Parting Beads
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flyswatterbanjo



Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 13
Location: Vergennes, Vermont

PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:14 pm    Post subject: Parting Beads Reply with quote

What, may I ask, is this forum's feeling about making ones own parting bead? Or is it just easier to go to the local hardware store and buy the standard offering? (I'm sure this question has already been addressed in this forum at some point so link me there if that's the case!)

Much appreciated!

-Jackson

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rncx



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

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's just a square length of wood ;)

who you get it from doesn't really matter.

you should pick a weather resistant wood, lest they wind up having to be replaced again soon, though. any type of cedar, cypress, etc. should work fine.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2937
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are various standard sizes for parting beads.

3/8" x 3/4", rounded with a 3/16"radius on one edge is common here in New England.

What sizes do you have in your neck of the woods?

Buying parting beads is OK, if they are available at your local hardware store or lumber yard. However, many stores no longer carry them as the big corporations take over the building products industry and eliminated repair and maintenance materials.

They are easy to make if you can do accurate table saw work. They are usually made of the same species of wood as the rest of the window. Douglas fir, yellow pine, mahogany, Spanish cedar, old-growth Eastern White Pine, etc; however it is not usually necessary to match the species unless appearance is a critical factor and the wood will be unfinished or clear finished. Select the wood for at least 15 to 20 growth rings per inch, all heart wood and straight grain.

Other good discussions on parting beads:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=13218

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
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Last edited by johnleeke on Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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Mike-in-Maine



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 145
Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What John said!

Get that ring count as high as possible with straight sawn grain. You'll want the growth rings to be on the narrow side of the strip not the wide side

I apply as much Bri-Wax as i can to the parting strips and then buff them down before installation, its just "my" thing, but i find it really protects the strips, helps the sashes that run against them, and (of course) helps the sash travel up and down much easier.

(I no longer apply bri-Wax to the actual sash edges anymore as the wax could possibly trap moisture within the sash wood.... but this isnt a problem with parting strips and channel faces)
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rncx



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

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

also, since you can't really put a finish on them that will last, soak them all with a linseed oil sealer like they did in the old days, or if you prefer them to be colored, your paint thinned to the point that they absorb it all, as john mentioned awhile back. don't bother trying to paint them like you paint other things by building a paint film, since the window will wear the paint right off.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Get that ring count as high as possible with straight sawn grain. You'll want the growth rings to be on the narrow side of the strip not the wide side


I'm not sure what you're saying. Looking at the end of the parting bead, do you mean with the growth rings going across the short dimension, or across the long dimension?

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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Mike-in-Maine



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 145
Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnleeke wrote:
Quote:
Get that ring count as high as possible with straight sawn grain. You'll want the growth rings to be on the narrow side of the strip not the wide side


I'm not sure what you're saying. Looking at the end of the parting bead, do you mean with the growth rings going across the short dimension, or across the long dimension?


"Growth rings on the narrow side of the strip not the wide side."
No "across" nor "end" was referred to.

sawn + rings on narrow side not wide side.

But for those of you with lead poisoning, here's a "top" view:

--------------------------
--------------------------
--------------------------
--------------------------
--------------------------

Thats , "top" meaning looking down. not the side, not diagonal. Pretend the strip is installed. (yes Ive added my token sarcasm.)
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One benefit of this annual growth ring orientation is that the fit of the bead in its groove will change less with changes in moisture content.

Is anyone else paying attention to annual growth ring orientation?

I've just checked my sample collection of 9 old parting beads from the 19th and early 20th century, the growth rings are going every which way.

What are the common dimensions of parting beads in your part of the country?

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Mike-in-Maine



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 145
Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnleeke wrote:
One benefit of this annual growth ring orientation is that the fit of the bead in its groove will change less with changes in moisture content.

Is anyone else paying attention to annual growth ring orientation?

I've just checked my sample collection of 9 old parting beads from the 19th and early 20th century, the growth rings are going every which way.

What are the common dimensions of parting beads in your part of the country?


The growth ring orientation in every parting strip in my 1901 house is as in my post. I've also seen this orientation in pieces much older. The torsional stregnth imparted into the strip when oriented like this is phenominal. Any other orientation and the strip will undoubtedly fail long before the window.

