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Never Point the Skillet Handle Towards the Door

In the bottom drawer of my oven there’s a little hooked lip on the inside. The lip is from the bottom cover of the oven and is just above the drawer. This lip catches handles, especially the handle of the skillet. The skillet gets caught when one places the skillet in the drawer with the handle towards the door of the drawer. Then when the drawer gets shut the skillet handle gets pushed down, ever so slightly as the drawer is shutting, but when the drawer is almost shut the skillet passes the lip and when the lip is no longer pushing the skillet handle down the skillet rebalances and the handle of the skillet ends up higher than the bottom of the lip. Most likely the person shutting the drawer didn’t even notice the bottom of the oven pushing against the skillet. The next person to open the drawer does notice, because they can only get it open by about two inches before the skillet handle is pushed up against the lip and the back of the skillet is pushed against the back of the drawer, preventing the drawer from opening any more.

This happened to me once when I was single. I laid down on the kitchen floor and could see that as the drawer was opening the skillet handle would catch the bottom of the lip and the drawer would open a little bit more, causing the skillet handle to get lifted up, just a little bit more, and then get caught, preventing the drawer from opening. I felt around the edge looking for a screw or release, but never found one. To take the door off of the drawer must require an angle of being inside the drawer, i.e. the drawer would have to be out of the oven. I was able to open the drawer about an inch, and with a screw driver I was able to leverage the skillet handle down and open the drawer. After that, I never put the skillet away with the handle pointing towards the door.

Today when Amanda told me that she needed help in opening the oven drawer, I knew exactly what the problem was. I was excited to come to the rescue and fix the problem right away. I knew exactly what I was doing. But it didn’t work. I got the screw driver on top of the handle, and pushed down and it didn’t budge. There must have been something on top of the skillet, pinning it down. There were two baking pans on top of the skillet, but I discovered that later. My next plan involved a screw driver and a pair of tongs to push the handle, rotating the skillet, getting the handle to be at a different angle, thereby making it possible to open the drawer. But no such luck. I think I was able to push the skillet over instead of rotating it. There was probably a little bit of rotation, but not enough before both the screw driver and the tongs were too short to push it any further.

At this point my current plan was to wait for the zucchini bread to finish baking, pull the oven out and tilt it on its side, causing everything to shift, and I’d open the drawer. While I was laying there my fingers felt something under the door of the drawer that I hadn’t noticed before. There were two socket screw heads. I don’t have a socket wrench, and even if I did there was no way I could have gotten it under the oven to unscrew the screws. But I was able to get a crescent wrench under there, and painstakingly unscrewed both screws. I was so excited, the screws would come out, the door would pop off and it was going to be easy to open the drawer. The second screw came out, and I pulled on the door and was able to pop the bottom of the door off. But the door was still attached to the top. I felt around the door and was able to feel two rivets on the other side of the door.

How was I supposed to get rivets out? They didn’t feel like screw heads, but maybe they were. I couldn’t tell if they were Phillips, or flat head, or stars.  I pressed my finger really hard against the rivet head and looked at the imprint in my finger. It was a Phillips! Success was nigh at hand. There was one problem, I didn’t own a screw driver that would fit into a two inch gap. I don’t  know if one even exists. Thankfully a screw bit to my power screw driver did fit into the tiny space. So with one hand holding the screw bit and the other hand holding a pair of pliers and the pliers holding onto the screw, I was able to unscrew the inside screws.

I pulled and popped the door off to reveal, the real door. The door I had just taken off was a decorative faux door to cover the real one. I was hoping to find hinges which I could use to lower this door and get access to the inside contents of the drawer. No such luck. Plus, this real door was connected to the drawer with rivets, not screws. But the faux door was a little bit wider than the door currently blocking me. I asked Amanda for a dowel and she brought me one under the condition that I didn’t break it. I had a little bit more room on the side and this time was able to push the skillet handle, off to the right, rotating the skillet, thus allowing me to open the oven drawer.

Moral of the story, when putting the skillet away, never point the skillet handle towards the door.

Categories: Hobbies
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