How far gone is too far gone?
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TimB



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: How far gone is too far gone? Reply with quote

Steam stripped a c. 1910 window sash from my parent's barn over the weekend. The lower rail and lower ends of the stiles are not in terrific shape. I am confident I can repair the lower ends of the stiles with epoxy, following the methods John has described in this forum. Decay on the bottom of the lower rail, where contact is made with the sill, had progressed to the point where the wood lost some of its volume and had begun to check (picture the appearance of charred wood... with checks running at right angles to one another). Now the outer surfaces of the little "islands" between these checks are more or less in plane with the ends of the stiles. In other words, the bottom surface of the lower rail hasn't receded TOO much, despite the decay.

I am now trying to decide how to deal with this. I am tempted to carry out epoxy fills for the checks, leaving the little "islands" untreated. Alternately, I could disassemble the sash and fabricate a replacement for the lower edge of the rail, leaving intact the more difficult-to-replace molded upper surface. Any thoughts? If I tried the first option and it failed, I would not be too heart broken since I will have attempted to save as much original material as possible. But if I am bound to fail, I guess I want to know before investing too much effort.
Thanks,
Tim

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Bruce



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Fairfield, CT

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tim,

I didn't see any pictures but if they looked anything like my ca. 1926 attic windows I would say they can definitely be saved. They won't be the prettiest, but can be brought back to solid working shape. Mine were in particularly bad shape being neglected in an unfinished attic space with no storm windows and subject to the extreme heat and cold of New England uninsulated attic space. These were dirty, dry rotted, chipped paint and in some parts no paint left at all. The before pics are how they looked when I pulled out of the window. I would be happy to detail all the steps I did to bring them back to life and working condition. Ill try and get a better "finished product" pic.

Bruce







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TimB



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Bruce, I will certainly save the window no matter what. The ends of the stiles look similar to those in your photos... however, the bottom of the lower rail does not look nearly as good. It is this decay I am deciding how to treat. Luckily, I have several months to work on it and feel no great rush in making decisions.
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