scraping paint from window moldings
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And, all it takes is to not find one nail under that paint and you be replacing the blades on the planer instead of just cleaning.

We've thought of running the profiles over a router bit to clean the paint off railes and stiles and even though the simple ogee profile is the most common profile used even today, the dimensions of it on the new router bits is a bit different. and on those newer sashes that they do match, to get the existing profile matched up exactly to the router bit is darn near impossible and you'll end up re-profiling over the existing---and ouch, double ouch.

But here's a question, ----when is it acceptable to just make a replacement sash/sashes, if you use the same profiles and reclaimed or salvaged wood?

You can make the parts for a sash quicker than you can restore one. We do not do this, although we have made lots of individual parts to replace those too damaged to repair.

Steve S
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve writes:
Quote:
But here's a question, ----when is it acceptable to just make a replacement sash/sashes, if you use the same profiles and reclaimed or salvaged wood?
You can make the parts for a sash quicker than you can restore one. We do not do this, although we have made lots of individual parts to replace those too damaged to repair.


I think your use of the term "replacement sash" is revealing. We all rail against "replacement windows", so is a replacement sash any better? It would depend on the situation, project objectives, money available etc. But, if it is always boiled down to just an immediate dollar economic decision, then the decision will too often arrive at replacing the sash, or replacing the whole window.

Considering a whole project, it is possible to repair a few sash part-by-part at a greater expense than replacing the sash, and still come out with a total project that is lower because other sash will need very little done to them.

I think the decision of whether or not to replace a sash could be made using our Traditional/Modern Choice Standard:

***** Traditional/Modern Choice Standard - Proposed
1. First consider and use traditional methods and materials, since they have been well proven by the test of time over the long-term (at least 100 years). If there is a thoughtful reason they will not work, then consider modern methods and materials. 2. Only use modern methods and materials that have actually been proven by the test of time over the mid-term (at least 20 years). If a method or material has been proven and documented as effective for at least two decades, then it can be used, but must still be monitored for performance over the long-term. 3. Only use modern methods and materials that have been available for less than 20 years in a testing situation where they are thoroughly documented for routine study on how they perform in the future.
*****

where the #1 consideration is to use the traditional method, which is part-by-part repair. The #2 consideration is modern sash replacement.

Of course window work (and all of life) is a balancing act. Maybe you replace 2 out of 40 sashes, and use the remaining parts of those 2 to repair 5 other sashes part-by-part. Maybe you even replace an entire window. You jump up in the air at the start of the project, are wildly out of balance while replacing whole sashes and windows, but land squarely on you feet at the end of the project. HoopLa! It's the astonishing artistry of the amazing Flying Schobergs, defying death with every leap and twist. How do they do that?

I'll add this as an example over in the Standards discussion:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7499#7499

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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well--------probably should keep the Hoopla out of the standards. Even though the Schoberg's amazing artistry is truely amazing, the list of standards is likely not the most appropriate place for a glimpse into a portion of our artistic attributes to be expounded on. Ha~Ha Our modesty would prohibit it. But, thanks.

Steve S
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artigiano



Joined: 10 Apr 2010
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:39 am    Post subject: paint stripping Reply with quote

I have been wrestling with the issue of paint removal and the time involved. Keep in mind I am doing this for my own house. So it is a labor of love. The few of you out there who are doing window restorations as a commercial venture must be holding back some secrets. Because either you work for minimum wage, or your restored windows cost 10 times what a comparable replacement would.

My windows are 9 over 1 from 1916. Moderate paint buildup, with few issues of adhesion of the original paint to the wood surface. I started with the single sash. Steam made the deglazing and glass removal a snap. But removing the paint has been a tedious struggle with steam, heat guns, sanders, scrapers, and chemicals all used. I estimate I have four or five hours invested in the sash, and only the frame is down to bare wood. The muntins still have quite a ways to go.

I could have spent an hour with a sander and gotten the same sashs to a condition where I had a moderately acceptable surface that would take a new layer of primer and paint, and look 75% of the way to perfection. To get to bare wood and a 99% perfect window, is going to take in excess of 10 hours, since the 9-light is sure to be harder than the single. And at this point, I'm not sure that removing every speck of the paint from the muntins is even possible in double that time. And that brings up the question of why spend all that time if you are not going to get back to bare wood anyway? If I'm going to paint over a smooth sanded thin layer of paint, why not paint over a smooth sanded thick layer?

