Glue for sash joints
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TNWoodwright



Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Posts: 87
Location: TN

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 11:29 am    Post subject: Glue for sash joints Reply with quote

Just wondering what is the recommended glue for new sash joints. Did a search and either missed it or something.
Are modern epoxies used or the old Urea glues. Both of these would have slight gap filling properties plus water proof the end grain to some extent. But not reversible. Or perhaps time does that.
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
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Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

personally, i stay away from gluing joints as they should be allowed to move with the shifting of the house and seasonal expansion and contraction...

for gluing in other areas, i use TITEBOND III

hope that helps.....
.....jade
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In traditional sash making the joints are not glued to allow for the wood to move slightly in the joint. An additional advantage is that they can be taken apart during future maintenance and repairs. Also, glue tends to trap moisture in the joint leading to deterioration. The design, shape and accurate cut of the joint holds the stile and rail together. The pins or pegs hold the joint together. Glue is not needed.

What do you know, it still works today.

The reason some modern window manufacturers and and small shop makers glue the joints is because they cannot do accurate enough joinery to depend on the tightness of their joints.

When I'm making sash I measure my setups and results with a vernier caliper that reads in thousandths of an inch. I shoot for an accuracy of plus or minus .005", that results in parts that are within 1/100th of an inch.

Even before sashmaking was mechanized in the mid-1800s and all sashmaking was done entirely by hand the recognized standard for accuracy in best work was 1/100th of an inch.

Pierre Vernier invented the Vernier caliper in the early 1600s, just about the same time the double-hung sliding window sash was first developing.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
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Last edited by johnleeke on Wed May 30, 2012 9:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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TNWoodwright



Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Posts: 87
Location: TN

PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys
I see where your coming from. I don't have a problem with that kind of accuracy but I guess my mind tends to run toward the economics of the modern thought. "Cheap" Seems getting people to pay for any kind of quality these days is a struggle.
Do you find people in general will pay for that kind of work. Or even understand it. :)
I keep my setups tight but wondered about the drying and swelling of the pegs. If the urea glues are used they effectively seal against moisture. They have been around long enough to prove that. But curing temps seem to be a drawback.
Is there a time or place when people have get-together to discuss this stuff??
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is there a time or place when people have get-together to discuss this stuff??


Quite of few of us will be at the Traditional Building conference in Boston in March.

I'll be there, talking about how long certain window treatments last, here's my announcement for that:

http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/education/tbconf2009.htm

and I expect Jade and many other window repair specialists will be there, and at least a half-dozen window and sash makers. I know Steve Swiat will be there and he has made some fine sash.

For a little closer to home, watch for historic preservation workshops or conferences there in Tennessee.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought


Last edited by johnleeke on Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Do you find people in general will pay for that kind of work. Or even understand it. :)


In general construction and remodeling? No.

In historic preservation? Yes.

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by pen and thought best words are wrought
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
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Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it takes time and energy to prove your product is a superior product that will stand the test of time...your prospective customer base is small (ok, tiny) in comparison to that of the large mass marketers of replacement windows...

in my opinion, there is no better method than the mortise and tenon with peg when making window sash...it has a proven track record of hundreds of years...your target audience will be those with the understanding and respect for fine craft and the finances to invest in your product...your local 'marketing' (a term i don't particularly care for, too impersonal and technical) will do best in an areas such as designated historic districts and in chorus with historic commissions...there are numerous websites where you can advertise your craft...

take a look at these sash maker's sites for ideas:
www.smithrestorationsash.com
www.jsbensonwoodworking.com

hope that helps.......
.....jade
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sswiat



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
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Location: Cambria, New York

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the sash I have made, I would never use glue (ok, except to fix some mistakes). I still love the traditional wood pegged mortise and tenon joinery however have used the metal pins that seemed to have come about since the late 1800's.

I have seen many of the small (when I say small, I am talking 1000's of sash per year) companies use modern joinery techniques and glued joints. It is all a function of time saving. You have a line worker fabricate the pieces, apply a quick setting glue to the tenons, put the unit together on a squaring table, apply slight clamping pressure and fire some pins with a nail gun into the joinery. You can then pull the unit out, sand it, glaze and done. No drilling and hammering pegs in.

There a several shops that specialize in the traditional methods and probably supply to a small market of "purist" who really want or need a traditional window.

