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Bear of Small Brain wants to make Mullioned Casement Windows for Very Old House

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  1. #1
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    Default Bear of Small Brain wants to make Mullioned Casement Windows for Very Old House

    Hello there people .. I am out of my depth here, not being any sort of joiner and just a pretty ordinary sort of home carpenter. And windows and hinges and doors .. they really raise my FUD quotient (fear, uncertainty, doubt) and make me feel like a complete idiot.

    I want to make a mullioned casement window (actually 3, but they are all somewhat similar) to fit in a hole from which I have removed a sash window. This is a very old house (c 1880), the walls are very thick (about 400mm), and there are thick hardwood framing timbers (about 120mm deep) which I have exposed and oiled (they look great) inset about 100mm from the outside wall. The window is actually on to an enclosed verandah (but with a great view), so weather is not much of a problem.

    I did consider putting the casement on the outside of the frame, but I don't think it will look good. Also, I want to do it more or less the traditional way (because there are others that I can more or less copy from in the house, and I am a bear of small brain when it comes to hinges) .. so, inset into the frame, 20mm "cover" strips (ie to close against) all around. And using a vertical "drop down" old style casement stay.

    The frame is vertical enough that I can mount the hinges on it directly (btw I am using non-mortice hinges, OK?), and I do not want to introduce extra material into it (reducing the glass area and hiding the original wood) that would happen if I bought a ready framed solution or built my own casement-in-a-box and slotted it in.

    Now, the hole (frame) is about 700 wide by 1100 high. This seems to me not wide enough for two casements even if I could avoid putting in a central post by using two overlapping casements (with some sort of rebate approach, or maybe a simple cover over the join). I did consider one fixed glass panel, but again I would have to put an extra post in there, obstructing the view.

    So, I thought a single casement. But I think 700mm wide is going to look too wide and out of character with the house. So, maybe mullions.


    Now I get into difficulties with material and design, and how it is going to look.

    I have on hand some 85mm x 20mm Meranti which I can rip and it comes up looking beautiful once stained (dark) and oiled. I have had it for some time, and I am confident enough that it won't warp. I am using it for skirting and architraves too (don't laugh, please).

    My idea was to build the casement frame as follows.

    "Laminate" the Meranti so it is 40mm thick (I am not actually going to laminate, just glue and overlap and nail as I go along).

    By ripping one piece to be 10mm less wide than the other, I get myself a 10m by 20mm "shelf" on which to place the glass (which I will tack and putty into place, or maybe bead).

    That saves me routing (I have had a router for years but only used it once) but I am concerned that the 20mm depth of this shelf is too deep, and not how it is usually done .. ie the glass is usually placed pretty close to the front of the window.

    So, let's say the base and top of the window frame is 60x40 and the sides are 40x40. Glass inset by 20mm. Pretty chunky, but maybe I can get away with it (stained dark, in a deep hole in a thick wall).

    Now, what about the mullions? Here I am really stuck. I was thinking one vertical about two thirds of the way across, and two in the smaller pane thus defined, about a third from the top and bottom respectively.

    Assume I make them out of the same 40mm thick material as the frame. If I need 5mm for the ledge for the glass on each side, and a piece say 10mm in the middle (the whole thing would be 20mm wide) then I would have to rip and glue that 10mm by 20mm piece, gluing it on the 10mm edge. That does not sound like a lot of fun. Alternatively I suppose I could prelaminate the 20mm wide piece then rout 5mm ledges each side .. again, this does not sound like fun.

    I am concerned that these 20mm (x 40mm thick) mullions will look really fat. A certain amount of chunkiness I can get away with, given the age and style of the house, but ..

    Looking at the mullions on the other mullioned windows, they have been routed or chamfered in such a way that they taper towards you (on the inside). They have probably been done in "cedar" but are in bad nick, I don't think they are original (because they are on the exterior of the filled in verandah), I don't know if they would look any good if I could get such stuff (can I?) new .. maybe rather too renovated? I don't mind a squarish "Canberra" sort of look, a bit 1930's .. but, hey, is this going to look just too gross.


    You are probably thinking .. this guy is an idiot, he should have stuck with the sash window and cleaned it up. Yeah, well you are spot on with the idiot bit (I should never never never have bought an old house after swearing blind to never ever ever do it again) but there are certain other influences at work, and those other influences like old houses and don't like sash windows or Stegbars and all I can say is HELP.

    PLEASE.

  2. #2
    phd in woodwasting rowie's Avatar
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    Default

    When you say mullions, do you mean glazing bar, as for the rest of it ..................... I'll sleep on it.
    everything is something, for a reason:confused:

  3. #3
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    Default

    I don't really know what a glazing bar is .. looking around it seems like it is what divides the whole window into separate lites. I thought that is what a mullion was.

    But if I look at http://www.stegbar.com.au/products/w.../glazing_bars/
    it sort of suggests that the glazing bars are stuck on to a single sheet of glass.

    Anyway, what I mean is the interior bits of wood on which the separate glass panes are mounted. In my case, I would have 4 separate pieces of glass in the one window.

    Thanks for your feedback

  4. #4
    phd in woodwasting rowie's Avatar
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    Mutley,HEHEHEHEHEHE,sorry I've been hibernating
    Everything you suggested sounds fine, but go 60x40 for the top rail and stiles, and keep the top rail at 85x40.As for your mullions/glazing bars, go 35x40 with 10mm "rebate"for the the glass.
    everything is something, for a reason:confused:

  5. #5
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    ok, thanks for the advice. When I get them done, I will post a pic here if I can .. I seem to remember an area where you can do that.

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