The oven is a JennAir oven with a down draft vent because it floats along the counter ‘L’ instead of being along a wall. This greatly reduces options for replacement and I hate being pigeonholed for a replacement to the more expensive options. The oven door would not close all the way – wasting electricity, putting extra heat in the house, and taking longer to preheat.
My parents visited for the weekend and my dad took a look at the problem. It seemed the bolt holding the hinge had been worn down and was now a smaller diameter than it needed to be. We removed the heavy, spring-loaded door and my Dad assessed the parts needed.
Hours from all of his regularly available tools except for what he has given me over the years and the few I have had to buy for minor projects, we set off for the hardware store. He bought a set of files and a linchpin, ringing up with a total under $10. Back at home, my Dad cut the pin down to size. He locked a file in the vice and tightened the bolt into an adjustable drill. He then used the drill to spin the bolt like a lathe against the file, carefully shaping the steel to the size he had recorded in his mind. Finally, he had his custom machined hardware.
We loaded the heavy door back into its slot, with my Dad fighting the spring-loaded hinge. He placed the bolt in its new home, hammering the end to blunt it like a rivet. Closing and opening the door several times, it worked perfectly and once again sealed as it should. Less energy and money was wasted and the range would preheat significantly faster.
This all happened over a year ago but I still marvel at how my Dad was able to assess and fix the problem miles away from his garage and barn full of tools. I would have had the option of buying a part from the manufacturer and trying to install it or replacing the whole thing. It’s easy to ridicule somebody for using the “wrong” tool in the wrong way but it’s inspiring to see somebody resourcefully use the only tools available to still solve the problem.