Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Looked good on paper....

I've have always had a fondness for tools. Over the years I have amassed a few. My day job...well really it's more of a afternoon, night, early morning job....requires me to have my fair share of tools. Afternoon, night, early morning job sounds like a totally different profession!!!! Maybe I should rephrase that to "my paying job" requires me to have a fair share of tools. Phew...that sounds better.

Some of my tools were handed down to me by my father when I started my apprenticeship. He, too, is a journeyman as was his father and my grandfather. I believe a few of the tools given to me by my father were also my grandfather's. I also inherited some tools from my husband, who is also a journeyman. One of the tools R gave me was a very old Craftsman's ratchet that belonged to his father, who was also a journeyman. Three generations of journeymen. So needless to say........I have the tool gene.

Over time I have developed a sense for what tools work for me and what tools don't work. This is what I have learned. If the vast majority of it is plastic don't expect it to last more than a few times. If it needs a sharp edge to work properly and cannot be your money. Some tools are throw away tools and some are lifetime tools. If it says Snap On on your money. I have a real beef with Snap On tools. They are top dollar. They are also top quality with a life time replacement. Looks good on paper. Getting that replacement tool is a whole different story. Number one, first you have to find a Snap On vendor. They are everywhere when you don't need them. Number two, if the tool that you are seeking to replace is suspected of being used incorrectly, they will not replace it. Now before you say..."well they shouldn't have to, if you used it improperly"....that would include using a slotted screwdriver as a pry bar. Come on, who hasn't used a screwdriver to pry something??? If you ask me, that's 50% of it usefulness. That's like saying a table knife can't be used as a screw driver or your shoe as a hammer. Sure you shouldn't, but you can.....and you know you did, too. It's really a judgement call on the vendor's part. They are probably more apt to replace the tool if you have purchased and are still paying on a 30K tool purchase. Also if you ask to return a broken chrome socket and they can see witness marks that it was used in a air tool. You're out of luck. Why sell chrome sockets???? Sell only impact sockets and eliminate that problem.

Now on the other hand, Sears (Craftsmen) usually doesn't even look at the tool you are returning. They throw it in a tub and give you another one and you are on your way. Craftsman is less expensive, usually there is a Sears store in every medium size town, but the quality is not up to par with Snap On. Craftsman is still a good tool though. So in the Snap On/Craftsman debate, I pick Craftsman for price, accessibility, and return policy.

I have a variety of brands. Vast majority is Craftsman. Some Snap On and some SK. If I had my druthers I would only own SK. I like the feel of their hand tools. The ratchets are knurled which I think is a must. Snap On ratchets are smooth, looks nice but impractical. SK combination wrenches have a very narrow handle area and smaller jaws which make for easier use in tight spots. SK is very difficult to find and may not even be manufactured anymore.

My precision tools are Starrett. I know....they should be German. But I have found Starrett to be of good quality. They hold their value also. Check out what they are selling for on eBay and at flea markets.

Where am I going with this??? I've fallen prey to some bad tools purchases in my day. Here are two tool purchases that I thought would save me time in restoring my sashes.

The small red tool called the Putty Chaser is inserted into your drill motor and is used to grind out the hardened glazing compound. Didn't work. It was awkward and bounced all over the place. I was lucky that I didn't break the glass. I paid $9.99 for this totally useless tool.

The apparatus behind the Putty Chaser doesn't have a name on it. I purchased it on eBay for $10.00. It heats up and is suppose to soften the glazing compound. Yes, it heats reeaalllly heats up. Smoke was rolling off the coils and before I could grab it.....CCCRRRRACK!!! Broken pane.

Both of these tools fall into the category of "looked good on paper." So if you are every inclined to buy a Putty Chaser or a heats up and breaks glass apparatus, save your money. Because I just shot $20.00.....right in the.....well you know how it goes.

If anyone is inclined to own these two tools, feel free to contact me. You pay for shipping and the tools are yours.

Time invested cleaning glass panes......40 minutes. Total time invested 31 hours and 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Glazing points

I'm going to get right to the point. Installing the glazing points is the weak link in restoring my windows. The edge of the glass is so fragile and there you are pushing and wiggling this little pointy thing, right in the area that is most delicate.

In my glazing point experience, I have come across three different types. The first type is the diamond shape glazing point. This is the type I removed from my current windows. It is also the type of glazing point used in the windows of my first home, a 1921 Dutch Colonial with six over six double hung windows. I spent an entire summer re glazing windows in a 2 story house. No big deal, except that I did all the work while on a ladder. Makes my legs hurt just thinking about it.

The second type is the kind I am putting back in the windows I am restoring. Don't be aghast that I am not reusing the ORIGINAL glazing points. First of all, most were thrown out with the old glazing. Second of all, those that remained were so embedded in the wood that they took all the strength I could muster to remove them. They now look like a mere shadow of their former glazing point self.
The points on the left are the ORIGINAL glazing points. The points on the right are the new, much easier to install glazing points.

