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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
It's been a while and with the weather being fairly decent I want to try building a window sash before it gets too cold. What bits or bit pairs would you recommend to build a traditional window? My house was built in 1912. The bottom rail of the upper sashes has come loose in many several windows. The rail is pretty straight on some so I think I may be able to just take out the window and re-glue it in place, then reglaze and paint and be good as new. Many have warped/sag in the rail so need replacing. I figured I would fix one and copy the rail, but also try to make a full window so I can take out one that needs fixing and immediately replace with the new one. That way I can work on the removed window at my leisure rather than rushing to get it back in place, paint, glaze etc. Anyway, the rail has tenons that are visible from the bottom and side, as does the top I think. The inside part of the stiles has something like an ogee shape, but there is so much paint it's hard to say for sure. I don't care to match exactly but something close is fine. If you guys remember I did this maybe 3-4 years ago and I don't remember much about fixing the rail except that I didn't cut my stock right for the 7 degree angle and had to glue a piece of woo on after the fact (everything was good except that angle part). I believe the window is 1 3/8 thick. What bits and what brand? I want decent bits because I may be doing a few of these and not afraid to spend some money but I don't need to best in the world. Thanks a bunch!
 

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Paul
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Keith, if that ogee shape you're talking about is in the photos. I think it's a separate moulding, something like a "door-stop moulding".
 

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window bit sets

Saw your post and had to respond. Last winter I made upper and lower sashes for seven windows for our daughter's lake cabin that was built in the 1910's. I used router bit set 55-802 from infinity cutting tools on 1 1/8" stock. Bit set 55-802 is the small set used for 1 1/8" to 1 1/4" stock. Bit set 55-801 is for 1 3/8" to 1 9/16" stock. They have a video on how to use the bit sets. I am very pleased with the bit set and how the windows I made fit and matched the original windows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, will look into that. I was thinking to replicate the windows, but now I'm thinking to do whatever makes the most sense that fits my windows and makes sense. Not generating much traffic here, but any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Keith, if that ogee shape you're talking about is in the photos. I think it's a separate moulding, something like a "door-stop moulding".
Definitely not a separate moulding. There are 5 parts of this window, 2 rails, 2 stiles and one muntin. I've had it completely apart, previously, or at least the bottom rail of the top sash, and did that again on this window, which is now installed, with a mostly fixed rail. When I clamped it I forgot/did check that the clamp bottomed out on the tenon which didn't allow the rail to seat all the way in, but very close. Turns out it matches well with the upper rail of the lower sash, which is all good. I made a model lower rail, which is the most difficult part in the sash, but I think I will go about making a replacement sash in my spare time to make swapping of windows easy. Then I can fix the removed one at a leisurely pace rather then be rushed to get it in before nightfall. I'll get a pic and post the rail I made shortly. Ah, the other thing, this is a 1912 house, and to me the window looks routed. Could this still be the original windows? Just curious. May ask my local historian type people.
 

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Paul
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...Ah, the other thing, this is a 1912 house, and to me the window looks routed. Could this still be the original windows?...
My previous house was early 50s and it had widows which looked just like those but there was a separate moulding which made it easier to change panes. They even had the very same latch as yours, Keith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here is a pic of my copy of the rail. Probably not very useful except for overall dimensions. I didn't do a good job of cutting the wood out for the tenon. Also still need to drill out for the mutin, practice makes perfect! Also need to reduce the edges facing me in the pic to make way for the parting bead. Don't mind my screw sorting activity that is on-going.
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The joints look to be pretty straight forward mortise & tenon. Alternative would be to use a spline, simpler if you're doing a lot of them. Tenons cry out for a shoulder plane, while a spline is really easy to fit using your table saw and/or router. Waterproof glue, a good water resistant finish. A spline will make it really easy to cut your rails and stiles to exact lengths and thickness for a perfect fit, then you can use a hand plane to fit to the jamb.

I'm assuming you'll be cutting a rabbet to fit the glass into, and a strip tacked in to hold the glass in place? A bit set for door making that cuts a space for glass could be used, but I'd rather keep it simple and cut a rabbet because inevitably you will have to replace a pane or two.

Will your mutins float above the glass or will you use separate panes? I replaced all my windows with solid, double pane glass without mutins. Much better view that way. And the double pane is gas filled and doesn't lose heat or AC, and blocks summer heat coming in. I think it is possible to fill a home built double pane window with argon, but the seals have to be really good.

Last thing, I suggest you make a jig for the corners of the frame that are exact 90s to make sure the glued up frame is perfectly square and parallel. Coat it with wax so the squeeze out doesn't glue your frame to the jig. Corner clamps will work too, if you have them.

I grew up in an old farmhouse built before 1913. All the windows had sash weights, but had been painted often enough that most were painted shut. My dad didn't have any tools to take on a project like this, but a roomer was a carpenter and he put in a lot of windows in the extra room he added to the back of the house. They were hinged and opened inward. I can't imagine he did M&T on the dozen or so he made for that room, he was never that ambitious. Come to think of it, I think he got free room and board, that my mom swapped for converting an old garage into her first of six apartments. Learned a lot helping put them up.
 
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