Outer facings on arched window

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fernicarry
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri 22nd Jan, 2016 11:10 am
Location: Argyllshire

Outer facings on arched window

Post by fernicarry » Mon 18th Oct, 2021 12:11 pm

Another day, another disappointing discovery...

Our front upstairs windows have an arched facade to the outside but the sashes themselves are obviously rectangular with an extra glazing bar following the profile of the arch. This means that the outer facing at the top is a big board cut to follow the same profile.

This is all fairly original in the main bedroom and I've put a lot of effort into renovating them this year. You can now see the inside face of the board through the little corner top lights. Very pleased with the result, they went from being my 'worst' windows to my 'best'.

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At the weekend I turned my attention to the window in the spare room. I already knew that it had been replaced, probably by the company whose name begins with V who draught proofed all the other windows. The dimensions are all a bit off, 'English' size parting beads, narrower pulley stiles etc. It needs the usual cill and pulley stile repairs and the bottom sash is scrap, just like every other bottom sash fitted by that company. I know what to do with all that.

The great disappointment is that the outer facing at the top is made of MDF. No nice wood grain to look at through the top lights (if one could see past the paint runs) and of course its swollen up virtually jamming the top sash. It was barely even held in place just needing a bash with the heel of my hand to knock it free. So, the task now is to replace with something more durable and more attractive.

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The overall size is 1.1m x 0.5m and its 16mm thick. I would be nice to source a single piece, but that seems unlikely. I could possibly join 2 or 3 planks edge to edge with dowels or biscuits. And/or it could be made in two halves. The original ones are one piece, the MDF one is in two halves. I should be able to route out the arch with a jig, fairly certain its a circular section, or worst case use the MDF as a template. 16mm seems to be a very uncommon finished thickness but thats the size of the normal outer facings as well as some other bits like the window boards. Maybe now is the time to invest in a thicknesser...

There are a few places online that will cut to size, but the cost is pretty high for small quantities and I can't find anywhere that would do that width in one piece. Lead time is also quite long. I'd like to get it replaced before the stone guys finish pointing so I recon I have 2 or 3 weeks grace. Wondering if anyone can suggest a source for materials in a size that would minimise the effort?

Or cunning ideas for other things that could be cannibalised? I thought of using the panels from a reclaimed internal door, nice knot free timber but maybe not up to external use and only about 1/2" thick so far as I can tell.

Cubist
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu 24th May, 2018 3:53 pm
Location: Shropshire/Herefordshire Border

Re: Outer facings on arched window

Post by Cubist » Mon 18th Oct, 2021 12:34 pm

Well... if you're considering 'left field ideas' maybe a 'leaf' or top from an old table?

A reclamation yard may have something suitable or perhaps if there are any friendly furniture restorers nearby willing to trade a piece of there cannibal stock.

LadyArowana
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Re: Outer facings on arched window

Post by LadyArowana » Mon 18th Oct, 2021 3:07 pm

Cubist wrote:
Mon 18th Oct, 2021 12:34 pm
Well... if you're considering 'left field ideas' maybe a 'leaf' or top from an old table?
I was going to suggest something similar. When we emptied MIL’s house we had to get rid of a lot of old furniture, BIL took some ( wardrobe doors, table top ) to use in his barn conversion.

Cubist
Posts: 353
Joined: Thu 24th May, 2018 3:53 pm
Location: Shropshire/Herefordshire Border

Re: Outer facings on arched window

Post by Cubist » Mon 18th Oct, 2021 4:59 pm

LadyArowana wrote:
Mon 18th Oct, 2021 3:07 pm
Cubist wrote:
Mon 18th Oct, 2021 12:34 pm
Well... if you're considering 'left field ideas' maybe a 'leaf' or top from an old table?
I was going to suggest something similar. When we emptied MIL’s house we had to get rid of a lot of old furniture, BIL took some ( wardrobe doors, table top ) to use in his barn conversion.
Please forgive the lame pun but the idea, when it occurred, did go 'against the grain' somewhat as typically I prefer to bring old and forgotten pieces back to their original use/life if I can - but saying that, sometimes a little cannibalism does help to reduce the trash mountain and saves some things from their own funeral pyres.

When we moved into Fircroft, 11 years ago now, we found, amongst many other seemingly useless things, one half of one of those wooden double five bar gates used by some for wider entrance ways. Reluctant to simply throw it out it has languished in a corner of one of my sheds until quite recently. While unconsciously pondering, over those ensuing years, what I may do with I, discovered that its lonely existence resulted from the theft of its partner as a jape conducted by a couple of local farm-hands who had heard the previous owner bragging about his new gates in one of the local hostelries.