The third type is a triangular glazing point. I have yet to run across these in the store. I have only witnessed photos of their existance online. I had such an ordeal getting the glazing points I'm using that I wouldn't even attempt to ask for the triangular glazing points at Home Depot. Maybe my helpful hardware guy has them. But I really don't think it makes much difference which type you use. Use the type you feel most comfortable with.

The sash should look like the photo below after you have removed all the glazing residue and applied the sealer of your choice.

The trick to installing glazing points is to keep the glazing point flat against the glass and firmly press using your tool of choice toward the wood. I prefer the glazing tool. A metal putty knife would work also. I like the glazing tool because it is thicker so I don't need to make a small fist when I am holding it. You'll have more strength in you hand if you can hold (grab) your implement with a more open grasp. Your hand will also not fatigue as easily.

If the glazing point doesn't feel like it wants to penetrate the wood, don't fight it. That's how panes get broken. Move to another spot. If it does not want to penetrate there either. Toss it. These glazing points are stamped out of thin sheet metal. Not high grade steel either. If the die they are using is in bad shape or the shear is dull, you get a....for lack of a better word....funky dull edge. Yup.......just throw it away....and as you do it, say to yourself......"There's another half cent shot right in the ass!" Then move on.

I thought I had a photo of the glazing tool and glazing point technique but my camera must have malfunctioned. It is really difficult holding a tool properly with one hand and a camera with the other. At least 50% of my photos get deleted because they end up showing my foot or the edge of the table and not the intended target. But luckily with today's technology and digital cameras I'm not wasting film. And you know what that would mean????

I am installing small panes of glass, so I use 1 glazing point at the top and bottom and two on each side. I stagger the glazing points so that adjacent panes do not have the glazing points in the same place. The muntin bars are so thin that I would be afraid that it would split the muntin bar.
The trick is to take your time. Slightly wiggle (side to side NOT up and down) the glazing point so that it is fully embedded into the wood. If it doesn't go all the way in it will protrude beyond the muntin bar and will be noticable from the other side (interior) of the sash. It also will not be as strong.

If you are worried that you might have left over glazing points, don't fret. They are cheap. Plus you can always use them to hold the glass in a picture frame.

I removed all the glass from the last sash before I left the house today. My plan is to remove the remaining glazing compound and wash the glass tonight when I get home tonight. But that plan could change if my drive home tonight doesn't go smoothly. Right now it is in the mid 40's. The weather forecast states that it will be in the high teens when I leave work tonight. It is currently raining. So unless it quits raining soon and the roads dry off quickly, I am in for a long drive home. Oh and add to that wind gusts of up to 50 mph. At least at 3 in the morning the traffic is sparse. Usually the only other cars on the road are the drunks. Hopefully they will already be in the ditch and out of my way.

Time invested today 40 minutes. Total time invested 30 hours 40 minutes.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Time invested upate.

This weekend was spent reinstalling panes. I have reinstalled panes in 3 1/2 sashes (6 sashes in project). I will glaze all sashes at the same time.

Before reinstalling the panes I first made sure all the old glazing, paint, and debris was removed from the wood. Be careful not to nick or split the wood. Muntin bars are very delicate. I have already glued several that were split before I started the restoration.

I used a variety of tools to remove the old glazing compound. Most of the time a putty knife with a sharp edge will work. To remove glazing from corners, I use a little bent probe. You can buy a 4 piece assortment at Harbor Freight for around 5 bucks. These are normally used for removing O rings but they work great for digging crud out of corners and small cervices. When that doesn't do the trick I use my Dremel with a barrel sandpaper bit. Be very careful not to gouge the wood. I have found that setting the speed at 1 or 2 at the most is sufficient. Keep the tool moving.

My windows had a variety of "stuff" used as glazing compound. First the traditional glazing compound which either dried and fell out or was rather easy to remove. The second type was paint. Seems that the PO had used paint to fill any cracks in the glazing compound. The third substance is unknown, but I can tell you it was hard.

I start to prepare to reinstall the panes by first making sure all compound, paint, and broken glazing points are removed. I then use a dry paint brush to brush away loose particles. You could also use a shop vac but my cats don't like the noise. I next brush on some boiled linseed oil. Some prefer oil base primer but I don't want to have to worry about primer getting on the interior side which at this time is stained. I think the main thing is to seal the wood so that it doesn't pull all the moisture from your glazing compound which in turn dries it out causing it to crack and lose it usefulness.
Make sure you cover both the vertical and horizontal surfaces. I may or may not apply more than one coat. I usually apply a second coat if it looks like the wood is still dry. In any case, I let it sit and absorb for 30 minutes or so.

I next lay down a small amount of glazing compound for the pane to rest on. First knead the compound in your hand for several minutes. This really helps with the workability of the compound. I also never reuse any compound that falls on the table or floor OR becomes contaminated with dust or small particles of debris. Glazing compound is cheap. You've invested a lot of time into re doing your windows, now is not the time to be cheap.

I carefully lay the panes onto the compound. Do NOT force the panes into place. I place all my panes into the sash before I install any glazing points. This insures that all my muntin bars line up. Muntin bars just float in place and really only gain their strength once the panes are permanently installed. Any compound that oozes out the back can be removed after all the panes are firmly in place and glazing points installed. Only after this is completely done, do you attempt to turn over the sash and remove the excess compound. I use the glazing tool again to remove the compound. Discard this compound if it has come into contact with any dust etc.

