With colder weather approaching i knew i needed to replace the outdoor thermometer on the porch. The current one was about eight degrees off and it bugged me, especially when trying to calculate if i needed to put animals in the house or cover plants. The forecasted temperatures for my town pertained to the valley, not the hills surrounding it, so it was imperative that i compare the actual temp on the thermometer to the one the forecaster gave for months leading up to winter so i knew how many degrees to subtract when they gave the forecast for the valley surrounding a soft or hard freeze. I couldnt calculate anything if i couldnt trust the thermometer because it was inacurate. To be clear, the mercury in question is not inaccurate. Mercury is mercury. Its gonna do what mercury does. The human error comes in when employees glue the thermometer too high up or low down against the little tick marks with numbers that represent temperatures. I find that there is a great deal of human error when gluing on modern thermometers while vintage thermometers provide a level of accuracy unmatched. The problem is, when the weather knocks one of these vintage thermometers to the ground, the thermometer breaks and the mercury doesnt work anymore. I got back on ebay and bought a thermometer made during a time when people cared about accuracy and workmanship. This one had red cardinals painted on it. It was in a parcel locker at the post office one day and i retrieved it after my shift. The sun was setting so i hurriedly turned it over to see if i could hang it on the nail head that held the other thermometer. I couldnt. The nail head was too big. I needed a smaller one to fit in the indentation and track on the back of the stone rectangle thermometer. I realized suddenly that this was not going to be a project i finished before sundown, happening in mere minutes.
I went into the house and grabbed my tool box. I didnt have a smaller nail head but i did have a smaller screw. Now i needed a drill, an extension cord, a drill bit, and a hammer to remove the pre-existing nail. I pulled out the case that housed the drill, grabbed a bit that fit the screw from the case that housed the hammer, picked up the hammer, pulled the extension cord i used to make the phone charger reach the bed from the wall, and headed outside with my armful of things. On the way out i grabbed my headlamp from the bedpost and slid it on my head. I used the back of the hammer to pull the old nail out, pressed the shards of wood into the tiny hole they surrounded so critters wouldnt be tempted to make a home, and hammered the tip of the screw into the wall to make an indentation near where the first hole had been. Then i plugged the extension cord into the kitchen outlet and ran it out to the porch where i plugged in the drill and situated the screw driver bit between the three little teeth that came together to hold it. I drove the screw into the wall where the indentation was made and continued until the screw head lay just flat enough to fit into the indentation on the back of the thermometer and allow it to sit snuggly against the side of the house. In an attempt to keep this one from being blown off the wall during the first storm i went into the house, opened a drawer, and grabbed a tube of all purpose caulk. It wasnt what i was looking for but it was all i had on hand left over from prior projects. The nearest hardware store was one town over. To my surprise the cap came off without incident and the caulk inside wasnt a tube shaped block of cement. I lifted the thermometer from the wall and placed a penny sized dollop of caulk in between the house and the thermometer. I was slightly concerned about how this would affect repainting the exterior of the house, which i would have to do at some point, but i was less concerned about this as i was using up all the thermometers on ebay as i lost each one to a storm or high winds. I stood on the porch and held the thermometer in place for fifteen minutes, pressing it against the wall, until i thought the caulk was starting to hold on its own.
The next day after work i got to see what the thermometer looked like in the daylight.
I have now vetted the thermometer and i can tell you it is way more accurate than the modern one we had.