Sash Glazing & Painting (with Video)

Remove old panes & putty, cut & clean glass, putty & paint.
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:44 pm
Interests: Restoring all wood windows on my 1895 home in Columbus Ohio, including lots of in-swing casements.

Re: Sash Glazing & Painting (with Video)

Postby lohmann » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:00 pm

Question on glazing a sash with very shallow rabbets. I'm restoring a bunch of 12-light casement windows that have very narrow/shallow rabbets - when I do final tooling of the putty to leave 1/16" remaining (room for paint), my putty knife has a tendency to catch on the glazing points which messes up the putty. I end up having to sacrifice all of the "extra" space in order to not catch on the points - net result is you can see the paint lines through the inside of the window. I hate it! I'm using the tiny triangle points and a Fletcher #5 point driver with the tips ground all the way off. What to do?

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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

No Back Bedding

Postby johnleeke » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:40 pm

A little historical perspective might sometimes explain the lack of back bedding.
Since at least 1820 the trades manuals and workers journals say that it was best practice to bed the glass for long term durability and considered a cost cutting shortcut to not bed glass. Sealing the interior joint between the glass in the wood against interior condensation is sometimes cited as the reason for back bedding.
The 3 houses where I have found no bedding were all built during the Great Depression, or earlier economic recessions. From the construction details of these houses it was clear they were built on extremely limited budgets, including the windows which had no bedding. So often we extol the virtues of glass that is extremely wavy with rheams and seeds. However, during every era, there has been "best glass" valued for its optical clarity and "cheap glass" with defects and optical distortions. In the window glass industry of past centuries it was common practice to sort out glass with a lot of these defects as seconds and thirds and sell it at lower prices for the barn, factory and greenhouse market. It is not surprising that some of this cheap glass made it into low cost housing during hard times. Perhaps not bedding was another cost saving practice during hard times.
It was a known building practice throughout the 19th and 20th century to put low cost glass into a building with the initial plan to remove it and upgrade the glass later. This was common in churches and other institutional buildings. I saw this in one elaborate high-end mansion built in the 1890s. Would you bother to back bed if you knew the glazing was temporary? Sometimes the upgrade was never done.
If you are finding sash with no bedding, it would be fascinating to learn what the economic conditions were when that house was built.

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