I usually let the sash sit for a day or two before I move onto glazing the window. If I am just replacing a single pane I immediately glaze the window.

Also make sure you get all your glazing points and panes installed before your nail (fingernail) appointment comes up. You will need a manicure STAT after working on your windows. Be prepared to answer the question, "What have you been doing?" after Madge gets a look at your hands. Don't forget to tip generously on those days.

Time invested this weekend 8 hours. Total time invested.......30 hours.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Installing cable Internet and going 'wireless'

Just to be perfectly clear.....I did work on the windows....a little bit. More on that later.

I'll be upfront. When it comes to computers, computing, and the Internet, I'm like Sgt. Schultz..."I know notttthiiiing!". Really nothing. I am computer illiterate. I was OK up to and through Windows 3.1. When everything went to Windows 98......I was lost. I said to my son, "I can't even find the little file cabinet!!" Click and drag.... yeah right. I can't figure out any of this. I'm astonished that I can even blog. So anyways when I decided to install cable Internet myself to save $39.99, it was not without a lot of trepidation. I asked everyone, "Is it hard to do?" Which was always answered with "Any dummy can do it." Well world....."Hi, my name is Dummy. Nice to meet you."

My son said, "Just follow the instructions. Don't jump ahead and plug it in. Do exactly as the instructions say." OK...take a deep breath and read. Do this.....I did that. Do that I did that. Now do this....I did that. Welcome to the Internet. Really??? Where??? I don't see anything. Nuttin. So I disconnected and tried again. This time lo and behold.....Comcast Internet.....yeah!!! I surfed around a little bit and then turned off the computer. I was feeling kinda proud.....that was the first mistake of many to come.

I worked on the window sashes for awhile then decided to install the wireless router. The week before I installed the wireless card at my son's house and under his direction. So I thought how hard can this be???? I fired up my laptop only to discover the Internet was gone. Vanished, no where to be found. I used the Comcast Wizard thing to diagnose the problem and it reconnected me. Just to make sure. I powered down again. Powered back Internet. You have no idea how frustrating that is. Especially when you can't read the instructions because you don't understand the lingo. This went on for a whole day. Finally on Sunday night I must have accidentally done something right because I could now power down and power back up without losing the Internet. Our plans were to go out to dinner at the Holly Hotel, but I was so stressed out that we stayed home. All Monday was spent attempting to connect the wireless router. Of course that went about as well as the Internet hook up. I did exactly as it said. Step by step. Then it said it couldn't do something because it couldn't find the admin. Grrrrrrrr. R called Gavin to help me. He said he would call when he got back in town. We then went out to eat at the Holly Hotel.

R had Tournedos of Beef Tenderloin and cappillini. I had Crabeater something or another, couscous, and banana creme brulee for dessert. Oh and 3 glasses of wine. When I came home I installed the wireless router yet again. And I've been wireless since. Obviously the trick is the wine.

So now I can concentrate on the window sashes. The glazing points I purchased at Home Depot are slightly too big and stick out beyond the muntin bars. To remedy this R is grinding each and everyone before I install it. Currently I am re installing glass panes.

Time invested since last update 7 hours. Total time invested so far 22 hours.

Disclaimer...just to be clear. I am usually quite good at putting things together and taking things apart since that is in part what I do for a living. I've even taught myself how to repair mechanical watches. All I know is I would rather take apart an engine or re side my house before I install the Internet or a wireless router again. R's solution to the whole thing is to stay as far away from computers as possible.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Land line yes??? Land line no??

We've been kicking around the idea of disconnecting our land line for some time now. But kicking old habits are hard and this one didn't go without a fight.

Let me start from the beginning. We've had this phone number since 1988. That means that everyone knows it. All business that is transacted has this phone number for a contact number. Not only did we have a land line but we were also using dial up. Which is an absolute pain.

Over the years, we have had bouts of really poor reception on our phone. Our telephone provider is Verizon. I would call and complain about the reception. The call usually resulted in a long wait before someone would answer. The standard drill would be for them to tell me that I needed to go outside and plug a phone into the grey box. If there wasn't any static, it meant that my inside wiring was to blame. Now I pay $2 something a month for inside wiring plan but that didn't make any difference to these people. Also it doesn't sound like a big deal to plug your phone into a little grey box to check the reception. But in our case it did. All of our phones need 110v to operate. I just wasn't going to go buy a phone for diagnostic purposes only. My bill was already too high.

The last 3 years have been a constant battle with Verizon to keep Sprint and MCI off our bills. A normal month for us is 9 calls. No really, 9 calls. Probably 8 of those were attempts to get online using dial up. Now for the real kicker...our bill is normally $47.00. No really....47 big ones. Now before you say..."well disconnect caller id, 3 way calling, etc etc". We have none of that. The only extra I have authorized is that stupid inside wiring plan. I have tried to lower our bill or speak with someone but they refuse to talk to me. They insist on speaking with my husband because his name is on the bill. R doesn't take care of any of the bills. I take care of all paperwork etc.

