Window sills - any DIY advice? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Default Window sills - any DIY advice?

It's spring and those little (and not so little) outside projects are rearing their heads again. I've been procrastinating this one for 2-3 years, but can't any longer. Our home has two kinda South-West facing replacement windows, probably about 12 years old. I chose to keep wood framed windows in line with the rest of the 45 year old house. Of all of the windows, all the same brand, but bought at different times (cost containment) these two have rotted sills. I'll have to pull the frames to make my repairs but have never made my own sills. Any advice? Best wood? Treated? Oak/Maple or....? Special tools? Interestingly, we still have a couple of the original windows in the dining room and they are as solid as the day they were installed by the builder even though they were never repainted until we moved in 18 years ago.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 09:45 AM
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Hey, Dave; depending on how badly rotted they are, you might consider simply using one of the epoxy wood restoration kits to simply repair them.
I've used it on 80 year old sills that were pretty much dust held together by splinters.
Worked like a hot damn!
In my case I just buy the specially formulated epoxy rather than buying the actual kits, but the process is the same; it penetrates deeply into the wood fibre and converts it into a rock-hard like 'plastic' substance. Needless to say, it kills the rot spores.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Hey, Dave; depending on how badly rotted they are, you might consider simply using one of the epoxy wood restoration kits to simply repair them.
I've used it on 80 year old sills that were pretty much dust held together by splinters.
Worked like a hot damn!
In my case I just buy the specially formulated epoxy rather than buying the actual kits, but the process is the same; it penetrates deeply into the wood fibre and converts it into a rock-hard like 'plastic' substance. Needless to say, it kills the rot spores.
S-1 Sealer - System Three Resins, Inc.
(scroll down at the next one...)
Industrial Formulators
How to Repair Rotted Trim with Epoxy | This Old House
Dan - thanks for the tips. The S-3 Co. now owns the second company you referenced according to their website - but no distributors within 100 driving miles, the closest being Middlebury, VT or Springfield, CT, both a lot more then the crow flies 85 miles the S-3 website suggests.

The one 'hint' that came out of those website was boating repair suppliers and we do have some locally. It still might be about as easy to replace the sills, but will spend some time with the epoxy method first as pulling the entire window and interior trim just isn't a fun way to spend a spring day or two

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 12:22 PM
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Dave
Hey post picture replaceing a window sill most time not really a big problem but depends on how replacement windows were installed
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Dave
Hey post picture replaceing a window sill most time not really a big problem but depends on how replacement windows were installed
Hi John - these windows should not be a major problem to remove as they are screwed in place from the outside by 4 or 6, high thread 3" drywall type screws. The worst part is inside as the trim will need to be removed, hopefully without splitting. The sill itself was stapled to the frames - I needed to disassemble and repair a frame when new - which can be a bear as well.

I go back to my original question(s) - mostly do I need any special tools that my fairly well equipped shop might not have and what's the best wood for replacement. Yeah, I can probably blunder my way through but just don't need to make a summer long project out of 2-3 windows if I can get some general direction from "those who know"

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 03:21 PM
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With out seeing the exact sill hard to tell what needs to be done, you can go to lumber yard and buy prefabricated sills wood or vinynl usually you are replacing only part of sill without removing window, but if you have a shop full of tools you can do this .

If you have all parts you should be able do in about hour. Google utube plenty of videos on window sill replacement. If it was me I would go with vinyl south west of house gets the most weather

Ps oscillating saw is a great help if you have one

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-29-2013, 06:15 PM
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Dave; re wood type. Red Cedar, Redwood, Yellow Cedar, and I think you guys use Cypress down there(?); not really available up here so no help with that species.
In my case, with the renos I 've done over the last decade on my own place, I've simply machined PT Hem. Fir to the profile I wanted, painted it liberally with Zinc Naphthanate, oil primer and alkyd exterior solid stain.
Maintenance is a p.i.t.a. but in our wet climate (Pacific Northwest) it's absolutely mandatory.
If you decide to try the epoxy route, what you're looking for is a formulation that has the viscosity of a very light oil...it has to soak deeply into the wood fibres. Wire brush the wood until there's only relatively solid fibre left. all the powdery cr*p should be gone. Use a compressor or shop vac to leave it clean before applying the epoxy. You're not trying to fill the voids completely, only saturate the wood on the entire sill. Once it's cured you can fill and level the surfaces with auto body fibreglass filler. Just make sure the epoxy is polyester resin friendly; some aren't. The boat shop guys will know.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 05:34 AM Thread Starter
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Dan & John - thanks for the direction pointing. Now all I have to do is wait for some decent ( warmer ) weather and decide how I want to go about fixing that mess. Dan, as far as cypress or redwood, in Upstate NY, probably about as common as gold filled chicken teeth as it is in your part of Canada though we do have cedar and good solid fir

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 11:10 AM
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Dave as Dan suggested try the rot repair first. Minwax sells a product and you can get it at Home Depot or Lowe's. It costs about $5 dollars a can. Once the wood is stable fill in any rotted area with body filler. As far as the tools a table saw should get the job done, all you really need is a bevel on the outside so that that the rain doesn't sit on it. Cedar would be a good choice and you can get it upstate. What you don't want to use is pressure treated wood.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 12:15 PM
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Band aids don't work the norm on wood rot, wood rot is more than skin deep the norm just replace the part with some good wood,,,,.....

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