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Moon2luna
1895 Window Restoration

I'm working on restoring windows in a former mining worker's house in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This modest worker's house was built around 1895 and most of the windows are in need of freedom from a hundred years of paint. I started work on one already, and found that the wood is in good shape and these windows are worth saving. However, I'm finding very little information on how to restore this type of window. The upper sash is fixed and lower sash raises. The panes of glass are secured not by glazing putty, but by muntins or glazing bars (took me forever to learn this much!). There is one pane of glass cracked in the first window, and I've removed the glazing bars and scraped away a very thin layer of residue. As I put a new pane in, should I secure it with anything other than the glazing bars (a.k.a., muntins, mitered molding)? Like a very thin bead of caulk or putty? Or should I just tap the brads back into place and paint over with the linseed oil paint I'm using to repaint with? In general, are there any resources that describe this type of window and how to care for them? Thanks!

 

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HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: 1895 Window Restoration

I praise you for keeping the original windows. They are so much better quality than the junk made today with vinyl or any other cheap material.

Sounds like you are taking the proper steps. I say "yes" to the thin bead of caulk on boths sides of the glass after dropping it back into place and before you tack on the muntins. I rebuilt all 52 windows in our house. Replaced the pullies, cords, brass weather strip in the track. I used my planer to straighten the wood where I was able, and a hand plane where I could not take the window apart. I put caulk around all the panes, and saw a huge difference. To also help things in the colder months, we ordered wood storm windows of full length for each window. I decided to use a good oil based marine grade primer and paint to ensure another 125 years of keeping the water out and the windows in great condition. All of our windows now work as designed. I found a great paint stripper that is environmently friendly, it is called "Soy Gel". I used about 8 gallons of that for all the windows, sills and surrounds. Also, make sure that the window frame and the window itself are square. I used just a little oil on the brass guides to help the window move up and down with more ease.

Andrew

Handy Andy in Mt Airy NC

Trish
Re: 1895 Window Restoration

It's no fun taping the brads in!  I used an electric brad nailer...just be sure you miss the glass!  I learned that the hard way!

 

HandyAndyInMtAiry
Re: 1895 Window Restoration

Yes, that can take some practice and a steady hand. I use a screwdriver to push them into the wood. I also use an 8-in-1 tool. They are very handy due to the wide blade. Is there an adapter for the tiny push brads? Or did you use actual small, straight brads? Are you referring to the brads that secure the glass, or that secure the wood trim over the glass?

Andrew

Handy Andy In Mt Airy NC

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