Any dating info to be gleaned from window sash?
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Sherwood Farm4



Joined: 19 Nov 2006
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:12 am    Post subject: Any dating info to be gleaned from window sash? Reply with quote

Hello,

I am engaged in a small window and storm window restoration project - and not a day too soon for my cold climate!

One of the windows (lower sash in an 9/6 attic window on wing) has an interesting join between the stile and top rail. The mortice and tenon are not the common rectangular ones, but very narrow-necked trapezoid, with the widest part only about 5/8 inch tapering to about 3/16" inch at the top and the overall height about 1 1/4 inches. The window has not been cut down as I can still see the scribe marks for the muntin mortices on the top surface of the rail. The muntins are each secured to the rails and stiles with small wooden pegs.

The bottom rail is also curious instead of being a smooth outward slant on the bottom, it is actually L-shaped, with the longer side towards the outside. The sill, however, is flat. I suspect that this is a recycled part, as this part of the wing was organized under one roof about 1880. I have one other 9/6 attic window, but I haven't been up there to see if the mortice pattern is the same.

The main part of the house dates from about 1845. The windows on the main house were changed to 2/2 sometime before 1880. They have conventionally shaped joins, and only have pegs in the corners, not on each muntin. The house is country Greek Revival design, with fairly strong, though not terribly elaborate, trim details. I am in upstate NY.

I've never seen a window quite like this one. Does anybody have info or comments about the trapezoidal mortice design?

And a process question, if I might - on some other windows (wooden storms) the inward facing edge of the tenon is round and on the top and bottom rails, I have developed small semicircular voids about 3/8 - 1/2 in deep where the tenon has shrunk, and perhaps decayed some (though the surrounding wood is quite sound). Should I fill these voids, or put in some wood hardener? The holes are quite old, having many coats of paint already in the voids. I am somewhat reluctant to use something that would make disassembly of the joint impossible in the future. I have Abatron products on hand.

Thanks for your help!
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 786
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sorry for the delayed response....can you send photos to complete your description? i am comprehensionally challenged! there are so many different styles of mortise and tenon joinery...some have pegs, some have wedges, some tenons go right through the stile or rail and have only a tension fit....

i have a friend in owego, ny that has a wonderful greek revival house.....

....jade
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Sean



Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 170
Location: Salem, MA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure where your house is located, but Garvin's "Buiding History of Northern New England" has lots of muntin, rail, and stile profiles with corresponding dates. You may be able to get a bit of info about the windows from that book. The other thing that gives clues sometimes are the types of locks and weighting mechanisms used. [/i]
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