Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dutchman Heaven, Part 2

After the documentation period was over I started by cutting out the damaged sections.  Even though these sash are not from the initial building period of the lighthouse I used the best conservation measures for the repairs that I could.  Therefore I removed only what was damaged and saved as much original fabric as possible. 

South top sash, utility hole removed.

After the damaged areas were removed I faced an immediate problem- finding suitable material for the repairs.  As I mentioned earlier these sash are constructed from Western Red Cedar.  The cedar being harvested and milled today, although of good quality lacks some of the more desirable characteristics of old growth cedar.  Finding the good stuff became a real problem.  All my usual sources came up empty and stated that they rarely see old growth cedar in larger dimensions, occasionally there was some siding but that wasn't thick enough.  After some head scratching I pawed through a bunch of old, orphaned moldings that I had taken pity on many years ago.  I found two pieces that were just the right size.

Molding #1-19th c. extra large molding from base of a column.

Molding #2-Early 20th c. porch railing piece.  Top busted but the body was still good.

Layout of repair piece for the South top sash.

Ready for the fit.

Removal of North top sash damage to the stile.

Note the ferric degradation (black streaks along the grain of the wood) from a nail used as a glazing point.
More about ferric degradation and its remediation later.

Corresponding patch for the stile.

Removal of the North top sash damage to the arching top rail.

The extent of damage to the North top sash was extreme.  Two holes were drilled through the main joint that holds the stile and top rail together.  One peg was completely gone and the other had been cut off.  The only thing that kept this sash from falling apart in place was the fact that it had been caulked and painted shut ages ago.  So with a pretty much useless joint the repairs had to be solid and tight.  I chose to use a hammer-head key for the fix to the arching top rail.  I wanted to be sure that the patch didn't pull away over time.

Hammer-head key for the arch top repair.


aj said...

could probably "harvest" some old growth from cedar fence posts most would be dimensionally thick enough, length would be the issue they usually rot off at ground level.

Oculus said...

Hey AJ,
I didn't realize you followed my blog. It is about six months behind were I really am.
Have you found good quality in cedar fence posts? I'm now looking at salvage shops for large moldings and balusters for projects down the road. I was lucky I had those two pieces in my "pity pile".
Hope you and your family had a good new year.

aj said...

yeah, they straight grained and with very few knots. most of the time they're about 6" in dia. but sometimes larger. I know most of the post are alt least 75 years oldish. sorta stumbled upon your blog a rainey day a few years ago. its a good read. i envy the work that you get to do. it all sounds very interesting as well as saving something that might have been replaced with something incorrect.