Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Well . . . . kind of. This is what my living room looks like . . . pardon the phone photo, but I have to get back to work. I'm on a quick bathroom/caffeine break at midnight. Then that header on the right is getting finished (that's where I stopped, since I need to go grab a clamp) and then the center post is getting cut out. See, both those center openings are about 1/8" too small, give or take, for my windows, so I'm cutting those out from the header to the footer and replacing the two 2x4s with two modern "2x4s" which are actually only about 1.5" thick. That will have the effect of making each opening about 1/4" larger, which should make the windows fit perfectly. It's slower going since I'm trying to use quieter hand tools, but I'm just sick of not getting this done. You can see one of the 6' windows roughed into the left-hand opening . . . and the original wood 94" window in the right-hand opening. The old windows were huge, and it's nice, but I want a window seat in this spot and 6" windows are the longest reasonably inexpensive windows that are common sizes.

The old windows are about 100 years old, and the sashes were literally built with wooden pegs rather than nails or screws. They're masterpieces of hand craftwork, and I feel a little guilty about tearing them out. Unfortunately, nobody has made any effort to maintain them. They weren't really designed to be airtight when they were built, but they were solid windows with heavy, solid storm windows, but they were simply painted shut and left to rot. Now they have to go. I'm looking for a good place to use the unbroken panes in a decorative way, but we'll see what that might be. For now, I just want my family to be warm this winter without spending hundreds of dollars on gas.

1 comment:

NotClauswitz said...

Sad to see such nice old workmanship going away, but all the points you mention are more than valid going forward. My parents have windows like that upstairs in their house, not quite as large but made well enough that they could be taken apart by hand and put back again. Our weather isn't as severe here.