How loose should sash windows be
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crazybrit



Joined: 16 Jun 2016
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Location: Portland, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:40 pm    Post subject: How loose should sash windows be Reply with quote

Hi.

We just moved into a 1920s home where all the remaining original sash windows had been painted shut (hardware removed). 6 windows (12 sashes in all).

I removed 2 of the windows, stripped them down to the bare wood, removed the glass and reglazed (using Sarco).

I stripped a LOT of paint off, then lightly orbital sanded. I then cut new parting bead as the old got badly mangled removing as it was nailed in multiple spots and painted over. My question is how loose should the sashes be? I have quite a lot of slop between the upper sash and the parting bead.

I'm surprised they are as loose as they are. That said, I have no idea what they were like when originally installed.

I was pondering adding copper spring weatherstrip to the sides, the current slop is making me more inclined towards doing this. The one thing I'm not totally clear on is most of the weatherstripping tutorials I've read also suggest installing some type of silicone kerf-in bulb weatherstrip between the meeting rails which means there has to be some gap as the bulb still requires some space to compress into.

I have 4 more windows to do, I plan to measure the thickness of these after removal plus measure any slop before stripping.



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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the Forum, you Crazy Brit.

1/16" space on each side is ideal, and many windows operate just fine with 1/8" on both sides. More than that and the sash can tip and jam.
Spring bronze weatherstrip at the sides would take up excess space at the sides.

When you sanded the faces of the sashes you took some wood off, which means that the meeting rails are now a tighter fit than originally intended. If they are fitting tightly, you could skip the weatherstrip at the meeting rails. If you really want it there you could use a router or rabbet plane to make a rabbet for the weatherstrip to fit into, but this might weaken the meeting rail joints--I recommend against it.

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crazybrit



Joined: 16 Jun 2016
Posts: 4
Location: Portland, Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnleeke wrote:
Welcome to the Forum, you Crazy Brit.

1/16" space on each side is ideal, and many windows operate just fine with 1/8" on both sides. More than that and the sash can tip and jam.
Spring bronze weatherstrip at the sides would take up excess space at the sides.

I wasn't asking about width. Rather depth. There is a lot of depth slop now.

Quote:

When you sanded the faces of the sashes you took some wood off, which means that the meeting rails are now a tighter fit than originally intended.

I sanded the meeting rails also, about as much as I sanded the faces. Most was stripping. Just a light orbital machine sand to remove what was left after stripping.

Quote:

If they are fitting tightly, you could skip the weatherstrip at the meeting rails. If you really want it there you could use a router or rabbet plane to make a rabbet for the weatherstrip to fit into, but this might weaken the meeting rail joints--I recommend against it.


They are definitely not tight. I'll know more when I reinstall the trim securing the bottom sash. I know the reference point for it as I left the top trim in place, just removing the left/right trim.

I've watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCqlEDYRBQ0
I thought they were recommending using the kerf-in-bulb on the meeting rails (I found some locally; see pics) but now I watch it again, I think they are not, and are using something different (53 seconds in).

For the v-strip brass, I found some 5/8" locally (see pics). I'm not sure what the recommended width is. 5/8" is too wide for the upper sash to clear the pully, but I expect it could be trimmed to fit around.



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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I wasn't asking about width. Rather depth. There is a lot of depth slop now.


After studying the photo again, I see what you mean. When the meeting rails' bevels are touching together they can slop in and out, which looks like it might be as much as 3/16" to 1/4".
It also looks like the meeting rails are going a little too far past each other, the top surfaces of the upper meeting rail and the lower meeting rail should be flush.

It looks like the slop might be caused by these factors:

-- Sanding the four faces of the sashes, talking off even a bare 1/64" or 1/32" of an inch, can add up to 1/16" to 1/8" of slop.
-- The total height of both sashes is shorter than the space between the frame header and the sill. This lets the top surface of the lower meeting rail go down past the top surface of the upper meeting rail. This could add 1/16" or 1/8" to the slop. If you add weatherstrip to the edges of the top rail and the bottom rail it would mitigate this slop.
-- Is it possible the exterior stop has moved outward?

I think adding weatherstrip to the edges of the top rail and the bottom rail would make a 1/16 to 1/8 gap between the meeting rail bevels, providing a space for weatherstrip there. I'm not sure if it would take care of all the slop.

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crazybrit



Joined: 16 Jun 2016
Posts: 4
Location: Portland, Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnleeke wrote:

It looks like the slop might be caused by these factors:

-- Sanding the four faces of the sashes, talking off even a bare 1/64" or 1/32" of an inch, can add up to 1/16" to 1/8" of slop.
-- The total height of both sashes is shorter than the space between the frame header and the sill. This lets the top surface of the lower meeting rail go down past the top surface of the upper meeting rail. This could add 1/16" or to the slop. If you add weatherstrip to the edges of the top rail and the bottom rail it would mitigate this slop.
-- Is it possible the exterior stop has moved outward?

I think adding add weatherstrip to the edges of the top rail and the bottom rail would make a 1/16 to 1/8 gap between the meeting rail bevels, providing a space for weatherstrip there. I'm not sure if it would take care of all the slop.


The stop has not moved. I have 4 more windows to do, I'll take depth measurements on those when I break the paint free. That way I'll have a frame of reference.

I'm mostly unsure on the weatherstripping.

The brass along edges seems pretty obvious but I'm not sure what width is best, all I can find locally is 5/8 so I would have to trim the back portion where it goes past the upper pulley, or just stop right below that and don't have any above.

I'm mostly unclear on the best approach for the meeting rails. There seems only 2 options, to attach to the inward face of the upper sash meeting rail, or the outward face of the bottom sash meeting raiil. What's the best material to use? The bulb strip which needs a kerf notch cutting into the rail or some kind of stick on padded foam material?
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