The final straw was in the last few weeks when all of a sudden we have gotten a rash of telemarketing 8:30 and 9:00 AM. Yup...that's right. Now that may not be a big deal to you but I don't arrive back home from work until 3AM and usually the earliest I crawl into bed is 4AM.

Add all this up. Bad reception, high $$$$, impending elections with please vote for "candidate's name", and dial up. It all added up to....kill the land line and go cable Internet. Dollar wise it is cheaper. $47 for land line, $28 for AOL=$75 Cable Internet=$19.99 for 6 months and then $42.00 a month.

But first we had to get Verizon to turn off our phone. Took 3 hours......and two phone calls to me at work from R to get it disconnected. Seems his first attempt didn't go too well. I had made a list of why we were shutting off our phone, bad reception too much $$$, yadda yadda yadda. I wrote down the phone number for him to call. 1-800-Verizon sucks or something like that. He calls and after going through the long menu, he is put on hold for 15 minutes. Finally he is connected to someone with a heavy accent and practically no grasp of the English language. She refused to cancel the phone because he didn't have a copy of the bill in front of him. He told her if she thought by giving him the run around it was going to keep our phone on, she was sadly mistaken.

So he hung up and called me at work. He needed to know how much our last bill was? I told him and he called Verizon back. This time he was connected to an English speaking person. He explained the whole deal to her and get this......."Oh Sir, we can lower your bill to $17.60." What in the world. All the other times we complained about our bill being too high, we were always told that's the lowest plan we offer. Completely unreal. He was able to have her disconnect and we are now at last!!!!!

I would suggest looking at your land line bill. Look at all the little charges. 2 something for this, 3 something for that. It all adds up to too much. Especially when you can have cable Internet for less money.

I'm waiting for all the big phone companies to start crying how they have lost customers and will need to lay off people. I say, "Too bad." I'm just concerned that there are a lot of elderly people who need their land lines and the phone companies are taking advantage of them.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Time invested update

Everything is glued. I was very pleased when I removed all the panes from one of the sashes and it was still very rigid. Previous to gluing the sash was real wobbly.

I numbered all the panes with a china marker before removing. Even though I was sure I had removed all the glazing points, I still found at least one in every pane. I washed all the panes in warm soapy water only after I made sure to put a dish towel in the bottom of the sink for protection. I used a Mr. Clean Eraser on the edges of the panes to remove all the built up grime. The panes were squeaky clean when I was through. I made sure not to clean off my numbers. After I dried the glass, I stacked them. You could see that they are all the same color. Actually a darker green that the traditional bluish green that you normally see.

By the time I finished washing the glass, it was time for me to head to work. Before I left, R and I discussed using Rain X on these sashes to see if that helps with keeping the glass clean. I'm not as concerned about the windows on the first floor, but the windows on the second story are nearly impossible to get to. Add into the equation, wood storms and I see disaster. So we'll check out a few options on these easy to get to windows and see what happens. Or as R says, "We'll run a couple up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes." What can I say, this is the same guy that when he bends a nail says, "there's another 2 cents shot in the ass." The rest of his usual sayings are not fit for this blog. But those that know him, know what I mean.

Time invested yesterday and today....2 hours. Total time invested...15 hours.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Time invested update

I'm still gluing. Tomorrow I will start filling the remaining rotted areas.

Here is a photo to show how Gorilla Glue swells up as it cures. It scrapes off fairly easy after it dries. I use my paint scraper.

Time invested yesterday and today 1 hour. Total time invested 13 hours.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Glazing points, glitter, and grey weatherstripping

My intent was just to run into Home Depot during my lunch and run right back out. How hard could it be, all I wanted was some disposable natural bristle brushes and a couple packages of glazing points. Both should be in the paint department.

As I turned the corner into the paint section the brushes were on my left. No problem. Picked up three 1 inch wide brushes for 77 cents each and three 2 inch wide brushes for 44 cents each. Hmmmm doesn't make much sense. Twice the brush for half the money. Oh well.

Down the aisle I go, caulk on the right side....let me see......glazing compound.......yup......ok the glazing points should be right here.....well maybe here......look up there....nope....look down here...nope. Oooooooookay. I guess I'll just have to ask the 2 associates and 1 manager that are standing RIGHT HERE where the glazing points should be. "Oh excuse me, could you tell me where the glazing points are???" Well, I might as well have said "I am from Mars and is this Lowe's?" The guy just stood there and stared at me. Now I know they were deep into counting tubes of caulk...I mean it was taking THREE of them to do it. Finally he says to the manager, "she's looking for something called glazing points." Now this is why they pay the manager more money, he says "Oh I have heard of those, but I don't know what you use them for. But they should be right here." He begins to look in the putty knife/scraper display. I know that scraper section and the glazing points are not there. Then he turns around and see the tubes, tubs, and cans of glazing compound and says "Oh they should be right here." He looks up and then he looks down and says "They're not here." Well no kidding. It was at this point that associate number 2 volunteers this tidbit of wisdom. "I think they are in lumber. Check around the trim section." The manager fully agrees and they go back to counting caulk. 1 tube of paint able silicone caulk........two tubes of paint able silicone caulk......... oops here's a tube of almond color where was I?......three tubes of...... I turn and head down the aisle, turned right, and there at the end of the NEXT aisle on an end cap were little packages of glazing points. Well of all makes sense now. Glazing points, tubs of glitter, and rolls of grey foam weatherstripping. What was I thinking...I was in the C section (caulk, compound) and I needed to be in the G section (glazing points, glitter, grey weatherstripping).

