Taking out sashes

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

By far the most serious possibility, however, is that eventually a sash cord will break and need replacing. When this happens you should replace all four, because if one goes the rest are sure to be near breaking-point. In any case the hardest part of the job is dismantling everything; fitting four new cords is very little more trouble than fitting one.

Begin by levering off the staff bead. Swing the lower sash inwards, tie a length of string to each sash cord just above the sash, and cut each cord below the knot, letting the weights down gradually to the bottom of their compartments. With the string now attached to the cord, there’s no danger of being unable to retrieve the weights from their pockets. Lift out the lower sash, remove the parting bead, pull down the upper sash and repeat the process. Lift that out too, and remove the old cord and fixing nails from each sash.

Now that you’ve got the sashes out, you can take the opportunity to do major surgery on them if necessary. Where a corner joint is rickety, dowels make a neater and more professional repair than a metal plate. You’ll need to cramp the sash firmly in place on a workbench first, both to hold it steady and to keep the joint tight while you drill the dowel holes. The joint will almost certainly be a mortise and tendon, so the best place to run strengthening dowels is sideways through the tendon, or perhaps lengthwise on either side of it.

If one of the sash members is cracked or rotten, it may be possible to remove the bad piece by sawing lengthwise, and to replace it with new timber — cut slightly too large, glued, nailed and finally planed off flush. For both these jobs, use urea-formaldehyde adhesive, which resists damp.

Sometimes a sash sticks in its channel because it has warped or swollen. In this case, removing a few shavings from the offending part with a plane may be the answer.

Use a blowlamp or chemical paint stripper to remove layers of old paint if it’s in bad condition. and then coat the timber with wood primer. Alternatively just sand the old paint- work down and spot-prime any bare patches. Then apply the rest of your paint system in the usual way.

Faults in the door frame

Filed Under: Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Faults can also develop in the door frame — for example, part of it may work loose from the wall. In this case you’ll have to find the heads of the nails holding it in place — they are usually visible under the paint — and drive them deeper into their timber plugs with a hammer and punch.

However, if the plugs have split or shrunk this remedy will not work. So for a more secure repair drill through the timber and into the masonry behind with a masonry bit. Twist a plastic wall plug onto the end of a screw and insert the plug into the hole in the frame. Tap the screw head lightly with a hammer until the plug is fully home, then tighten up the screw. Fit as many screws as necessary to secure the frame.

Settlement of the building or loose joints may force the frame out the square, and then the door will not fit properly. The only answer is to reshape the door to fit — removing excess timber, adding a fillet here and there and shaping these until the door matches the opening as it should.

An easy way to do this is to cut the top of the door to match the angle of the doorframe, add an extra piece to the bottom and then reran the door. First transfer the angle of the frame to the top of the door using a small block of wood and a pencil, and then cut along this line.

It’s worth taking off a reasonable amount to make sawing easier —12mm (1/2in) would be about right. Measure the gap left at the top of the door and add a batten of wood of this thickness to the bottom. Finally, move up the hinges by the same amount so the door fits correctly, and adjust the latch striker plate too, cutting a new mortise if necessary.

Home Repair Tips – Door Hardware

Filed Under: DIY Outdoor, Do it yourself, Hardware, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Door problems are often caused by the door and frame. But hardware can also be the cause of doors sticking. Hardware refers to the metal parts on a door:

• Hinges

• Faceplates and latches

• Strike plates

In time, hinges loosen up and let the door sag so it no longer fits the frame. This happens when the screws pull loose. The cure is to remove the loose screw or screws. Fill the hole with wood putty or with a wooden matchstick or soft wood plug covered with white glue. Without drilling a hole, replace the screw in the plugged hole.

It is much easier to rehang a hinge than to rebuild a door frame. Often a cardboard shim behind one of the hinges will shift the door enough to prevent binding. Sometimes removing one hinge and chiseling the mortise a little deeper will correct both top and side clearances.