On a technical note, the actual pattern on a finished parting strip is (technically) not " sawn" due to the alignment, but the piece of stock lumber used to cut the parting strips from would be.
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
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Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love sarcasm, plain and simple.

I just don't see the point. Just cut em and shuv em-----in.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve:

Do you have those 1/2" thick parting beads out there? How wide are they?

Do you see any other sizes?

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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know, we don't measure them. We've been successful cutting the new ones to match the old ones. We usually use clear Pine. The majority of jambs in our area are plain old old growth Pine.
We like a snug fit so we don't have to use nails.
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Mike-in-Maine



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 145
Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sschoberg wrote:
I love sarcasm, plain and simple.

I just don't see the point. Just cut em and shuv em-----in.


I cringe.... think about it, if you cut the strip with the grain perp. to the way they were originally (at least in my neck o the woods c.1901) all it'll take is one good pull on the sash and its quite possible the strip will shear at the jamb along a growth ring. The benefit of cutting the strip with the grain aligned parallel to the sash plain is huge amounts of structural integrity.

If we are restoring our sash to last (and we are) then why should just "cut em and shove em" on the parting strips? *I* just dont see the point. If youre gonna do it, do it right. take the time, get quality wood and cut the parts the right way.
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parting stop is a wear bar. It does eventually wear out. both sash rub along it on the edges. There no shearing that goes on here. If they move at all (outward) they could cause excessive wear to the meeting rails at the point of rub, but even in that case, there's no shearing.

If the parting stop fits snug, it won't pop. If there seems to be a chance of it popping, that's the one you nail. Other than that cut em and shuv em. We'll spend our time on the jamb itself and the sashes.
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Mike-in-Maine



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 145
Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sschoberg wrote:
Parting stop is a wear bar. It does eventually wear out. both sash rub along it on the edges. There no shearing that goes on here. If they move at all (outward) they could cause excessive wear to the meeting rails at the point of rub, but even in that case, there's no shearing.

If the parting stop fits snug, it won't pop. If there seems to be a chance of it popping, that's the one you nail. Other than that cut em and shuv em. We'll spend our time on the jamb itself and the sashes.


You're skimping on it. Thats fine for you, but I tend to pay more attention to the little details that make a proper historic window correct in all respects. The parting strip grain is one small detail that is very important.
Believe it or not, ive seen windows in their jambs so highly weathered and worn that most of the wood was out of alignment and the parting strips were under a huge amount of stress, the sashes were cocked out but the strips were still doing their job even when severely weathered and worn. With grain in any other alignment, the strips would have failed long before the window assemblies ever got to that point.

Looking at some 100 year old windows box assemblies today i noticed a window with one strip cut with growth rings parallel to the sash and the other strip with the rings perpendicular to the sash. The strip with the perp. rings (rings visible on the wide edge of the strip) was cracked and split up the side of the strip. Fail. ... The other strip, with the rings aligned to the narrow edge of the strip was 100% intact. Bothe strips were of the same vintage and species. Coincidence? Nope.


These pics illustrate a parting strip failure propagated by improper growth ring alignment.

Also keep in mind removing the strips... we've all removed parting strips on occaision and theyve cracked when removed... guess how those growth rings were aligned on the fails? just like in the picture.

Ive never had a strip fail on removal when the rings were aligned as in the bottom photo.



PICT5078.JPG
 Description:
Parting Bead (Strip) with growth rings perpendicular to sash plain ... facing wide edge.. visible with stressed crack split through growth ring
 Filesize:  50.59 KB
 Viewed:  356 Time(s)

PICT5078.JPG



PICT5079.JPG
 Description:
Crack revealed
 Filesize:  44.48 KB
 Viewed:  337 Time(s)

PICT5079.JPG



PICT5080.JPG
 Description:
Opposing side parting strip with growth rings aligned with sash plane... same vintage same age and wear as opposite strip.... zero cracking and zero failure.. 100% intact.
 Filesize:  109.6 KB
 Viewed:  348 Time(s)

PICT5080.JPG


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