On my way to the register I passed the caulk counting think tank and told them it was with the glitter. They all looked at each other and acted like "of course......glitter." And they all went back to counting. This is why they need to hire someone to design the layout of their stores who actually uses their products. Instead they hire some "expert" who lays the store out to maximize the probability that you will buy more than you need by sending you all over the store to buy related items. Ha....fooled them......I didn't buy the glitter. I was tempted but all they had was gold colored glitter......remember it was the G aisle.

Being at Home Depot reminded me that it's almost Tony time again. Although I'll always be a Tony fan, I am still not happy with the manufacturer switch. It's bad enough that they had to go with those ugly COT cars.

But here's a gratuitous "Go Smoke" anyways.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Cracks and splits

Today I started gluing loose joints and cracks. Jayne over at Dainty Digs commented that she would use Gorilla Glue. R and I thought that was the best option also.

The loose joint in the above photo is one of many such joints that will need to be glued. The first step was to clean all debris (paint, dust) from the joint. To make it easier to clean and also glue, I pulled the joint apart. This particular joint is where the stile meets the top rail. Gorilla Glue is very thick and slow to flow out of the bottle. I put a little glue in the crevice and waited for it to run into the joint. I then repeated this until I noticed the glue dripping out of the back of the joint. I used a bar clamp to pull the joint together using paint sticks to protect the wood from the clamps.

I also glued a small crack in the wood piece that is screwed to the front of the stile where the two sashes overlap. I used a large C clamp to compress the split. I could have used paint sticks here to protect the wood but I didn't have to apply alot of pressure with the clamp.

Jayne reminded me that Gorilla Glue swells up as it cures so I fought the urge to wipe off any excess glue and will use a scraper to remove the glue after it hardens. We have had good results using Gorilla Glue. Just keep in mind, a little goes a long way. Also when it comes to price, it tends to cost slightly more than some of the other brands.

I had anticipated gluing last night when I came home from work. But thanks to our recent snowfall, my 1 hour drive turned into a 1 1/2 hour drive. When I pulled into the driveway at 330am I would estimate we had about 5 inches of snow. Don't even ask me about people who want to drive on the expressways during a snowfall but refuse to go over 30 mph and want to take their half of the road out of the middle. Grrrrrrrrrrrr

Time invested today 30 minutes. Total time invested so far 12 hours.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The scraping is finished, finito, DONE!!!!

In between football games and a MRI, I was able to finish stripping the sashes, scraping paint off the panes, and sanding all 6 sashes. I have 3 blisters, 2 sore arms, and 1 gigantic mess. Before I can move on with the next step, I'll need to clean up all the scrapings, dust, debris, and tools.

Next on my agenda is gluing all the loose joints and filling the rotted areas with filler. That should take up this entire next week. I can only glue 1 sash at a time because I only own 1 bar clamp big enough. So to fill in the down time between gluing, I will start taking out the panes (1 at a time), clean them, brush on boiled linseed oil, and re bed them in a little glazing (eliminates rattling).

After I complete all that, I will begin to prime and paint. After all the painting is done I will finish up with the glazing. I'll paint the glazing this spring after it has had a chance to set up.

I'm still uncertain about the hinges. All the hinges I like are too big. I was leaning toward the strap hinges. But the top rail is rather small and I don't know how that would look.

Time invested on Sunday 3 hours 30 minutes + R's time spent removing broken screw 30 minutes = 4 hours. Total time invested so far 11 hours 30 minutes.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

50%, .50, 3/6 = halfway

I hit halfway at about 1:30pm EST today. Yeah for me.

R was going to extract the broken/rusted screw after I left for work today. He said he wasn't guaranteeing anything. If he happens to make the hole bigger, he'll just plug it with a piece of dowel and re drill the hole. I'm cool with that.

Here's a photo of the broken screw and rotted area.Also here is a close up of the piece I was telling you about yesterday. I think once you see the photo you'll understand what I was talking about and how the one sash overlaps the other when closing.Tomorrow I have the day off, except for an MRI on my neck at 6pm. I should be able to make good progress tomorrow. I am hoping to get 2 sashes scraped and sanded. Also I would like to get any gluing and filling completed on the 5 scraped sashes. That's my goal. This would leave just one sash to scrap and sand. Monday is out of the question for getting anything done since I have a nail and massage appointment before I leave for work. So anything not completed on Sunday will need to wait until Tuesday.

Time invested last night 35 minutes. Today 1 hour. Total time invested 7 hours and 30 minutes. I'll add R's time in once I know how much time it took.

