Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>Cannot remove double hung sashes without demolition - Is this true?
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Cannot remove double hung sashes without demolition - Is this true?

I have a circa 1946 bungalow that has woodedn double hung windows and I cannot see a way to remove the sashes for R&R w/o demolishing part of the window. These are not weights and ropes but spring held sashes. With the stops removed, there is a spline that is fixed into the jam that rides along a groove in the sash that is holding both the upper an dlower sash in. It runs the entire height of the jam. It appears the spline was slid down into the groove after the sashes were put in place and is glued/painted in after all these years. It looks like I have to ....
1. Cut the exposed part of the spline out
2. Remove sashes
3. Rout out the old spline
4. Buy/make a new spline
5. Install after I R&R the sahes

Am I missing something?

I have a photo but the forum keeps rejecting my photos for some reason even if I have cut them down to a small size....

Re: Cannot remove double hung sashes without demolition - Is this true?

The general process for removing old DH sash is as follows:
remove the inside stop bead, then the lower sash will come right out.
Free the upper sash because it has to be in the down position for the next step. This is where a lot of specialized tools can be handy, like a heat gun to help soften the paint all around the upper sash, and in its race beneath. Then a "window zipper" can be run around the perimeter both inside and outside, which breaks the paint bond in the races.
After the sash is lowered, the spline, as you call it (it is the parting bead) can be removed. If you destroy it in the process, you'll need to find or make a replacement; not an insurmountable problem.
On almost any house, removal will require some ladder work, which is why people tend to put off window work until it's too late.
Working windows are a real plus in an old house.

Re: Cannot remove double hung sashes without demolition - Is this true?

After several 'reads' I'm still not certain of what you've got there. Are the springs contained inside an aluminum channel with a rounded profile where they fit the sash? If so the process is to locate all the staples which hold the entire aluminum spring and guide assembly to the frame on both sides, remove them, lower both sashes, then while holding the guides into the sahses swing the entire thing out together. You can get the aluminum parts for most of these complete with new springs and instructions on how to assemble them again. It's easier to do with two people, one per side. The most common problems doing this are sashes painted and stuck, and then bent guides, and not finding all the staples on disassembly. A thin putty knife helps with the first and last problems, and more often than not you'll want to replace the guides anyway as they're easy to damage if they're not damaged already. Be sure you can get replacements before you start the demo!

If you've got something else be more descriptive of what these 'splines' are like, ie width and projection. I do seem to recall seeing some windows with a very thin spline for each sash which were about as wide as a sawblade which seemed to not be removable with the sashes in place. IIRC, they were flush-nailed through the jamb into the spline with brads, leaving you nothing to grab onto to pull the nails. With those you might be better off taking the whole window out to service it by pulling one side off with the spline intact. Hope you've got the first kind!

Pics are now disabled here but you can post a link (or the addy in -plain text) to photobucket, picassa, etc. off-site and we can see them there. Alternately PM JL McDaniel here with them and when he can get around to it, he can insert them for you.


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