Welcome! Planning for the Looks Great session
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 3005
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Welcome! Planning for the Looks Great session Reply with quote

Proposal for Session, Traditional Building Conference, 2008 Boston
http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/education/tbconf2009.htm
Fri.13, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

From:
John Leeke
Historic Building Specialist
Historic HomeWorks
Portland, Maine
JohnLeeke@HistoricHomeWorks.com
www.HistoricHomeWorks.com

Title:
Looks Great! (but will it last?)
Practical testing of products, materials and methods.

What works and what do we know?

Description:
What will work best? You never truly know, but one method or material is bound to work better than another, and that you can know. The process of comparative field testing skirts around all of the commercial product marketing hype and its brand-name belief system. We dare not depend solely on the biased marketing from the building product manufacturers as our only source. We must depend on our own information, experience and knowledge.

John Leeke shows how he adapts the scientific method with his famous farm-yard physics and kitchen chemistry approach. Simple side-by-side tests clearly demonstrate which methods and materials perform best over time. Test are done ‘on the cheap’ with costs and results shared by tradespeople, contractors and building owners. Detailed documentation and publication assure results are available over the long-term to future owners and workers. Immediate benefits include controlling project costs and demonstrating worker capabilities--a good way to overcome many of the unknowns in building preservation. Over the long-term future maintenance costs are reduced--a good way to save more historic fabric. Learn how to set up effective testing and how to use the results.

This session is for:
-- Tradespeople striving to improve their knowledge and skills over the long-term and marketing their accumulated knowledge.
-- Architects and facility managers seeking new way to assess and select tradespeope and contractors who not only do a good job, but who can assure long-term results.
-- Do-it-yourself homeowners needing specific guidance on effective maintenance treatments.

Examples:
Window Glazing: American vs. Swedish show-down, putty and paint system initial 2-year results
Paint Performance: Spot-paint maintenance, a little dab‘ll do ya, 30-year development with recent results
Window Sill Weather Checks: which goop works best in 25-year test
Clapboards: flat-grain vs. vertical-grain, 40-year results
Wood Roof Shingles: width and grain orientation over 23 years
Porch Deck Boards: split-ends, lather, rinse, repeat, 12 -year results



Presenter:
John Leeke, historic building specialist from Portland, Maine. From his father he learned what works good. Over the past four decades he figured out what works better. Now he still wonders what works best.


Notes:





Please let me know what you think. Feel free to post any questions or comments by clicking on "Post Reply."

_________________
John

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


Last edited by johnleeke on Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:36 am; edited 6 times in total
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 3005
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the past 30 years I have been picking up old wooden window sash at the dump. They're worth bringing home because most are in darn good condition and it would cost at least $400 to have sash made to match the thick glass and good quality of that old-growth pine they are made of. These sash are ripped out of fine old homes by the vinyl window guys who are paid $300 per window by the homeowners to replace them with ones made of plastic worth about $60. I guess some folks just like to spend money no matter what. Anyway, I get these old sash back to my shop, fix them up, and some other homeowners pay me $600 per window to put them back into fine old homes. Now, I'm no business expert, but I do know that at the end of the year I've bought enough groceries to keep my family going and have a little extra in the bank. I can't get all these numbers and facts into my brain at once, so please help me get in touch with an economist who could explain how this is possible. If I could understand it all in one big idea I think I could get enough ahead to go back to school, study economics, and get rich quick. In the mean time I'm taking care of my own old windows here at home. After a whole century they're still doing a good job of keeping the wind out and the cash in.
--John Leeke



Rudy Christian reports in:

Date: Sun, 2 Nov 2008 14:16:54 -0500
From: Rudy R Christian <rudad@PLANEXUS.COM>
Subject: Re: Post-preservationistic communities...

John Leeke stated:

"If I could understand it all in one big idea...
"
Thomas Friedman (New York Times) recently stated, in an article about the
"bailout" that we needed to get back to a nation of people who "made
things".

Simeon Warren (Dean of the American College of the Building Arts couldn't
agree more. In a letter he recently drafted to Friedman (with multiple
signatures including my own) he states:

".. we miss the most fundamental solutions which are already here. There is
a growing movement that understands that we need to be smart and ask the
question "what works and what do we know". I will give you one answer: We
need to build houses of quality that last for hundreds of years and not just
twenty. We need to preserve the buildings we have and conserve the materials
within them. An old wooden window which can be restored is greener than a
new energy efficient window that will need to be thrown away in twenty years
time."

My personal feeling is we have become a desensitized nation of people who no
longer understand value. We buy things instead of make them or barter for
them. We use money that is no longer based on anything of value. We have
become so disconnected from the worlds of "finance" and "governance" that we
don't have the ability to make real judgments of value. Anybody who thinks
we aren't a nation based on "faith" hasn't been paying attention.

Is it really any wonder why communities like PTN and the Timber Framers
Guild are so attractive? They're places where people who still believe in
the value of being able to make things gather and share.

Rudy

_________________
John

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



Joined: 30 Sep 2006
Posts: 8
Location: Midwest

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:14 pm    Post subject: Porch deck boards Reply with quote

John,

You mentioned porch deck boards as one of your research topics. I'm sure you've already observed this, but I just thought I'd throw in my own observation. Ventilation, Ventilation, Ventilation... In '06, we restored a 5,000 square foot deck attached to a 15,000 square foot house. The deck was only 5 years old and was rotted too badly to be safe. The 6 x 8 clear doug fir beams had rot 2 inches deep and the all heart clear redwood newel posts had rot climbing up more than 5 inches. I have a lot of pictures and even some video that we planned to use for marketing and training purposes if you'd like it - you're welcome to it. Our observation was that while the "preservation architect" had designed a somewhat close resemblance of the original 1873 deck, he had missed out on the knowledge of the original craftsmen, specifically that ventilation is crucial. Most of the damage to the horizontal deck surface was where the newel posts were causing a problem, but where the deck surface was not ventilated underneath, we found rot issues as well.

I have another project that I did 5 or 6 years ago where I provided ventilation, but not enough, and the wood that I didn't replace on the horizontal deck surface because it was in great condition and over 75 years old began to warp and shrink. We of course immediately modified the ventilation for the customer and repaired any damage.

I attached pictures of the 1st project. I have some of the second, too if you think you'd find them useful.

We now insist on adequate ventilation as well as the use of a borate based wood preservative before finishing any exterior woodwork.

Paul
History
Illinois

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"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable" Thomas Jefferson
www.historyconstruction.com
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 786
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for sharing...always helpful to learn from others' experiences...

you'd think the folks who own the house could afford indoor plumbing! must have been a big crew to be using to porta-potties.....

...jade
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 3005
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, I would be interested in seeing the video. It might fit into another publication project I've got cooking on porch preservation. How would you like to send the video?
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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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Paul Marlowe



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 8
Location: Northford, CT

PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: porch rot Reply with quote

historypaul,
Ventilation and borates are important. I find with todays wood you also need to use membrane as a moisture break on some of the components and seal vunerable end grain with epoxy.

_________________
Paul, Preservation Carpenter and wood rot repair Specialist
Owner of ConServ Epoxy LLC and Marlowe Restorations LLC
www.conservepoxy.com and www.marlowerestorations.com
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