Window restoration season again! Weight question...

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Fanner
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:18 pm
Location: WI

Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by Fanner »

After fretting all winter that I would lose my zeal about fixing up my windows I am happy to report that I am back at it and as obsessive -er I mean- devoted as ever :wink: .

For some background - I have standard single light double hung windows with their weight and pully system all still present. Not functional, but all pieces are where they should be. As I am removing each pair of sash and re-glazing I am also replacing the sash-cord that is basically all broken... Several sash have super heavy glass in them, and the weights to support it! Regrettably, a few of the panes are cracked, so when I come around to those they will have to be replaced.... now to my question: how fussy do I need to be about replacing with smilarly heavy glass? I didn't measure their thickness, but I would venture a guess that it is close to a half inch thick (3/8ths maybe??) - numbers are not my strongest point... since the weights are made for the sash with this heavy glass, am I going to have trouble if I replace with glass that is not as heavy? I'm picturing the kids un-locking the sash and hanging onto the handle for a little ride up with the window :shock:

I have been on the lookout for salvaged glass for the past 2 years - and any that I come across are too small (each of ours is approximately 31.5" x 27.5"). I have the measurments saved in my purse in the event that I come across old sash at any given alley-cruise :lol:

Thoughts? Thanks for any input - and I will be back with questions as I am going to begin helping my niece with her first window restorations on her 1920's home (proud Aunty moment :mrgreen: )
1904 Victorian :)
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jade mortimer
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Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by jade mortimer »

yes indeed, it's that time of the year again...

there is nothing wrong with replacing your broken thick glass with single thickness (1/8") glass...yes, you will need to adjust your weights though...we use a scale with a hook on the end that we use to weigh our sash...you can also use a bathroom scale--weigh yourself with and without the sash then subtract the difference...if your sash weighs 10 pounds, 6 pound weight should do it...you can still find new thick glass at a decent glass store but it may be on the pricey side...

if you were closer, i would invite you to stop by and pick up some glass....we have a lot of large wavy panes in stock...

good luck!
...jade

Fanner
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:18 pm
Location: WI

Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by Fanner »

Thanks Jade - how do I adjust the weights? They look like solid rusty *something*, so I don't see myself cutting them :?: There are smaller weights in the attic, but I hope to restore those too (they belong to the attic windows)...
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eperot
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Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by eperot »

The weights aren't really adjustable...they are solid cast and usually have a number stamped on them to indicate how many pounds each is. If you weigh your sash, divide that weight by two and that should tell you how heavy each weight should be for an ideal ballance. Hence, a 16 pound sash would need two 8 pound weights. I have a guy (junkman) near me who has a big stock of various sash weights and I've had to up the weight on some since the replacement panes I am using are sometimes heavier than the thin originals.

If you can't get it perfect, a couple pound difference won't really be an issue...if you are installing spring bronze, it will be even less of an issue since the compression of the metal against the sash will hold it in place a bit.

Have fun!
Jacob Beaty House - c.1874
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jade mortimer
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Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by jade mortimer »

yup/nope, you can't 'adjust' a cast iron weight...now, if they were lead, you'd just snip off a pound or two...

we usually add a pound or two for each side to account for friction at the pulley...weight too heavy, indeed, the kids have a new play structure...weight too light, the sash won't stay open at a desired height...

scope out your local salvage yard or window replacement center for lighter weights...

...jade

Eden
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Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by Eden »

Rusty weights, paint them w/rustoleum
Don't want to worry about dry rot and broken ropes, replace with chain.
Not often, but I have found larger panes of glass at salvage warehouses that I had cut down to fit my sashes when none my size were found.
Edee
OHW Member since 1999
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1912 Gordon-Van Tine House Plan #122
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CivilWarHome
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Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by CivilWarHome »

I've found wavy glass by watching old homes in the area. When a victorian with similar sized windows was getting the dreaded vinyl upgrades, I approached the owner instantly. We paid a little per sash, but it was worth it. Another one was falling apart and bought out by a contractor, when we saw the other scavengers (salvagers :lol: ) descending, we asked if we could get some things also. It was going to be demolished, and we found a good sized window we could get a few pieces out of. Good luck.
Brandy
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Macon, Mo

Hoosier Foursquare
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Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by Hoosier Foursquare »

As far as sash cord goes, I wouldn't wholesale replace them with chain. Depending on what type of pulley's you have, you can run into some binding/kinking issues when replacing sash cord with chain.

We will be using Samson Spot Sash Cord on all of our windows (when I get around to them!). Cotton jacket on the outside like the original with a nylon core for strength. Tried and true and has been around for over 100 years, can't go wrong with that!

Fanner
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:18 pm
Location: WI

Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by Fanner »

I have literally been cruising the alleys in hopes of finding glass large enough- I thought I hit the jack-pot when a local church held a sale last fall; $5 a sash for the windows they had replaced in their parsonage (a large 3 story built within 5 years of our home!), beautiful sash too - none of it was painted on the inside.... But I was disappointed to find that they were all about 2" too small :x I have not done my own glass cutting, but would be willing to give it a try if I could find any that was too large - so far that has not been a problem :roll:

I also watch Craigslist. I'll have to look into any local salvage places.

For cord I have been using cotton over nylon core sash cord, but I bought what they had at the local Mom-n-pop store. I was impressed that they had both 8# and 10# to choose from. I honestly just don't want to mess with using chain - and the cord I am replacing obviously did the job for a very long time... My limited skills require me to KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid! :wink: )

Thanks agian for the feedback - if I don't find salvage glass that is thick I will probably just splurge on new, thicker glass...
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jade mortimer
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Re: Window restoration season again! Weight question...

Post by jade mortimer »

we use cord on most of our projects, client's choice....we get sash cord at $9 per 100 feet...#8 solid brass chain is about $215 per 100 feet, big difference...cord is included in our basic pricing, we have an up-charge for chain...
....jade

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