My mind is juggling building a dip strip vat big enough to hold a full sash. Or building my own sashes using the same materials. With modern tools, I have the carpentry skills to knock out an exact replacement in less time than it takes me to scrape paint off the old sashes. But I thought I'd go fishing for advice before making any decisions.
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark:

Quote:
I could have spent an hour with a sander


Watch out for lead-health risk issues.

Check out this discussion and video, and post your message over there too:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1587

Frequently a combination of methods works best: steam to get out the glass (if it needs to come out) and then hot air gun or infra-red lamp to get off the paint, and clean up the sash.

Of course, if some paint and glazing is in good condition, just leave it it place, as I show in the video.

Forget chemical stripping. It can cause many more problems than it is worth.

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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both, at times we work for way less money than we should and I think our prices are expensive. But to be in business today, cost money, more money than it should. and cost of doing business is not gonna go down in the near future, if every.

We'll spend sometimes an hour removing glass from a multilie sash with little breakage. Other times it only takes us 15 minutes. Our standard is to remove paint from a mulit lite sash in about 2 hours. If a group of sashes is taking longer, Jeff or I will make a judgement whether to change the procedure or work to remove as much as reasonably possible in this time frame and let them go through. The problem is the more a sash is handled the more possible damage we'll do to it. Just not worth it. Once the sash leaves the paint removal room it goes to a repair table and goes through another sanding procedure where a little more of the tougher paint will come off. The trickly part is sanding to feather the edges of paint that won't come off and not do damage to the wood around it. We've never had to leave a thick layer of paint and wouldn't. Technique is gained with experience.

Average time for a multi-lite sash on our repair table is two hours, unless we have to replace a part such as a meeting rail (most typical replaced part). The if we don't have a correct size in stock we'll need to make one. That usually takes about 1/2 hour or so. Missing or broken muntins and sash bars add to our times also.

So to restore a sash to an in primer stage takes between 5-6 hours, sometimes a little longer. We do not allow the time to do the appropriate repair interfere with our goal and value to be short changed. We'll take the time necessary to do a complete job, no matter.

We're getting pretty good at being able to ID those sashes that are gonna need extra time and adjust our price according to our judgement.

Jenny can spend up to a couple of hours painting and glazing a multi lite sash. That brings our average time to restore a multi lite sash to an average of 8 hours. I've seen some go through in as little as 6 hours and some that take as much as 8.

Is it worth it to take this much time to do a restore on a sash, when you can build one in a couple hours, and if there's an inventory of parts in less than a half hour? We're asking that question more and more.
We feel, if a wood sash is original to the house and its condition warrants going through our restoration process, we'll do it. There are times we run accross sashes that are dried out warped and do not warrant the process and I think these are candidates for replicas, but only replicas made from reclaimed like kind wood.


Steve S
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rncx



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

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sschoberg wrote:


Is it worth it to take this much time to do a restore on a sash, when you can build one in a couple hours, and if there's an inventory of parts in less than a half hour? We're asking that question more and more.
We feel, if a wood sash is original to the house and its condition warrants going through our restoration process, we'll do it. There are times we run accross sashes that are dried out warped and do not warrant the process and I think these are candidates for replicas, but only replicas made from reclaimed like kind wood.


Steve S


flattening a couple of 2x8s on a jointer ~10 minutes
planing them to 1 3/8 ~20 minutes
cutting to dimension ~5 minutes
cutting glass dadoes ~20 minutes (including setup)
cutting tenon/cope ~45 minutes (including setup)
cutting backside of tenon ~20 minutes (including setup)
cutting stick profiles ~45 minutes (including setup)
laying out mortises ~20 minutes
cutting mortises ~20 minutes
cutting rope groove after assembly and cutting the joints flush ~10 minutes

3.5 hours? and that's with the setup time inovolved with only using one router table/shaper and one table saw, and the cutter/blade height adjustment involved with that, and a one man show doing all the work.

at your shop rate, the time savings probably paid for the lumber. you can always re-use the glass if you create a perfect replica. could even save a bit more by cutting the muntins from the old rails/stiles. there's not a whole lot of lumber in a window sash, after all.

for people who don't have the necessary tools or who have elaborate (maybe even custom) muntin patterns, i absolutely appreciate the idea of trading time for money, and being able to restore the originals. but for a shop that does have the tools, i just don't see where it makes all that much sense when you can create a perfect replica that will be in better shape than the restored original in less time, assuming a simple pattern of square muntins.
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jade



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

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if i squint hard enough, i can understand MAYBE why a homeowner may go the replication route...

true preservation, no matter how simple the design, calls for preserving as much of the original material as possible...

i just finished reviewing about one hundred photos of 'before' and 'during' photos of a project i am currently working on...a LOT of tedious work but the finished product is the original with some epoxy work and old growth splicing and looks fantastic...

many homeowners cannot afford a complete restoration as it is very labor intensive to preserve a 150 window that has lacked maintenance for decades...it helps to have all the right tools and years of experience...we teach folks how to undertake the work themselves, suggest a phased program or perhaps we restore the most prominent and the homeowner takes care of the rest....

