Watch Tower Glazing Maintenance Services in the Willamette National Forest
Watch towers are located in various types of locations. Some are built on a mountain peak, some on a cliff’s edge, and only one on a Cinder Cone Geologic interest area. Sand Mountain is the name of the basalt Cinder Cone in the Willamette National Forest and on its peak is the fire watch tower bearing the same name. The watch tower is still operated as a true fire lookout with a radio, maps, and fire finder and manned by trained personnel.
The ground for which it stands upon is a very fine pyroclastic basalt that easily gets swept into the air, almost creating a natural sand blasted effect against the structure. The tower is locate at the dividing line of two climates – the West side of the Cascade Range and the High Desert where the Pacific Ocean’s weather systems clash into the local mountain peaks with constant high winds, heavy rainfall, snow deposit and glaring sun. Over time the constant sand blasting will actually etch the glass to an opaque effect which is a major obstruction for surveying and tracking wildfires. A unique issue, but it goes to show that there are all sorts of ways for a watch tower to experience a very difficult life.
With an active fire watch tower, vision is the main purpose of the station. Due to the unique challenges, the glass and glazing putty on the East side of the tower has to be maintained. Fortunately the glass has to be replaced only every decade or so, but the glazing putty would do well to be kept up to par and cleaned. Traditionally this was the service requirement for the watchman between weather calls to dispatch headquarters, but responsibilities became a little more relaxed over time.
The Sand Mountain Society is a non-profit group that specializes in the preservation and restoration of fire watch towers and accessory structures across the Pacific Northwest. This particular place is their baby and starting point in their endeavor over a quarter century ago. Vintage Window Restoration contributes to the cause by maintaining the glazing aspect and at times a place to introduce our new staff or interns to the concepts of back country preservation – quite the living classroom environment! For those that find this truly inspiring, The Sand Mountain Society is a wonderful cause that has been mostly responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of our remote structure preservation and restoration.
Along with watch tower glazing maintenance and back country preservation and documentation, our business covers every aspect of wood windows from repair, new wood windows, wooden screens, exterior facade woodworking and so much in between. Contact Vintage Window Restoration for all of your watch tower preservation needs.