Monday, September 27, 2010

Google search: "window locks with uneven windows"

Have you ever just gone bats over how to get the details right on a project? For three days, I have been studying window locks, in search of some eternal answer to the question: How do you put them on right?

Flashback: Redoing laundry room; disassembling single hung windows, stripping them of old paint, dislodging upper panes so air won't leak out, putting them back in.

Now that they don't have decades of paint sealing them, I'm in need of window locks.

I go buy window locks. Let's try this type. Hmm, not many instructions. Let's dry-fit it.

Nope, won't work. The ledge of the upper pane won't quite meet with the ledge of the lower pane, giving an uneven surface for the lock installation.

Buy different window locks, one that might provide a little "give" for an uneven surface. I screwed two in, but one only locks halfway and other pulled out a screw when locking. As my father would say, "pretty Polack." I would say, McGyver gone wrong.

I then found myself at a home improvement show, eyeballing the perfect locks on some vinyl windows. Salesman swiftly is aside me like a vampire in Louisiana. Damn, perfect factory window locks. To appease him, I stuff a brochure into the complimentary bag (provided by a law firm that is growing leaps and bounds over foreclosures).

Now, the Goggle search, as titled above

First up, mrs. fix-it, or something like that:

1. Remove the broken lock (making sure that your window is closed tightly so that you get a good fit).
2. Take your replacement lock and put it on the window sash directly in the center, with half of the lock resting on the outer sash and half on the inner sash.
3. Using a sharp pencil, trace the lock and mark the holes where the screws should be.
4. Remove the lock and drill holes for the screws. Put the lock back on the window frame and tighten the screws.

Did all that, Missy. they meet unevenly. Let's modify the search...adding the word "sash."

OK, this from a Virginia energy website:

Properly installed window locks should pull the sashes together tightly and should hold them firmly against the window frame. Re- placement locks are available in most hardware stores.

no shit.

Now, aurora88, on the historichomeworks blog discussion board, certainly was obsessing about this very thing. In 2007, he sought help, and got a bit of it -- although he rejected some of it because he wanted something "refined."

Me, too. aurora88, me too.

Jade is helping, very helpfully, but here comes Johnleeke, (Site Administrator) who's now posted some 1886 patent on a window sash tightener. Surely available at your nearest Amish Home Depot.

Nobody else is buying your 19th century bags of goods, mister johnleeke.

eHow don't know how you want to do that when you can buy nice windows from someone.

Finally landed on a book excerpt from Terry Meany, who wrote a book called "Working Windows." Seems to think like the masses. I will either scout down the book or find the author.

And tomorrow morning, I will peek over again to those windows and see I can't find my own way.

Suggestions welcome!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


My father died when I was 10 years old. Today is the anniversary of his death.

I don't dwell upon this much -- most years I don't even think about it until a couple of days later. I have few fond memories; few memories, actually. His death sent our family into a financial hole that he could have prevented with better insurance. He was older, had heart trouble, and, as they say, was pretty emotional unavailable - a product of his day.

When he died, he had just finished rehabbing the attic of our home. We bought it two years before, and he tackled the reno with gusto. I remember him using hand saws. Stuffing insulation into attic eaves. Putting up drywall.

Dad updated a half bath, created a back room and put in a drop ceiling. I helped a lot as a nine-year-old would: grabbing tools for him, running up and down the stairs and watching him as he measured and planned.

Flash forward. Here I am, stuffing insulation, using hand saws, and measuring (although probably not as successfully). Not a bad legacy.

And, just a little bit, I envy the friends whose fathers are around to help them with a renovation