Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sinclair Inn Window Restoration

We have some windows at the Sinclair Inn Museum which need some maintenance. Since these windows were installed in the 1780s, it is probably about time that they got some attention. Let me just stop for a minute to consider this (I promise I will try not to rant). The wooden windows which need work were installed some 230 years ago. Can even the most energetic proponent of vinyl claim that any of today's vinyl windows will be in place 230 years from now? In the year 2240, all of this vinyl will have been sitting in a landfill for at least 150 years. Double glazed, inert gas, you name it, they will have broken down. Ironically, if future generations continue to maintain our wooden windows from the 1780s, they stand a good chance of still being a valuable heritage asset to this building in 2240. If anyone is wondering, we do not heat the building in the winter so we do not currently use storm windows.

Our first window will be done by Dr. Christopher Cooper, Editor-in-Chief of Edifice Old Home Magazine. Since Chris explains the process in much more elegant terms than I ever could, I am going to copy an email he sent me explaining the process at the bottom of this post. If you are interested in learning how to restore your own windows, Chris will be giving a workshop in Annapolis Royal on August 29. The first part of the workshop is dedicated to keeping your old house warmer (which is a topic near and dear to the heart of many owners of old homes). As the window restoration process moves along through the summer, I will make some additional posts.

"A single 18th century 12/8 window will be removed from its frame, the frame inspected for rot and deterioration and stabilized. A Trompe L'oeil window will be put in place (plywood painted to imitate the removed window).

The window sashes will be stabilized and repaired (any Dutchman pieces will be executed in first growth antique lumber) with restoration grade epoxies (Abatron). All stripped wood areas will be bathed in restoration grade inorganic linseed oil to restore the existing wood fibres. Original glass cleaned and reset (after the sashes are painted) with restoration grade glazing putty. Any broken or cracked pieces of glass will be replaced with fitting antique period glass.

Frame to be restored and repainted, with restoration grade alkyd primer and top coated with restoration grade exterior paint. Sashes to be painted as noted and reinstalled and finished."

All for now,

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