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Friday morning I finished out two windows. This is the bedroom N window. I taped this one, leaving a 1/16″ gap for the acrylic to seal the glazing. Setting the tape takes way longer than just being steady with a trim brush, but the tape-line looks nice when all finished out. Then we headed to Great Falls for an afternoon of hardware stores and groceries.
This window was upstairs and E thought it might be a storm window for the little pink bedroom above the living room.
This is how I feel about old rickety ladders- hazy at best. I climbed up with the “storm window” (a sash for a weight system- which no window in the house uses, but so far all the upstairs windows are set up for weights). It fit mostly, or as far as I could tell from up there slinging it over to fit the sill.
After the ladder woozies subsided I decided to pull the little double pane. It was fitted poorly and was a favorite for fall wasps and flies. It anchors up inside the wall, with a false top that opens to the space between the walls. No wonder the wasps loved it so much. It may also explain how fall flies magically appear downstairs. All sealed up now.
Here are the windows. Intact! I may be able to triage them a bit, rather than a full tear-down. That may be a bit optimistic…
Heat gun peeled and paint wheeled. Next comes drilling/screwing to tighten it up, then bondo for wood splits and caulk for seams that expand/contract.
It is the nicest view in the house. Downstairs E is baking a chocolate zucchini bread. Its yumminess is battling the weird smells of the funky upstairs. The funk was getting to me, and I put a drop or two of peppermint essential oil in my face-mask. Wowzers! I could hardly see, much less breathe. Like friendly pepper spray.
All finished out and primed with oil based Kilz.
I cleaned out the death traps, and reinstalled them with escape ramps. The bins catch water that comes in by the chimney in rain storms. The bins were rained in a few days ago, and my whole time in this room was “funky”. Our trip to town gathered the gear to make a fix, I just dread going up on the steep steel roof.
The afternoon is spent finishing out two more storm windows. This is the final kitchen storm. I’m painting the glazing and just touching the glass, to seal everything up tight.
This is the living room storm window, that covers the 1800’s window original to the house. Painting the glazing again.
I finish them out and they are a frosty green like the image at the head of the post. That is all of the windows from our last trip up. Next I’ll to move on to the windows I’ve pulled this trip. After cleaning up from windows I mixed up a little batch of mortar and filled a spot on the stone foundation to the bee bedroom/parlor that seemed to be a new mouse entrance.

Twilight storm cell breaks over the valley.
Lightning illuminated! Nora is medicated! Quite a show and rain too.
Next morning, back up in the old bedroom. Bonus- see how it looks like I’m wearing a square watch on my R wrist. I’m not an I-watch. It’s my “overuse” timepiece.
Shop vac saves us all having to look at the filth that came out of there. Ready for Bondo, then oil-based primer.
Primed and waiting for the windows to return.
Giant split is gone.
Windows are linseed soln’ed.
Here is one of the nice hand-carved square headed wood pegs. With a steel pin to tighten it.
One of my fixes for a square head that was broken in three.
Another keen square head.
A week of triple digit temps in SLC and humidity hovering around 12 (with Ozone reaching 150 and PM2.5 in the hundred range as well- summer smog in SLC is even deadlier than the winter): sounds like time for a trip to the ranch.
Back to the windows. Like I never left. This is the West storm window to the bedroom (this was written in pencil on the window on the bare wood). She has glue drying for her new wooden pins. Next day I finish her woodwork, along with the screen window for the kitchen- then linseed solution for them both. The rest of the day was spent painting all the windows from last time up- still prepping of scraping any primer at board ends that hand’t ever set, then a light sanding for the whole thing, then a new layer of primer, then the enamel white for the inside facing side. Then these are all set in the shed to cure before the next step of painting the outside face green.
Today / Wednesday’s project. This is from my to-do image file; house envelope section. This is the upstairs window above the kitchen- my dad’s room when he was a boy. One window is good. It is hand rolled glass. There is plastic stapled / caulked on the window’s inside from 2013. The last triage “fix”.
The morning starts with coffee on the front porch, then up into the empty upstairs.
E is pretty much done with the upstairs, but takes picts from outside. I’m in the bottom R window pane, using a mini-bar to free the rails that hold the windows in place.
“Ranch-Gross is REAL” attrb: Elizabeth. My face attests to her wisdom in not going upstairs for the photos. The dead fly that falls down into her coffee while she gets the image is a little reminder.
See, the room is just dandy. After a bit of sweeping. And ignoring the next bit.
Here’s just a little bit of what she missed. I have these containers set around the chimney to catch drips. This one caught a few mice- the strong eat the weak and wish they hadn’t been so strong. That is Strong’s skeleton in the middle.
