Wednesday, September 19, 2007

a few tiny little bites...

I hear it said over and over that the best way to eat an elephant is by taking lots of little tiny bites. Enough little tiny bites and you can eat the whole beast. So over the past few days I have begun taking small bites. My plan is to make certain that the shell is water tight before I do anything. If there is some rot somewhere, the last thing I want to do is feed it more water. Only one of the windows functioned correctly, so I decided to replace all of the openers and friction pads on all the windows. The first window was a little tough because I did not really know what I was doing. The second window went very smooth after climbing to the top of the learning curve. I went on to the third window... well let's say it slowed me down drastically. I removed the screws holding the lifters to the frame so that the window could move in and out freely. I went outside and lifted the window, and instantly the glass broke into 20 pieces. So I spent the next two hours removing the glass, cleaning the buthayl tape from the sash, and cleaning all the 45 years of crud that had built up. I cut new glass and put it back in using new buthayl and new window gaskets. Thank god I ordered all that stuff in advance. All the rest of the windows went smooth after that with exception of hunting down the proper screws to attach the closers where they were missing. Apparently, 10 x 3/8"x 20 aluminum screws are very hard to find unless you want to buy 100 for $25... I only needed 8. I ended up using a 10 x 1/2" x 24 stainless steel screw and grinding 1/8" off, then re threading the holes. worked fine... all the windows now open and close smoothly. I will have to go back and actually remove all the windows later when I replace all the seals inside the frame. I'll chew for a little while so I can take another bite of elephant. Another thing that happened was I fixed the rock guard stays or pins that hold the rock guard up. they had been broken off at some point and put in a drawer. I tapped the rusted old center nut and inserted a new stainless steel wing screw and riveted it back on to the track. Now the rock guard opens and closes and can be locked open. Getting good ventilation is important. Anna has a very unusual oder... she smells like a hospital. The surgery area to be exact. Don't know if one of the previous owners worked at a hospital and stole cleaning products or if they had a meth lab in there, but she has an oder. I should count myself luck, she could smell like rodents or chicken or pig farm I guess.

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