With the dry-fitting stage complete, yesterday I started removing things so I could disassemble the cabinetry and deliver it to Sundeleaf Painting. I’m already three days late on that task.

But then I realized I had lost the keys to this U-Haul padlock on the back doors. So I wasted all morning turning the house and garage upside down. I tore through the trash and did all my laundry, looking for a key to come out of some pocket. But no, they are gone. I probably dropped them in Sunday night’s trash can when I had a handful of other stuff.

I went to Home Depot and rented a 36″ bolt cutter, but its nose was too big to get in there. I next disassembled the locking bolts from inside the RETROvan so I could at least get the back doors open. And finally I broke down and called Mark’s Locksmith to come drill the lock out at noon today. It took him all of 15 seconds to pick it clean open instead, which was ideal. He said I was lucky it was such an old lock. The newer U-Haul disc locks are virtually unpickable.

I’ll probably never use padlocks again, versus combination locks that you can set yourself. Just last month I broke a key off in a Masterlock on our front gate because the keyway was clogged with spider silk. I had to remove that latch entirely, but the bolt cutter did make quick work of getting the padlock off.  That’s a good reminder that padlocks only keep the honest people out. Any thief with $10 can rent a bolt cutter and have your padlock laying on the ground within seconds.

So hopefully I’ll get the woodwork to Sundeleaf by Thursday or Friday. I do have to recut a few doors first, and that will take all afternoon. And it doesn’t help that it’s been pouring rain this week.

I found that the RETROvan’s roof does still have leaks along the ceiling ribs during torrential rain, so my initial tests were a false positive. I’ll have to address them before final assembly. And better to do that while all the cabinetry is out. Very frustrating.

The woodwork should take about two weeks to paint and seal, during which time I also need to buy, cut and install the insulation — after wiring the dozen lights and plumbing the galley of course.


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