Traditional/Modern Choice Standard Guideline
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:55 pm    Post subject: Traditional/Modern Choice Standard Guideline Reply with quote

Quote:
Steve writes:
One of the traps in the window restoration business is to rely on epoxy too much as a cure all for rot of varying degrees. ... it's very important to look at ourselves as craftsmen and not goopers...


Agreed! Let's set a standard to cover this.

Craftspeople use their minds, hands and knowledge (information and past experience) to create building systems from basic materials. For example, create a repair for a rotted out sash joint that respects the intent of the original sashmaker by using wood to make a new rail and stile, or by fitting in a new slip tenon made of wood, so the sash will be able to perform all it's functions well into the future.

Could a craftsperson also use epoxy materials to repair the same joint, re-creating the mortise and tenon, adding a migrating borate preservative to prevent decay, or even locking the joint up creating a composite wood-epoxy repair? I think so if the epoxy materials are used like a basic material to create something new and better than the deteriorated joint that equals the performance of traditional methods.

A tradesperson or laborer would be working as a "gooper" if all they did was to apply or "install" an epoxy product, spreading them around with a 4" brush, stuffing every nook, cranny and hole with paste filler, not really understanding or caring how the wood deteriorated, nor how the sash functions, nor how their work will perform in the future.

So, how can we set a standard to cover this issue? I think we cannot say "use only traditional wood repair methods," because that would limit improvements to our work. Here is how I have gotten around this with wood-epoxy methods for structural building framing repairs, and I think It would also work for a standard in window work.

For these timber repairs I first consider traditional methods and materials (such as whole timber replacement with solid wood timbers shaped to match existing joinery, or using traditional scarf joints to splice in a shorter section of timber). If there is a very good and thoughtful reason they cannot be used, then I use modern carpentry repair methods and materials (such as laminated pressure-treated 2x planks.) If there is a very good and thoughtful reason they cannot be used, then I consider wood-epoxy repairs (such as fiberglas rod reinforced epoxy concrete).

In the case of windows, the modern carpentry method seems to have become replacing the entire window. We know what's wrong with that, so let's leave it out.

I propose this as a 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.
*****


For example, I personally know that a certain wood-epoxy repair method for filling weather checks in sills holds up for 30+ years. (See Save America's Windows, page 20-27) It was first used in 1976 and documented in 1979 and has been in continuous use since then. So, this detailed method would fit the proposed standard above.

For example, I personally know that using a paint system that includes oil-base alkyd primer, oil-based putty and topcoats of acrylic waterborne paint has good performance for 26+ years. (See http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=955
So, this detailed method would fit the proposed standard above.

For example, on the 100-year criteria I personally know that using individual sash parts replacements made of old-growth wood lasts for 100-years, because on several projects we have found parts replacements that were that old and still holding up.

Do you have examples from your own work that would fit within this proposed standard? Please share them.

Do you have examples from your work that would not fit within this proposed standard? Would you be willing to change your work to fit this standard? If not, why not?

Also, we could extend this standard by listing more examples of traditional methods and materials that fit the 100-year criteria, and modern methods and materials that fit the 20-year criteria, and examples for less than 20 years.

How could following this proposed standard help me? Well, let's say a paint manufacturer comes up with a new type of paint or putty. If I'm following the standard then I will not use this new product on all the sash of a project. I know from my own experience and at least three stories that were told right here on the Forum that using a new product can result in problems that are very costly to solve. Following this standard will help keep me out of this sort of problem. This does not mean that I cannot use a new product. I does mean that I can only use it in a limited way to test it out.

How could this proposed standard help the window specialist just starting out? You tell me, I've been in this too long to remember what it was like just starting out.

So, let's get busy and set some standards. Please recommend any changes you think are needed to make this proposed standard work better for you and for everyone.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What happens when you use a new method or product on a whole project? Well, even this could fit the standard, but the whole project would be considered a test.

In my last Clear View emailing, I mentioned the "SLIP pane" method of applying another piece of glass over the exterior of the sash covering the existing divided lights of a sash. There is a window specialist doing this out in the Seattle area, and I presume, doing it to whole housefuls of windows. The website says they have 10 or 12 years experience. So, presuming the slip pane method has been in use 12 years, then, according to the standard, the slip pain method is still in the testing and development phase.

Would you use SLIP panes? Do we know yet enough about the advantages and dis-advantages of this method? I've never heard of it used for retro-fit on older sash, but maybe it is a traditional method with centuries of proven performance. If this shop was going by the proposed standard, then we would know by their documentation where this method fits into the proposed standard.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sswiat writes:

Real interesting topic if I do say so. To be honest, the worst thing about restoring windows is using epoxy. I hate working with it. I do not see it being environmentally friendly at all. Coming from a cabinetmaking/woodworking background having to use it is enough for me to have less and less interest in restoring windows.

That being said, I have somewhat found it to be a necessary evil to get the job done. Often, I wonder if it would just be easier making a new sash than doing all the decay repairs?