His loss my gain, for now that lonely old gate is soon to get a new life as a bench seat to be located next our pond ready for next summer.

LadyArowana
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Joined: Sat 17th Oct, 2009 1:58 pm

Re: Outer facings on arched window

Post by LadyArowana » Mon 18th Oct, 2021 8:00 pm

It’s very sad to have to get rid of perfectly serviceable furniture, but what can you do when the charity shops don’t even want it, and there’s no point spending money to rent a van to take it to auction when you’ll get less than the cost of the hire.

fernicarry
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri 22nd Jan, 2016 11:10 am
Location: Argyllshire

Re: Outer facings on arched window

Post by fernicarry » Mon 18th Oct, 2021 9:19 pm

Good suggestions. I do actually have the top off of an old dressing table in the garage. The mirrors are around somewhere too, was thinking to hang them in the hallway. And the drawers are used for storing packets of seeds in the shed. All too 'good' to get rid of. The previous owners left us lots of their furniture. They didn't bother mentioning this and I was overseas when the sale completed so when I finally took possession about 18 months later I found the garage rammed with their stuff along with a note from a charity saying thanks but no thanks.

Which reminds me, there was a metal framed Parker Knoll armchair. Apparently some were made from aluminium immediately after the war because wood was in short supply but that didn't last long because it turned out to be expensive. I found a restorer in Cumbria who had reupholstered an identical one and to get rid of it I dropped it off with him. I suspect I missed a trick there judging by how delighted he was to have it.

I'll drag out the dressing table top tomorrow and see if its solid or veneered and how thick it is.

Occurred to me that the thickness isn't as big a problem as I thought because I only need it to be 16mm for the inch or so around the curve that will be visible on the external side. If I start off with something thicker it won't bee too hard to take the edge down with the router to make it match.

Todays efforts turned into a bit of a farce. I'd cut off the bottom of the pulley stiles to make repair sections. Brought one of the sections inside to trial fit it, thats odd, its too big now, how can that be? Unless ... looks upwards, the pulley stile had detached from the front lining and dropped down a couple of inches. Which revealed an enormous birds nest sitting on top, dragging that out and chucking it away covered the room in straw and twigs. Also up there, a stack of bricks. They kind of seem to be mortared onto the stone at the front but they also seem to be resting on the panelling. I can't imagine what purpose they serve and I think I'd rather they weren't there.

Anyway, I've put it all back the way it was, sans nest. Ideally I'd like to get access into that void space from the main attic so I can insulate it and that will allow me to examine the bricks.

Friends ask me 'hows the house coming on'. Oh great, lots and lots of things getting done. Just not any of the things I planned on doing. Every job seems to spawn at least 10 other remedial jobs.

paulc
Posts: 402
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Re: Outer facings on arched window

Post by paulc » Tue 19th Oct, 2021 12:24 am

fernicarry wrote:
Mon 18th Oct, 2021 12:11 pm
The overall size is 1.1m x 0.5m and its 16mm thick. I would be nice to source a single piece, but that seems unlikely.
A single piece of timber that sort of width is very likely to cup or twist. A sheet of marine grade birch plywood would be much more stable, but 16mm is not a standard thickness.
Looking over my scrap pile, I do have two pieces of (possibly) teak about 900mm by 500mm, but is almost 20mm thick. Not likely going to be of much use to you I'm afraid..

CliffordPope
Posts: 700
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Re: Outer facings on arched window

Post by CliffordPope » Tue 19th Oct, 2021 8:56 am

paulc wrote:
Tue 19th Oct, 2021 12:24 am
A sheet of marine grade birch plywood would be much more stable, but 16mm is not a standard thickness.
But 12 mm and 4 mm are - glue them together.

fernicarry
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri 22nd Jan, 2016 11:10 am
Location: Argyllshire

Re: Outer facings on arched window

Post by fernicarry » Wed 20th Oct, 2021 1:17 pm

I'd be a bit concerned about sealing the cut edge of ply. Rain will run down and drip off the edge. Might also hit a void but I suppose that could be filled. Ply is certainly a very straightforward solution, not going to rule it out. Good idea on 12 + 4.

I've started taking the panels out of an old door. The height of the panel is perfect for the width but only 1/2" thick. I'll laminate up two pieces in two layers each to get the overall area and thickness, cut out the curve, then take the edge back down to 16mm with the router. The lamination should help against warping and it'll be 1" thick over most of its area. It can turn out any worse than MDF surely???

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