Windows cleared.
It took three more clamps and a sawzall to reseat the window sill. And a few 3.5 inch deck screws.
The pane to the L looks broken, but was installed using two broken windows to make up the extra long glass needed for these. I don’t have any either, and will have to go to town and get some cut.
It is the R side that has two pieces fitted on this side. A perfect 12 x 24 with 4 inches of a broken window legged on. The L side is the hand rolled turn of the century glass. I hope not to break it getting it out.
An X of tape adds better odds against breakage.
It is in the mid 80’s today- which counts as hot in these parts. The cows bring their calves to sit in the deep shade of the willows, just outside the yard.
I leave the hand sanded bits til last.
These wooden pins have shrunk and rattle in and out of place. They are hand-carved and have square heads on the other side that fit perfectly matched hand-carved square holes. I leave the ones that are still good or good enough; respec!
All cleaned up and waiting til tomorrow for the wood glue to cure. Then a last sanding and look-over before linseed solution, and the three day set time for the linseed. To end the day I flipped a mystery light switch on my way back upstairs that blew out a fuse to the kitchen, and kept blowing out the fuse. So I pulled the switch and tied off the ends. Kitchen electricity restored and mystery switch remains a mystery.

Dave brings up his June calves and a few cows too old or lame for the trail.
While the new arrivals settle in, Dave and his crew set out to fix a hole in the fence up over the hill, and round up all the cattle that spilled through the hole and put them back.
It is our last afternoon at the ranch, and we set out to work half the line of our Bluebird houses.
Heifers are always interested in human tinkering.
They moooove in for inspection.
400 miles due south of the ranch is Pocatello, Idaho; the site of this summer’s ubiquitous “Drive-By Fire”.
Our path takes us to the nose of the fire, just above town, and all down its flank.
Simultaneously, a few hundred miles south of Salt Lake City, the interstate was closed as another bigger fire swept over the highway. The nighttime low temps in SLC are about the daytime highs at the ranch, and humidity stands between 6-14 percent vs the rainbows and thunderstorm-showers of Montana. AC/DC’s Highway to Hell isn’t on my playlist…

Here we are, back at the living room window. A special triage was 3.5 inch deck screws to pull the entire frame back together, as it had accordioned apart from itself. Following that was bondo-putty and sanding.
Here I’m “dry fitting” the storm window, sans glass. Note all the storm windows lined along the house. All are glazed and primed. Problem though, the primer has remained tacky for days. The primer set just fine on the kitchen sash. A day later it is entirely different, and won’t set up. My frustration with it never drying is what sent me into the basement in badger-mode for a day.
This was a fun way to start the day. I’ll spend the rest of the day repainting all the storm windows, as I had found a possible fix via casting about online the prior afternoon. One painter had a little chemistry gem buried on a “wtf my paint won’t dry” forum of otherwise useless interwebbery: if you didn’t mix your paint thoroughly enough, the binders may not be flowing with the pigment and base media. In this case, before panicking, just mix the paint with a drill and mixer for a looong while and reapply. The new layer’s binder will kick the non-drying layer. Ahhh, chemistry!
After a morning of re-painting, I needed to wait and see if the binders would kick the sticky layer. What to do while paint dries, if it dries… screens for the kitchen windows? This green helped me map the colors applied to the windows. Red was the first color in the 1800’s. The LR window came primed, and was painted red, then blue, then this green. The blue and green arrived with the new edition of the house.
The screen cleans up quickly as it has been in storage for 60 years. The metal screen is full of paint splatter and dirt, so I coax it out with soapy water and a wire brush.
Microfiber towels are amazing for cleaning screens. They grab up all the dirt.
Take a step back, then step back in for inspection.
Now I can see all the spots that need wood-fill triage.
The first one was easy, which is why I started with it.
The screen is torn out along the bottom. This one was never painted green, so it was damaged and set aside and never fixed. Paint history point of interest- it is blue. And the other screen that remained in use was repainted and remained in much better shape. I found them both behind an old door in the back of a shed.
I banged around and found my replacement screen, beading, and a roller. All that I need for a new screen. I carefully pull the little nails holding down the thin wood strips that hold in the screen.
The screen pulls away. It has a beading line but no beading. The screen was just held in place by the wood and nails- which explains why the screen on green isn’t tight.
Meanwhile, cows and calves and bulls have found a way out of their pasture and are converging on the ranch house. These two calves squirmed into the horse pasture while their big herd bull stands on the other side of the barn bellowing. This brings the bulls down the mountain on the other side of the valley, and soon the valley is echoing with bull bugles.