I think the other Steve S brings up a great point. I already see the "gooping" going on in the industry. I have seen epoxy being applied over paint to fill the deteriorated areas. I have heard off epoxy coming off sills where it was used to fill the checks (guaranteed the paint wasn't removed and the checks cleaned out prior). I think a lot of this happens on the large restoration jobs where window restoration is not for preservation but for profit. Unfortunately, as the restoration industry grows you will likely see more and more companies entering the market, many competing with price.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob Yapp writes:

In regard to "gooping" with epoxy I think there have been some good comments. I use and teach the use of epoxies in a very sparing way. However, I find their use indespensible and critical in retaining original materials which is based on the Secretary of the Interiors Standards. Epoxies should never be used to create any structural part of a window sash ie tenons etc. I use and teach using old growth wood to make structural repairs. Let's not forget that epoxy has a 20 plus year track record of successful use when applied properly.

Even when making real wood repairs I soak the surrounding wood with liquid epoxy consolidant with great success. While I can't stop the vinyl pirates, they do drop off old growth sashes and sash weights at my shop on a weekly basis. This gives me and my students good wood and cylinder glass to work with.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve S writes:

Here's an example: I too don't think Epoxy should be used to build a tenon or buildup a badly rotted rail that should be replace. However, I have repaired a tenon by doweling through the mortise and into the rail and then filling the areas in the mortise around the dowels with Epoxy. I qualify this procedure when the rail is in good condition with the exception of the tenon.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Steve Schoberg provides an example:
I have repaired a tenon by doweling through the mortise and into the rail and then filling the areas in the mortise around the dowels with Epoxy. I qualify this procedure when the rail is in good condition with the exception of the tenon.


And here is the proposed 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.
*****

How does this example fit the proposed standard?

Since it uses a modern material, epoxy, and since (I suspect) it has been used by Steve for less that 20 years, it would appear to most likely fit under criteria 3., but we need to know more. Steve, have you documented this method in writing, say, with a step-by-step description, identifying specifically what methods, tools and materials are used? And, where and when the method was used? To use this method and meet the standard you would have to consider its use a test, which would mean going back every so often (say every 5 or 10 years, what ever your own testing and development program calls for) and check it's condition, determine the cause of any failures, make changes in your method to prevent those failures.

If Steve shares the detailed description of his method, and others have used the same method for more than 20 years, then they could provide their example for review, which might bump this method up to the 2. criteria. In reviewing the details of the method others might make suggestions to improve the method, for example, using a migrating borate preservative to prevent decay in the wood next to the epoxy repair.

Quote:
Steve writes:
Now this example is the meat of the need for standards. If this group says this is not acceptable I will change to comply to the standards. If this procedure is acceptable, by the standards I will achieve added confidence and overall that confidence will show up in general quality of our service. either way it's all good.


I have written this standard to be inclusive, not exclusive. It is not up to the group developing the standard (or subscribing to the standard) to say whether or not the method is acceptable. That is up to Steve, or the specifier for a project, whoever is deciding what will be done. The specification might say, "Meet criteria 3. of the Traditional/Modern Choice Standard" (this repair method could be used), or "Meet criteria 1...(this repair method could not be used)

You may be thinking, what good is the standard if anything can be done. Well, it helps assure that the most proven methods are used more commonly, while allowing for developing new methods that may be good. It does assure that new methods cannot be used and then simply forgotten about. For example, a 'gooper' dips a rotten sash joint in epoxy. 10 years later the joint is rotting out, and the 'gooper', if he can be found, could care less. Following this standard helps prevent this from happening.

If a shop does not have a formal testing and development program, then they could operate under criteria 1. & 2., and still meet the standard.

This standard promotes the use of proven effective methods, AND the development of new effective methods. It assumes that the craftsperson knows what s/he is doing. As Bob Yapp says, "We're out there every day doing the work and [we know] better what works and doesn't."

These are OUR standards, not the architects' standards, not the government's standards, not the manufacturers' standards.

To get back to Steve's initial comment, of craftsmen vs. goopers:

Would using this standard help craftspeople create effective repairs and limit goopers installing products?

Would it help YOU to do this?

Would it help you compete with the goopers and get the contract instead of them?

Are you willing to say you will follow this standard, or be willing to go by it if required by the specifier?

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jade, thanks for jumping in here.

Quote:
how do you handle a situation where the client requests that you patch/spot repair an area where old putty has dried and crumbled?


Check this method for Putty Maintenance and Repair:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1574

I think it would fit this standard at criteria 1., once I've seen something very similar used on some 1881 windows that were maintained in 1905, painted three times between 1905 1995 and still holding up. So the putty maintenance lasted an entire century.

I've been using it since my dad show it to me on my grandma's storm windows in the 1960s.

In more recent years it has pushed the life of deteriorating putty out for another 15+ years of service. Keep it painted and like most methods it just goes and goes.

