Graves rises out of the fog

GL Graves fog Bill ONeilBill O’Neil, our reliable neighbor from Hull, just sent us this gem of Graves Light and Fog Station enveloped in a thick fog.

The rigging basket to the right belongs to CCI Construction.

This week, CCI is completing the most exciting painting project – the very top spire of the tower. Fearless!

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At the top: CCI is back to seal the roof from the weather

Mike from CCI Construction waves as he starts work sealing the roof of Graves Light.

Mike from CCI Construction waves as he starts work sealing the roof of Graves Light.

Back for their third season: Mike Sylvester and his team from CCI Construction are back at Graves Light again to seal it from the seas and weather.

You might remember Mike from two years ago, as he was suspended 80 feet down over the rocks to repair the outside stonework.

Now he’s 113 feet up to seal the roof.

One of their tasks is to caulk and paint the conical roof above the lantern room. Here’s a shot of Mike, roped in, of course, waving as he prepares to work. The lantern room has been a source of leaks, but the guys at CCI are sealing it all up for us.

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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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Suspended 80 feet to repair stone at base

Mike Sylvester of CCI Construction hangs by ropes to reinforce stone blocks at the base of Graves Light.

Mike Sylvester of CCI Construction hangs by ropes to reinforce stone blocks at the base of Graves Light.

We started the stabilization and restoration of weathered stone at the base of Graves Light,  using modern techniques to revive the original.

In this picture, Mike Sylvester of CCI Construction is suspended 80 feet as he works to reinforce blocks of stone fragmented by a century of tidal action.

Mike’s drilling holes in the damaged stone, inserting epoxy and stainless steel bolts to reinforce the blocks, then covering the holes with grout.

We made the grout with crushed granite from the very same Rockport quarry that provided the original stone to build Graves Light in 1903.

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