Sunday, December 15, 2013
behind closed doors
Blog guy John Calypso recently wrote about the virtues of Parota. A wood often used here in the tropics of Mexico to defeat the wiles of local termites.
It turns out it has another benefit. It can defeat prospective thieves as easily as it repels termites.
You have already seen the results. I have no idea how long the burglars spent trying to chisel their way through my door lock before they gave up and decided cutting metal bars was easier. In what will now be known as The Great Gouging.
As you can see, though, they were making good progress. I suspect the parota's great strength to weight ratio finally discouraged them. Along with what must have been a lot of noise. Even, a lot of noise for Mexico.
For the past week, the door has stood in its damaged state. That changed on Friday afternoon. The carpenter and his assistant showed up to replace the damaged large plank -- or shell -- that forms the door frame
I am always amazed at how efficiently Mexican repairmen can work with a minimum number of tools. The carpenter arrived on time with the new plank, a skill saw, a few screwdrivers, chisels, and some putty and stain. Within minutes, he had removed the undamaged jamb from the scarred shell.
And off came the wounded soldier. The new shell was cut to measure and slipped into place. A few well-placed chisel hits and the striker plate was ready for installation.
The assistant then took over to putty and stain the mars on the door. And to then stain the new shell to match the door. In less than an hour, I was once again secure in my castle with a strengthened door.
With a new-found appreciation for parota. A wood that turns out to be a strong as it is beautiful.
I hope Calypso never has to have his put to the test. But, if it is, it will do what it was designed to do.
Or, as the old saw attributed to Lincoln goes: "People who like this sort of thing are going to find it is the sort of thing they like."