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Double Sash Window Renovations

 
garden master
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Location: Greater Houston, TX US Hardy:9a Annual Precipitation: 44.78" Wind:13.23mph Temperature:42.5-95F
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One of the projects I am working on for gardening and renovating in Longview, WA is doing double sash window renovations.

This is one of the maintenance hatches I was working on getting access to. I had to remove some of the trim to get off the decorative panel that was covering the board that is front of the maintenance hatch.



I finally got access to the board covering the maintenance hatch and opened it up!



I still needed to take out a few more of the windows, so, I did that! It took me awhile!



I pulled out the broken sashes from the windows, so I can replace them later after I sand, repaint, and reglaze the windows.



These are all of the windows after I had removed the old broken sash cords from them.



This is the big box of weights and pulleys that I will be needing to clean up.



And this is me trying to clean up the pulleys with a sonicator and some soapy water. So far, it's not working too well for me.

 
pollinator
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This is fantastic! I have an old farm house full of these windows and have only managed to get the sash cords replaced in one of them. I have about 16 left...
 
Dave Burton
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Hi Caleb! Doing the sashes will be the last thing for me, since there's still work to be done on the windows. Today, I was sanding the windows to prep them for priming and painting.

I found out halfway through the six windows that I only needed to sand until it's smooth and not until I reach the wood.

Here's the first window I sanded.


This is the stack of five more windows I needed to sand!


This is the second window I sanded. I had to rotate the window, because the electric sander is corded and only reaches so far.


This is the third window I sanded.


These are the last three windows I sanded. I sanded these until they were smooth.


I then sanded the inside trim of all six of the windows.


Next, I cleaned up all the dust off the windows, so that I could add primer.


Now, I add primer onto the windows, and I have to wait 24 hours until I can apply the paint.


I did several more cycles of sonicating, and it seems to be helping the pulleys look better.
 
Dave Burton
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Today, I filtered some old paint before using it.


And then, I applied the paint.
 
Dave Burton
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I added a second coat of paint to windows, since the first coat wasn't quite good enough.
 
Dave Burton
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I did a little more work on the windows, today, too! I started scraping off the paint from the glass with a putty knife. I finished half the windows today and will continue tomorrow.
 
Dave Burton
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I finished my first pass over the windows with a putty knife. I got most of the paint off of the glass, but I may need to do it once more, because a few of them still look a little rough.

 
Dave Burton
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I made an awful mess when I sanded the windows in the room. I had thought sanding in the room would be a good idea, since it would avoid the risk of damaging the windows by moving them. However, cleaning up wood dust is quite difficult. So, I might take the windows to the shop next time I do sanding. I ended up having to take out the mop, since the broom wasn't good enough.



I went over the windows with a putty knife one more time to clean them up from painting.



I semi-installed (only put in the pieces necessary to get the windows moving, in case any changes need to be made before I reinstall all the windows back in permanently) two of the windows to get the new sash cords right. I took pictures of them moving to show I got them to work!



 
Dave Burton
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I semi-installed the rest of the windows. The operation of thw windows will be checked and the next steps determined before I make the more permanent reinstallations.

This was the first one I put back in today. The gist of the the process was - cut the cords to the right size (about pulley to windowsill length), tie knot for window, tie knot onto weights, and test the window's function. This was not a complete reinstallation, just a short semi-installation to see what needs to be done next. The primary thing done here was getting the cord lengths correct and all tied up.







The second one I put back in today works!



Some more pictures of the process of putting a window back in







Putting in the fourth window of today





And now, all the windows have been semi-installed for testing

 
Dave Burton
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Since it was raining this morning, I worked mostly on the windows today. I readjusted the weights so that they're higher, to account for the cord stretching over time. I also did a different style of knot, so that the cords are less likely to come undone. I forgot to take a picture of those, but I can try to remember to later.

The thing that I worked on the most with the windows was taking out the old glazing, which required quite a lot of patience and gentleness. I was not quite as gentle as I think I ought to have been, because of the six window panes in this window, one was cracked beforehand, and then, I cracked two more. So, three out of six window panes are cracked. I didn't crack the giant window, which was the second window I worked on. These are before and after photos from removing the old glazing from the windows.





While I was still upstairs, I decided I may as well paint the doors that I'm renovating with a second coat of primer.

Then, I took the windows out to the shop to sand them, instead of doing the sanding in the room. I learned my lesson the first time, because cleaning up that wood dust in the room was a mess.





Later, it stopped raining, so I decided to move more rocks back onto the wall of the old pond I am renovating.

The next steps for these windows will be to put the window panes back in and putting some new glaze on them. After I see how it goes with these two windows, I will proceed to the next four windows.
 
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One of the projects I have done repeatedly is renovating old windows, replacing old gazing putty, broken panes and broken sash cords, etc. A recent replacement for sash weights I came across are small retractable reels with metal strips that work similar to a retractable tape measure. The obvious advantage is they allow the old cavity where the sash weights lived to be insulated, greatly lessening heat loss around the windows. Other than the advantage of double panes, uv film, etc. that are incorporated in most replacement windows, the insulation of the sash weights channels is a major part of the energy savings. It is always a shame to see 100 year old windows, often with no issues other than needing re-glazing, removed and replaced with new windows that likely will not last a couple of decades. The argument for the replacement windows is often that ugly, later vintage aluminum storm windows can be removed as the energy efficient windows can perform as well or better. A couple of times I have ran across an elderly gentleman who specializes in removing the old windows for preparation for the new replacements. He had a trailer behind his truck where he would carefully place each of the discarded windows, placing packing blankets between them. I observed to him once that it didn’t seem like these old windows were being thrown away and he admitted he restores them and sells them.

Have not tried these window retractable reels, or sash balances, but intend to get some and see how they perform.
 
Dave Burton
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Yeah, I think after I finish fixing these up and putting them all back together that the sash windows will have a pretty long lifespan. I was unaware of how the weights cavity could be insulated; that's good to know.

I tried my first attempt at re glazing a window today by adding the glazier points and glazing putty.

 
Dave Burton
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Since half of the window panes in this window were cracked, I only put in the glazier points and glaze on the intact panes. I'm not yet sure if the cracked panes will be just kept as is, repaired, or replaced.



I remembered to take pictures of the knots I made for tying the weights on with the new sash cords.



And I took out the old glazing on a couple more of the six windows.

 
Dave Burton
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Since today was rainy, I did inside work today. Most of it was spent on window repairs and some of it was spent on hanging up crystals.

I took the old glazing off of another set of windows.



Then, I sanded the windows I took the glazing off of from last time.



I put glazier points and new glazing putty onto the windows I just sanded.





Next, I sanded the windows I had taken the old glazing off of today.



Then, I put the glazier points and glazing putty onto one of the windows. I'll be getting to the other window later.

 
Dave Burton
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I reglazed the sixth window.



Then, I put on the first coat of primer on all of the windows on the sides with the glazing.



 
Dave Burton
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I applied a second coat of primer to all the windows I had reglazed.

 
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