Weight Watchers method of sash restoration

I keep telling myself...."self, just finish stripping and sanding 1 more sash and you will be halfway done with the nasty part of this job." I then go on to tell myself, "If you don't do something, the other housebloggers will think you're a slacker." See I know you are all watching and thinking, "better her than me." Don't think I can't see you snickering, either.

This job, just like any other home maintenance job, has it's tedious, boring parts and it's fun and enjoyable parts. The trick is to get through the nasty part so you can get onto the fun part. In this case the fun part would be the painting and glazing part. The portion of the job where you can actually see progress and results because in the end.....isn't that what we want....progress and results? Hence the Weight Watchers method of sash restoration. You're watching and I better produce some results.

I was really pressed for time today so there will not be any photos......sorry. I also didn't do anything when I got home from work last night. I found the remains of a pizza in the fridge and ate a piece. R must have ordered a pizza for dinner before he went to work. Well, all it took was a measly 10 hour work day, 2 hour drive (1 hr each way), and 1 piece of pizza....OK dammit....2 pieces of pizza and I was in a coma. What sashes?????

So today, though still extremely busy, I felt I must do something so I finished sanding a sash and started another one. I still need to glue a joint on the last one but I don't know yet which type of glue I want to use...Elmer's wood glue or Gorilla glue. Any thoughts about which is better. I'm leaning towards Gorilla because the glued area will be outside in the elements.

This next sash has it's own small problem. This particular sash has an extra piece screwed to the outside of the inside stile (pair of sashes makes up 1 window) so that this sash over laps the other sash. It is attached with 5 small cap screws. The bottom screw appears to have rusted and broken off. The remaining part of the screw will need to be removed. The trick will be to remove it without making the hole any larger. Might be a job for R. He's real good at getting out broken bolts. I'll ask him to look at it, that way he won't feel left out of the project. Ha Ha!!!!!! He's been staying so far away from this project it's not funny. He likes big projects with big power tools and even better if the said power tool/equipment has an internal combustion engine, i.e. tractor, chainsaw, etc. He is not a painter and he never will be. He can paint with a spray can. He has that down pat. But "The Gear" doesn't need a Krylon rebuild, so he'll be left out of any painting.

So today I worked on sashes for 1 hour. Total time invested so far 5 hours and 55 minutes.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

One sash down.......five to go

After I arrived home from work last night (3am) I removed the form and sanded the patch. Here's what it looked like after sanding with a palm sander and 60 grit sand paper.
Not too shabby but notice the voids??? I knew there would be some so I was not too surprised. I mixed some more filler, filled the voids, and went to bed. Time spent......35 minutes.

Fast forward to morning....I sanded some more. To make sure it was smooth I usually close my eyes and run my fingers over the area. I probably don't need to close my eyes...I could look away...but I don't.
Here is how it looked after scraping, sanding, filling, and some more sanding.
Not too bad considering how 'damaged' it was before I started. By the way, that palm sander was only $10.00 at Home Depot. About 3 years ago, during a trip to Home Depot, I noticed a big display with Skil palm sanders and jig saws for $10.00 each. Sounded like a good deal so I nabbed one of each.

I scraped sash number two. Removing all the paint and glazing compound before it was time to get ready to leave for work. I'll sand when I get home tonight.

Time invested....35 minutes last night and 1 hour today....4 hours 55 minutes total.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I can see clearly now...the pane is gone. glass!!! I kind of jumped ahead in my sash renovation so I will digress back to where I left off in yesterday's post.

After I arrived home from work last night (3am) I sanded for 20 minutes and swept up the scrapings and went to bed. Today when I awoke, bright eyed and bushy tailed....yeah right....I numbered the panes with a china marker in anticipation of removing them all at the same time. I removed the remaining glazing points and lifted the first pane out of the opening. It was at this point that I noticed the sash immediately got kinda wobbly. So I think I will just remove one pane at a time. I scraped any residual paint off the pane and then washed it with warm water. I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Pad to remove the dirt and grime. I swear by those things. They work great on white kitchen cabinet doors that mysteriously get Hershey's chocolate on them.

I then moved on to the rotted corner on the bottom of the sash. It appears the rot was in the area of the mortise and tenon joint. I removed the rotted wood which left me minus an entire corner of the sash.

I used paint stirrers to form a corner. I then double checked to make sure there was no left over loose debris. Wax paper was then placed on the back side and up the sides where it was stapled in place. I figured the staples would leave little holes that could easily be filled. I used wax paper because it won't stick to the epoxy and can be peeled off after the epoxy hardens.

Before opening the a window. The fumes are intense. I mixed the 2 part epoxy according to the instructions. The instructions are kind of vague. Use 1/4 can of filler to 1/4 tube of hardener. That's great if you need that much filler. So you really need to guess the amount of filler and hardener based on the ratio of 1/4 can to 1/4 tube. The trick is not using too much hardener but at the same time using enough. The more hardener the quicker the filler sets up. I prefer two part epoxy that uses a 1 to 1 ratio. Paper plates and plastic putty knives are my choice of tools when it comes to mixing epoxy. When all is done, you just toss the plate and if you clean the putty knife off with a paper towel before it hardens you can reuse it. It is very important to completely mix the two parts. Without the hardener the filler will stay soft, so mix well. Once the filler and hardener touch.....don't dally. You will notice that the filler will start to thickens. Don't answer the phone, don't change the radio station, and don't take a break. If you do, your putty knife will be permanently attached to a grey blob on a paper plate.

