Wood for window sash - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 12-21-2014, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Question Wood for window sash

I have some forty sash to replace -- they're rotted out in the bottom corners and I don't want to do the temporary fix with wood filler. I bought a router table and a pair of "stick and cope" bits, but I can't get good wood from the local lumber yards. They just don't know where to get clear white pine. Menard's has some, but only in one-inch thickness. I don't want to use poplar; white oak would go with the interior trim. So where do I buy it?
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post #2 of 24 Old 12-21-2014, 01:01 PM
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to have any prayer of a relevant answer, you would need to provide your location.

You can ship wood... but its very expensive.
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post #3 of 24 Old 12-21-2014, 01:47 PM
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What are the original sash's made of? Stained or painted? If painted, fir will work fine, as well as poplar.
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post #4 of 24 Old 12-21-2014, 04:07 PM
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Are these your windows or do they belong to someone else? If they were mine, the first thing I would do is find out why all of then have a rot problem. Something is wrong.

Forty windows is a lot of windows for an average home. My house only has 10.

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post #5 of 24 Old 12-21-2014, 04:11 PM
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Look for sash router bits.
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post #6 of 24 Old 12-21-2014, 04:11 PM
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If you can get the thickness you need I would use pressure treated pine. It doesn't cost much more than dimension lumber and lasts a lot longer. The problem is if you get it fresh and wet it could take a couple months before you could put paint on it.
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post #7 of 24 Old 12-22-2014, 04:26 PM
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Use vg fir man, pine is a sponge.
Seal it with smiths and co epoxy liquid.

I'm a window maker.

What is the profile? Roman ogee?
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post #8 of 24 Old 12-22-2014, 09:37 PM
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Maybe not relevant to your question, but you might like to look at the "Windows" page on my website that details a job I did making replacement sash for a 1784 house. Of the choices of wood you gave, I'd go with White Oak.
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post #9 of 24 Old 12-23-2014, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If you can get the thickness you need I would use pressure treated pine. It doesn't cost much more than dimension lumber and lasts a lot longer. The problem is if you get it fresh and wet it could take a couple months before you could put paint on it.

Seriously? Window sash out of pressure treated pine??? Now I've heard it all. You can't even build a deck out of that garbage without it all twisting to hell, and you're telling this fellow to build WINDOW SASH with it???? Hahahahaha!!!!!!
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post #10 of 24 Old 12-23-2014, 02:02 AM
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Just so you know, replacement sash are available from most full service lumber yards as well as big boxes on special order. It would save you a lot of hard work and probably money, making sash is challenging. Most windows are made of western pine and treated with a water repellent preservative. There are often several choices for interior species as well as choices in insulated glass. You won't be able to use insulated glass with ordinary sash bits. Replacement windows are another option, you keep the existing frame and trim. You can also get tilt wash styles, too.
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post #11 of 24 Old 12-23-2014, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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window sash

My project is restoring two Victorian houses. I haven't found it uncommon that the bottom sash are rotted at the corners. Every house of that age I've looked through has the problem -- maybe Indiana is just home for the rot fungus.
Construction-grade wood from the lumber stores is obviously not good enough. Antique Heartwood Pine would be great, but $600 a sash is way past my budget. Replacement or insulated windows in a Victorian house are what I call "flipper damage".
As you may have noticed, I'm a beginner at woodworking of any kind. So there may be a source for 8/4 white oak or better grades of white pine that is obvious to you, but I've never heard of. The local lumber stores haven't heard of it, either. So let me know where you would get oak, pine, or fir that's good enough to make sash from.
The molding profiles are mostly Roman ogee, with some plain bevels and some fancier reverse curves.
I have been having sash made at a shop in Indianapolis. They never fit the window, even though I brought in the originals to measure. Surely it's not good practice to shim or cut down sash except for an out-of-square frame.
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post #12 of 24 Old 12-23-2014, 01:09 PM
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I've made sash from vertical grain red cedar with good results. The VG cedar is very stable and much more weather resistant than pine or fir. It's also easier to work than white oak.

Try a google search for hardwood lumber wholesalers in your area. Or perhaps lumber mills. At any rate I'm sure you'd come up with a few leads.

