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The Old House Forum

New Window sizing problem 1 Reply

Hi! I'm new to this and had a dumb question. I am enclosing my back porch to kill two problems. One, the porch was poured out of level towards the house which created problems and second the need for…Continue

Started by Mike. Last reply by Steve Jordan Feb 9, 2015.

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Comment by cblehmann on January 26, 2015 at 12:39am

 Cleaning up, treating and reglazing  windows from an 1890+ addition to a much older house with a little epoxy touch up as needed on the lower rail and painting exterior wiht enamel (hysterical overkill?)  These are nice and sturdy, double-hung sashes in near-new condition on pulleys.  Still, many people just say "replacements needed" without even looking at them.  They had unbelievably sloppy putty jobs, layers of paint and anyways, the painters broke most of the glass.  

Older sashes are a challenge. The lowers are hung with a  steel tape system that was invented in 1889.  I think that they used older sashes in a "new" frame. The construction is older seeming: the muntins are thin, the rabbets very, very shallow. There is an exterior stop that prevents the upper from lowering farther than 2" and holds the lower sash in place instead of a parting bead. A strip of wood wiht a channel cut out for the screw for the bail and the tape been added to each side. These have been horrible.  The glass didn't always overlap the wood so the gap was filled wiht lots of clear silicon caulk. Bondo was used to further fill gaps. Some still had old glass,most didn't or only 1900 glass. Considering having some exact reproductions made of the worst ones by Amish craftsmen.  

It has been suggested that we get some wooden units made up that would fit into the existing frame.  The actual window would be  about 1/2 " smaller on all sides. The glass could not be restoration quality and would  be double glazed.  I do love to feel the heat of the sun in the winter!  And only the  South and West sides are being considered, the West getting the most "weather,"  As the house is NRHP, I want to keep the originals, at least on the front.  

Using Sarco Dual Glaze putty and a polished, off-set knife.  Before I got that, I did some in the only putty  Sherwin Williams sells, which is made wtht fish oil and silica and one wiht DAP (now rock hard.)  Ran into  a bit of old putty while restoring; it was still pliable and  so easy to remove, especially after painting on some linseed oil and waiting over night.  Newer putty often required a heat gun on a low temp wiht a dedicated nozzle to loosen. I used an old and thin putty knife or a flat razor blade to get under it.

Very interested in weatherstripping ideas. Of course, the house had shutters, now gone. 

Comment by Steve Jordan on January 26, 2015 at 8:44am

Hi, Sounds like you have the situation under control. Those old Caldwell or Pullman tape balances are still made. Pullman is here in Rochester where I live. Options to weatherstrip are zinc flanged strips, spring bronze, cushion bronze, synthetic flap seals, silicone tubeseals, and pile seals. In about two weeks, my new book, The Window Sash Bible, will be available with directions for all these options. Check it out here: I find the "shallow" muntin issue a problem for a lot of reasons. Make sure the rebate is conditioned with linseed oil or oil primer, the glass is reasonably clean, the putty is on the gooey side of the spectrum  - not too stiff - and you should be OK. sj

Comment by cblehmann on January 27, 2015 at 12:32am

Thanks, I'll look into that weatherstripping.  I followed John Leek to a "T" wiht the rabbets.  I will inform our public Library about your book,too.

Comment by Steve Jordan on February 18, 2015 at 9:40pm

My new book, The Window Sash Bible, is now available on Amazon although not yet linked to my web site. sj

Comment by ken douglas on March 27, 2015 at 9:25am

hi i am new to the forum i restore and sell antique windows and doors in australia checkout my website


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