About. Damn. Time.
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I've been wrestling with this for the last couple of weeks. It really bothered me that the speakeasy was a bit crooked and I couldn't see why that would be so. I've been working on it as much as I could which hasn't been much - our spate of 50+ degree weather was been degrading steadily and so I've had less and less good weather - and only a few hours of that - to work on things. Gets slow to warm up and cools down quickly in the mid-afternoon.
I had decided just prior to Thanksgiving that I the door frame might be a bit crooked. I'd taken a bunch of level measurements all over and consistently got one measurement showing a slight angle with each "leg" of the arch. I decided to take out all of the blocking and set screws and basically everything I could remove so that there would basically only be the glued on base (the threshold) to hold it all into place. I wasn't worried about wind or anything as it's set well back inside the porch, and I'd already verified that all of my measurements along the threshold itself were true and level.
So after carefully blocking the doors I began removing all of the blocks I'd built up along each side of the frame. Most of this was hammered in bits of wood to adjust spacing as I'd worked with the doors, but a couple of the were set screws I'd attached over the course of the last couple of weeks. I also decided to remove the two larger pieces of pine board that were still on the frame itself....I'd left them on since I didn't think they would interfere at all. My thinking now was to restart everything with simplicity, and for that it meant everything came out except the doors themselves.
So I hammered out the hunks of wood and started to remove the set screws. Danged as the last set screw cleared the 2x8 framing there wasn't a "POP!" and the whole frame shifted! I went ahead completed backing it out and then began checking levels and fit and it was all MUCH MUCH better! The left-hand door was practically perfect as was, and the right-hand door clearly needed some adjustment but it was pretty close. A couple of hours later of installing set screws and basically "pinning" the upper parts of the arch so they wouldn't move and it was DONE.
I'm guessing that I just got it all wonky from all the things I'd been trying. When I was first setting the arch and the doors I "went as I went", making adjustments as I did each side rather than putting the whole thing together and then seeing what needed doing. Basically was grossly over-engineering the whole thing.
So now what I've left is the drilling of the locking holes and getting the locksets themselves installed. I didn't have nearly enough time to do that today as I had thought - about 15 minutes after I removed all of the blankets and such we got a bad blustery bout of cold and a bit of snow. Then the sun came back out and I was able to measure and get it all ready.
It's definitely going to be a heck of a race to seal up the wall though. I think what I'll have to do is to carefully plan and cut the pieces and then wait for decent weather (or possibly I'll be able to tack it up in some fashion temporarily). The weather doesn't look good for the next several days so the best I'll be able to do is just add more blankets/bedding and get the pieces as ready as I can be.
That's Colorado weather, and frankly we've been lucky so far. I can't complain too much if it gets all cold and nasty now.
Getting there though!
Steven in Colorado