In this old building we need to replace two basement church windows. This church was built around eighteen seventy or some where around that time period.
The old window frames had rotted away on the bottoms, and only one pane of glass was left in good shape.
The rough framing for the windows was not in the greatest shape either, and would have to renew half of one of them, and repair the sides on the other one.
As one was used to toss wood into the basement for the furnace over time it had seen some abuse.
Matching the Old Design
To match up the design of the old windows you can use a two by six pine eight feet long, which will give you enough wood for the two windows.
A table saw can be used to cut out the pieces for the windows where the glass will fit into.
Size of Old Windows
The bottom rail of the window was three and a half by one and a half inches , and the top and side rails were two and a half inches.
After cutting out, these can be routed out for your glass to sit in or use the table saw.
In this case the two muntins were made an inch wide and cut on your table saw or router for where the glass sits.
Once all the pieces are cut out then the muntins can be mortised into the lower and top rails.
Putting Frames Together
Now that ever thing is ready to be glued together with the help of a couple of pipe clamps. The glue is recommended to dry in half an hour, but I usually leave overnight.
You can also add some three and a half inch screws to the corners, and it should last for a very long time.
Now that everything is glued a light sanding is recommended and then is time to give your windows a coat of primer paint.
I recommend one coat of primer, then two top coats that should preserve the wood for a good length of time.
Once the paint has dried then is time to buy some glass. Most hardware stores will have glass and can be cut to the exact size you wont. In the case of these windows they are fifteen by twelve inches.
Quality of Glass
When buying glass there are different qualities and thickness. Of course the better qualities are more expensive, and actually can be very expensive.
At this time I decided to use the same thickness glass that had been originally used when the church was built back in the eighteen seventy, thinking if they lasted for a hundred forty seven years then mabey it will go another hundred years.
Putty or Caulking
To put the glass in the frames you can use putty or go modern by using caulking around the glass.
I actually prefer to use the caulking as it comes in a tube and is real handy to put around the glass. Just always make sure to buy the type for windows and that it is paintable.
Stain Glass Windows
The other windows in the church are stained glass and are in fairly decent shape , except for one that is facing the road that has a small hole in one of the triangle pieces of glass.
These are set in a lead frame work so a piece is not to difficult to remove or put back. Will have to repair this one day, as it is nice to keep these old buildings in good shape.
Painting the Other Windows
After installing the basement windows I decided to scrape the other window frames and give them a primer and top coats. The scraping always seems to consume a lot of time, but after all is done they sure do look better.
I hope this has given you a few ideas on repairing old windows, and if you have any comments they are always appreciated.