I’m set for stripping it down and see that a rail has been broken from the back. Someone probably tried a fix of jamming something along the spline to tighten in the screen again, and instead just shattered the wood, not knowing it was a thin walled groove in there to accept the beading. After letting the glue cure overnight I find that another section is identically damaged, so more glue and waiting.
I can’t believe I can ignore this lovely girl and fuss about silly human things. She is very forgiving of my weird human priorities.
Xander has claimed the window-glass box. He says it is time to get back to using white paint.
This is the bedroom storm window. I tried a fix, prior to finding the painting chemistry advise, and it didn’t work so I had to strip it down- only one face and the sides, as the other side is done in a wood finish. This better-blended paint sets up just fine.
Dry enough for little caterpillars!
The next morning I get out early before the sun hits the wall, and prime the LR sash. Layer 1 of 2.
Somewhere up the Willow are the Hairy Woodpeckers and their fledgling, all flitting about and calling happily.
Chemistry worked! Time to glaze the LR storm window. The first pane went in easy, and now no other bay will hold a pane- they all are suddenly too small or the glass too big. Which means it has moved off square just a smidge. I had formed wooden pegs from an old piece of cedar, and drilled and glued them to support all the mortise and tenon joints. I create a 3-clamp solution: the clamp below is key. First is the clamp to the R as an anchor. Then the clamp below- these clamps can be reversed to push instead of grip- and it pushes this window bay apart at the point where the glass couldn’t seat. The third clamp to the L stabilizes the pressure below and helps hold things true.
It works! Once this pane is seated all the other bays align and accept glass without fuss.
I’m almost out of window glazing putty. It will be close.
Pointed and puttied with less than a ping-pong ball’s worth extra. I also used a glazing compound in a caulk-gun tube. It is terrible for setting the bead, but great for laying a bed under the glass.
Somewhere in there I primed the screen.
The top coat is an acrylic semi-gloss enamel. The paint dept. didn’t shake it; I’ve never had that before- no dot of paint on the top verifying the color mix. I hadn’t noticed in the store as they had put the paint-match card on top and I was getting glass cut as well- which they packaged neatly and the glass guy stayed with me through checkout to place it in the truck himself; the glass was dirty, dribbled with residue, and scratched. Way to go Ace.
Coat one is late in the day, well into the evening actually, and coat two will be first thing in the morning.
I’ve painted the windows shut and will have to remedy that, at some point.
You can see the wavy paint job on the inside – 4 layers at least. I’ll straighten that out some day as well.
Two solid weeks. The storm windows will wait til next time, as we head out in two days, and the paint needs a week to cure before pressing an equally fresh-painted storm window into place (I’d hoped for at least 4 days, but the sticky paint bested me). Besides, my Chemistry solution could use another day to really sort itself. However these windows are now glazed and weatherproof, which makes them 100% better than before.
The cellar burped up most of its defunct ducting. The brown striping is packrat “patina”.
The crew that laid in the ducting for the central heating (it lasted less than a decade back in the 60s/70s before the bsmt flooded and destroyed it) cut directly through structural beams, rim-joists of hand hewn trees, and cememted stone- and left all their mess behind. There were three sections that needed help. This section fixes a rim joist that was cut all the way out (an entire piece of squared timber cut from our forest for the 1800’s portion of the house), exposing a weight-bearing vertical that dangled its naily foot above the ducting. This is a tidy layer of fixes. A 4×6 treated lumber is lag-bolted to the remains of the rim-joist, backed with a section of 2×4 to span the dangling vertical. This fixed the upstairs floor sag and squeak from the living room to the kitchen. Next comes the plywood, to block out the packrats and mice. I scribed out the pattern of shattered out foundation wall, and used our tried and true critter gap measure of aluminum cans keeping the wooden edges unchewable as well.
This was a less disastrous mess (no before pic. of the first). They would drill a border then smash through with chisels. The shattered wood is everywhere.
All sealed up.
I went back and foamed this one as well.
This is the third disaster. I blocked it off from critters, but didn’t do any structural fixes; because of the pee/poo and bones and wadded up clothes stuffed in for “insulation” and the actual pink insulation used for nesting? Yeah. Probably. So the fix is removable so I Future Feller can go back in “some day”.
Fixed enough. My Badger mojo has run its course, so maybe no more critters down there.
Wiping down the glass after scraping away all the old paint and glazing.
Seating the glass back into the bedroom storm window.
Laying in the glazing compound.
Cutting / compressing the glazing to a seamless line, so it is invisible from the inside.
Wilson’s Warbler. Our second summer seeing her here.
