Ask This Old House TV // Season 8 // Episode 19

Ask TOH | Sash Locks, Furniture Stain, Plant Protection

General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner replace the broken sash locks on his vinyl windows. Then, up in the loft, host Kevin O'Connor gets some tips on staining furniture and applying protective finishes from finishing expert Bruce Johnson. Afterward, landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner protect her plants from the ravages of winter.

Repairing Sash Locks 0n Vinyl Windows
General contractor Tom Silva showed a homeowner how to replace broken sash locks on his vinyl windows. To find replacement sash locks that fit the windows perfectly, Tom contacted a company that sells replacement hardware for many different brands of windows. To remove the broken lock, Tom drilled out the rivets holding them in place. Next, he installed the new sash lock using a rivet gun and the project was complete.

Where to Find It?
Rivets and rivet guns are available at most hardware stores and home centers.

Tom installed new sash locks that he obtained from a company that specializes in hard-to-find window hardware:

Strybuc Industries

Finishing Furniture
Up in the loft, Kevin was joined by Bruce Johnson, a wood finishing expert. Bruce showed Kevin how to prepare new, unfinished furniture by sanding it with sandpaper and cleaning the dust off using a tack cloth. He then showed how to apply "wood conditioner," which helps wood absorb stain more evenly. Once it was dry, Bruce applied an oil-based penetrating stain using a soft cloth and wiped off the excess. Next, he showed how to apply polyurethane, which leaves a clear protective coating. Bruce also showed how to clean old furniture using a readily-available "wood cleaner" and he showed how to completely remove old finishes by using an "antique furniture refinisher," which is a blend of solvents that dissolves several types of old finishes.

Where to Find It?
Bruce showed Kevin how to use wood conditioner, penetrating stain, polyurethane, wood cleaner, and antique furniture refinisher to finish both old and new furniture pieces.

Manufacturer: Minwax® Company

Bruce Johnson, furniture finishing expert

Protecting Outdoor Plants from Winter Damage
Roger helped a homeowner prepare several of her outdoor plants for the coming winter. To protect shrubs from structural damage due to heavy snow, Roger wrapped twine around a plant to make it more compact. Next, he placed a folding wooden "A-frame" over the plant to deflect any snow that might fall from the roof above. For larger plants, Roger used a specially-designed tent that protects from both snow and drying winter winds. To protect the rose bushes, Roger tied the branches together with jute and drove wooden stakes into the ground. He then stapled burlap onto the stakes. To protect the delicate grafts near the bottoms of the plants, Roger added a layer of leaves around the base of the plants to help insulate them from cold weather.

Where to Find It?
Roger made a wooden "A-frame" to protect plants from falling snow using framing lumber and plywood from a home center.

Burlap, jute and wooden stakes are available at many home and garden centers.

Roger installed a large green tent over the larger shrub. It manufactured by:
The Shrub Coat™

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