Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten years ago today, and today.

We all know what happened ten years ago today. For me it started with waking up to NPR, as normal, and hearing that the *second* World Trade Center tower had just crashed down. I felt like I was dreaming at first, but then I got out of bed and turned on the TV. And of course, yes, it was real. And that’s about all I am going to say on that subject.

Now, for today:

A little over a year ago I purchased the top flat in a approximately 100 year old two-storey Edwardian in San Francisco. One of the things you’re likely to get in a home that old is some old, painted-shut, double-hung windows. My flat as full of them, but over the past year I managed to get all but one of them open by cutting the paint on the inside of the sash. But one window in my living room would not relent to my assault, so I knew it was going to be the first window in my window repair plan – besides windows that were/are painted shut, there are some windows with cut sash cords, and other assorted problems. But the one in the living room was both painted shut and it was missing a sash cord, so it seemed to be a good place to start.

I actually began the project yesterday afternoon by removing the stops (the vertical pieces of molding the hold the bottom sash into the frame). Actually, the project began a few months ago when I bought some books on the subject, and started to assemble a series of tools and supplies for the job, such as: sash cord, finishing nails, a respirator, and a small pry bar. Anyway, removing the stop involves cutting the paint between the molding and the frame, then prying it out with a combination of a hammer, a pry bar, and a stiff-blated putty knife. Once the stops are off, it’s fairly simple to wiggle the sash to free it from the dried paint, and then it can be removed. I ran out of time yesterday, so I replaced the stops (they are held in place by a combination of tension and nails – I just pressed them in place).

This morning I took the stops back off, and then sanded off the excess paint on the edges, primed, and painted them. While waiting for the paint to dry, I replaced both sash cords on the window – even though one of them was already functional, the rope was in a sad state, so it was actually easier for me to remove and replace it. Here is a picture of the sash out of the window and one of the weights:

Also, this is what it looks like in between the windows, where the weights normally are:

Then it was a relatively process of replacing the stops, and repainting the trim – and that left me with a finished, operable window (sorry for how dark it is, but you probably get the idea):

All said and done, it probably took about five hours to get the window fixed, which included a couple of hours of waiting for paint to dry. I could probably do more than one in that time, and three in an hour or two more. I’ll probably fix the next two at the end of the month!

posted by neil at 4:10 pm
under home ownership  

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