...and crafting a purposeful recovery

Let the improvements begin…

You may have noticed there is a recurring theme in my trailer-blog concerning Sparta’s durability, quality and construction grade that would suggest that she was definitely built for the long haul (pun fully intended).  I think I just found the ultimate proof that the only corners cut in her were the rounded contours of her aerodynamically-shaped bow.  I am speaking about the floor.  The plywood under-laying the vinyl flooring in the bathroom area is nearly two inches thick!  That’s right.  I was expecting maybe 3/4 or, at most, 1 inch beneath my feet…but 2 inches??  I am guessing that the extra thickness in the subfloor was to support the extra weight of a water-filled tub, since the shower is 18″ deep and doubles as a little soaker.  Remember, Spartans were built by a company experienced in airplane manufacture and there was  a tendency to over-engineer some of the details.  Back then, things were built to last and probably without the expectation that they would someday be restored.   Sparta’s floor certainly would have outlived me but for the unfortunate fact that wood-boring insects and water discovered it somewhere along the way and have made Swiss cheese out of small portions of it – the worst being those areas of chronic leakage – mostly perimeter areas.  I may be able to cut and patch but I am also evaluating the use of epoxy floor restorers like “Git Rot” – a very promising alternative.  I may not have to tear out the floor except in the most heavily damaged areas.  More on that later.

Sparta floor

But before proceeding with any floor demolition, patching or reconditioning, I must first identify and remedy any and all leaks.  What’s the point of fixing the floor if rain continues to have its way?  So, my next task is the window seals.  60 years of accumulated grime, grease and weather have taken a toll on all the windows.  While the glass and plexi’ look good, the weather-stripping, sills and opening mechanisms are filthy and a bit corroded.  So I stripped off all the rubber seals with a putty knife, brushed inside and out with wire brushes and then finished with steel wool where the build-up was especilly stubborn. Have a look at the improvement:

sparta window grime

Before

sparta clean and tools

After when steel brushes meet aluminum…

sparta dirty sill

Dirty, greasy. funky sills.

sparta clean sill

Much better.

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