Sunday, July 8, 2012

66, ...and in they go.

Before the windows could be installed, the vertical stone rebates needed to be trued and trimmed out with a jamb. The three earliest window openings, which I had constructed prior to the building of my stone saw, were made just wide enough to fit a window in snugly. Subsequently, I realised that a timber jamb would need to be fitted, in order to provide some method of securing the frame. In the photo above, the rebate on the right has now been shaved out to the required 100mm to accomodate a 21mm thick hardwood jamb, with the left hand side waiting to recieve the same treatment. The mortar joints needed to be chipped out before I could rough out the rebate using a chainsaw, with chisels and sanding blocks used for the final shaping. This wasn't one of the most fun, (or cleanest), jobs I have had to endure!

The 90 x 21mm hardwood jambs were glued and screwed to the limestone using 100mm galvanised, countersunk "batten screws". These were driven into pre positioned, Ultra Long RamPlug's, which were glued into cleaned, pre drilled holes using "liquid nails", before allowing a couple of days for it to set.
For subsequent windows I have found that a product called; KF2,  a Polyester Injection System, (picked up from eBay, of course!), offers superior holding power for the screws and I now set the RamPlugs in with this. It is, although, more labour intensive, with a pilot hole needing to be bored, using a masonary drill, into the cured plug.

Working on my own, I was easily able to manouvre the windows around on their sides using pipe rollers, however, getting them up the steps and into the front of the house was going to be somewhat more difficult. To achieve this, I jury rigged an pole, with a swivel coupling, to the scaffold frame. This was supported, using a chain, from a higher level. I positioned it so that an attatched electric winch would pivot between a point above the landing, which was about the same height as my van floor, and the centre of the verandah. This system worked flawlessly and once at floor level, it was a simple matter to roll them where required.

With the bottom of the window frame shaped to fit into the rebate in the stone sill, the plan for the installation was to form a table at sill height, lift the unit on to it, apply the flashings and mounting brackets, locate the timber sill into the opening, then lift the window up into position. What I didn't allow for was the internal stone arch, which prevented the side/angled bay windows from being tilted up in this manner. To compound the problem, after wiggling the window almost into position, I was reminded of another issue.
Some years back, when laying the stone sills for this bay, a stuff up, on my part, had me place them about 10mm too high. This error wasn't picked up until setting out the limestone quoins, which were adjusted to suit, to ensure that the lintels were all level. I had completely forgotten about this by now and, of course, these were the only openings not checked when calculating the window dimensions. So then, of course, the odscenities started!.

Following my 5th attempt, after much planing, trimming, adjusting and swearing, the first window was finally in, but I am more than happy with the result.

To secure the windows to the jambs, I made a number of brackets from 3mm stainless steel angle. These measured about 30 x 22mm and were about 20mm wide. The long leg was screwed through the ply backing into the inner lining and roofing screws, fitted through the other leg and drilled into the jambs, pull the frame firmly into the rebate.
I didn't notice until uploading this image that this particular mount was the one that needed to be rotated slightly, this was to enable a new hole and screw to be drilled into the jamb. With all the refitting of this window, at least one screw had to snap!.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

65, Windows, finally getting somewhere!

With a decision made on the glass, I could now make the glazing beads to suit. In the past, for this type of moulding I would make up a cradle to fit inside the thicknesser and run them through one at a time. There was usually a high mortality rate with this process, the rollers,when set firm enough to overcome the friction in the cradle, tended to crush the wood, causing it to curl. A lot of wastage was also normal, with about 200mm of the ends needing to be docked, this being due to excessive chatter occurring until the leading edge of the mould was steadied by the outfeed roller and after the trailing edge cleared the infeed roller.
My newest toy, the sander was pressed into action. I cut a tray, slightly longer than the longest bead, onto which I tacked and glued some sawn wood, of the same profile. The beads, sawn slightly oversize, were then placed in the corrugations and passed through the machine. I could sand six at a time and found the method worked perfectly, with no pieces being rejected or needing trimming as a result.

I produced enough beading's for all the windows, with about an extra 50 for spares, should any be needed down the track. With these ready, more monotonous labour then ensued, with the bulk of them being primed and receiving one top coat, all around.

Next on the agenda was the glazing. For the cutting of this, I stretched a blanket across my work table and clamped on a few wooden blocks, to cradle a large square.
The upper and lower sashes were made to have identically sized panes and I had taken great care to ensure that they were all true and of the correct dimensions. This enabled me to pre cut all the pieces of glass to set sizes.
From the same supplier as the double glazing materials; C.R.Laurence, I also purchased a number of silicon carbide sanding belts to suit my 4" sander. I was rather hesitant to go anywhere near the glass with this machine, as had been recommended to me, but it proved very successful in removing the sharp arris as well as sanding true any mis cut or oversized pieces.
I fitted the glass using a bead of "glazing sealant", a product by ROCOR. This stuff is water based and comes in cartridges, for use in standard caulking guns. It is designed for use with timber frames only. It forms a skin on it's surface but remains permanently soft and flexible. Any clean up of misplaced or squeezed out material is easily carried out by waiting for it to skin and simply rubbing it off. It is also just as easy to clean out, down the track, when replacing glass. It can be a bit hard to source but is available in Australia from Lincoln Sentry. I find it far superior to silicone, which can be a nightmare to clean off.
Once I had the sashes glazed, the outside faces were given another coating of gloss enamel before the final assembly. With that out of the way, the scales were then given a workout. The sashes were weighed and the cast iron weights were cut to suit. They were imbalanced by about 1/2 a pound, to give a slight bias to keeping the sashes closed.
More consideration was given to the provision of parting slips and I opted to fit them. If the idea of double glazing rears it's head again, sometime in the future, they would be necessary to prevent square cast lead weights from interfering with each other. Made from two laminated strips of 3mm ply, I screwed them to wooden blocks fixed at the top of the box's. They are normally poked through a slot in the head and secured by a dowel, but limited space over the windows precluded this method. If not fitted now and installation of them was required at a later date, it would necessitate the complete removal of the windows. After the weights were fitted, the box's were sealed with 10mm ply, screwed to the linings.

Finally, I could start to see some of fruits of my labour, the first completed window awaits loading into my van to be taken down the hill.
The brass latches were purchased via eBay from the UK. This was another typical example of how we are "ripped off" in this country. The total price, (buy it now), including the relatively expensive shipping cost of these items, manufactured by our Asian neighbours, was less than 50% of the cheapest Australian retail price I could source.