Not to discourage you or anything, but if you're a beginner woodworker, making window sash is going to probably be way over your head. I'm sure you could do it with some time and practice, but could you do it consistently to tight tolerances and fast enough to be profitable on 40 windows? Not an easy task at all.
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post #13 of 24 Old 12-23-2014, 04:18 PM
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You realize there are other types of replacement sash and windows other than vinyl, don't you, Ed?
This is only one of thousands of companies. http://smithrestorationsash.com/windowrestoration.html
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post #14 of 24 Old 12-23-2014, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BZawat View Post
Seriously? Window sash out of pressure treated pine??? Now I've heard it all. You can't even build a deck out of that garbage without it all twisting to hell, and you're telling this fellow to build WINDOW SASH with it???? Hahahahaha!!!!!!
I make all kinds of millwork and use treated wood wherever possible. I'm just careful to get some treated wood that has been the store for a while and is dry. I think the OP would like using wood that wouldn't rot out on him again.

Recently I screened in someones back porch and used treated wood on everything including the screen door and trim.
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post #15 of 24 Old 12-23-2014, 05:19 PM
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To each his own, I guess. I wouldn't use that crap for millwork if you paid me to. You couldn't convince me that it's stable enough, even if you tried lol
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post #16 of 24 Old 12-23-2014, 05:32 PM
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You must just be getting some really bad treated wood in your area. As long as I don't get wood that is dripping wet I have very little problem with warpage.
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post #17 of 24 Old 12-24-2014, 01:00 AM
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Look, if you don't care to keep the profile, just do them square profile. Done.

I can't imagine how can that be difficult. :) no coping.

That way, you can make room for insulated glass.

Cedar is more resistant is true but you can dent it with your fingernail. It's too soft.

Just use VG fir and prime it well. No sweat.

Use titebond III only.

Are the sashes for casements and double hungs? Or just fixed?

Glazing compound takes a lot of practice so I recommend to make stops with a 25 degree bevel top and bottom dominant. Opposite than the sash that is side dominant, stiles are dominant, rails aren't.
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post #18 of 24 Old 12-24-2014, 01:02 AM
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Stops go outside, profile inside.
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post #19 of 24 Old 12-26-2014, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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sash wood

Thanks for the advice.
The windows are double-hung and big: 40 x 44 inches for one sash.
The pair of router bits I bought make the profile and rebate in one pass. True, I will have to make another cut across the ends of the rails to make the cope, but I think the effect is worth the trouble.
I have seen this type of "stick and cope" sash broken apart because the glue joint didn't hold. I plan to put a half-inch dowel in each corner. The old mortise-and-tenon joints were obviously handmade and pretty irregular. One set of sash has machine-made open mortises at the corner. I'm not going to try to copy either. I also plan to make the meeting rail two inches thick instead of one inch, instead of making a complicated dovetail or extending the stiles into decorative brackets.
I've looked up two hardwood distributors in central Indiana, but they don't list VG fir or cedar. It doesn't grow around here, of course. I'll try Hood Distribution in Louisville -- maybe 300 board feet qualifies as "wholesale".
If I could get borate-treated lumber I would use it. I don't want CCA dust in houses I live in or sell -- seems it would be worse than lead-based paint.
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post #20 of 24 Old 01-21-2015, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Angry still no sash wood

Indiana Hardwoods, near Bloomington, sold all their machinery to the Amish and only distribute crappy laminate flooring. There might be a hobbyist on the Dutch Ridge road who has some white oak ... but I don't think it's worth my time to go bothering people at their homes.
A "sawmill" operator in Paris Crossing only has a portable sawmill and doesn't have any 8/4 oak in stock. He might have some at his Sellersburg location -- which turns out to be the garage back of his house.
A "hardwood store" in Reelsburg (on US 40 west of Indy) lists its stock online and doesn't have any oak thicker than 6/4.
Another "store" in Union City (which is six hours' drive away) lists all sorts of wood online but doesn't say what they have or don't have.
Isn't there anybody in the hardwood business who really runs a business, not a hobby shop? You'd think that between Indy, Louisville, and Cincy I could find one. I live in a hardwood forest; maybe I'll have to fell and saw my own trees.
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