2009 Honorable Mention

Replacement Windows

I have a small, four unit apartment building in the Glenview District of Oakland that was built in 1922.  For the most part, the building is original and has survived without any weird additions or funky remodels.  Unfortunately, that’s also the downfall of the building; everything is very old.

As with many old buildings of this era, the windows are often painted shut, and more often than not, are rotten in areas that are constantly exposed to the weather.  Replacement windows are very expensive to have made, especially in the traditional clear/vertical grain Douglas Fir used in most older Bay Area homes.

From the ReUse stock, I selected pieces of lumber that were straight and flat, mostly old growth that has beautiful grain patterns.  I first created a “cut sheet” for the pieces that I would need and then everything was planed to thickness.  To ensure a good fit, all of the routing was done in batches on my bench-top router table.  Because I wanted to use the old glass, the final layout had to account for both the glass size and the existing window opening.  To reproduce the tail piece on the top sashes, I built a small jig and cut them with a straight bit.  I don’t have the tooling to create the mortise and tenon joints, so the frames were clamped and I used dowels to join the rails and stiles.  All of the original sash pulleys and weights were cleaned up and reused with new sash cords.  Everything was finished in a traditional dark garnet shellac. 

Note: The wainscoting is salvaged sheathing from a 1906 San Francisco (Marina District) building that I worked on several years ago.  I’ve also reused as much of the original trim as possible, however, I also used the salvage lumber to replace some of the rotten framing and to create new parting beads, stops and sills as necessary.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to Mukesh for faithfully reproducing the (rounded) corner pieces to match the casing and Sabina for working her magic with the original leaded glass panels.

Mukesh Prasad
American Woodturning
77 14th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Sabina Frank
Sabina Frank Stained Glass Studio (Berkeley)

John Morrow
Oakland, CA

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