Building wooden storms
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Bruce



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Fairfield, CT

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:02 pm    Post subject: Building wooden storms Reply with quote

Hello,

First post here, but have been reading the forum for a few weeks. In respect for general forum rules I have been trying my best to use the search but have come up empty.....is there any article on here or elsewhere that covers storm window building?

I have a 1920s colonial house that LUCKILY the previous owners did not rip out the original double hung windows. Most all were painted shut to some degree with broken sash cords. I have been slowly bringing them back to life using Johns book and other sources. Anyhow, the only downfall to these windows are the awful triple track aluminum storm windows, most likely a few decades old. The ones with those tabs that kill your fingers when you try to open and close them. In any event, there were at some time wood storms that were mounted on these windows, I can see the marks from the storm hangers on the outside casing.

Now I know there are a couple of good sources for wood storms around New England but I was wondering how difficult it might be to build my own? I have basic woodworking skills and own a table saw, router, hand tools, etc. From what I have read on the forums I "think" have a basic idea of the construction and materials...

Clear white pine
Blind tenon and pin joints
Typically 1 1/8 thick
1/16th space around casing to allow for expansion
Weep holes
Oil primer
Sarco glazing

Anyway, I have never built a window or a storm. So I thought i would try my hand (maybe build one as a trial). Just hoping there was a good detailed resource out there. I only have 13 dbl hung windows (addition of house in back has crappy Anderson vinyls) and the triple tracks aren't going anywhere (and neither am I) so I have plenty of time. I don't mind having to remove storms and replace screens. I already do that on my porch (that has ten 90 year old storm windows and screens) and my house isn't that big. I would just hate to go through all the trouble building and sourcing the materials only to build them the wrong way or have them fall apart after a few years.

So what do the experts think? Sorry for the long post!
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce, welcome to the Forum. Let's make this THE discussion on storm making. It looks like you're off to a good start. Making storms is really just intermediate woodworking plus glazing and painting.

The first step is to design your storms. We need to know what is the largest overall size you need? Then we can figure out how wide to make your rails and stiles.

While we're at it, let's write up the step-by-step procedure for making storms:

--Assess construction and condition of the window. Determine if there is a blind stop, which forms the storm rabbet that the storm will fit into. Determine the condition of the paint and woodwork and plan any needed repairs that could get underway while the storm is being made.

--Measure the space that the storm fits into and make a sketch showing the overall size of the storm to be made, indicating thickness, width and height. For the height take into account that the bottom edge of the storm will be beveled to match the slope of sill. Often the space is not exactly square and the storm will need to be trimmed to fit, so the storm may need to be made slightly over-sized. (See "Measuring for a Storm below in this discussion." http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=12164#12164)

--Make sketches or drawing
s of the joints and each part, showing all its features and dimensions.

--Make a cutting list, with a row for each part, and columns indicating its overall rough size, overall finish size and indicating the various woodworking operations that need to be done to that part, such as shaping the tenons, haunches, milling the rabbets, chopping the mortises, easing off the arrises, etc.

--Determine how much wood is needed and get it. Finding a source of good wood may not be easy. You may have to buy wood thicker than the finish dimension and plane it down. Look for old-growth wood that has at least 20 growth rings per inch, as measured on the end of the boards and planks. Select for vertical-grain and all heartwood whenever possible. For more on selecting wood see the Practical Restoration Report Compendium, Exterior Woodwork Details:

http://historichomeworks.com/publications/#compendium
and this discussion on sashmaking has some good comments on woods:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2302


--more steps to come...

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John

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


Last edited by johnleeke on Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:07 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Bruce



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Fairfield, CT

PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John. Thanks for the reply and I will look forward to everyones input. I will post some measurements and some photos tomorrow when I can take them during the daylight. Cant wait to get started.
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Bruce



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
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Location: Fairfield, CT

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK. Sorry for the delay. Here are the specifics....

My windows vary in size, but this is probably the largest / most common size on my house. It is a 6/1 wood double hung window. The casing dimensions are as follows:

59"H x 30"W x 1"D

Here is a picture (hopefully I did this correct?)


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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I see you have shutters, and it looks like they are hung so they would actually operate, if the triple-track storm was not in the way. Are you planning to keep and use the shutters? (I hope so.) The shutters probably will not operate when you have an exterior storm in place. Have you thought of routinely using these shutters and doing something other than exterior storms to the windows for energy conservation? (Of course, you don't have to do the same thing to every window. For example, it's possible the shutters on the north and east side of the house in little used rooms could be more energy efficient than new wooden storm windows.)

The next step for making new storms is to determine the construction details of the window where the new storms will fit.

Do you have a blind stop? Or, does the exterior casing board form the stop for the upper sash? (these are the two most common details, but there is always the chance you may have something else.) (Check in my windows book, page 17, for the names of window parts and to see an illustration of a blind stop.)

For now I'll assume you have blind stops.

