Clark Hollow Ramblings: Daddy fix?

It is kind of funny what life sends your way, sometimes. 

When my children were small, they would often bring their broken toys and hand them to me with a little plea in their eyes, saying, “Daddy fix?” I was pretty good at it, for someone with no official toy repair training. And, in general, if there was a leak in the plumbing, or the lawn mower wouldn’t start, I used to be the go-to guy for fixing stuff.

Today, someone else will put the brakes on my pickup truck. I haven’t had anyone put brakes on a vehicle for me, be it a car, truck or motorcycle, since forever. But that is changing. Yesterday, I was unable to loosen the two main bolts that hold the brake caliper. I should have seen this coming. 

A week or two ago I came home from hunting and my bride said there is something wrong with the garage-door opener. Upon inspection, I found the chain was hanging down and it looked pretty bad. It was bad. The main sprocket that drives the chain had wrung off at the top of the power unit. I took the unit down and took the cover off. It didn’t look so complicated. I went to my computer, which also needs replacing, found a parts schematic and ordered the broken shaft from a company in California. It arrived in two or three days, and I’m feeling pretty good about this job. 

I installed the shaft in the power unit. They sent a bunch of other stuff, but it didn’t look like I needed it, so I laid that aside. I got the unit back together, plugged it in and grabbed the remote control. It worked, or seemed too. I remounted the opener, support bar, chain and all the stuff I had taken down. I plugged the opener in and grabbed the remote and punched it. The door closed with such force it bowed the metal support rail. And then it wouldn’t open. 

I have to shorten the story here. After many attempts to adjust the unit, including reindexing the chain, and taking it off completely two more times, I was unable to make it work correctly. I thought about going to the hardware store and getting a new power unit, but that didn’t seem necessary, if I only knew what was going on with the one I had. 

Roy Stoneberger of Nokesville, Va., has been in the garage-door business for more than 30 years. I called him, and he came over. It was a joy to see the man work. He had all the right tools and, most importantly, the right knowledge. With a few quick shots from his drill/driver, he had all the working parts of the power unit exposed, and he never took it down from the ceiling. Who knew you could do that? He did, obviously. 

Long story short, he fixed the garage door opener, found several installation problems with both openers, corrected those, serviced both units and fixed a broken brace that I didn’t know was broken. He should be on your go-to list of service people if you have a garage door opener. He will certainly be on mine. 

I could tell you about the broken refrigerator that I tried to fix, or the kitchen stove that acted up, but those stories would be redundant. The mechanic is putting the brakes on my truck as I write this. My daughter needs a dishwasher installed in her house where there has never been one. That doesn’t seem like such a hard job. But, maybe I better think this thing through some more.

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Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 131 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.