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replace pulleys in old double hung windows

I am restoring/remodeling 1920's era American Four Square and have restored 6 out of 15 of the double hung windows and am in the process of restoring 2 others. These two have rusted pulleys. The pulleys have no visible screws and I do not have easy access to back side. I don't want to damage frame trying to remove them. Any help would be appreciated.

Re: replace pulleys in old double hung windows

Most of the pulleys I've seen have barbs that bite into the wood when the pulley is inserted, preventing removal. You'll have to pry the pulley out, probably destroying or at least severely damaging it in the process. If you use a block of wood under your prying tool, you may avoid damaging the frame.

Re: replace pulleys in old double hung windows

So, I went ahead and took a chance and pried a pulley out and it did in fact have a barb that was holding it in place. Luckily I did not damage the pulley (so can refinish it and replace), but I did slightly damage the sash, or casement, whatever it is called.

Anyway, I think I have a simple solution. The flange around the pulley seems to be pliable enough that it can be bent without breaking it, I believe I can bend them down and then drill a 1/4" hole straight through the window casing where the barbs for the pulley are, just deep enough to reach the barbs. That should allow me to pull the pulleys fairly easily. I can then use 1/4" dowels to insert back into the holes (with a little yellow glue). Let that dry, cut and sand flush, and then insert either new pulleys or clean the rust from the old ones and refinish before reusing those.

As for pulling the pulley in the first place, I wanted to try to pull it without damaging it. I was afraid that I couldn't get the leverage I needed with a screw driver, and felt that even the smallest pry's would work poorly or damage the pulley. So, I used one of the nylon tie downs with the rachets to do the job. I threaded the nylon around the pulley on one side, then the other, then through the rachet. Then started tightening it. Eventually it pulled one of the pulleys out. I would advise caution if you choose to do it this way, but it did work pretty well. In my case, I believe if I drill the holes first as described above, I will be able to repeat this fairly easily without doing any damage.

I will post again and let anyone that reads this how this worked out.

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