On the watch deck for second paint party of 2015

The second paint party of the season got underway Memorial Day weekend as the watch deck got a fresh coat of regulation black epoxy paint.

Local harbor seals and early striped bass fishermen all crowded in for a good look at our progress.

We got about four-fifths of it done before we ran out of paint and out of steam. It was hard work.

Hats of to Jack S and the Firehouse Gang. The deck probably┬áhadn’t had a coat of paint in over 20 years.

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Springtime stabilization & restoration begins

Karl Phillips installs a faithful replacement of the original oak window sills.

Karl Phillips installs a faithful replacement of the original oak window sills.

A busy springtime week at Graves Light.

Karl Phillips, our master carpenter, puts the finishing touches on the new oak window sills and paneled surrounds that he made over the winter at his Nantucket workshop.

There are nine of these square windows at Graves Light.

Last year, Karl built exact reproductions of the original casement windows, installing them in time for winter to replace the un-authentic glass block that the Coast Guard had installed for easy maintenance once the original windows deteriorated.

Meanwhile, Mike and Brian Sylvester of CCI, who cleaned and pointed the outside of the tower last season, are now inside the lighthouse. They’re removing the rust that was eating away at the steel floor joists.

As the joists rusted, the expanding iron crushed and split the interior wall, breaking up the curved glazed bricks. About five of the joists need to be excavated from the walls, cleaned and painted, and the brick space around them re-tiled.

The “tiles” are actually glazed bricks. To do the re-tiling, we’re going to steal some curved glazed bricks from under the stairs, to keep the walls original.

 

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Casting call: Making exact copies of original bronze fixtures

Arthur crafts exact copies of lighthouse fixtures out of bronze. He's at Mystic Valley Foundry in Somerville, Mass.

Arthur crafts exact copies of lighthouse fixtures out of bronze. He’s at Mystic Valley Foundry in Somerville, Mass.

In restoring and refurbishing Graves Light, we try to find original items from other lighthouses and ships.

Sometimes, though, finding an exact match proves to be impossible. That was the case of the bronze brackets to hold the wooden handrails in place on the lighthouse’s winding stairs.

We had some original pieces, but couldn’t find a match anywhere.

Arthur at Mystic Valley Foundry in Somerville, Mass., helped us out. He took an original bracket and made 10 exact copies out of bronze.

Here are pictures of Arthur at the foundry, as well as a shot of the 10 copies and the original.

 

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