Renew Sill, contemporary (final).

Wood repairs for sashes, frames and sills.
davidgibney
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Renew Sill, contemporary (final).

Postby davidgibney » January 28th, 2012, 9:49 pm

Standard Work Method Form

Number:
Status: [ ] submitted work method, [] proposed treatment standard, [x] final treatment standard
Update: 8/21/12
Author: David Gibney
References:
Contributors: John Leeke

Title of Treatment: Renew Sill
Class of Treatment: [ ] Maintain, [ ] Stabilize, [x] Repair, [ ] Upgrade, [ ] Exception
Type of Treatment: [ ] Traditional, [x] Contemporary, [ ] Conservation

Condition to be Treated:
Window sill is missing or deteriorated beyond repair.

Description:
If the existing sill is more than 50% damaged then total replacement may be necessary. The old sill is removed, a new sill is made, fit into place and attached with screws and epoxy materials.

Early period original sills were often fastened to the frame jambs with mortise and tenon joinery held with wooden pegs. Later period sills were fastened to the frame jambs with a nailed dado joint. Originally these joints were made before the frame was installed into the wall, which makes it difficult or impossible to disassemble the joints within the frame in the wall. This method of sill renewal is for situations where the frame must be left in the wall. This can take less time and cause less damage to the surrounding window parts and walls, and is sometimes an effective alternative to completely removing the entire window frame and fitting a new sill in the traditional way, and reinstall the window frame. This method can also be used for a sub-sill.

Typical Procedure:

1. Remove what is left of the existing sill by sawing and splitting it out. Do not damage surrounding window parts including the frame jamb. Exterior sill molding and interior stool may have to be carefully removed and then put back in place later.
2. Examine what is left of the original sill to determine the shape and dimensions for the new sill. If the sill is totally missing examine several other sills on the building to determine the typical shape and size. More than one existing sill must be examined to get a good typical shape and size.
3. Make a new sill to exactly match the old sill in shape and size. Match the existing slope of the typical sill, or make it at least a 1 in 10 slope to shed water to the exterior. Shape the ends of the sill to meet the ends of the jambs, considering how the joint will be formed and fastened with the screws.
7. Shape a drip bead on the bottom side of of the outer edge of the new sill by sawing a kerf 1/2” back from the front edge, 1/8” wide, 1/4” deep, so that water will drip off the sill quickly.
4. Prime and back-prime all surfaces of the sill except those where the epoxy adhesive will bond.
5. Pre-fit the sill in place, trimming the joints to meet precisely. Pre-drill shank holes, pilot holes and countersinks for the screws from the top of the sill, down on an angle into the jamb joint.
6. Apply epoxy adhesive in the areas on the sill and jambs where they meet. Drive in the screws to mechanically connect the ends of the sill to the jambs. Fill the counter sinks with epoxy materials. Allow time for the adhesive and filler to completely cure.
7. Trim off excess adhesive and filler with sandpaper or a sharp chisel.
8. Prime and paint the new sill. See standard for painting exterior woodwork.

Materials:
• Wood: replace in kind to match existing if suitable, a plank with vertical-grain can help prevent weather checks on the top surface of the sill
• Stainless steel screws
• Epoxy adhesive


Quality of Results

Best Work: Sill matches original sill in size and shape. It has a slope that effective drains water away from the building. Drip bead is at least 1" away from the wall surface

Inadequate Work: No slope, no drip bead, shape and size do not match typical existing sills.

johnleeke
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Re: Renew Sill (draft)

Postby johnleeke » February 13th, 2012, 3:04 pm

David:

I did quite a bit of editing on this and added a couple of steps.

Please check this out to make sure it still is a good description of your method. Post a reply here if it needs changes.
John
Standards Co-Founder
Standards Editor

http://www.HistoricHomeWorks.com

davidgibney
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Re: Renew Sill (draft)

Postby davidgibney » February 21st, 2012, 5:40 pm

HI John

Everything looks good Thanks

I did several of them this past Sunday did you get them?

Thanks

David

johnleeke
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Re: Renew Sill (draft)

Postby johnleeke » February 21st, 2012, 8:32 pm

David, yes, I see that you posted several in the Founders forum. Thanks!

John
John
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peter_carroll
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Re: Renew Sill (draft)

Postby peter_carroll » February 24th, 2012, 10:54 am

David & John,

A couple of questions/ideas in reference to the woodworking; new sill.

Can we describe the properties of the wood to be used for a new sill vs the species? Such as, "straight grain, clear of knots/defects, hardwood or disease resistant species of soft wood milled to a similar dimension of the original sill" Maybe then give some suggestions of species to use......& not use for this purpose. (white oak..maybe, red oak..no). Laminating thinner boards to thickness? don't know.....do it allot in boatbuilding.

This might allow the craftsman flexibility to shop what is available locally. For instance, reclaimed, re-sawn white pine beams might be a good choice if available.

There is a Professor of Forrest Biology, Dr. Richard Jagels, at the University of Maine who publishes article in WoodenBoat Magazine on Wood Technology. I follow him routinely as he describes characteristics of wood species suitable for applications in boat building....structural, sheathing, trim, ect. I feel windows & wooden boat share a similar environment so I learn allot. I'd be willing to follow up with him if it is felt defining characteristics of wood to use has merit.

