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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here at Lethenty Mill, I have 45 windows, of which I have now restored 35. I only counted them the other day in desperation! These are old windows, many of them from before my time, and I have patched most of them before (about 20 years ago). Nobody seems to speak about this task now and in our neck of the woods (North East of Scotland) tradesmen are not enthusiastic about taking this work on - even if I was able to afford it! It involves removing rotten sills, repairing frames and rebuilding sashes before you even start painting. I have to admit that I haven't spent enough time on regular painting and now my sins have found me out! Does anyone else have any thoughts or experiences on this subject that they would like to share?
 

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Old School
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In the last 15 years or so with two different homes I bought, they both needed window restoration. And you're right, there isn't an abundance of qualified woodworkers that know how or want to do that type of work.

One home involved fabricating frames and panels. With experience in making wood framed glass cabinet doors and having done many commercial applications involving wood showcases, woodworking experience just kicked in as to procedures and methods.

A lot of it is just "makes sense" woodworking, utilizing the creative abilities, materials, and tools of the craft.






 

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Pianoman
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Window repair leads to alot of surprise work! Which can be profitable. Especially with Historic Restoration. Most windows don`t need to be completly re-built...in my opinion...once the actual window has been removed from the jamb frame and the glass removed...I use a fabrocated wood square made of 1x3s then clamp it to the wondow and route out the decay one half the depth of the frame. Try to use the same wood the window was made with. Then replace the bad areas on the other side...overlaping the new wood on the first side. This leaves the original profile which can be blended by routing. I use epoxy or exterior glue and sometimes Bondo. This procedure works best for painted windows. Stained windows require much more attention, but the same method can be used. Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
More on windows

Thanks for your replies. Something occurred to me while I was holding onto the scaffolding....machine tools are not the whole answer to this job! Hand tools are essential for those 'major surgery' situations and last minute adjustments. Am I right?!
 

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Thanks for your replies. Something occurred to me while I was holding onto the scaffolding....machine tools are not the whole answer to this job! Hand tools are essential for those 'major surgery' situations and last minute adjustments. Am I right?!
In my experience, you are right. I ALWAYS have an apron plane and sanding block in my apron pockets. If I need something else while fitting a joint, I'm likely to grab the hand tool (chisel - whatever) required and get on with it. Much quicker than getting the corded tool, plugging it in, calibrating it - etcetera.

On the OTHER hand, I know of some fine carpenters and joiners who RARELY reach for a hand tool - it kind of depends upon what you are used to, how you've been taught, what you're comfortable with.

That's one of the beauties of working with wood - there are myriad "right" ways to do anything.
 

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Pianoman
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Here in America, it would be hard to find a carpenter willing to take the time to restore windows...unless ofcorse he`s working with a Historic Restoration crew. Somehow, it`s too easy to go the (replacement vinyl wondow) route. Time and money seem to rule here...I wish it wasn`t that way here. Rick
 
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