...jade
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are we doing a dis-service to true preservation, by restoring a questionable window sash, or one that even with proper restoration will not last as long as a replica in good condition using like kind wood?

Is there a standard of merit for historical sashes being considered for a restore?
Or has this been up to the discretion of each restorer?
or, has it been the rule that all historical sashes be restored regardless of condition or amount of new materials needed to be used to accomplish it?

Steve S
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Mike-in-Maine



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 145
Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding my current 170 year old 6-over-6 double hung sash project and paint removal: (This batch is 5 sash sets with 5 more on the line after these are completed and reinstalled)

Exterior: no less than 4 coats/colors of paint, moderately weathered

Interior: no less than 6 coats of very heavy thick rough paints. Extremely hard stuff with the oldest 2 layers being of somewhat thin smooth quality with some crazing and inconsistencies at the wood interface.

STEAM:
Exterior (outside) sash frame paint came off quite easily using steam
Interior (inside) sash frame paint was for the most part impervious to steam. One or two sashes were the exception.

Muntins were not easily steamable and the interior paint was impervious to steam.

CHEMS:
Paint stripper was used to remove the top 3-4 layers of paint on most sashes (interior side) followed by steam to remove the lower/older layers.

Stripper was used very successfully and very quickly to remove paint from muntins down to the oldest 2 layers. No further muntin paint removal was necessary.

Benefit of using stripper is that you end up with portable and self contained old paint "block" that is compressable into one small container (I use a small 6x9 cardboard box) and the waste product is consolidated, cannot easily become airborne when it dries and is easily transported or stored quite safely until ready to be disposed of properly.

Downside is the potential for chems to attack wood, and thus all sashes should be neutralized if stripped down to bare wood.

WHY CHEMS?:
I will be using a heat gun on the next batch of five when the rest of my shop is set up accordingly and I can vent the area properly. The risk of releasing white lead is something I find more hazardous then the chemicals while my shop is "closed door" (Respirators are always required, regardless, but the potential for a brief exposure to chem fumes is nowhere near as hazardous as brief exposure to white lead gassing off.

MULTI-METHOD:
The combination of steam and chems was the ticket for this job. Heat gun might very well be more efficient than the chems and I will find out in a month when I can open everything up.

ON SANDING: (FEATHER ONLY)
As far as prep, after the paint is removed, I utilize a vacuum ported palm sander running into a large HEPA (expensive!) filtered and bagged shop vac system. The sander is ported such that ZERO paint dust is propelled from the work piece. 99% of all removed paint is captured immediately. This is a "feathering" process, not a "paint removal" process. Any remaining dust will be heavier and simply "fall" to the table in a narrow line under the sander (my prep table is large, topped with aluminum and kept as clean as possible to track any dust that falls) any such dust is vacuumed into containment immediately throughout this process of light vacuum feathering. Only the large flat areas are power-feathered like this. Profiles, muntins, rabbetts, etc are carefully hand sanded using a vaccum head in one hand always following closely over sanding of the other hand. Zero dust is released this way. This is a very careful process and highly controlled. Its the single most hazardous step in the entire restoration process.

NO NEED TO GO TO BARE WOOD:
My goal is not to remove all paint, but to prepare a smooth surface that looks new once painted.

As far as not removing all the LAYERS of old paint; in some cases this may be acceptable, but in my experience these layers are ususally so thick that the fine detail of the profiles are lost under this ocean of old paint. My standards for finished product rarely allow leaving more than to 1 layers on the sash.


Last edited by Mike-in-Maine on Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:00 pm; edited 2 times in total
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rncx



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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Location: Little Rock, AR

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jade wrote:
if i squint hard enough, i can understand MAYBE why a homeowner may go the replication route...

true preservation, no matter how simple the design, calls for preserving as much of the original material as possible...

i just finished reviewing about one hundred photos of 'before' and 'during' photos of a project i am currently working on...a LOT of tedious work but the finished product is the original with some epoxy work and old growth splicing and looks fantastic...

many homeowners cannot afford a complete restoration as it is very labor intensive to preserve a 150 window that has lacked maintenance for decades...it helps to have all the right tools and years of experience...we teach folks how to undertake the work themselves, suggest a phased program or perhaps we restore the most prominent and the homeowner takes care of the rest....

