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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Default Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    I'm doing a lot of overdue/deferred maintenance on an older 'modern' home - built in 1942 - which has a lot of interesting "modern" features (for example, plastic bathroom tiles). Right now I'm focused on the windows which are nice wood-framed double-hung manufactured (I think) units. By "manufactured" they appear to be factory hung rather than site-cut jambs and stops into which sashes are placed.

    They are, by and large, in OK condition - but need a fair amount of glass replaced and lots of painting and glazing. Even then, they will be only single pane glass. I'm tempted to simply purchase replacement sash kits with thermally insulated glass. Right now, however, I'm trying to figure out how to remove the sashes non-destructively. I've taken apart double-hung sash windows before - just remove the stops!

    The stops appear to be solid pieces, that I may have to remove the entire casing to pull off. I really don't want to have to remove entire window units.

    I feel like I've seen window sashes like this at flea markets, yard sales, etc. (so people do seem to remove them intact). The real identifying characteristics are:

    - the levers which operate the friction "counter weights" in the jambs (these do not have cords, weights or vertical springs). To operate the sashes, you put your fingers in the cutouts on the bottom of the sash, depress the levers with your thumb - this releases the pressure used to maintain a friction stop in the jambs - and the sash can be raised and lowered.

    - the different jamb depths - the jambs on the left hand side (as viewed from "inside" the window) are deeper than the jambs on the left hand side. The stop on the left hand side appears to be a separate strip of wood, while the right hand side stop appears to be cut/shaped from the same piece of wood as the jamb itself - it's all one milled piece. I've taken a couple of close up shots from the bottom of the window that try to show this.

    I'm starting to feel that there is either some (much easier) trick for removing these - from the front or something - or that I might as well cut them out.

    My goal is to be able to strip the old lead paint from the sashes outdoors, remove the mullions, use a router to cut deeper glass beds and install thermal double-pane glass. The only point of this is to maintain originality a little. I don't want to removing the casings and I'd like to remove as little trim, inside or out, as possible. I have had replacement sashes before and really liked them (noise, insulation), but if these old ones are "real keepers" then I can work with them (add sealing bead gasket to the stiles, top, bottom and meeting rails, and thermal glass.

    I'd love any ideas or input! I need to do at least 20 windows this summer, so I've got to get cracking!!! Pictures below:
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  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    Forgot to attach pictures of the stops!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    I'd pry off the piece of stop molding (I think it's the left-hand one) and then the lower sash would be free to be un-hung from whatever counterbalance there is (if any). To remove the upper sash, the parting bead has to come out. I'm assuming that the removable one would be on the same side. If in fact the stop and parting beads on the right are molded-in, that would be a first for me. They have always been separate strips that are removable/replaceable. I can see no purpose in molding them into the jamb, as it takes so much more material and steps, to little if any advantage.
    To get the parting bead out without breaking it, the upper sash must be lowered t the bottom. The sash is usually painted shut from both sides, and takes a long time with heat gun and the "window zipper" tool to free it. You may break it getting it out anyway, so be prepared to match it somehow. I usually plane my own from heart pine.
    Since you already have triple-track storm windows, I wouldn't go to the trouble of adding insulated glass. I recommend (as I myself have done) to strip all the paint and glass, prime (oil primer) reglaze, paint the sash and frames before assembly (oil paint, again), and add some plastic "vee" weatherstripping (sides) and closed cell soft foam (top, bottom and check rails). and you'll appreciate the improvement. If solar gain is an issue, add window tint. It's about 90% as efficient as triple glazing, but at 10% of the cost if you DIY. The materials are very cheap, and it's just your labor, and every window you finish is money that doesn't leave your pocket.
    S_M
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Chicago
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    30

    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    NO! Don't pry out the stops yet. Look at the tops of the inner (lower sash) track - there should be a recess where you can shift the sash into (the windows like this I have experience with had a knub on the sash to keep them in place) and then simply slide the sash right out by shifting it into the recess and holding the sash release knobs. The upper sash should be similar.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    9

    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    Thanks ChicagoCooperator - I was out of town all last week and didn't get any time in on this, and am just now checking in.

