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My Favorite Tool

When the perfect tool does not exist …

…. you make one! These two old codgers needed to bring a new door from The Other Side on the ferry. The door is heavy, relatively unwieldly with a large pane of glass down the middle. As with all accompanying freight, everything has to be loaded and unloaded multiple times, obstacles and bumps are expected hazards, the ferry doorway narrow, and the tide table called for a steep incline up the ramp.

The wheels and bolts were newly bought but the rest of the pieces were from found objects in the shop. All component parts can be disassembled for future projects. Nicknamed The Trolley Dolly, this is what it looks like:

The door was wrapped in plastic to avoid scratches and fit precisely into the slot sideways. Straps and sheets of plywood secured it on both sides for extra protection. The plywood sheets were precision-measured and rounded on the end so as to fit snugly into both transport vehicles.

The Trolley Dolly can’t stand upright on its own and has limited steering capabilities. At French Creek, we pulled it out of the back of the SUV very carefully and distributed the weight evenly into the trough. Taking the 9:30 is always a safer bet and, fortunately on this day there were few passengers and, even better, almost no other freight. It was a somewhat windy morning, however, so this necessitated sitting out on the back deck to make sure nothing else banged into it and the Trolley Dolly stayed put.


Once in False Bay, it took some navigation skills to wheel it off the drop to the dock (BUMP!), guide it into a turn, and then slowly wheel it up a ridiculously steep angle to the upper deck. After that, getting it into the Lasqueti vehicle and back to the homestead was a somewhat anti-climactic venture, but no one complained. – Sue Ashcroft

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