...jade


as for the homeowner, unless they are familiar with this trade to start with, i think restoration is their sole option, as a DIY project. i know even with some experience, when i started examining my old ones, without having built a traditional window sash before, building did seem a bit daunting even with an old one to look at.

i mean, they don't have complicated parts, but LOTS of parts, with lots of cuts, so discovering the proper order for the parts of the process takes some trial and error.

and the typical homeowner will not have the tools necessary to build a sash anyway.

my idea was strictly from the standpoint of a professional shop that does have the tools. in their case, imo, they could probably deliver a better product to their customer by replicating, for less time, even if equivalent money..
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Mike-in-Maine



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
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Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I could build replicas that I felt were of equal or better quality than the originals and were constructed in the historically correct manner, I would offer them as an option if cost was an issue, and where original sashes are in such condition that they would require exhorbitant amounts of time to restore.

Currently Im not tooled up for this. However, all I need is a mortiser and the proper profile router bits and Im good to go.

Yes it is alot of individual steps to make historically correct sash, but my thinking is to make up a bunch of prepared stock and then simply cut down, cope and mortise pieces as needed. (Just a theory)

But realistically, there IS a real demand for good exterior storm windows of the historic variety. Single sash 2-over-2 and multi lite styles were common but are extremely hard to find these days. This is the real demand that I see awaiting us. So many craptastic aluminum combination storms are covering historic windows these days that the demand is there just waiting for us. This is where we can (and should) be doing a service to our clients by recreating what was lost to their homes decades ago.

I dont see myself offering this for sometime though, but its a plan.
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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

I'm impressed with your restoration procedure as you described it. You've got it down.

I think the wood storm window market will be the fastest growing market in the next few years. We're pushing that in our area for growth. We're still working to get our prices down a bit, but they're not hard to build the correct way and there's much need.

We also see the full restoration market for sashes slowing for the next couple of years. Partly because of the labor intensity and a lot because of the imposed lead safe laws. We think consumers of our restoration services will be demanding more for their money and thats why I think we'll see duplicate sashes becoming more popular. For price, mostly. Its getting fairly expensive to fully restore a whole window.

Of course restoration will always be favored even demanded over duplication. Funny note though----a duplicated sash made from salvaged wood sitting next to the original it copies, pretty much can't be detected.

There will be other tradesman looking to tap into the preservation trades market that will look differently than most of us. Many of these new tradesman will favor duplication over restoration. Not to mention the bigger guys are continually designing new ways to incorporate look alike historical sashes for retrofit.

I want to not only be prepared to compete, I want to be one of the front runners. Oh Oh, maybe that makes me one of these new tradesman with a different view of preservation.

Not really, we will always prefer to restore than to duplicate. But there are times when I think the condition of the sashes warrants duplication.

Steve S
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waxahatchie



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
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Location: the other portland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think the wood storm window market will be the fastest growing market in the next few years.


precisely! many of my neighbors have been discussing replacing their windows to get the piddly tax break, and i constantly try to steer them to storm windows - if nothing else, for the lower cost; my pitch is 'a good storm might cost you $2 - 300 each, plus some extra to tighten up air leaks around the window. try one room... if it DOESN'T work, all you are out of is some time and money. once you tear out that 9 over 1 that is six feet wide (!!!), you aren't getting it back if you aren't happy.'

the one argument that will have to be overcome is the work factor; i.e. swapping them for screens or simply taking them down every spring.


ps - i have become enough of a nuisance to my neighbors about windows that a complete stranger saved me a sash when she had her garage rebuilt (sans windows).
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve writes:
Quote:
Are we doing a dis-service to true preservation, by restoring a questionable window sash, or one that even with proper restoration will not last as long as a replica in good condition using like kind wood?
Is there a standard of merit for historical sashes being considered for a restore?
Or has this been up to the discretion of each restorer?


We are now working on writing the National Window Preservation Standards. The name of the project is the Window Preservation Standards Collaborative.

The standards are being written by tradespeople, for tradespeople. Learn more about it here:
http://www.WindowStandards.org

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


Last edited by johnleeke on Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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