Rebuilding an Oval Two Sash House Window
#9
  
I was contacted a few weeks ago by a home owner to ask if I was interested in rebuilding an oval window.  Turns out it's in a bathroom shower.  Even more bizarre, it has a mate in the bath below, and in there are several more houses on the street built by the same outfit and they have oval windows in the showers, too.  Even more strange, these houses were built in the mid 1930's and I'm told were built with showers, not tubs.  I find that a little hard to believe but the walls are cement plaster so maybe.  In any case, when I went to look at it I found that the lower sash and bottom half of the trim molding were pretty well rotted.  

[Image: AM-JKLV8cBAWmKGeJLmjugA6GdnUBBA5ne7xKSeR...authuser=0]

[Image: AM-JKLWzXQ9cjPMdIAhkTccOJNComRyd2BesyMmV...authuser=0]

The two center panes of glass had been replaced at some point, too, with a non matching one.  Always looking for a new challenge I agreed to do the job.  My stated plan was to make a new bottom sash and lower half of the trim molding, and to replace the glass and exterior glazing, and repaint both inside and out.  

I got the old lower sash out w/o much trouble.  Turns out it was held in with just three nails which I was able to cut with a multi-tool and then pry out the sash.  

[Image: AM-JKLVBAkym74JwiT45DieDVnFYPIlSjJbmKmHw...authuser=0]

And here we are in all it's glory.

[Image: AM-JKLWRlLwi_3W63oW-h57Zh0gEfmbjv_r8lCj0...authuser=0] 
You can see that the curved rail was actually made from two pieces of wood, and that the corners had been joined with dowels. The muntins dividing the panes were just nailed in place.  The windows and trim were made from white pine.    

[Image: AM-JKLVo3URT6xpK9RX8xjKPlKMhQeGuelfcKu0H...authuser=0]

I bought a piece of 8/4 Spanish cedar to make the new sash.  $8/bf, but beautiful stuff to work with and should hold up at least as long as the original.  I made a template out of 1/4" MDF, cut the new piece of wood a little proud on the BS, tacked the template to the blank and then trimmed it to final shape with a top/bottom bearing router bit.  These bits allow you to always route downhill and avoid tearout.  I should point out that the wood is actually two pieces of wood that are glued with a large half lap in the center glued with epoxy.  Therefore, the grain runs opposite in each direction from the center, so the double bearing bit was key to always routing with the grain.    

[Image: AM-JKLUI0SQQtRPzgqCB6rDMSf-8JLHqi39gFbOe...authuser=0]

To cut the sash profile and coping I bought a router sash bit set.  This set only cost $55 to my door yet appear to be of very good quality. They sure worked well. 

[Image: AM-JKLXtqu34T04BN-YVmrGp1ht-YIJsssr0DVLO...authuser=0] 
The big bit on the right cuts the sash profile and rabbet for the glass in one pass.  The bit in the middle cuts the sash profile with no rabbet, and the bit on the left is the coping bit.  The ends of the straight top rail are curved in order to mate properly with the curved lower sash, as are the muntins, so I had to make curved templates to hold those pieces as they passed through the coping bit.  And the coping bit does not have a grooving bit with it so I had to cut away that section of the coped ends by hand in order for the ends to fit over the sticking.  This is where the Spanish cedar was a real pleasure to work with; very easy to cut with hand tools.  After the everything was molded and coped I had this.

[Image: AM-JKLVNWzzcjn2slAYkuhRLYoDX9giwW2Ifius9...authuser=0]

I glued the joints with epoxy; the muntins aren't nailed at all.  I figured that will be just as good as the originally nailed but unglued construction.  After the glue had cured I drilled holes in the ends of the curved rail and glued in 3/8" dowels, replicating the original construction.

As I cleaned up the existing top sash I found the dowels were loose, so I drove them out, cleaned them up, and glued them back in with epoxy.  I installed new hinges and had this.

[Image: AM-JKLXtZAIujyo_kbY9C2hXcidTy-or1agUeYd6...authuser=0]

I broke two the "good" panes of glass removing them so I decided to just buy all new glass.  I made templates for every opening, took them to my local glass shop and picked out some Florentine glass.  I was floored when they told me the 6 pieces would be nearly $500.  I asked how much a 24 x 24" piece of the glass would cost and they told me $86.  That still seemed high, but far better than $500, so that's what I bought.  Now I just had to cut out the parts myself.  I've cut a little glass before but never curved pieces, at least not intentionally.  Turns out it's not that hard.  Using my templates to guide the cutter for the curved cuts I had the parts cut in about an hour; six for six.  And here they are in the upper sash.