Next..
What is an acceptable practice for attaching a sill when the tenons at the base of the jamb(s) are rotted? Is it acceptable to wedge the new sill to the sub-sill, then secure new sill to the sub-sill with deck screws through pre-drilled, recessed pilot holes. Is it acceptable to treat the tenon or, what is left of it, on the jamb with wood hardener the epoxy, then proceed as you described. Feel something is needed here to address what is frequently found when replacing a sill.

Appreciate the opportunity to be involved. (finally got off my behind on this)

johnleeke
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Re: Renew Sill (draft)

Postby johnleeke » February 24th, 2012, 4:23 pm

Peter writes:
Can we describe the properties of the wood to be used for a new sill vs the species? Such as, "straight grain, clear of knots/defects, hardwood or disease resistant species of soft wood milled to a similar dimension of the original sill" Maybe then give some suggestions of species to use......& not use for this purpose. (white oak..maybe, red oak..no). Laminating thinner boards to thickness? don't know.....do it allot in boatbuilding.


Yes, we definitely do need to describe the properties of wood suitable for window work. We have a rough start on that for the Wood as a Material topic. You can see that topic by clicking on this link:

viewtopic.php?p=362#p362

I've added your comments to that message. Please post further comments on the topic of wood over there. Feel free to write up a whole draft of the topic over there.

I feel something is needed here to address what is frequently found when replacing a sill.


So do I.

What is an acceptable practice for attaching a sill when the tenon at the base of the jamb(s) are rotted? Is it acceptable to wedge the new sill to the sub-sill, then secure new sill to the sub-sill with deck screws through pre-drilled, recessed pilot holes. Is it acceptable to treat the tenon or, what is left of it, on the jamb with wood hardener the epoxy, then proceed as you described.


We can define the acceptable practice right here:

viewtopic.php?p=593#p593


Appreciate the opportunity to be involved. (finally got off my behind on this)


Peter, thanks for coming by, we need all the help we can get.
John
Standards Co-Founder
Standards Editor

http://www.HistoricHomeWorks.com

Martin Muller
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Re: Renew Sill (draft)

Postby Martin Muller » March 1st, 2012, 1:56 am

Instead of:

Materials:
• Wood: Black Walnut, Mahogany, or Spanish Cedar

Can the standard simply state to use the same wood species as original?
I'm not talking old growth versus second growth (interesting but besides the point here).
Here in the Pacific Northwest most older windows were built using clear (vertical grain) fir (majority) or cedar.
To have a standard that specifies black walnut, mahogany, or Spanish cedar for a replacement reduces its applicability.

jajoma
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Re: Renew Sill (draft)

Postby jajoma » March 1st, 2012, 2:17 pm

Specifying the wood properties is a sound approach, as it avoids the possibility of using young growth wood of the same species used to originally fabricate the window, that does not have the same density, rot resistance, etc. as the original. Of course there is the consideration of authenticity and the idea of replacing like with like.

I think including a list of acceptable wood species for each component of the window is a good idea, as it guides the reader/user on wood selection. A caveat to add is to select the same species of wood as the original if that wood is still available and as durable as the original original. For example in Quebec, Canada, one can find reference to use of particular woods ,such as pine, for window fabrication in the archived 18th century construction contracts. The wood use is of course dependent on local availability tied to time and space, where an 18th century sash maker would use local pine, an early 20th century sash maker may use imported woods such as mahogany. Should the background/subtext be provided in the standard?

In one of the earlier posts I saw mention of using white oak and red oak. Red oak is as durable, with the oak I've seen specified and/or found in situ for window and door sills being white oak. I'm working on an early 20th century building right now, where the window frames/sills are white oak, and are still solid despite not being maintained.

Cheers,

James Maddigan

johnleeke
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Re: Renew Sill (draft)

Postby johnleeke » March 1st, 2012, 5:05 pm

James, welcome to the Window Standards project.

I agree that we have to cover the issue of regional choices of wood species and quality for the standards.
John
Standards Co-Founder
Standards Editor

http://www.HistoricHomeWorks.com

Bob Yapp
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Re: Renew Sill, contemporary (draft)

Postby Bob Yapp » August 22nd, 2012, 6:11 pm

I tend to believe in using "In Kind" as a definition for replacing a wooden part or parts. To me this means the same species as well as similar age when first cut. I agree that we don't want to promote demolition for the sake of having old growth wood. However, I have two garages filled with old growth window sashes I have collected from window replacement contractors. The small amount of old growth wood I use to rehab historic structures and windows is only a recycling endeavor, not promoting demolition. I rarely have to replace window stiles and rails but when I do, it is important for similar contraction and expansion that I use "In Kind" wood to do so. I am opposed to using these exotic hardwoods from central and South America as most of this is causing the ruination of our rain forests as well as paint retention. Hardwoods do not, as a rule, hold paint well.

According to United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, General Technical Report
FPL–GTR–190. Harwoods like walnut, oak etc are unsuitable for paint finishes. They list all cedars, white pines and true fir as the best woods to hold paint finishes for extended periods of time. Most sashes were made from eastern or western white pine or fir. So, for durability and sustainability an in kind repair of an eastern white pine sash I would use either species of white pine of similar age (number of rings per inch).


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