By plugging a loose screw hole with wood putty or soft wood like a matchstick, you can reset the screw. Sometimes you will need a longer screw as well.

Cut a piece of cardboard to place behind the side of the hinge that looks strongest. If two or more shims are needed, place them behind both sides of the hinge. If a door is sticking at the top, shim the top edge. If it is binding at the bottom, shim the bottom hinge.

To work on the hinges, remove the bottom pivot pin first. If you remove the top pin first, the weight of the door may tear the bottom hinge loose.

Squeaking doors are really squeaking hinges. Oil is really only a temporary solution. To stop the squeak, remove the hinge pivot pin. Sandpaper off any rust. Then coat the pin with paraffin, graphite lubricant, or silicon spray and replace it. Never use oil; it collects dust and becomes sticky.

Latches and faceplates also cause problems. If the screws holding them to the door are loose, the door won’t close properly. Reset the screws after plugging the original holes with wooden matchsticks or soft wood just as you did the hinge screws.

Strike plates on the door frame can also be a problem. When a door frame sags, the latch in the door may travel across the strike plate without meeting the hole in the strike plate. Remove the strike plate and place it in a vise. With a file enlarge the hole enough to accommodate the latch. If there is a bolt hole, enlarge it also. Before you replace the strike plate, chisel out the wood behind the enlarged hole.

Strike plates should not be moved. It is better to enlarge the hole so the latch will meet.

The hinge pin holds the two parts of the hinge together and lets the door swing. To remove the pin, tap it with a hammer and screwdriver. Always remove the bottom pin first.

Basic Woodworking Terms

Filed Under: Crafts, Do it yourself, Hardware    by: ITC

Before you can start a woodworking project, you need to be able to talk the talk. That means you need to understand the basic terms of woodworking. If you do not know a mortise from a tenon, then you will be lost on most projects. The following definitions should get you familiar with the types of joints and other terms used in the woodworking art and allow you to speak to others in a common language.

First, let’s start with some basic woodworking definitions. They are in alphabetical order for convenience in searching through them at a later date.

Bevel – A bevel is an angled cut through a piece of wood. Instead of having a square corner, a beveled cut softens the appearance for a more decorative look to elements in a piece of furniture. Bevels are measured and marked using a bevel gauge.

Butt joint – A butt joint is an easy but somewhat weak technique for joining two boards together usually at a right (90 degree) angle. These joints are made simply by gluing and pressing the two flat surfaces together. For increased strength, the joint is usually held together with screws and glue.

Chamfer – A chamfer is the removal of the sharp corner of a section of wood which produces a smooth, beveled edge. This is done to keep the edges from being dangerous.

Dovetail joint – A high quality technique for joining two boards using alternating slots (or tails) and protrusions (or pins). The ends of the joining pieces resemble the v-shaped outline of a bird’s tail. These pieces are snugly fitted together thus increasing the gluing area of the joint. A well made dovetail produces a joint that, even without glue, can be difficult to separate. This is regarded in woodworking as one of the strongest and most reliable forms of wood joinery.

Grain – Grain is the appearance of the annual growth rings of a tree. It is the result of the way the tree was cut.

Miter – The woodworking joint created when two boards are cut at an angle to one another. The most common miter joint is the 45-degree miter such as the cuts used to build square or rectangular picture frames. A miter gauge may be used to assist in making miter cuts at the table saw. A miter jig is extremely useful for most woodworking projects.

Mortise and tenon joint — A joint where the male end, or tenon, of one board fits into the matching opening, or mortise, of another board. This is a common, reliable and fairly strong form of wood joint.

Rabbet – This is a rectangular, stepped recess cut along the edge of a board. Typically a rabbet is cut along the back or inner edges of the four wooden pieces making up a square or rectangular object.

Spline – A thin piece of wood that fits in the mating grooves cut into two pieces of wood usually at right angles to each other. Typically the corners of quality picture frames are reinforced with decorative spline joints.