But, like you say, building owners need to know about the need for ongoing maintenance. That sounds like the subject for another standard: a requirement to detail ongoing maintenance for every job. It is a requirement on many contracts I have worked under and written my self over the years. How would you like to write up that standard?

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sschoberg



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it may be helpfull to list the traditional ways in which a sash and jamb/sills were and are repaired. Less epoxy.

Then in another entry we can list the more modern ways to repair windows utilizing epoxy.

And probly should clarify each process without going into trying to teach it.

I think there will be some overlapping of traditional into modern

I would give an example of a traditional repair method but don't know proper wording.

Dutchman repair-

Scarf joints-

Coping-

?

And regarding Modern repair methods--should consideration be made for limiting where epoxy should be used and max % of use?

Then we can address proper methods to weather strip.---we use the kerf type Zinc or Bronz mounted on the jambs. We use hollow vinyl bulb at the bottom of the bottom rail, top of the top rail and on the meeting rail of the top sash (so the bulb always faces towards interior)


We don't use dust blocks on the parting stop at the meeting rail level. We now have a better way to install the sashes so we can leave the bevel on the meeting rail at a close tolerance to the parting stop. We always build up this bevel on each sash with epoxy and then cut back to proper tolerance when installing. Simply drop the top sash to the bottom and slide the parting stop into the slot and tap into place all the way to the top.
We have a short piece of parting stop we use to slide into place after we hang the top sash. This allows us to mark the bevel where to cut at a close tolerance. Doing it this way helps this weakest area of the window to slow down air leaks. (darn, that was a secret.)



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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Steve writes:
I think it may be helpful to list the traditional ways in which a sash and jamb/sills were and are repaired.


I agree. OK, let's take your top listed item,

Dutchman Repair

This would be a good example for the first criteria, "1. First consider and use traditional methods and materials"

Quote:
but don't know proper wording.


Just describe what type of deterioration it is good for, how you do it, and what the result is. So, one sentence on the deterioration; say, one sentence on each step for how you do it; and a sentence on how it looks when done. Write it just like you would tell a new worker about it. (if you have a few photos to go with it so much the better, but not absolutely necessary.)

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sschoberg



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dutchman Repair-To replace a missing or rotted section of wood with another piece of wood (same species, grain and age preferrably).

A typical place to use a Dutchman repair on a window sash is along the edge where the edge of the sash rides and wears down from constant rubbing against a stop, causing the sash to fit and operate sloppy and allowing air to leak into the home. Every once in a while we find sashes with very excessive wear in this area. Although it would be easier to use epoxy to build up this area, it will not last nearly as long as a dutchman repair.

The best way I have found to do this is to route a rabbit where the wear is as small as possible but large enough in both width and depth so it is completely even both ways.
cut a piece of like kind wood, as close as possible to the piece your adding it too. It can be a bit taller and a bit wider than the rabbit that it will be installed against, but it must be square to the rabbit. Glue and clamp firmly into the main piece.
When the glue is dry (I wait tll the next day) and plane the edges down to the main piece, taking care not to scrape the main piece. I leave it a bit up and out and sand down starting with say 80 grit and working down until it becomes one with the main piece.

Sorry for the excess words. What am I to do!

Steve S
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, this is pretty good. I suggest these edits (in italics):

Dutchman Repair-To replace a missing or damaged section of wood with another piece of wood, matching the wood and shape of the surrounding wood.

A typical place to use a Dutchman repair on a window sash is along the margin of the face of the stile where the surface of the sash rides and wears down from constant rubbing against a stop or parting bead, causing the sash to fit and operate sloppy and allowing air to infiltrate. Sometimes a sash has excessive wear in this area. Although it might be easier to use a wood-epoxy repair to build up this area, it will not last nearly as long as a wood dutchman repair.

A way to do this is to route a rabbet that is just large enough in both width and depth to completely remove the worn area.

Select a piece of wood that is similar to the wood of the sash, matching the species, growth rings, grain orientation and age. Make it a bit thicker and wider than the rabbet, and square to the rabbet. Glue and clamp firmly into the rabbet.
When the glue is dry. Plane the raised surfaces of the dutchman down to the neighboring surfaces, taking care not to scrape the main piece. Leave it a bit proud and sand down starting with say 80 grit and working down until it becomes flush with the stile.


Ok, quite a few changes, but I think the gist of Steve's method is still there. If any one thinks further changes are needed please post a message. It would be interesting and possibly useful to have a photo or two of each example.

If not, I think this looks good to me as an example for criteria 1. Use Traditional Methods.

I suggest we formally adopt this as an example. Please post a message agreeing or disagreeing and why. When we get two or three example for each of the three criteria, then we'll see how the whole standard with samples looks and see if we can formally adopt the whole thing.

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sschoberg



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree and it looks soooo good!

thanks for the edit help. I get a big headache if I'm forced to edit my stuff. (my wife would be laughing hysterically if she read this)


Steve S
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Schoberg 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 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.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The national Window Preservation Standards have been published and are available right over at the Window Standards website:

www.WindowStandards.org

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