Using the putty knife, I pushed the filler into the void and leveled making sure to push it into the opening. I slightly rapped the end of a screwdriver on the side of the sash to coax the filler into the hole. Know that you cannot get the filler completely smooth. It is better to have it slightly higher than the desired finished surface. After the filler hardens you can use sandpaper to smooth and level.

Tonight when I get home (3am) I will remove wax paper and inspect the back of the sash. I am sure that I will need to fill some voids on the back side.

Time invested...20 minutes last night and 1 hour today. Total so far 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I can see this is going to be a pane.....

Window update.......Thanks Jennifer (Our Tiny Old House blog) for your concern. Believe it or not, the nails held tight. Now if only my fingernails hold up as well during this window scraping adventure.

Today I started scraping. I spent about an hour on the first window before I went to work. In that hour, I was able to scrap off all the paint AND remove all the glazing compound from one window sash.

I find this scraper works best on windows for two reasons. Number's the correct size, not too big and not too small. Number has a sharp flat side that works great on removing the glazing compound. I usually scrap all the paint off the bottom rail, top rail, sash stiles (sides), and the sash bars before I attempt to remove the glazing compound. The hardest part about removing the glazing compound is not breaking the glass. Old glass is not perfect. It is slightly wavy and may even have an air bubble or two. I have also found that it is a different color. This is only noticeable when you have replaced one pane. Even then it may not be apparent until you place a white curtain behind the panes. You know what they say.."It's a pain when your panes don't match." I swear I read that somewhere.......well if I didn't......I'm saying it heard it here first.

I have found that if I take a single edge razor blade and break the seal between the paint and glass that it helps to loosen the glaze. Sometimes this alone will allow you to remove the glaze. If that didn't work I move on to HEAT. Now this is really when you have to finesse it. Too much heat and've got a broken pane and that is truly a pain in the sash, if you know what I mean. I have found that you need very little heat to soften the glaze. If after using my favorite scraper and heat (heat gun), I find that I still of some residual glaze I use my single edge razor blade to get between the glaze and the sash bar. Be careful not to cut yourself or gouge the wood.

At this point I usually clean up the scrapings and take a break. Today though, I just left the scrapings because work was beckoning. Tonight when I get home I will sand and remove the glazing points that are still in place. I would say about 50% of the glazing points came out when I removed the glaze. I will also number the panes before I remove them, just in case they are not exactly the same size. Better safe than sorry........I know someone has said THAT before.

This is how it looked after scraping and glazing removal. Oh and for you really anal people. Yes, I know you remove the hardware before scraping. But in this case I had stripped the paint from the hinges last year and at that time I scraped the paint in the hinge area so I could reinstalled the hinges properly. Tonight I will remove hardware and throw them away. Oh wait, they are solid brass. I'll put the hinges in the scrap bucket to be recycled later. The hardware is in poor condition and not all the hinges are the same. I think replacing all the hinges with new working hinges far out weighs keeping the original ugly poorly working hinges.

Time invested so far......2 hours. One hour for removal of sashes and one hour of scrapping.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Casement window project begins with a blast of wind....

I knew this was going to happen. Yesterday I removed some of the casement window sashes in the sun room. I covered the window opening with heavy gauge plastic and then reinstalled the window screen to hold it in place. I toe nailed a nail on each side, top, and bottom. The weather report was calling for milder than normal weather this week so I felt this was a good time to start a project that I had slated for spring time. Boy was I wrong. Ironically it was exactly 1 week ago tonight when we had a 9 inch snow fall. Remember this photo??? Well probably not. I decided why show you the same photo, when I could show you the same photo but different!!!! This one shows how long his tail feathers are and how deep the snow was 6 days ago.

We are currently under a tornado watch. Thunderstorms are moving through the area with some of the storms moving at 51 knots. No way are those little nails going to hold that plastic and screen in place. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
The casement sashes that I removed are the ones in the sun room that face the front. They need to be scraped and sanded. Some have been partially scraped but none sanded. All the glazing needs to be removed and re glazed. I noticed in some areas that caulk had been used instead of glazing.

Only one area of rot was found and I think my two part epoxy will repair that nicely. It worked great on the rotted area on the bottom of one of my dining room sashes.
Tomorrow I will start scraping and maybe fill the rotted area. I am sure it will take at least a week to scrap and sand all six sashes. Another week to prime and paint and another to glaze.

In the mean time, I need to decide what kind of hinges I want to use. The front door, side door, and garage entry door all have large strap hinges. I have already purchased smaller strap hinges to use on the shutters that my father and I made. I might use those same strap hinges on the sun room windows. I'll have to dig one out and try it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they work because that would continue the "look" plus they didn't cost an arm and a leg. I will need 16 pairs to complete the entire sun room.

