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Traditional Double Hung Windows

Crafted precision, each installed window includes zinc or bronze interlocking weather stripping at perimeter and meeting rails, putty work, glazing, historic glass, sash, mortise & tenon, as well as all mechanical hardware, including sash locks, cords, and lifts.


1. Weather Stripping



We prefer to use zinc and bronze weather strip and avoid vinyl and rubber. The metals are much more durable, and they sound and look better. Generally our doors receive traditional spring bronze perimeter seal and a one piece polished bronze interlocking threshold. The appearance and feel of these metals says quality and makes one's passage through the opening dignified. The sound and feel of many currently manufactured steel doors with their magnetic rubberized seal likens more to a refrigerator than architecture. When the tolerances are correct and the hinge mount sound, a door with bronze weather strip will offer a satisfying swish and clunk, not the rub and smush of rubber gaskets. 

Our windows receive zinc metal interlocking weather strip, as shown in the first photo. Zinc never, ever rusts and maintains dull silvery sheen for decades. In the second photo, an arrow shows where where dust blocks are installed. Ours is supplied through the original manufacturer first established in the 19th century. Indeed it is their metal, in the exact profiles we use today, that is on many windows we restore. Significant training and experience is necessary to know the broad varieties of shapes and their correct installation. We're so happy to be able to get this material from the original source, it is a key to our authentic reproductions and restorations.


2. Meeting Rail



This is a correct meeting rail connection, the most abuse prone aspect to a historic wood window. We re machine every meeting rail on each sash we restore in order to obtain the exacting quality our clients have come to expect, and appreciate. Notice also the copper chain and traditional felt blocks (indicated by the arrow) at the parting bead, a few of the details built into each installation. This particular sash has been retrofitted with insulating glass.


3. Putty



This is clean, controlled putty work. We use pumice and linseed oil based Dap 33 for all traditional glazing. An application like this takes experience.


4. Glazing



We call this "squeeze out" and it's important! Our glass is bedded and bonded to the sash with a silicon sealant for a lasting seal and one that provides some structural enhancement to an old sash. We've seen enough old sash, ill maintained and wicking water inside because of dry thin putty at this spot. While it's not a strictly traditional step and takes a bit longer, it's important, and a part of all our window work.


5. Historic Glass



The subtle imperfections of glass made by American glass makers during the mid twentieth century is essential to the feel of an historic building. To effectively remove existing glass so it may be reused in a freshly restored window, we steam the sash to soften 100 year old putty. These photos are of the sash steamer at our old Capitol Hill annex, critical to a properly executed job, as a result we can save 90 to 100% of your original, historic glass in our restorations.


6. Sash, Mortise & Tenon



We don't make a lot of any one thing. We can, on the other hand, reproduce nearly any wooden element in a historic building. Even 110 years ago, a sash and door plant was a big facility. While the designs were more refined and honest, they were mass produced. Indeed it was the machines potential to easily produce that was essential to bringing Victorian Style to the middle class.

It is a bit odd that we in the 21st century must call on 18th century methods to reproduce 19th century millwork but this is because we, The Craftsmen Group, are not making anything in high volume. We've developed ways to keep our speed up even when only making two of something. Deft hand work and a lithe mind are the most important elements in the production. In these photos, Maxwell fits joints in a casement sash for the Tabard Inn.

Fabrication of sash like this is relatively easy if a hundred or more are made. To make one pair quickly and well is truly fine wood working.


7. Sash Locks



Here are our standard lock and lifts in a newly restored attic window in Mass Heights. We find old locks are often damaged and missing parts. We have the ability to restore any lock particular to your site, but have found that our traditional solid cast polished, cam activated, brass lock, shown below, makes for a smart and period-correct look. Optioned in chrome as well, they fit neatly into any decor and work solidly for generations.


8. Sash Cords





We all know the annoyance of a broken sash cord. Natural fiber ropes are the weakest link in an historic double hung window. Modern braided nylon rope will outlast old cotton rope by fifty years. It's supple and attractive and is pictured here. Most commonly, we use solid brass sash chain, both are good options and attractive for different reasons. Here the white paint inside and out and the small pulleys seemed to call for cord not chain. Fabrication of sash like this is relatively easy if a hundred or more are made. To make one pair quickly and well is truly fine wood working.


9. Sash Lifts



This is our stock sash lift. It is solid cast brass and comes with every job unless another is wanted. Brass was relatively more expensive a century ago and many basic lifts were stamped steel with brass plating and often are not worth refinishing. This is a good lift and a good value.



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© 2017 The Craftsmen Group Inc.
3901 Perry Street, Brentwood, MD 20722
Phone: 301.277.3700   Fax: 301.277.4700