John Leeke
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  • Portland, Maine
  • United States
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John Leeke's Discussions

Filling Window Sill Weather Checks

Started Jul 25, 2010

Lead-Safe Work
5 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Catherine Brooks Sep 12, 2009.


John Leeke's Page

Profile Information

Tell us about yourself:
I've been working on old houses for 54 years and writing about it for Old-House Journal for 31 years.
Tell us about your old-house experiences and dreams:

John Leeke's Blog

Leeke Interview

Hey! Jeff Guin interviewed me over at Voices of the Past.


Posted on November 16, 2010 at 3:44pm

Barn: Painting

We broadcasted our barn paint and woodwork project the summer of 2009. The work included:

==> Steam Paint Removal: equipment, tools, methods and techniques

==> Lead Safe Operations: personal gear, ground containment, lead residue collection and disposal

==> Woodwork Repairs: clapboard splits, clapboard replacement, filling nail holes

==> Painting: pre-treatments, oil-base primer, acrylic… Continue

Posted on August 12, 2010 at 2:14pm — 9 Comments

Campbell Center Maintenance Workshop

Campbell Center Maintenance Workshop

In June Bob Yapp and I taught a course on maintenance methods and materials for historic buildings. Many National Parks Service workers attended as well as others involved in caring for historic buildings. These videos show window sill decay stabilization, filling sill weather checks and a wood-epoxy repair method.

More about the Methods and Materials for Maintenance of Historic Buildings course:… Continue

Posted on July 25, 2010 at 9:52pm

Window Sash Painting

Excerpt from the book Save America's Windows:

Step 9d. Paint.

Apply primer to putty bevels and interior seals. Lap primer 1/16" onto the glass, painting "to the line," allow to dry. Apply two top coats of paint to entire sash except side edges and face margins and top and bottom edges if they are not being painted. (Use best quality exterior house paint. Waterborne 100%… Continue

Posted on March 30, 2010 at 11:31am

Window Sash Deglazing

Check out my Q&A on removing putty and glass in the current print issue of OHJ (Dec.2009, p.18) , here's the video that goes with it:


Posted on October 24, 2009 at 12:07pm

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Comment Wall (20 comments)

At 6:47pm on September 10, 2008, Demetra said…
Nice to see you here!
At 9:50am on September 11, 2008, Jane Powell said…
Steam is good, but I'll bet it takes longer than three minutes!
At 8:03am on September 23, 2008, John Rodgers said…
Nice to find you on this forum as well John. I tried my Wagner steamer as we had discussed, and just as you suspected, it is not enough for my old cypress doors. It removed all of the layers but the last, which is a thick, almost putty-like coat that is a burden to get off even with the heat gun, and no chemicals have worked on it so far.

Back to the old drawing board...or on to other projects to let this one simmer for a bit.
At 8:20am on October 2, 2008, Chip Wright said…
Sounds Great John. What a treat it is to visit your section of the country. The people are friendly and the architecture great to study and work on. There are alot of contrasts between traditional southern architecture and that found in your region...whats facinating to me is that they had similar origins.
Keep in touch.

At 7:34pm on November 14, 2008, Dennis Wallach said…
Yes John, they are indeed . . . And it seems they were stripped a few times before, seems they are getting thinner as a result . . . I removed two previous paint jobs. The most recent was a quick job without the use of primer done about 30 years ago. And the one before was a complete strip job done about 55 years ago. They did a pretty good job stripping since I noticed minimal damage if any to the trim board's sharp edges and outside corners. They did use a heavy lead primer which seemed to have a red hue. Could have been what they used in auto body shops back then. . . . I am also resideing my NE faceing with new spruce quarter-sawn boards I got from Ward up in VT, I'm disappointed about the 7/16" butts, would not even special cut them to 1/2" for love or money! . Have the NE side about 1/2 completed and painted, looks really nice! . The South facing is also pretty bad and going to reside. The North side is completed down to the tops of the first floor windows. These were all original boards with only a few at the window sill lower corners that needed attention. This North side runs from front to back 53 feet with an inside corner midway. Many compliments from strangers walking by! . . The front is completed down to the tops of the second floor windows, the picture shows just after stripping. Front also has two bay windows and a wrap-around porch which I will get to after I take care of the original terne roof of the porch. Staging coming down next week, will go back up next April. . . . Thanks for the interest, John and enjoy Thanksgiving !
At 7:37pm on November 23, 2008, jane said…
a late reply - I've had a bug.

My dad is now 99, and will be delighted to know you remember meeting him. His Tithe Barn books are 'remaindered' here in my barn. About 30 of them still get sold every year.

Where did you hear about my talk at the Bennington Museum? The museum published an article of mine on the Park-McCullough Carriage House being green - in their Walloomsack Review. So I talked about how it wasn't just the barn and that owner and that architect who knew about being green - this is such a hard concept to explain - I am amazed! I was not as in sync with my audience as I would have liked - I couldn't see or heat them and much prefer to talk where I can have feedback and adapt my talk accordingly.

I am a serious docent at the Park-McCullough House - naturally giving it the architect and technology spin, very well received. Yes, I know the heating system well and know another in the area too. No, it doesn't work well, and the House is too poor to do much about it.

If you are over this way, please let me know. What fun it would be to tour the House with you!
At 8:26pm on December 5, 2008, Russ Savory said…
Yes, I do. Would you like me to email them to you?
At 9:17pm on December 10, 2008, John Rodgers said…
random question for you John... one of my windows has decided to start giving me problems. The top sash will randomly slip down a couple of inches on one side, in essence becoming unsquare and leaving a gap. Whenever I notice this, I am able to pretty easily slide it back into place and have it stay, but then the next day it is back down again.

Is there a relatively simple way of getting this to stop? the weight system is in tact and the window opens and closes easily, so I would like to think it is not something overly difficult to correct.
At 9:49pm on December 10, 2008, Phil said…
John - the same thing occasionally happens to me. I think that it is the lower sash weight getting slipping out of its channel and slipping into the upper sash channel or something like that. The weight then can't fall while the window rises, so the tension that holds it up is lost.
At 9:42am on December 11, 2008, John Rodgers said…
Thanks guys...I'll pop it open this evening after work and see what I find. Nothing better to do tonight since it is snowing in South Louisiana for the first time in who knows how long...

I haven't seen snow (born and raised in Florida) since I was young and we lived in California, and even then that was once in a lifetime since we lived in the mojave desert...

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