Just a quick check-in here to remind you that I have not lost sight of the “Reclamation” part of my blog.  After my screed earlier this week about AA and my own recovery journey, you might have been wondering if anything has actually been occurring inside Sparta.  This answer is yes, but it just hasn’t been very exciting stuff.  I mentioned two weeks ago the nearly 150 feet of weather-stripping I had ordered.  It has arrived.  Here it is.

Sparta strip

Half the length of a football field

Applying this stuff isn’t the challenge (it’s simply cut and paste).  The hard work is in preparing the surface around each and every operable window to make sure the stuff stays stuck.  There is old adhesive, grime and dirt that has to be removed and this is painstaking and time-consuming.  Also, it tends to wear-out the small, iron-shaped head of my oscillating tool.  The sanding sheets attach to the Velcro pad on the tip which tends to deteriorate due to my over zealous use of the equipment, necessitating the purchase of new heads (surprisingly expensive.  I have purchased three and have now exceeded the price of the power-tool to which they attach.  I think I have stumbled across another Gillette model.  Cha-Ching).  Eight windows down…thirteen to go.

sparta stripping

Once the surface is cleaned, it’s just peel and stick…easy squeezy.

P.S. – I have found it is easier to remove old adhesive from around the windows with gasoline on a rag.  I suppose Goof-off or some other petroleum-based product would work, but good old petrol works fine and it’s easier on the equipment and on me.

Fun Facts:  Between World War II and 1961 when they shut down,  Spartan Aircraft Corporation made just over 40,000 trailer homes (their preferred nomenclature).  By contrast,  during the same period, Ford Motor Company made over 17,500,000 automobiles.  And the renown 1909 – S VDB Lincoln head penny numbered 484,000 in original circulation and is now worth over $2,000 in mint condition.  It’s no wonder these trailers are hard to find.

The 1948 Spartan Manor cost about $3,000.  That was the annual salary of the average American at the time.