Another next step is to remove the triple-track storm to expose the blind stop and check it's condition. Often the paint on the face of the blind stop is peeling or in rough condition and has to be removed. Also, the screw holes from the tripple-track storm need to be filled. Then the blind stop can be painted with oil-based primer and two top coats of oil-based enamel or house paint. Enamel will hold up better than house paint, since this will be a "working surface" due to the new storms getting put up and taken down.

With the triple-track storm off you can double-check the thickness of the exterior casing.

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John

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



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Fairfield, CT

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John

Yes the shutters do operate and yes the triple tracks do not allow them to close. I don't think I would plan to use the actual shutters that often even if they were operable (maybe for a hurricane). There are a few in pretty sad shape that need to be restored (add another project to the pile).

Also yes there is a blind stop. I will have to wait for the weather to get a little milder before I pull the storm as we are in the middle of a cold front now and I need all the heat my uninsulated house can hold!

What I would be interested in would be the specific type of joinery and construction that would be used so that I could maybe do a mock up with some scrap before I ruin any expensive wood. If that makes any sense. I've got the glazing part down pretty well as I had to replace some glass already.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, a mock up is an excellent idea. Train yourself in how to make a storm by practicing.

OK, here's a start.

The drawings show details of the joints with typical dimensions.

Check these dimensions for accuracy and to assure they meet your needs. Of course, you have to determine the length dimensions for each part that will give you the over all size that you need for the storm. If you have not done this before, I suggest making a sketch or drawing of each part showing all of its features and dimensions.



StormDimensions.png
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StormDimensions.png



StormLowJoint2.png
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Lower joint of bottom rail and stile. (click on image for larger size, then click again)
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StormJointThru.png
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These are through mortise & tenon joints. The tenon goes all the way through the stile. (click on image for larger size, then click again)
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StormJointThru.png



StormUprJoint.png
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Upper joint of the top rail and stile. The tenon has a long shoulder that fits into the glazing rabbet of the stile. (Don't drill the holes for the pegs until the final assembly.)
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StormUprJoint.png



StormMidJoint.png
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Middle joint of the middle rail and stile.
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StormMidJoint.png



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John

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


Last edited by johnleeke on Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:24 pm; edited 3 times in total
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:57 pm    Post subject: Measure for a Storm Reply with quote

Measuring for a Storm

The purpose of measuring is to get the size of the storm space and determine the shape of the space.

Measure the diagonals of the storm space to check for overall squareness. If there is more than 1/4" difference, then you may have to make the storm slightly larger for trimming to fit.

Measure the width of the storm space in three places: high, middle and low. Use the greatest measurement.

Locate the meeting rails of the sashes by measuring from the meeting rail up to the top of the storm space and down to the sill.

Also measure the overall height of the storm space at the left and the right. Use the greatest measurement.

Lay a straight edge on the inner edge of the casing boards to determine if they are straight, bowed, curvy or lumpy. If they vary from straight, then you may have to make the storm slightly larger for trimming to fit.



StormMeasure.png
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Bruce



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
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Location: Fairfield, CT

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is really great stuff. Thanks for those drawings, that is a big help. I will hopefully be able to get started later this week when it warms up a bit. I will keep everyone posted of my progress....as slow as it may be!
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce, how are you doing on your storms?
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John

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



Joined: 15 Jan 2013
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Location: Fairfield, CT

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John,

Admittedly I have not gotten this project off the ground. My weekends have been consumed by various other home projects that have taken precedent, unfortunately. However, I am hoping to carve out some time in the next few weeks to begin now that winter seems to have finally subsided. I will certainly post on my progress when I get there!
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Engineer



Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 5:40 am    Post subject: Wood Storms Operable Screen/Window Reply with quote

Anyone have an idea where parts can be purchased for constructing a "triple track" storm. Am in early stage of planning for storm window construction and would be nice to incorporate the ability to open/close the storm window.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rather than dealing with modern aluminum tracks on your wooden storms, it could be easier to design and construct proven traditional methods for opening a storm:

* Hang the storm on loop & hooks at the top so the storm can hinge open and be held open with storm-stay hardware at the bottom.

* Include "ventilation ports" in the bottom rail of the storm.

* If your storms have 4 or more lights, make a separate smaller sash in one of the storm lights, with hinges on the side, or that slides to the side in wooden grooves.

* Make your wooden storm frame with rabbets along the inside of one or all lights and add glass and screen panels that clip into the rabbets.

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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably the easiest way to get aluminum tracks is to simply get an old or new storm window and cannibalize it for parts.

Aluminum storms windows are often made in local shops or regional small factories that might be willing to sell some of their basic stock. Also, you might be able to get a local shop to fabricate the tracks you want--probably not inexpensive.

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John

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



Joined: 20 Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Tampa Bay

PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a client who wants storms here in Tampa. Timely discussion for me. Joinery isn't a problem for me and neither is measuring. But glazing, typical glass and putty?
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