No weight pocket doors?!
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michwindows



Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Grand Rapids Michigan

PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 7:36 pm    Post subject: No weight pocket doors?! Reply with quote

I just seem to run across more of these lately! I just looked at a job today that the windows are in great shape other than most of the ropes have failed. Who was the crazy old dutchmen who came up with this "cost saving" idea...... Is there an easy way to cut in a door? I was thinks maybe one of those Fein tools. I thought John covered this in a thread once....

BTW: If this has been covered already please feel free to direct me to the thread. I just can't seem to get the search feature to give me the results I want.

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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Size and position the door so it doesn't weaken the jamb board.

Use the Fein MultiMaster with the E-cut woodworking blade for the cross cuts at the top and bottom, and the thin (.9mm?) kerf "D"-shaped blade for the sides. Cut the top and bottom on about a 45 degree angle. I just eye-ball it.Works slick, about 10 minutes for each pocket.

drill a shank hole and counter sink in the top and bottom, slip a thin piece of cardboard over the top and bottom and at one side to fill up the gap of the kerf, and screw the door back in place once you've got the weights in. About 5 minutes more to close it up.

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Wayne



Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Posts: 1
Location: Tallahassee, Fl

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John and others: This is my first post to be gentle.

Preparing to replace sash cords ( and try out my new Jiffy steamer)on a 1937 duplex we purchased I looked to find the weight access panels. Arggg..there's not any! I even told a friend who's a restoration carpenter who had to look for himself to believe it. I see above where John used the Fein tool to cut the panel. Does anyone have any information on the Rockwell Sonicrafter? It's cheaper in the short term but I'm looking at doing probably 20 windows over the next year so durability is a factor. Which of the Fein sets would you recommend if I go that direction?

Thanks for the help!
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only used the Fein tool, and mine is from the 1990s when they first started importing them and it is 'heavy duty' compared to the current Fein MultiMaster tool.

Fein's patents have now run out so there are several similar tools with that oscillating action. Some of these others may be good, has anyone used them?

If possible get just the tool itself, and the blades as you need them. Fein blades are extraordinarily costly, so that might be a reason to go with another brand. Get two blades of the ones you need, if one breaks, which the sometimes do, then you have one on hand.

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waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 99
Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as a general rule, i stay away from all low-cost, chinese-made products...
but if you just have a few small jobs, i bought harbor freight's version of the fein for $40 on sale. now, enough blades for the job cost that much as well, and i doubt it is robust or capable as the fein - but i used it to cut apart a 5' x 8'
old-growth fir window sash to harvest the glass. where a sawzall was just breaking the panes, the oscillating tool enabled me to harvest all but 2 of the 24 panes. if i never use it again it paid for itself.

if i find the cash i will eventually buy the fein... most reviews i read (and i read pages of them) fell into two camps: buy the fein, or buy the harbor freight. if used heavily, everything in between had problems that caused the owner to regret not going up or down the scale.
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rncx



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

PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

black and decker bought both the porter cable and rockwell brands, be warned...

so far they haven't started cheapening up the porter cable routers, but everything else i would assume to be of dubious quality.

since the fein patent recently expired so there should be lots of knock offs out there, some decent some not. no personal experience with any of them, i use a dremel for such small things.
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EPS&C



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To Wayne and michwindows: is removing the casing not an option? We run into a situation where there are no pocket doors and removing casing is not an option maybe 10% of the time.

We bought the Bosch version specifically for cutting our own pocket doors - It's cordless and light, and does just fine for this operation. The batteries don't last a super long time between charges, but we can usually get one opening done with both batteries and have 'em charged up by the time we need to do it again. It's a little underpowered for big work, but it works fine for quick plunge/flush cuts in trim. Pretty affordable too. Decent blades for any of these saws are what really seem to set you back.

Cut your doors just like John described - it's a piece of cake.
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SashGuy



Joined: 10 Sep 2010
Posts: 152
Location: Houston

PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: No weight pocket doors?! Reply with quote

michwindows wrote:
I just seem to run across more of these lately! I just looked at a job today that the windows are in great shape other than most of the ropes have failed. Who was the crazy old dutchmen who came up with this "cost saving" idea...... Is there an easy way to cut in a door? I was thinks maybe one of those Fein tools. I thought John covered this in a thread once....

BTW: If this has been covered already please feel free to direct me to the thread. I just can't seem to get the search feature to give me the results I want.


