On Not Painting Exterior Sash
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Jeff



Joined: 01 Jul 2007
Posts: 41
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:14 am    Post subject: On Not Painting Exterior Sash Reply with quote

Has anyone heard of not painting the exterior side of sashes? I know a guy who makes wooden storm windows out of cypress wood. He doesn't paint them, claiming that paint does not allow for a free exchange of moisture--you're better off without it. If clients want a different color than the natural cypress, he stains them. More recently, another carpenter suggested the same principle might hold true for sashes.

It sounds implausible to me--for one thing, there's the glazing compound that needs priming and painting... then there's the wisdom of the ages (I've never seen purposefully unpainted sashes or read such a recommendation in reputable sources)--but I thought I'd ask.

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

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Double hung wood windows go back four and a half centuries, and the standard has always been to paint the sash.

If there is a local or regional trades practice going back decades or centuries that supports this method and demonstrates its success, then it would definitely be worth considering.

I'd like to know if the sash maker can point to sash that have not been painted, and how long have they been in service without painting? Perhaps he has seen some long-lived storm sash that have done well without paint. Let's find out. Are they years, decades or centuries old?

When bare softwoods are exposed to sun and rain the surface erodes away at a rate of about 1/4" per century. So I would expect these cypress sash to be subject to this form of deterioration. I'm often maintaining sash that is one to two centuries old, and have seen a few that have eroded away 1/8 to 1/4" on the exterior surface due to a lack of paint. They are not easy to maintain and repair.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
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Last edited by johnleeke on Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jeff



Joined: 01 Jul 2007
Posts: 41
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:11 pm    Post subject: On Not Painting Exterior Sash Reply with quote

Thanks, John, for your response. You confirmed my suspicions (but I had to ask just in case I was missing something).

I don't have direct contact with the guy who makes the unpainted cypress storm windows, but my business partner has met him. My partner says he's been building unpainted sashes for 15 years--not long enough, of course, to legitimate his claim in counterance to the long tradition of painting sashes.

In short, I'm happy to have confirmation of our standard practice, which is to paint the exterior sashes according to tradition.

By the way, my question grows out of a new venture for Oak Brothers Trim. We primarily do interior trim restoration, but we also do ocassional exterior door restoration and window restoration. Increased demand for window restoration has prompted us to devote attention to perfecting our procedures. That's what prompted me to discover Historic HomeWorks. Reading the material here, as well as material in the various reports we've ordered, has been very helpful--thanks!

Notably, we're experimenting with the steam deglazing method (with an upholstry steamer)--we had already burned our way through chiseling, the deglazing drill tool, and router deglazing...none of them inspired us! We're also experimenting with the Allbach linseed oil paint and glazing system which seems promising.

I've got just one more burning question that noone has yet been able to answer to our satisfaction. What is the purpose of the metal track that is attached around the inside perimeter of the jamb and intersects with the sash by means of a lip which fits into kerf-cuts on the sides and top and bottom of the sashes (top rail of top sash/bottom rail of bottom sash--not at the meeting rail) I have sometimes heard it referred to as zinc weatherstripping, though it looks more like galvanized metal.

One architect we've asked thought it was originally designed to keep water from infiltrating between the frame and sash. What seems more plausible to me is that this metal track was installed to reduce sash vibration ("window rattling"). Perhaps, though, it has multiple functions?

As anyone knows who has worked with this stuff, it requires a bit of effort to remove and more to reinstall (or replace). Not that we're looking for an excuse to leave it out, but we could be more enthusiastic about maintaining it if we knew it served a good purpose.

Thanks for all the great information!

Jeff
Oak Brothers Trim
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeff:

That is the "metal ridge" weatherstripping system. It is intended to keep out wind and water. It has been around since the 1880s and is particularly durable.

The long-time manufacturer is Accurate Metal and they are still in business. Of course, there are other manufacturers and suppliers of similar systems.

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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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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi jeff....welcome to the forum and to the world of window restoration--it's heartening to hear you are concentrating more on windows because there is a growing demand for knowledgeable tradespeople...

that zinc weatherstripping or 'sash track' is quite durable indeed...if it is in good condition, i will clean it up a bit and leave it there to continue working for another century...it has the dual purpose of keeping the outdoors outdoors and maintaining proper tracking of the sash...what i don't like about it is 1) it is nailed to the jamb, covering the weight pocket which requires one to remove it when replacing rope or chain 2) it must run past the height of sash on the jamb so it is visible to the homeowner (or disapproving visitors like me!)

for weatherstripping, i typical use v-shaped spring bronze which is attached to the sash and not visible once the sash is in place...it too keeps the sash from wobbling in the opening and keeps wind and water out...and, joy of joys, no messy kerf routering to do.......

the windows i am currently working--37 multi paned windows where only the putty was was painted--show signs of degradation on the unpainted exterior surface...the windows are only 30 years old but were built with mortise and tenon joinery by a local carpenter...it's amazing how much of the wood has worn off...the storms use traditional hanging hardware at the top rail...once the hardware is removed, there is a rather nice shiney surface of what the wood once looked like...so, i agree, either paint the exterior or cover the entire surface with hardware!!

...jade
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Jade writes:
for weatherstripping, i typical use v-shaped spring bronze which is attached to the sash and not visible once the sash is in place...it too keeps the sash from wobbling in the opening and keeps wind and water out...and, joy of joys, no messy kerf routering to do.......


At the Video Conference replays you can see spring bronze weatherstripping being applied to the edge of the sash:

http://flash.kmi.open.ac.uk:8080/fm/memo.php?pwd=da2f55-5125&jt=00:46:30.33

an alternative is "fin & pile":

http://flash.kmi.open.ac.uk:8080/fm/memo.php?pwd=da2f55-5125&jt=00:28:47.89

and EasyStop weatherstripping from from Advanced Repair Technology:

http://flash.kmi.open.ac.uk:8080/fm/memo.php?pwd=da2f55-5125&jt=00:36:47.71

Join us at the next online live video conference:

http://historichomeworks.com/hhw/conf/vidconf.htm

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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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NikonWilly



Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Portland Maine

PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just recently purchased some zinc weather strips from Accurate Metal for a window restoration project I'm on. Their web site has great dimensional charts for the weather strip size....They sent me a small peice to try out prior to my order. Very helpful folks.
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