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Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:30 am

hey howlingotter. i love that moniker, what is it ? is it in the "name" thread in the hangout?

expert advice is always loved here, and a new take on an old thread is welcome. danno won't mind.........

i am confused about the aspect of cedar being more correct historically. while i get the whole stability issue, i have nothing but pine frames on both the windows and storms? not that i have extensive experience, but i busted up a lot of salvage frames for the glass to fix the originals, and *i think* they were also all pine. is this a regional blip?

never heard the "necropost" term, that is perfect! keep an eye our for wood threads, your input will be valuable here!

Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:59 am

I too enjoy the necropost term, so much so that I am going to go ahead and necropost :lol:

Anyway, my two cents on the subject is that pegged mortise and tenon joints made of cedar would surely last 100 years or more, but if the cold wind's a blowin' through your house because you couldn't afford cedar or didn't have the tools to make a perfect joint, the pine windows with butt joints would sound pretty good... to me anyway.

There are some people (I see them on HGTV) for whom time and money are not a problem, but for most of us on the board, compromises have to be made. Pine storms are surely better than vinyl replacements, no?


Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:01 am

NYAlhambra wrote:Anyway, my two cents on the subject is that pegged mortise and tenon joints made of cedar would surely last 100 years or more, but if the cold wind's a blowin' through your house because you couldn't afford cedar or didn't have the tools to make a perfect joint, the pine windows with butt joints would sound pretty good... to me anyway.


I found that cedar was actually a better buy than pine. Prices may be different now. My last order priced out around $1.50 a board foot or some such ridiculous price.

Butt joints will last a long time if good fasteners are used. I'm not convinced you have to peg a mortise and tenon on a storm window. If you don't have a table saw and a way to cut mortises, get yourself a Kreg pocket jig and just go with butt joints. I've done it both ways and the mortise and tenon is stronger but the Kreg jig sure is fast.

Our screens are all being done with the Kreg and the storms were all mortise and tenon.


Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:30 am

Sorry Jeepenstein, I haven't actually priced cedar, I just assumed it was more. I guess I know what they say when you assume something, right? :oops:

I was just trying to make the point that the best way is not the only way, and we do our best with our old houses, but there are sometimes limitations.

I am planning to mortise and tenon mine because I have the tools and the time, but I am intrigued by this Kreg jig, can you tell me more? Maybe I'll make screens in 10 years when I am finished with the storms.


Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:14 pm


Could you post some pics of what you are saying to do? Of course I have not gotten around to trying to make any storm windows (time moves swiftly by) so I am open to all suggestions and examples...


Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:00 pm

I may be off the mark in terms of ceder as the traditional material, however it is mostly what I used to see when I lived in Oklahoma. As well the pine you find now adays is much softer than the old growth your original shutters and storm windows were made from.

As jeepnstein pointed out, ceder is usually on par or only slightly more expensive as pine. I can typically get cedar from most mills for 1.25 to 2 bucks a board foot. Though I typically use ceder that I have harvested and milled myself.

As for the tools, you do not need a fancy shop full of expensive power tools (though it certainly makes it faster). A lot of the work I do is also with hand tools. A mortise and tenon can be cut by hand with a chisel and a hand saw. While it may take a bit longer than a few passes over the saw or router, it is very rewarding to craft it completely by hand in a traditional manner.

And I agree that while there is a better way, but as with everything I build I like to do it once, and do it the best I can. But yeah. when the cold windows blow I usually reach for the shrink film to go over the windows :D

As per sundine2's request. The first two pictures are of a bridle joint. Which can easily be cut on the table saw or router. The last picture is an illustration of a pinned mortise and tenon joint, thought in a M&T joint the pins are optional.

Lastly, HowlingOtter is the name of my wood studio. check me out at howlingotter.com Keep in mind it's still in the works and has been getting coded in my partners spare time between paying projects.





Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:19 pm

oh thank you for the illustrations....it really helps us peons that think they know nothing ( which I don't)....good illustrations too!

What about converting old wooden screens to storms?

Tue Aug 28, 2007 1:34 pm

Here's something that I've been toying with....

I have all, or at least most, of my original wooden screens stored down in the basement. They are heavy 80 year old fir/pine, and seem to mostly be in good working shape other than the screening being deteriorated.

Since we now have modern heat/AC in the house, I really don't think we'll ever use the screens as "screens" again, so they sit unused.

But I have considered adding wooden storms to the original windows at some point.

So I thought these screens may make the ideal "donor" frames for wooden storms with some very minor modifications, which essentially would simply entail routing a groove/seat for the glass.

Since these wooden screens already fit each window tightly and were custom made to fit, it seems like one really couldn't ask for a better candidate. Plus they'll look "right" and are already a testament to their durability by their lack of rot, etc.

What do you think? Is there any reason why one couldn't/shouldn't use these screen frames as a conversion to storms?

Again, they are very heavy, a good inch thick, and I bet 2+ inches wide on the rails. So I think they'd be beefy enough. And if done right, they could always be easily converted back to screens.



Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:39 pm

Wow, that sounds like a score!

If the frames are still sound then I see no reason why you could not modify them to accept glass and use em as storm windows.

Route a lip into em an chisel the corners is all it really should take.

Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:51 pm

i'm only just now getting around to reading all the posts on this thread...i don't offer complete workshops on a regular basis, but i would be willing to offer a one day class in my shop...my shop is in western massachusetts...if you are planning on visiting massachusetts any time soon, you may want to bring a sash or two and learn how to restore them the right way the first time around....

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