his is the essence of the painting trade, the particular miseries of a whole way of life, reduced to thirty minutes and the mechanics of a single triple track storm window.
Storms are the bane of the
pinter's life anyway, since they invariably corrode and rust out and get
stuck in their tracks for some reason or another. You're supposed to
slide two little metal tabs, one on each side, toward each other,
freeing the storm from one of its 'blind stops' . Then you lift it until
the tabs click into another stop. Easy!
the summer, both glass sash are up and the screen is down; in the
summer you lift the screen and lower the inside glass sash, sealing out
the c0ld weather, saving on heating bills, etc.
It's a gret system when it works, and it almost always does.
brings me to today. Caretaking a large old house in this resort
community means closing those storm sash every winter. This particular
house has thirty-seven windows. Thirty six of them were easy. Well ...
absent the usual tabs releasing and guillontining your fingers, and
having to move the rusty tabs with the tip of a crewdriver, while
holding the unanchored wooden house window with your head, that sort of
stuff. Normal stuff.
Okay, not exactly easy.
But possible, at least and I was grateful for that.
there's always the last window, the final detail. In this case the
window was located in the renovated attic bedroom. Nothing would budge.
The main wooden window refused to stay open. The stepped wooden board
that normally props the windows open was too short. So I grabbed some
books, piled them on the sill and set the stick on my improvised
platform. Now at least the window would stay open while I fiddled with
the storm sash.
Here's how it's supposed to look:
Ar least until one of the books slipped.
went flying out of the window and hit the driveway in front of my car. I
barely got my hands out before the window slammed down.
deeply to quell the seizure of frustration, I decided to take a closer
look at the storm window set-up. I immediately saw why the screen
wouldn't go up and the glass piece wouldn't come down. Somehow the upper
tab had slipped out of the groove -- the track. So it was blocking the
screen and was itself immobilized. What to do?
Remove the window
stops, remove the actual window sash, giving me full access to the
storms. Then a little brute force, a flat bar and the will to win would
salvage the situation.Of course, that would mean setting the stops back
in place afterward, as well as caulking and repainting them.
Here's a diagram of the nasty little tab in question:
guess I'll be doing that super fun job on Sunday, since I'll be doing
it for free, since it must have been me that screwed the storm sash up
in the first place (I can't imagine who else to blame -- I also painted
But when I got downstairs and picked up the book, I had to laugh.
I could hardly have made a more perfect choice:
Just what I needed. The only better choice might have been this one: