About a month ago, I installed the upper sash in the living room window. It only took a few days to start and finish it–another one of those “why didn’t I just do this in the first place?” moments. I have no official plans to start another one anytime soon.
Well, it’s done. And I literally and figuratively wipe my hands of it! From the outset, this seemed like it would be a walk-in-the-park, but it turned out to be a slog-in-the-bog. Some of the glass was too thick for the lead, while others were a mere 1/8″ thick. I think the dark textured glass around the amber oval interior was not properly annealed. It cracks just looking at it–almost literally. Some of it actually cracked after having lain on the workbench for a couple weeks. In retrospect, I should have replaced it all, but I didn’t trying to be a purist. Now some of it has cracked after being leaded. It’s an old window so I’ll just chalk it up to patina. The worst of it is that each time I walk past it, I will see those cracks and grind my teeth…
Because this was a rebuild, I actually started in the middle (sort of) and worked my way out. I left the outer border for last because I knew it would need to be cut down since the original was crammed into the sash and I was going to add a zinc frame. It made finishing a bit more challenging than normal, but it worked out in the end.
Don’t look too closely, or one might notice the areas where I double-leaded it. Grrrrrr……
The stained glass window in the parlor, although not original to the house, was here when we moved in. It’s not been the in the happiest of moods but I’ve grown more concerned about its deteriorated condition–mostly that the bevels might be damaged in some way and they would be expensive to replace. Several of the pieces were cracked and I didn’t want any more to suffer the same fate. Last weekend the weather was really nice so I took out the window and tore it apart.
Tiffany it is not, but it’s still old. The lead was what I would call “rotten”. I could grab it with a pliers and it would just pull away from the heart of the came and expose the glass and cement. In fact, I was able to remove all of the glass with the exception of the bevels without cutting through any of the lead.
The window itself was originally larger than the frame, so they cut nearly all of the lead from around the perimeter to fit. I think the movement of the frame over the years was simply to much for the window to stand, coupled with how deteriorated the lead and cement had become.
I have completed cleaning up all of the pieces, repairing ten, and replacing nine others. The glass was cut and grozed in its entirety leaving jagged edges. I’ll hit a handful of the worst with the grinder, but I think I’ll try and leave it be in deference to the person that originally built it.
Leading it all together again should start soon.
I’m behind AGAIN… This was installed January 31st. Apparently, it takes me a full month to post updates these days. The only real downside to this panel is that when the light refracts through the facets and bevels, it reflects off my glasses since my chair is in front of the window. Oops… That was not considered as part of the testing plan.
For better or for worse, the bottom panel is now done. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The center “medallion” above the bevels was done in copper foil. It didn’t seem physically possible to do otherwise. I still can’t make the solder bead look decent using that method. Very frustrating…
Time to start on the upper panel. What’s the chance that it will be 2017 when I finish the next?
No more talk of tile for a bit…
Time to catch up on a few items. I think I am done, for the most part, with staining. I’ve moved on to installing the trim in the living room. It’s slow going since I opted to avoid the nail gun to hang the trim. Because it’s all quartered oak, I was afraid it would split if I drove a nail into it, so I reverted to the old fashioned method–pre-drilling, nailing, and setting by hand. To top it off, I’m obsessive-compulsive about the joints, so I spend far too long (perhaps) trying to make it “just right”.
There are “crowns” for the door and window trim along with some egg-and-dart moulding, but I haven’t quite gotten to that yet.
All but three pieces of trim in this room will be newly made.
The family and I went for a tour of the Joslyn Castle this afternoon. Built in the early 1900’s, it survived a tornado in 1913 while much of the estate and most of the neighborhood did not. After Mrs. Joslyn passed away in the 1940’s, it was used by Omaha Public Schools for about 30 years before the state of Nebraska purchased it. It now does events and tours. It’s definitely worth the $10 admission. I can’t believe it has taken me this many decades to take the time to see it.
I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on the ceiling in the living room (along with other assorted smaller tasks). I’m OCD about a flat ceiling, so I probably spend more time than necessary getting it as close to flat as possible.
I also stripped the paint off the lower sash of the living room cottage window and temporarily installed the new stained glass window. It’s been in the basement for a year now and I’m terrified I’m going to damage it so it went in the frame to get it out of the way. The photos don’t quite do it justice, but it looks nice. Almost to the point now where the rockers can come in.