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Window Anatomy

August 29, 2010
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The five windows for our apartment are cleaned up and installed- our weekend task is complete and it was still daylight when we locked up. That’s a first.

Five windows like new

We’ve given a lot of space on the blog, so far, to the windows, but today’s progress marks a turn in the tide. We can now start to build stuff instead of prep, demo and cleaning. Tomorrow the floor finish process begins. More on that to follow. But for now, we want to document the steps to assembling a circa 1923 fire window sash.

The primary material of the windows is galvanized steel sheet metal pieces, welded and mechanically fastened to form the frames and mullions. We pulled out the sashes and disassembled everything down to its components and stripped the remnants of paint from the metal. The pieces were then reassembled. Here are the steps for sash re-assembly, overly simplified, it looks faster and cleaner than it actually was and glossing over the minor injuries and sore feet. Wire glass is a bitch. We didn’t know that the tiny wires stick out from the edges of the panes (pains?) tearing into everything. It looks cool, though. We salvaged enough intact wire glass to glaze the upper sashes on the two alley-side windows; everything else is new 1/4″ glazing.


(The photos are high-res so you can keep clicking on them to open larger versions and see greater detail.)

Cleaning the glazing channel

Buy a whole lot of glazing putty

Apply putty to one side of glass

Place glass putty side down into the frame

Putty the other side of the glass

Attach vertical mullions (hope there are enough screws!)

Attach the horizontal mullions

Schmoosh more caulk into the gaps

Trim excess caulk

Clean up (with mineral spirits)

One reglazed and finished sash ready to hang

Attach sash to new chains and weights

Repeat, repeat, repeat...

Bullet holes and all

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