I have to relate this episode some time …… I’ve wanted to change the window frames at the front of the house for a long time, well I’ve lived here 16 years now, never washed them (someone else did) and never painted them …. and god did they need it!
But these old frames were sagged and … nothing ! Single glass, gaps around the sides … Fenetre Horriblis !
So now that I had a quiet period and I’d earned some money in the first half of the year I decided it was time. I bought 40 meters of fairly nice pine, put it somewhere dry. I did a days work for an old employer, I worked there full time many years ago. Instead of asking for a wage I asked him if he’d machine my wood into frames for me on his latest supper amazing wood working machine, it’s in a ‘box’ 4m x 4m x 3m and can make near to anything you program into it.
This he did gladly, dowel holes and all, made the 4 widows for me and routed an edging profile into them which holds a one piece rubber draft excluder strip. Instead of the usual aluminium excluder strip being in the frame. So I brought home an ‘Ikea package’ of frames which I then constructed in my own workshop, and painted them 4 times.
We’ve all kept living in the house while all this is going on, so hats off to the missus and the kids for having dealt with it all so well.
Fitting the new frames meant fist propping up the beams above all 4 existing frames and fitting 4 new steel lintels. I couldn’t take all the frames out at the same time because I had nothing to close them off for the time I knew it would take.
So I cut the top parts away from each frame and worked my lintels in that way, grinding and cementing behind an orange tarpaulin between me and the rest of the house …. still watching telly, eating, fighting and screaming.
The lintels eventually cost me 50 euros for 4 pieces of 1.5 meters … he’d forgotten how much he’d originally quoted, had no time to work it out and kind of went , “O! just give us 50”.
I needed 4 pieces of 1.34 meters so I cut the remainder into 2 brackets of 8cm which I used to connect the two beams above each window to the lintels, screwing and welding as I went. It took me a good part of a week to get the lintels in, then it was fitting the frames.
I put a frame in per day fixing a box into the hole first as one would do with a PVC frame. I had designed the frames especially for this. The new frames then fitted snugly into the box frame already in place.
This was the biggest puzzle, getting the frames to ‘look right’, this old Dutch house is not much anyway and what it is has sagged and saddened over the years. Mainly in a bow in the middle, obvious really seeing that the front door is in the middle and thus is a weak point in the construction.
Through sporadic zen movements, deep thoughtful squints and my laser I managed to fit all 4, one at a time, at an angle of 89.6 degrees and quite reasonably in line with each other and the house surrounding them, not only close up but also at a distance …. it took a bit of walking around and deep thoughtful squints as I said but I’m happy they make sense.
I also fitted the glass and kitted at the end of each day. The outside sills are now fitted but the plastering above the frames still has to happen.
If you want to know more about the kinds of things I do as a carpenter whether for clients , friends or personal, please follow this link : www.kingstimmerwerk.nl