Perhaps a trim router first? I've tried the wedge cut, but prefer a 3/8" trip around a template, trimming out with a Multi Tool and caping it with 3/8" stock. Good solid surface.
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know you've looked the windows jambs over carefully to find the weight pocket doors, but sometimes the doors are in a different place or are longer (higher) then what we're accustomed to. Also , paint build up can really camouflage the seems of the doors. I was on an assesment last wek where the weight doors were on the outside track instead of the inside or lower sash channel.

I've also seen them a lot longer then usuall so the top seam was almost to the top of the sash meeting rail.

I've also seen seams of the pocket doors completely covered and hidden with paint build up and paint removal revealed the seams.

You know I've heard people say they've run accross windows where there has been no cut in weight pocket doors, but we have yet run across a window that didn't have any.

And I just bought a rockwell sonic tool. Haven't used it so cannot attest to its quality. It is a corded tool and seem hefty enough so maybe it is a quality tool. We'll just have to wait till I get a chance to use it.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes the weight pocket covers are in the interior casing. I just saw an example of it in an 1830's church here in Maine.

Also, here's a link to making weight pocket covers with a special chisel:

http://slidingsash.blogspot.com/2009/09/sash-weight-pocket-cutting.html

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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 568
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep we just ran into that same scenario of access to weight pocket is via the casing. These were on a three gang window set up. Something else different was the pulleys are located on the top jamb horizontal instead of on the side. And the pulleys on the outside edge of the outer windows are double pulleys. Plus there's an additional single pulley on an outside track. (presumably for an addition sash, maybe screen on the outside of the two prime sashes)
There is an access to weight pocket on the outer jamb side of the two outer prime windows, but none on the two connecting jambs, but there is weights in there--we think.

There is an additional pocket door cut into the head jamb on each of the two outside prime jambs. We think this is access to restring sash cord. Might be for the weights for the center prime sashes. May not be weights behind the two casing boards.

We haven't dismantled yet but will when we install the restored sashes.
This is rather interesting!!!
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gudulkaman



Joined: 13 Feb 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About 40% of the homes for which I do historic window restoration in Portland, OR have no weight pocket doors. This is true in some of the grand homes that I have been in. I am not sure why this ~ to us ~ important detail was left out.

I am about to begin work in a stately home in the historic Irvington district. There are no weight pocket doors. Taking the interior casing off of some of the jambs would mean removing plate rails 1st. I think it is a bad idea to disturb this beautiful woodwork.

So, I am exploring the possibility of cutting my own weight pocket doors. I am looking for excellent advice on just how to do this. I realize that I would need to be infinitely careful.

My thought would be to cut the access in the outer track (the upper sash tack). This would be historically accurate for the time period of the home. This would require one vertical cut next to or under the parting bead and the two angled cuts at the top and bottom.

What suggestions do you have for making these 3 cuts?

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dennis,

Do you ever see paint or wood deterioration due to rain water that seeps into the pocket door joints?

One reason to put the pocket door on the inside track is that it would be less exposed to the rain because it is behind the edge of the sash.

Check for hidden nails when laying out the cuts. If you have to make a cut through a nail be sure to use a metal cutting blade for that part of the cut.

I usually put one side cut side cut away from the edge of the jamb so there is a little strip of wood at least 1/2" to 3/4" left, helping to tie the jamb together, and the other side cut in the middle of the parting bead groove, or a little past the groove if a wider door is needed.

If any joint of the door is exposed to the weather be sure to rub some sealant on the joint after the door is in place to keep out the rain and air, but don't glue the door into its opening with the sealant, which would make future cord maintenance too difficult.

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gudulkaman



Joined: 13 Feb 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply, John!

The only deterioration that I have spotted is where the jamb and sill come together. The non-galvanized nails begin to rust and shrink. I have been able to extract those nails with my fingers. With as much rain as we get here in Portland, one would think there would be more issues. I just don't see them.

What tools do you use to make the cuts? I am curious how the horizontal cuts (at a 45 degree angle) were made, seemingly without a kerf.

I did watch the video of one of the posters who ground his chisel to make a long, narrow blade.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I size and position the door so it doesn't weaken the jamb board.

I use the Fein MultiMaster with the E-cut woodworking blade for the cross cuts at the top and bottom, and the thin (.9mm?) kerf "D"-shaped blade for the sides. Cut the top and bottom on about a 45 degree angle. I just eye-ball it. Works slick, about 10 minutes for each pocket.

About 5 minutes more to close it up. I drill a shank hole and counter sink in the top and bottom, slip a thin piece of cardboard over the top aand at one side to fill up the gap of the kerfs, and screw the door back in place once I've got the weights in.

The Fein tool blades do make a kerf, but it is very narrow, only .9mm. I fill the kerf space with a thin piece of cardboard.

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