Back to Weather Undergound's radar. Oh I probably forgot to mention that we are not home. We are at work 75 miles away. Just in case you thought......what a dummy...why doesn't she just go and check on her windows or add a couple of extra nails. I would if I could. But I can't so I won't.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Sweet......both the honey and Corbin

One of the gifts I received this Christmas has renewed my interest in an idea and plan I have for "The Gear". My daughter in law gave me a gift tin with tea, cornbread mix, and a container of honey.
The honey just wasn't any old honey. It was honey collected by her young nephew Corbin. Seems Corbin has become an entrepreneur of sorts. He is now a beekeeper.The honey has an excellent taste and a very nice color. I think this is just a great idea for a young kid. Not only does he get satisfaction from a job well done, but he also gains knowledge and life experience. Knowledge in knowing that honey isn't just bought at the store but is actually made by honey bees. Also that there is a direct correlation between bees, blossoms, and fruit. Bees are dependent on blossoms and blossoms are dependent on bees for pollination and the production of fruit. I understand that in the U.S. most of our indigenous fruits and vegetables are only able to be pollinated by honey bees, unlike fruits and veggies from the rest of the world where pollination from wind, etc is viable. He'll also gain experience with money.

I think one of the greatest lessons you can teach a child is that money does not grow on trees but is earned by working for it. If you want money, you earn it by working (chores, job) or fulfilling a predetermined goal (excellent grades, though I never paid for report cards). Our son was told his job was to get excellent grades and participate in his extracurricular activities such as tennis, shooting, and helping his father with his auto racing. He also had a bank account at a very young age and learned the value of saving even small amounts of money. When he was young I put all my pennies in a jar. He would put them in penny rolls and deposit them in his bank account. Over the years the money accumulated along with deposits of birthday money etc. I also deposited $15 a week into a credit union account in his name. Several times we withdrew money and he started a mutual fund account. I continued to put $15 a week into the account until he graduated from college, had a job, and was purchasing his own home. When we closed the account, it had $3000 in it. The money helped with his closing costs.

So I think this winter I will purchase a few beekeeping books and start acquiring the needed materials to start my own colony. My fruits trees will benefit from having a colony or two of honeybees and we will benefit from from having our own honey.

I just hope my honey is as sweet as Corbin.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!!

Happy birthday Mom!!! She's a New Year's Eve baby. How old did you say you were?????

Twenty nine??????

We spent New Year's Eve at the Red Wings game. R wasn't feeling well and the Wings all played like they had just ate a 6 course meal. It was very unlike them to play so poorly but then they can't win them all. The score was 2-0 with the second goal being an open net goal in the closing seconds. It's also very unlike R to catch a cold. Since he wasn't feeling well and the forecast was for heavy snow we passed on going to Greektown to get a deep dish pizza at

PizzaPapalis. Home of the original Chicago style deep dish pizza and authentic Philly Cheese steak. Their menu says they use cheese from Wisconsin and tomatoes from Italy. Who knew a pizzeria could be so international.

The snow was lightly falling when we went to bed. The next morning we awoke to 8-10 inches. I woke R up so he could go outside and shovel a place for Mr. Peacock. Mr. Peacock was not happy at all. His usual spot under the kitchen window was snow free because of the overhang but it was a fairly warm 31 degrees and he had his rounds to make. He normally doesn't squawk this time of year but he was honking and squawking up at storm until R went outside and fed him a can of tuna cat food and his favorite Hi Ho crackers. He ate while R shoveled off the deck and deck railing.
Isn't he gorgeous??? He knows it too. He's a great pet. Knows his name, answers to my husband's whistle, and is the best burglar alarm you could have. He absolutely cannot tolerate the trash collectors and let's them know that they and their noisy truck better make it quick and move along. For good measure he squawks at them when they drive back by on the other side of the road. Our neighbors have a nursery (trees and plants) and in the spring and summer have shipments delivered by semi trucks. Mr. Peacock in an attempt to protect our neighbors from intrusion, braced the truck in the driveway and would not let him enter. He really needs a lady friend as he was spotted following a flock of wild turkeys only to be seen a few moments later returning rather dejected. If you know of any lady peahens, drop me a line. Mr. Peacock likes long walks, eating grasshoppers, sitting on the fence watching cars drive by, and Hi Ho crackers. His dislikes are anything noisy and people he is unfamiliar with.

Here is a photo of Mr. Peacock (also answers to Big Boy) in all his summer splendor. His tail feathers are actually longer than the photo depicts. It was a windy day and his feathers were blown forward a bit.
Since R was feeling poorly and comfort food is always nice after you have been shoveling for an hour plus....I made chicken noodle soup with dumplings. When I made the dumplings I used buttermilk instead of milk and added my usual smidgen of dill weed but for a twist I added some finely shredded cheddar cheese into the batter. It was delicious and worked out perfect using up the remaining carrots and buttermilk. The fridge is now back to it's pre holiday condition....empty!!!!
On "The Gear" front.......not much happened. During the holidays we didn't have two days free in a row, so starting any kind of project was out of the question.

Happy New Year and here's to a great '08!