[Image: AM-JKLU-Y4-lzwYZ0jQpChiMPCxykm-P2VQA5RGh...authuser=0]

Next I ran a bead of caulking on the rabbett, dropped the glass in place, and installed glazing points to hold them in place. The last task was to glaze them.  I've glazed a few panes with the old linseed oil based glazing compound.  It's a pretty easy process, but you have to let it cure for at least 2 weeks before painting, and then you have to use an oil based primer first.  I didn't have two weeks to wait so I used the new water based glazing compound.  The one I used comes in a caulking tube.  It's not nearly as easy to use as the oil based stuff, but I got the job done.  

[Image: AM-JKLWe4Gpm3Ak7lnM2-mJnp9dX3ifCQMkd6FPu...authuser=0]
   
After waiting the required 3 days for it to dry I painted the sash and glazing.  

[Image: AM-JKLWVWOYD5zm4z1wWJ-ELTM6VLgGpZoNVeaPR...authuser=0]
  
I made a new piece of bottom trim molding following the same templated process as for the curved sash.  With everything made I returned to do the install.  Prior to this I was there a couple of times to prep and paint the frame, which had been constructed using a brick mold type process.  The install went smoothly with the exception of getting the latch to engage.  I'll spare you the details but it took an hour of fooling around with both pieces of it to get it to latch.  It's still a little too tight and I may need to loosen it up a bit more.  

[Image: AM-JKLVEmUpKxQ8TT0RtT1-MJyAtSOng08Y8duq4...authuser=0]

[Image: AM-JKLXkkOlRYoUA-KM0nt_vwBPSNaREDaq7AnUB...authuser=0]

Tomorrow I will caulk between the bottom trim and shower surround and it will be done.  If you made it all the way through this, thanks for following along. 

John
Reply
#10
  Re: Rebuilding an Oval Two Sash House Window by jteneyck (I was contacted a fe...)
Nice job, well done.
Reply
#11
  Re: Rebuilding an Oval Two Sash House Window by jteneyck (I was contacted a fe...)
John, as always, a great job of taking us through the entire process.  I truly appreciate the pictorial explanation of your "build-a-longs"!!!

A couple of years ago, our SNL, ask for a small project.  I agreed to do it if he located the router bit set.  The set looks to be the same yellow as yours and was also very inexpensive, but worked as well as any of the very expensive bits I've used.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
Reply
#12
  Re: Rebuilding an Oval Two Sash House Window by jteneyck (I was contacted a fe...)
Thank you for taking the time and effort to detail your window project. There is always something to learn from watching someone like you "getting it done"
Proud maker of large quantities of sawdust......oh, and the occasional project!
Reply
#13
  Re: Rebuilding an Oval Two Sash House Window by jteneyck (I was contacted a fe...)
Nice job.   It's really satisfying to do that kind of work.  I have a friend who has an 1850's house.  My brother did all the big stuff and I did the several of the decorative stuff.   I know people really appreciate the after part a lot.
John

Always use the right tool for the job.

We need to clean house.
Reply
#14
  Re: Rebuilding an Oval Two Sash House Window by jteneyck (I was contacted a fe...)
If there are a lot of 90 year old white pine windows in the neighborhood with showers on one side and upstate NY weather on the other, you'd better prepare yourself for an onslaught of requests for similar repairs.

It looks great, as your work tends to do.
Reply
#15
  Re: RE: Rebuilding an Oval Two Sash House Window by Alan S (If there are a lot o...)
(10-09-2021, 07:55 PM)Alan S Wrote: If there are a lot of 90 year old white pine windows in the neighborhood with showers on one side and upstate NY weather on the other, you'd better prepare yourself for an onslaught of requests for similar repairs.

It looks great, as your work tends to do.

Thanks.  I got a call from one of the neighbors with the same oval windows.  He wanted to know if I was interested in removing the windows and replacing them with rectangular vinyl ones.  I graciously declined.  

I've restored a few old pine windows in the area but this was the first oval/round one.  It was an interesting challenge and I'd do more.  I'll raise my price, too.    

John
Reply
#16
  Re: Rebuilding an Oval Two Sash House Window by jteneyck (I was contacted a fe...)
I find recreating something like that both enjoyable and sometimes frustrating. 

You did extremely well!!
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.