Custom Storm Window Hardware

A few years ago we glassed in the screen porch. Installing “real” windows would have completely changed the porch and been fairly pricy. So instead I made my own custom wood frames to match the size of each of the screened sections and had regular sheet glass cut to fit in each of the frames. I then installed the frames with hinges at the top to allow the windows to either be propped open or latched closed. This keeps the porch generally the same, but with the windows closed allows just enough heat to be retained to over-winter some plants. Since this is completely custom though, I couldn’t find any good options for hardware. For the last few years I’ve “temporarily” had the windows either held down with screws or propped open with paint stirrers.

This weekend I finally got around to designing, fabricating, and installing the custom permanent hardware. The hardware consists of a regular butt hinge that I pressed the pin out of. I then welded a sheet metal section to one side that I had bent to 90° and drilled holes in. The modified side is mounted to the house and the smaller side is mounted to the frame. In the closed position the hinge holes line up and a securing pin, made from 1/8″ wire, is inserted. In the open position a prop rod, again made from 1/8″ wire, connects the two hinge holes and holds the windows partly open for somewhat of a “bahama shutter” look.

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Building a better air return

Today, as part of a repainting project, I constructed a new air return out extra slats from wooden blinds and some scrap wood. Nothing was wrong with the existing metal return other than being ugly, so it will get added to the scrap metal pile and possible used on some metalwork project. All the materials were scraps from other projects, so total cost was just some paint/glue/staples and a few cents of electricity. As a bonus, the new return seems to be quieter and less restrictive than the metal version.

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Garage floor finished, leaf harvest begins

I didn’t get “after” pictures from the garage floor project, but it’s visible in the mower pictures below. Overall it turned out very well and will be much easier to keep clean.

The leaves are falling this time of year and if left alone they are able to form a mat several inches thick over the entire yard/house/driveway/garage every few days. To combat this in years past I’ve used an arsenal of leafblowers, rakes, and mowers; the secret weapon in this arsenal though is the 33″ snapper rear engine rider from the mid 1970’s. It’s not great as a mower since the long single blade does not conform to the terrain; but as a leaf collection device there’s nothing better since the single long blade moves tons of air (think airplane prop). This moving air carries all of the leaves/sticks/nuts off of the yard and into the collection bag.

The mower’s deck had taken a beating from using it for trail-clearing; and once the deck deformed enough the blade began to wear against it. I’m replacing the blade and welding the deck back together so it can get back to clearing leaves. In the process of fixing the deck I may also add some sort of reinforcement or “cow catcher” to the front to prevent future damage.

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Garage Floor Overhaul

The garage floor was in rough shape when we moved in, and because of this I wasn’t particularly careful with it during the 4yrs of bus restoration. I rented a diamond grinder today to begin remedying this. I used the grinder to flatten the high side of the “fault line” cracks and to open up the surface overall in preparation for epoxy coating, and a hand grinder to clear the loose edges out of the cracks. The cracks will be filled with a sand/epoxy mix and then leveled flush to the surface with the hand grinder.

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Giant Spider

Yet another giant spider, this time in the garage. It stayed still long enough to get a ruler next to it.

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Unwelcome Visitor Spotted

Unwelcome visitor spotted outside the back porch. Bus and garage will get thorough inspection prior to continuing with work. The photo makes it look small at first glace; use the brick for scale, this was huge!

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