Window Glazed. Once it skins over a bit, I prime over it with a liner brush.
I started the day with some fun, fitting out the storm windows with hanging hardware (vs the 6 screws that I’m guessing had replaced 6 nails). These storm windows fit nicely in the window frames.
All fitted out. Can swing open, or lift off, or squeeze tight. I then remove the hardware and move on to priming.
The old Living Room window needs some help as well. My dad had drilled two holes through the window casing to allow his TV cable that slung across the yard to a huge antennae bringing in 2 channels, well, 1 1/2. One hole is already re-drilled and plugged with a glued dowel, and here I am finding his first hole, up at an angle, and into the frame of the window. He stopped drilling just as I did, narrowly avoiding disaster- though I was drilling through all the wadded up whatnots he’d stuffed into the hole. Now plugged with a dowel and glued. Next I will cut the dowel so the window is clear of the frame, each with its bit of dowel.
Glue and clamps for a shattered rail. The wide putty knife adds square support.
Layer one of primer on the kitchen window.
Beginning primer layer two.
Primed and drying.
Primer coat for the bedroom window is on the outside face only. The inside face is wood with clear urethane rubbed with wax to match the sash window.
Priming the kitchen’s two storm windows, front and back. Tomorrow is glass / glazing. The mosquitos switched out with the biting flies for the last hour of the day.
Kitchen window: scraped of old paint and linseed treated, new glass in the top two and old in the bottom- no glazing but enough to hold together while we make a grocery/hardware run to Great Falls.
Glass is back out again, as it is time to get the top windows operational.
A clamp on the rail and a hammer. A gentle hammer…
Giving little love taps while making sure the other side doesn’t bind. Both windows slide open again!
Kitchen storm window #2 (#1 was the tin can corner). Removing the old glazing to remove the glass.
Cleared of paint, bondo-d the 6 screw holes and other bits, and sanded.
The living room window feels left out.
The Garden Snake is always under the LR window, so I’ll have to keep things tidy (lead paint).
Original window to the 1800s house, painted closed 70 years ago, then the storm window was sealed in place since the late 1980’s.
I cut the latex seal around the window with the oscillator, then start nudging it out with the good ol’ painter’s 5 in 1 tool.
Just a little coaxing and she came away clean.
Very tidy generations of Wasps layered season on season.
I’m steaming the window up lookin’ at E!
A day of heat gun and scraping. The black bag caught the worst of the lead scrapings and I vacuumed up the overspill- the snake spent the day just off to my right making sure I didn’t break the glass. This window was put in when the house was built, back in the 1800’s. It was made in a shop, complete with the hand-rolled glass. The glazing is painted over with the same oil-based shellac, which preserved the wood and the glazing. There are still pristine parts, a lot of compromised areas, and patches of obliteration.
The trick with a 140 year old window is to help it without hurting it. Linseed oil solution treatment. This will harden in over three days.
Sanded and wood fill / bondo, and sanded again. These kitchen windows for the new addition (192?) were made in a shop as well. The storm windows may have all been ordered at this time, as they fit here perfectly, yet are proud of the original window boxes by 1/4 or so. The original windows on this side of the house were repurposed as upstairs windows.
Runoff from the roofline, and over the gutter did a number on the kitchen window sill. All the crazing is now backfilled with bondo and sanded smooth.
On to the Living Room storm window. Glass is removed, on to triage.
The window maker wrote in pencil: Living Room by Radco.
Heat gun and scraper bring the old paint down to original primer coat.
Sanded, bondo fixes, sanded again. Next, linseed solution and 3 days to cure.
The bedroom frame has cured for 3 days or more ( I lost count), so I fit it with the new hanging hardware prior to primer / glass / glazing.
The frame sits proud of the frame, so I create backing shims for the hardware from PVC panel. Here is one of a pair of turns that anchor/release the bottom.
This is one of a pair of hanging hooks that allow the storm window to seat tight, or swing out, or lift off.
Here it is swung out. I’ll adding this feature for all the windows I’m fixing.
The beekeeper checked his hives today. We walked up to watch and he put me in his bee gear, we headed to the hives, and he pulled me out this honeycomb!
We scraped the honeycomb from the frame / starter into a big sauce pan.
Most of the waxy comb is warming on the stove, this pure stuff just needed a strainer.
Liquid Gold!
The honey is nearly transparent once strained.
Elizabeth”s afternoon is all mapped out.
The Bee Queen. Not to be confused with the Queen Bee.
Seriously, you have to stop yourself. Try having just one spoonful. Alpine Flower Serum.
Thank you bees!
This could be considered a spoonful, couldn’t it?