Wheelchair Accessible Doorway- Swing Clear Hinges

Yesterday morning, as the hubs and I lazed around the house watching the Sunday morning news before church, I was playing around on Pinterest.  (Well, it started on Facebook where I found a picture of a really cool wheelchair accessible pool and ended up on Pinterest, which covered just about all of my social media outlets for the morning.)  While playing around on Pinterest, I found these really cool hinges which allow for a door to open completely out of the way so a wheelchair can get through.

When I first got home from the hospital, my wheelchair wouldn’t fit though many of the doorways in the house.  So, for the bathroom and closet in the master bedroom and the bathroom in the hallway, we had to take the doors off.  (I say we, but I actually mean my dad and brother who did it for me.  I wasn’t one for manual labor in those days.) So, imagine my surprise when I saw these hinges online!  After Mass got out, the hubs and I went over to Lowe’s and he found them in the hinge aisle.  We bought 4 as I was convinced that we would be able to figure it out and be able to the two doors which still remained down.  (I say we, but I actually mean him.  I’m still not doing much manual labor these days.)

We got home and realized that they didn’t come with instructions and they were a bit confusing.  I turned my attention back to the trusty internet, but there weren’t many tutorials on how to attach the swing Clear Full Mortise Hinges.  I found one YouTube video but it was not all that helpful.  We decided to just try to figure it out on our own.  And I took photos of the steps so I could hopefully pass along the “how to” on these amazing hinges to anyone else who may try to undertake this task.  (Spoiler alert: once we figured it out, it wasn’t that hard at all!  Ok, it wasn’t hard at all for me cause I sat there and watched, inserting my wisdom every now and then in the form of tips and ideas.  But, even the hubs said it wasn’t that hard at all.  I did reward him by not complaining about the amount of sports and news on the TV for the rest of the day.)

hinges 1

Stanley Swing Clear Full Mortise Hinges for Wheelchair Accessible doorways

hinges 2

Swing Clear Hinges for Wheelchair Accessible doorways out of the package

The closet doorway sans door

The closet doorway sans door

Now that we’ve set the scene for the installation, let’s get to the fun part:

Step 1:

Chisel out the space so the hinges will fit snuggly

Chisel out the space so the hinges will fit snuggly

Our previous hinges had been rounded in the corners.  The new hinges are squared off, which meant the hubs had to pull out his trusty hammer and chisel to make the corners square.  I think his next project should be in marble or ice sculpting.  We live in the desert, so maybe not ice.

Step 2:

Chisel the rounded corners of the door

Chisel the rounded corners of the door

 

Make the rounded edges square so they match the door frame

Make the rounded edges square so they match the door frame

 

Step 3:

Attach the hinges to the wall

Attach the hinges to the wall

This is how the hinge should look without the door on it.  The hinges we used were Stanley brand.  A good way to figure out the direction is the part with the word “Stanley” is on the wall with the name facing out.

 

Step 4:

Attach the door to the hinge

Attach the door to the hinge

It’s easier to attach the door to the hinge than vice versa.  Trust me.  We tried.

hinges 8

Please ignore all the scraped paint on the doorway.  Or, if you’re in a wheelchair, I’m sure your walls and doorways look the same way.  Don’t worry: that’s why the good Lord invented touch-up paint!

 

Drum roll please….

….The finished product!

Fully hung door with Stanley Swing Clear Full Mortise Hinges (AKA a doorway with a door that I can now get through in my wheelchair!)

Fully hung door with Stanley Swing Clear Full Mortise Hinges (AKA a doorway with a door that I can now get through in my wheelchair!)

 

Here’s where things get even weirder: I promise you that I just stumbled across these hinges in the morning.  In the evening, when I was doing my nightly Facebooking (No, that’s not the weird part… I’m really on it all the time.  Yes, I’m an addict.) my “memories” thing came up, showing me the hauntings of years past.  Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of the day I went home from the hospital and the 2 year anniversary of the day the doors came down!!  That’s so weird!!  I definitely believe in a higher power and that things happened for a reason.  I truly believe that something drew my attention to those hinges on that day so we could close the door (ha. ha. pun intended!) on that whole chapter of my life.  It’s all about moving on, figuring life out and adapting!  Not that having a closet door is the end all be all.  But, it’s cool that something we had to take down because of the disability we were able to put back on as a figurative semblance of normalcy!

 

Fight on!

So, there are a few perks to being in a wheelchair.  I know that may seem weird, but there are.  One can almost always find a silver lining in any given situation if they look.  (I say “almost always” because I don’t want to get into a debate where someone tries to bring me down by proving sad situations.  So, if you disagree with me and you’re in a situation where there is no silver lining then all I can say is that I hope you feel better and I’ll pray for you.  Now, back to my silver lining moment…)

My family is a HUGE USC Trojan fanatic family.  Everyone but me (hello, Rebel!) went to school there.  Mom, dad, sister, brother, aunts, uncles, cousins.  I did not.  But, that does not take away from my fanatic response to Trojan football!  Well, not necessarily to the team itself.  I like football within reason.  Though, I am more into the pageantry of the home games: the band, the tail gating, Traveler the horse.

My dad is really into USC football.  In my family, we don’t necessarily root for a professional team.  USC is our football.  So, this year and last, my dad got a suite at the Coliseum.  The suites are on the field, which is awesome.  What’s even more awesome (*insert eye roll here*) is that the Coliseum is so old that there is nothing but steps to the field.

Nothing, except for the tunnel that is!!  Yes, I get to go down the tunnel.  The same way the players enter the field.  The same way the band enters the field.  The same way Traveler enters the field.  That’s now the way I enter the field!!

The tunel

That’s my dad walking next to me.  And our guards.  Ok, not really.  The LAPD were not there to protect me from the paparazzi.  But, I did have 2 USC security guards escorting me.  The weekend before I had 4.  And they made a really big deal about getting people out of my way.  Which made me feel like a really big deal.  (Or people thought the chick in the wheelchair was being unruly, causing trouble and getting kicked out.  Either way…)  This time, my mom and the hubs were there too.  The weekend before my brother and his lady were with us.  They missed out this time.

The suite is on the opposite side of the field which means that we had to roll all the way across the field.  It wasn’t so bad this week as we went down early.

On the field

Last week, we ended up coming out with the band (SQUEAL!!) and had to go all the way around the field.  That was awkward cause it meant more people were staring.  I’m way more comfortable in the background than in the forefront.  I am not complaining, I’m just saying I preferred going down when not as many people would be looking.  But if I could always march out with the band and/or Traveler, I would!

So, yes, there are silver linings- being on the field at the infamous Coliseum is one of them!  Fight on!!