Shoddy glazing, cracked glass, and some old brittle putty, all contributed to leakage, and wood rot in the bottom piece of timber of one of the sash window frames.
The rot was well concealed through layers of paint, and a fence of nails. It was an accident waiting to happen and reminded me of the closing scene from the movie Ghost. Upon opening the window and leaning outside to wave to the neighbours, someone would very soon have met an untimely demise with a shard of glass piercing through their back.
Fortunately, with the assistance from Kumeu Hardware Supplies, we were able to promptly restore safety, and not have to notify the council of the imminent danger.
Now, with a relatively modern (wooden) window frame, if the bottom piece of timber were broken, one would just ramble down to the local hardware store and buy some nails and a replacement piece of wood.
Not so a villa. Back then nails were scarce, and the entire frame was held together with some clever wood joinery, so replacement is a little more complex.
Nonetheless the Kumeu woodsmith was up for the challenge, and able to produce us a replica.
How To: Disassemble and repair a sash window frame
- The window frame is held together with some clever joinery and wedges. Hence trying to bash the frame apart will only tighten it, as the wedge becomes more firmly rooted in place. The easiest way to disassemble it is to locate the wedges and whack them out separately.
- Bring rotten timber to Kumeu. Find piece of timber from lumbar yard of approximately the same dimensions. Saw to size.
- Using a router, cut out the bed for the glass.
- Cut out the end joinery using a saw, drill press and chisel/rasp.
- Using a drill press and jigsaw, cut out a square hole for the muntin to fit in (that’s the vertical middle piece of wood separating the glass panes).
- Clamp and glue back together, and ensure the frame remains square.