needed my attention. The first one I took care of the day before Passover …. hooked up the water source for the ice maker in the refrigerator. The previous owner had already installed the ¼” copper tubing leading from the water source to the previous refrigerator. All I needed was a ¼” ice maker stainless steel water supply line – DO NOT USE THE PLASTIC ONES, CAN BREAK OR CRACK EASILY - plus one or two compatible compression fittings, both of which I purchased from a plumbing supply house. Remember that “1/4 inch” refers to the diameter of the nut, one female nut on each end…. With no offense to all the wonderful gals who read my column! The length of the line could go as much as 18-20 feet, which makes it easy to roll the refrigerator away from the wall for cleaning, etc. You’ll need two adjustable wrenches, or one wrench and channel locks. See detailed instructions below. First, attach one end of the new supply line to the rear inlet on the refrigerator by hand-tightening the female nut to the male threaded inlet post on the back of the refrigerator, probably located at the bottom. This has a built-in compression piece. Attach the other end to one of the two male, threaded ends of the in-line (saddle type non-piercing – that means you don’t pierce the copper tubing - shut-off valve, which is a necessary and convenient precaution. This way, you can turn off the water on the supply line instead of having to turn off the water main. The old shut-off valve was still intact and working. I used the new compression fitting to connect the other end of the shut-off valve to the ¼” copper tubing leading to the water supply. I’ve not done anything with the old in-line water line filter. It’s still in place. I trust that our new, whole-house water filtering system is delivering pure drinking water now. Let’s be clear on the “how to” steps for attaching the water line. Here’s a copy of the instructions (Kenmore Elite) to which I referred when connecting the line:
Installation - Connecting Ice Maker To Water Supply
• Copper tubing is recommended for the water supply line. Water supply tubing made of 1⁄4” plastic is not recommended since it greatly increases the potential for water leaks. Manufacturer will not be responsible for any damage if plastic tubing is used for supply line.
IMPORTANT: Ensure that your water supply line connections comply with all local plumbing codes.
To Connect Water Supply Line To Ice Maker Inlet Valve
IMPORTANT: It takes approximately 24 hours for the icemaker to begin producing ice. (HH NOTE: IT TOOK OURS NEARLY 48 HOURS TO BEGIN PRODUCING ICE.) Air in new plumbing lines may cause ice maker to cycle two or three times before making a full tray of ice. New plumbing may cause ice to be discolored or have poor flavor. Discard ice made during the first 24 hours.
SECOND HH TIP: DISSOLVE A FEW CUBES OF THE NEW ICE INTO A WHITE DISH OR BOWL. WAIT FOR IT TO MELT OR PUT IT ON THE STOVE TO SPEED MELTING. WHEN THE ICE HAS MELTED, YOU MAY SEE SEDIMENT PARTICLES, ETC. CONTINUE TO DO THIS WITH EACH BATCH OF ICE UNTIL THE ICE MELTS CLEAN AND CLEAR.
Enjoy your new ice cube harvest.
TOOTHPICKS SAVE THAT MESSY DEADBOLT ON THE FRONT GATE
It was only getting worse, and I knew it was easy to fix. THE TRICK IS TO SET A DEADBOLT INITIALLY SO THAT THE BOLT SLIDES INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE STRIKE PLATE ON THE DOOR FRAME. That way, if the gate sags slightly due to change in weather, there is some vertical leeway. (I designed our front gate with the assistance of a representative from a wonderful company in Oregon called Pacific Gate Works. I chose Western Red Cedar for it’s beautiful texture, workability, durability and high resistance to decay from the elements. We stained the gate with a highly durable and beautiful stain manufactured by Sikkens. Check out their wood finishing products at: http://www.arcat.com/arcatcos/cos41/arc41336.html.) As for repairing the lock, I had to lower the strike plate just about 3/16” to line up the bolt down the middle. After removing the plate, I chose the right size chisel and, hammering it perpendicular to the wood gently but firmly, cut into the bottom of the area I wanted to remove so that I could lower the plate. Then, from the top down, I delicately chiseled out the tiny area of wood necessary to extend the indented setting for the plate. I set the plate in first without screws, then closed the gate and turned the key to test the setting of the bolt into the strike plate. It was perfect. I drew a pencil line right at the bottom of the plate, just in case it were to fall off. With a cordless drill, I predrilled a hole a bit smaller than the shaft of the rustic, slotted screw I was using to affix the plate to the door frame. I hand-turned that screw for a snug fit, then repeated the procedure for the bottom screw. BUT WAIT…what’s all this about toothpicks? You’re right. I almost forgot. One of the reasons the striker plate AROUND THE BOLT OPENING ON THE GATE had become loose was because of the stress created by constantly having to boost the gate a little bit with my foot to get the bolt to slide into the hole in the middle of the striker plate. The holes for the screws had become torn up and finally too large for the screws, which were loose and falling out. I plugged the holes with (wooden) toothpicks, thus creating new “grab” for the screws. If you can choose toothpicks over some fancy plastic wood product, do it. It works better….every time.
MORE TOOTHPICK MAGIC: Some of the WINDOW GLIDES on the interior of our windows are original 1913. I had the rest of them cast in sand (like the old, Craftsman days) to replicate the originals shortly after we moved in. I then installed all of the hardware, window by window…some thirty in all. This hardware is very cool although, alas…. not very functional… which I suppose is why we don’t see this kind very much anymore. And, like I’ve told you, I am a restorer and fixer. All were working just fine until just the other day when I opened one of them a little too far so that I could step out on a flat area of our roof to throw down a tarp until I can get to a leak that revealed itself to me during our last deluge. When I bumped up against the window … oy! … I tore the screws right out of the wood. This morning, I filled those two holes with toothpicks, trimmed smooth, and then easily reattached the slider arm.
There’s always more to do at the Shore Shack. The latch on the pots and pans storage area compartment of our Wedgewood stove has been staring at me with little stove puppy eyes to please replace it. It’s broken because I made the mistake of replacing the original, all metal one with one of those flimsy, cheap cabinet latches intended for wooden cabinets. It’s got a plastic piece in there that melted from too much stove heat. This time I’ll call my friends at another fine company, ANTIQUE GAS STOVES P.O. BOX 9507 Alta Loma, California 91701 USA (909) 484-2222 email cookin@AntiqueGasStoves.com. They’ll have the right part, or they’ll know where I can find it. They walked and talked me through a thorough replacement of the gas lines and repositioning of the gas valve. That was quite a journey that will be the grist of an upcoming Handy Hazzan. Meanwhile … happy fixing. WE LOVE TO READ YOUR COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS. PLEASE POST! Remember: Tikkun Olam starts at home. You can fix it! - HH