Monday, December 27, 2010

Removing old glazing.

Using a chisel and hammer you get at the glazing from the side, being careful not to break the glass. Use a razor blade to get out last of the glazing remnants.
My sister, home for Christmas, helping me out. This is my dad's workshop:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Respecting this old house

I am trying to respect the architecture of this old house.For me, having windows that open with ropes is not only respecting the character of the house, but is also, for lack of a better word, quaint. I feel that I am giving a bit of pride back to this house, as well appreciating the people who originally put it together. The legacy of respecting it's historic character will live on long after I am gone.

Installing the window

Existing weight in window channel. (I use the word, "channel," for both the openings at the sides of the window framing, and the openings on the sides of the windows themselves.)

Cut you new rope to the right size for your window. Ideally you want to use 100% cotton sash rope (nylon will stretch over time). Despite an exhaustive search I could not find any, so I settled for a cotton rope with a nylon core. Tie a knot at one end of the rope and put it in your window channel. Nail through both the knot, and about 3 inches above the knot, to help hold the rope in place in the channel of the window. Once the ropes are secure in the window, loop the other ends of your ropes through the window wheels at the top (see picture below).

You can insulate against drafts coming through your window wheels during the winter by using carpet padding, or something similar.

Fill in the opening at the bottom and top of your window with maximum expanding "Great Stuff" window foam to prevent drafts. (Later, once the window weights, with their new ropes, are in place I will insert 2 inch foam board in this channel--between the opening/channel pictured here and the window trim--for further insulation.)

Once both sides of your window have ropes in the channels, and you have sealed gaps in the window channel with "Great Stuff," loop the other end of the rope (the end not already nailed to your window) through the weight and tie a knot at the end--this knot will prevent the rope from slipping through your final two knots (see picture below).

Here you can see how the original end knot will prevent the rope from slipping through the final two knots.

Install the weight in the window channel. Use parafin (Gulf) wax, beeswax, or soap on the sides of your windows where they will rub against the window framing so to make it easier to open and close the windows.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Repairing Historic Windows

Once the old paint is taken off the windows with a heat gun you need painter's tape, a bucket of water, White Lightning glazing compound, metal window points, a scissors, and paper towel. The glazing compound is available at Ace and Benjamin Moore. I would stay away from the cheaper compounds, like DAP, that are available at the Home Centers. The great thing about White Lighthing is that it remains flexible, and will not crack, thus you can trim excess away, for a clean line, at antyime.

Take your painter's tape and seal off the part of the window where you don't want the glazing compound to go,and so as to achieve an even line of compound. Leave enough room between the tape and the wood for your metal point placements.

This is a photo for the metal points (you can buy them in the paint department at the Home Centers). Push them into the wood with a flat head screwdriver. Be careful not to press too hard down on the glass or you will break it. I have heard that instead of using these metal points, you can just put a narrow bead of compound in the space (below the glass and against the wood, not on the top part of the glass) here to hold the glass. I have not tried this, but it sounds like it would work. The next step is to squeeze the compound onto the top of the glass so as to hold in the window panes. Put your finger in the bucket of water and then spread the compound against the window glass and muntin to create a smooth seal. (The water facilitates the spreading of the compound and makes it easier to clean the compound off of your finger when you are finished spreading.)

I wait to peel off the tape until everything is finished--final paint coat and all. When you are finished you them simply take a razor blade and make a clean, neat cut along the frame to get a perfect finish for the glazing.
(I read later that it is good to paint the wood frame with oil based primer before beginning the glazing process because it is additional protection agains moisture.)