Trio Castle Restoration

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Evan337
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

I have been meaning to post this for a while but below are some details and pictures on a trio castle restoration I did last spring:

I don't have any good before pictures but the house was in pretty bad shape. It belonged to a neighbor but they didn't tend or take care of it. A tree had fallen on the pole at some point so all they had was the top section of the pole and the house. It took some work to straighten out the floors. The house was overrun with sparrows. Every compartment was stuffed full of sparrow nests. I filled a 40 gallon trash can with sparrow nest material. They really are filthy little birds. I only had to order a couple of parts.

I deconstructed the entire house. I mean everything. There were no two pieces that were joined together. It is amazing how many parts and pieces a Trio Castle really has. I drilled out rivets and screws. It probably took 8 hours to deconstruct the house. Maybe longer. If you ever deconstruct a trio it convinces you to reconstruct with stainless steel hardware. Corroded hardware takes 10 times as long to remove.

Every part was straightened, washed, sanded, primed and then painted. It was a long process. I reconstructed the house with stainless hardware and aluminum pop rivets. I upgraded the cable to either 1/8" or 3/32". I think I went with 3/32" stainless cable. I upgraded the winch to a 600 lb boat winch. I painted the house tube and house tube hardware with a corrosion resistant paint. I changed the top pulley to a steel and brass pulley. I inserted 1" pipe into the middle and bottom sections of the pole to provide more pole rigidity. It was a fun project but the time added up. I think I spent over 45 hours working on this house.

I was able to match the paint colors by taking a new white door front and a new green piece to Sherwin Williams. They matched the trio green and white pretty closely.

Here is the paint I used. I used a HVLP Paint Sprayer to spay each individual piece.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0pwm43317pcmd ... 0.jpg?dl=0

Below are some pictures.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6jwvxh8ghyrgh ... M.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2qpv29huvypo1 ... M.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yleohs46h1den ... M.jpg?dl=0

This picture shows how closely I was able to match the paint. The middle support was purchased new. The two on the outside were originals that were sanded, primed and painted. The matted finish of the original pieces I think is a result of not using a fine enough grit on my final sanding.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/99hnyc894heet ... M.jpg?dl=0

Floor Pieces:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8hfnj6fwjjoep ... M.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/miyospr3bfzjt ... M.jpg?dl=0

Assembly:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zu2s4k7z5001v ... M.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hwm2e2hppkiz9 ... M.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3kzx5laae6p4i ... M.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tefgi0sdo5pgi ... M.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jwr2koduqyzdr ... 3.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/enk4kzgapqkc7 ... 8.jpg?dl=0


Erected:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lxs0ph9ndkco2 ... 9.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/yajithis6kvt0 ... 6.jpg?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lmlnoavqc97jv ... 2.jpg?dl=0
John Miller
Posts: 4774
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Evan

It's beautiful. These houses probably remain the most beautiful martin house ever marketed, I think. I wanted one all my life -- literally -- and took in a donated one last year and then had some reservations because as you state, they come in a zillion parts. But you've done a great job restoring this one.

Is that photo service you used free and easy? Some of us were using photo bucket but they started charging to post links....maybe the one you are using is a reasonable
option.

John
Evan337
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Thanks John. I used Dropbox for everything.

dropbox.com

I use Dropbox for my business and for personal files as well as picture storage. I pay $9.99/month for 1TB of storage but they offer 2MB for free. So you could just put pictures in Dropbox that you wanted to share and house the other pictures on your desktop/hard drive.

Google Drive offers something similar but you get 15MB for free. It's another cloud based file storage system. If you have a Gmail account then Google Drive makes a lot of sense.

https://www.google.com/drive/pricing/

I have 1TB on Google Drive as well. The nice thing is that any picture I take on my iPhone syncs automatically to Dropbox and Google Drive. I have thousands of pictures and videos of my two little girls from the time they were born until now. I never have to worry about losing those pictures because I have so much redundancy backup in the cloud.

As far a the Trio Castle goes, I agree. I think between it and T-14s it is my favorite housing type. The martins seem to love both. I went overboard on the restore but at every step I felt like I could make it better and decided to do a complete deconstruct and reconstruct. I'm hoping as a result that I add 20 years to life of the house. I think the one i restored was 30+ years old.
James Strickland FL
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 8:04 pm
Location: Reidsville NC
Martin Colony History: 2017 Had a lot visitors no Matins nesting, hoping 2018 will be different.
2018 Had 1 pair
2019 had 30 pair

You did a fantastic job! I looks like a brand new one.
PMCA MEMBER
Matt F.
Posts: 3903
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Fantastic work Evan!
You did an absolute top notch job!
Dave Reynolds
Posts: 1921
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:35 pm
Location: Little Hocking, Oh.
Martin Colony History: 2018 Success at my Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”.
2019 Success at my home Site "Little Hocking, Ohio".

Super job... Makes me want to restore one just like that one... Great job ... Thanks for letting us see it can be done with a little extra time, and lots of patience...

Dave
Home Site “Little Hocking, Ohio”
2010 / 2018 -- Lots of Visitors
2019 — 1 Pair, 5 Eggs, 5 Babies, 5 fledged. :wink:
2020 — 1 Pair, 4 Eggs, 4 Babies, 4 fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

Satellite Site “Oxbow Golf Course”
2018 -- 15 Pair, 58 Eggs, 38 Hatched and 36 Fledged :wink:
2019 — 26 Pair, 128 Eggs, 99 Babies and 97 Fledged. :wink:
2020 — 30 Pair, 156 Eggs, 137 Babies and 137 Fledged. :wink:
2021 — Waiting on March 2021

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Donnie Hurdt MN
Posts: 1717
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 11:14 pm
Location: North Prairie, MN

Evan, I have three of these houses complete from the perching rods on top to the cement at the bottom of the pole. They were rescued for me by my neighbor from someone he knows who was going to throw them away! They are somewhat faded but otherwise in good shape. If I get more than one pair of martins every few years or so I will use them here of find a public site to use them instead of letting them sit idle in my shed.
PMCA member and Martin fanatic....
2011 A pair of subbies fledged three young but none returned in 2012 :-(
2015 One Pair of subbies came and stayed a few nits but got chased away by Bluebirds and Tree swallows. :-(
2017 0ne pair of subbies nested and fledged 4 young
2018 Tree Swallows AGAIN chased away any martins that wanted to nest :evil:
2019 Same old story................ :-(
Evan337
Posts: 155
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 11:00 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Donnie Hurdt MN wrote:Evan, I have three of these houses complete from the perching rods on top to the cement at the bottom of the pole. They were rescued for me by my neighbor from someone he knows who was going to throw them away! They are somewhat faded but otherwise in good shape. If I get more than one pair of martins every few years or so I will use them here of find a public site to use them instead of letting them sit idle in my shed.
Donnie,

They are great houses. I have done a number of restores on Trios. Mostly the Trio Grandpas. I have three of those that are deconstructed and awaiting work. The Castle is my favorite Trio House. It's an excellent design and has such a unique look. It's a really sharp looking house. I have my eye on 4 or 5 more castles around the area. I now drive neighborhoods and take down addresses and housing types that look abandoned/neglected. Most of the time people just give the houses away because like you said they were just going to throw them away.
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