O’Kane Notebook X: Guest Writer Chappy Cox

A Window Apart

A Window Apart, photo by Brian Cox

Brian Cox is managing the removal and inventory of the O’Kane windows, and he sends us the following report:

As the O’Kane house continues to be examined, documented, and carefully disassembled, the windows in the ell have begun to be removed.  They were previously photographed, measured, and assigned an alpha-numeric designation consistent with other elements.

Window Disassembly sheet

Window Disassembly sheet

There are thirteen windows in the one-story ell.  Of these, ten are nine-over-six, double-hung sash.  The rails and stiles are of a mortise-and-tenon joinery construction, with these joints being secured with pegs.  The sash has and plain, or flush, meeting rail and the lower, moveable/operable sash has a lock on the stile.  The muntin joinery varies, sometimes the vertical elements run long, from rail to rail, other times the horizontal muntins run long, from stile to stile.  Each variation has been noted in a window disassembly sheet (above).

Wrought Nails in Jamb

Wrought Nails in Jamb, photo by Brian Cox

The jambs of the windows are held together using half-lap joinery in conjunction with wrought nails.  One detail worth noting is the construction of the jambs and sill.

Jamb and Sill Joinery, photo by Brian Cox

Jamb and Sill Joinery, photo by Brian Cox

The sill and jamb create a “rabbet/cog”, where the jamb has a portion of the wood removed, allowing the sheathing to be captured by the jamb and sill.  The sills measure 2”x3” at the long point.  This supports a casing made of flat stock with an applied backband detail.  This detail varies slightly in that on the “B” wall it is of one piece.  On the “D” wall, the top profile of the backband is separate.  On top of this element is a wooden flashing detail, shaped like an “L” in profile, which the clapboard overlaps.

Stud markings on sheathing

Stud markings on sheathing, photo by Brian Cox

The windows were fastened through the casing only; there were no fasteners through the jambs going into the studs.  Each window had approximately one dozen wrought nails holding it in place.  The windows were removed by carefully using a pry bar to loosen the casing nails, tilting the entire window frame out of the rough opening and then lifting the frame off of the sheathing.  The sheathing has a weather joint and the joints have less than a ¼” gap between adjoining sheathing boards; in many cases, the gap is much smaller.  The sheathing has an etched marking where the vertical casing elements exist and a series of “x” marks are visible, noting the locations of the studs.

More on sheathing in an upcoming post…


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