I can't really say if a traditional method sash is any better than a modern method in the short run as they both hold the parts together. I guess the question is as John has noted, the traditional is repairable the glued joint is not and how long the glue will last and then how well the small gauge metal pin will hold if the glue fails. I guess time will tell.
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TNWoodwright



Joined: 13 Dec 2008
Posts: 87
Location: TN

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the info. This historic window industry has to be one of the best kept secrets around. Sure glad I found this site. Plenty of learning to keep an old man busy :)
I see that there are a lot of views on all the threads. I wish these would translate into replies. I've learned a lot from experts and amateurs alike over my life time. Even my son who I taught still can teach me once in a while :)

I don't know how far in a respectable business an old man can get down the road. with so much to learn.

One thing is that all of the double hung windows I have collected around here for study have been bridle joint. I suppose thats why the glue question came up. Maybe different reason in the hot humid south.
I suspect it will be learning one way for the historical market and another for the local market unless the M&T can be used to satisfy both.
Is there much use of the dovetail bridle joint in meeting rails in the NE. I suspect the NE is much more historically interested than maybe the rest of the country.

Just thinking here as a historical question was the M&T derived from the bridle as all the books I have don't show the M&T at all.

Thanks
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For residential windows, up to about 36"x60" A dovetailed bridle joint at the meeting rails, mortise & tenon at the top and bottom rails, all pinned with wood or steel--I see that as the nearly universal joints from 1830sto 1960+ in every part of the country as I travel around.

Some sash have "horns" that stick out past the meeting rails--on these it's a mortise & tenon.

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by pen and thought best words are wrought
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TNWoodwright



Joined: 13 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On pondering this and reading Johns Article again (for the ? time) Do you draw peg the joints or just clamp them and drill. What do you use for wood pegs. It seems that cedar and such would not be that strong. DO you carve them out of a hardwood such as white oak.
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jade



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a couple of things i don't like about clipped steel pins....

they are a female dog to remove as they don't go all the way through and they are usually installed at an angle...

they tend to rust and cause damage to the surrounding wood...


i am working on dovetail bridle joints now...dang the wood can get very thin at the profiled face where the sash slides over the parting bead...

...jade
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This series of photos shows making a bridle joint for a meeting rail:

http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/workshop/windows05.html

including boring the hole, making pins, etc.

I have made draw-bore M&Ts for other cabinet work and timber framing, but never done it for sash.

When making all new sash I set up a square-clamping table and bore the holes and set the pins while tightly clamped up. To do draw boring on sash it would require putting the joint together then taking it apart (bad because it would loosen up the final joint); or, too much time accurately laying out and boring the off-set hole.

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by pen and thought best words are wrought
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sswiat



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
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Location: Cambria, New York

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find a draw bore is unnecessary for a sash as a good mortise/tenon coped joint is tight. By the time you add glass, putty etc you have a solid unit.


As for metal pins, I usually re-use them on restoration jobs and find they have only surface rust. I find the easiest way to remove them is to hammer them from the exterior with a drift pin/punch until the point just starts protruding through the interior. Then from the interior nail set or small diameter drift pin them toward the exterior till enough protrudes through the exterior that I can pull them with pliers.

I have used the little hollow tube cutter before but as Jade notes, sometimes the pin is at an angle and when that cutter hits it, that's $10.00 out of my pocket!
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rncx



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 660
Location: Little Rock, AR

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Glue for joints Reply with quote

TNWoodwright wrote:
Just wondering what is the recommended glue for new sash joints. Did a search and either missed it or something.
Are modern epoxies used or the old Urea glues. Both of these would have slight gap filling properties plus water proof the end grain to some extent. But not reversible. Or perhaps time does that.


there was a long thread started by a boat builder on sawmillcreek awhile back about this very subject. the guy edge jointed/glued lots of samples and tossed them in his pond, then fished them out some months later.

the short answer was...

in lieu of epoxies, polyurethane glues. original gorilla glue, elmer's 'ultimate' and PL construction adhesive being the best of the commonly available everywhere stuff.

the premise of that discussion was repairability, "can i make this glue joint fail, and if so, how do i repair it" and the problem with PVA glues (titebond) is they don't stick to themselves.

http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=21822

that said, the ones i've built i do use glue on for the initial construction, but with finishing nails put through the corner joints so that it should still hold in the event of glue failure.
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