    I couldn't believe there was a requirement to remove the stops! They are clearly not removable without pulling all the interior trim, and I really don't want to do that. Even if I do pull the interior trim, the left-hand stop (the one which is a separate piece of wood) does not appear to be nailed in such a way that I can simply gently pry and remove it in one piece (cross-nailed in two directions). I was resigned to just cutting the sashes and using replacement sashes.

    I do recall seeing pockets/scalloped areas - I'm not sure if I can remove any kind of inserts to open those pockets up or not, but I'll give that a try this evening and go from there! I'll post more pictures.

  6. #6
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    May 2010
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    9

    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    Holy cow! What a snap! They came right out! This really changes everything for me! I don't have to remove any trim at all, just the two lower metal stops (a couple of screws each) for the upper/outer sash to travel low enough to get into the deeper pocket, and then each sash just slides over to one side, and there is enough clearance to slip out of the front/back stops and come right out.

    This changes everything about doing this job!!! I can easily do one window at a time - in nearly all weather with the storms in - and work my way around the house. Whew! Thank you so much!!! I knew there had to be a "trick". I don't have storms on all the windows, and for cosmetic reasons (the street view of the house) I'd prefer not to have them on every window, so I will likely replace those with thermal glass. Still...what a wonder!

    I will post more pictures and a demonstration later. Do you have any idea what this style of window is called? I imagine there is a name for this type of lever/friction stop. I'd love to make this more easily searchable for others coming along behind me!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    That's ingenuity; I have never seen that system before. I guess you look for those levers on the sash.
    I'm very happy you got an accurate response after I botched it. Do the upper sash have that hardware of were they fixed in place?
    S_M
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    9

    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    Ok, so, looking more closely, I've identified these: they are Andersen Windows! They are, as I guessed, early ready-to-install manufactured windows, and apparently Andersen started making such windows in the early 30s. This house was built in 1942 (or rather, completed then). The National Gas Co. gas boiler is dated from summer of '42.

    I've taken pictures of the side jambs at a distance, and also close-ups of the notches that allow for easy removal. Below is a description; since photos are limited on a per-reply basis, I've split this up.

    The identifying feature (not readily visible in the assembled window) is the lever-operated, spring-tensioned friction plates that are attached to the window sash stiles. These plates expand and act as "brakes" to wedge the window into the jambs, exerting pressure on the outer stop (part of the side jambs) and the parting bead (also a fixed part of the side jambs). That assembly is shown in the second picture. As the lever is pressed down, the plate slides on the diagonal slot guided by that screw.
    The visible tell-tale in the assembled window is the metal lever (pic 1).

    The other identifying "feature" is that the regular jamb depth is different on the right (1/2" - pic 3) and on the left (1" - pic 4).
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    9

    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    So, getting down to actually removing these things...it's a snap, really.

    On the side of each window sash (the left-hand stile) there are a couple of 'bosses' or bumps of wood - see the first two pictures below. Those ordinarily ride up against the side jamb, and keep the sash centered in the frame so that the stops and center bead keep the window aligned front to back.

    In these pictures you can also see the spring that tensions the side-friction plate/brake, and you can see how the lever moves the plate.

    Inside the left-hand side jamb there are some scalloped areas - 'receivers' if you will - which these bosses can drop into. See pictures 3 & 4.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
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    9

    Default Re: Help identifying and 'disassembling' a window - 1940s

    So, to remove these things, all you have to do is slide the sash to the position where the bosses align with the receivers. At that point, you can press the levers to completely relieve the front/rear pressure on the plates, and then you can slide the sash all the way over to the left. The right hand edge of the sash will clear the right-hand stops (comes right out of the 1/2" shallow track). See pics 1 & 2.

    To remove the outer sash, you will need to remove the metal travel stop bracket from inside the jamb to be able to align the bosses with the receivers. See pic. 3.

    Both sashes will have enough clearance that you can swing them into the house (interior) and remove them completely to work on them. How handy if (unlike me) you have a multi-story house!. Reminds me of those adds for replacement windows I used to see on TV as a kid in the 70s. So easy, you can remove 'em for cleaning!

    I could not hold the camera AND actually swing out a sash at the same time (no assistant), so you'll have to make do with the first two shots.
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