Loose sash joints, sash out of square
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Hannah



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 74
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:25 am    Post subject: Loose sash joints, sash out of square Reply with quote

Hi all, I have yet another novice question. I've looked all through the Forum but haven't seen any threads that look like what I'm looking for. The sash in question is a lower sash that has dovetailed bridle joints at the meeting rail and mortise and tenon joints at the lower rail. After I took the glass out, I realized that some number of joints in this sash are loose--with any stile or rail on a flat surface, I can grab the opposite stile or rail and rock the sash into a parallelogram quite easily. It's got well over an inch of give either way, the whole thing is very loose. There is a nail driven through one of the bridle joints.

There is also quite a gap at one of the mortise and tenon joints. I think this is the loosest joint, but mustn't they all be loose if the sash is so easily misshapen?



I watched the "Sash Stile End Check Repair" video but I don't think it's quite what I need for the sash being out of square (although it will be helpful for when I fix up the chewed-up stile end). The rails don't twist in their sockets; the movement I'm getting is lateral, not rotational. Since the bridle joints are both nailed and glued, I can't disassemble the sash (I don't think). What can I do? I could smack the tenon back into the mortise with a mallet, but wouldn't it just come loose again? I know you're not supposed to glue this joint. I have heard some references to "pinning" or "pegging" a mortise-and-tenon joint but I'm not sure how this is done.

I want the sash to be secure in it's squareness because it seems to me that if I leave it as-is, the rocking motion of the sash will compromise the putty job. I know the inflexible glass is part of what keeps a sash in square, but this one is just SO loose I don't think that would be adequate.

Thanks in advance for enlightenment! I have learned so much here already! :)

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rncx



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

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

get some clamps. i like bessey k bodies, they have them at lowes. they lay flat and stand up flat so are easy to work with. two should be fine.

pull them completely apart, get rid of the nails or old pegs or whatever. fit them back together and clamp them up tight, check for square as you're clamping them.

once you have them clamped up square and are satisfied with the fit, new pins/nails. either larger than the old ones in the same holes, or new holes and patch the old holes.

use shims behind the clamp ends to avoid crushing the wood.

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circuspeanut



Joined: 30 Jun 2011
Posts: 16
Location: Portland, ME

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:04 am    Post subject: disassembling sash Reply with quote

Is there an insider's tip on getting those metal pins out of the sash joints to take it apart? I've done it a few times now and barely avoided mangling the wood each time -- I used a nail set and pounded them all the way through until I could grab 'em with pliers.

On the sash I took apart, the outer pin wasn't so bad but the one set at an angle towards the inside corner was a real bear, since the angle was slightly different each time and it was blind guessing.
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Hannah



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 74
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rncx: Thanks! I couldn't take the sash completely apart, as it's a more modern design and the bridle joints at the meeting rail are actually glued rather than fastened mechanically. What I took to be old finishing nails were just divits in the wood that had accumulated paint. I borrowed big clamps from the neighbor (love our neighbors!) and ATTEMPTED to make it square--someone planed down the bottom sash at an angle so it was really difficult...

...until after an hour of prodding and tapping and general finagling I had a flash of genius and dry-fitted the glass. When I was satisfied with the way the glass fit, I doweled the mortise and tenon of the bottom rail with a 3/8" dowel, using a 23/64" drill bit for a nice snug fit and tapped them in with a mallet and a dab of Titebond II. I'm broke as a joke so this is a "having to make do" situation. I don't have the tools (or skill!) to disassemble or make new parts for this particular sash, so if it's not perfect, hopefully I'll be able to make up for it with a little planing here, a little weatherstripping there.

P.S.--I love Bessey clamps, too! I have some like you're talking about, just not long enough for this sash.

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Hannah
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Measure twice, cut once.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2972
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: disassembling sash Reply with quote

circuspeanut wrote:
Is there an insider's tip on getting those metal pins out of the sash joints to take it apart?


I've written up a procedure on that right over here:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10880

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