Monday, July 28, 2014

When Almost Doesn't Work

We are having the basement renovated. Most of the work is in the hands of the contractor, but we are cleaning up the windows, which is to say sanding them down, moving and replace broken panes, removing and replacing old brittle putty, and someday painting them. We are old hands at the work, having done even more elaborate restoration of the first and second floor windows. The experience doesn't mean that the work is faster or more entertaining.

On Sunday I was trying to get the first of the cracked panes out. I scraped away as much as I could of the bits of old putty that obstructed its way, pulled the glazier's points, and used the scraper to dig out the putty beside it on both sides. I then started gently pressing up on the bottom of the pane. I thought I pressed gently, but maybe not. There was a Bang!, and about half the pane bounced off my chin on its way elsewhere. It may have been the same piece that grazed the heel of my hand. I took time off to clean up. The cuts were tiny: had I not been continuing with the work, I'd have skipped the bandages. The other broken panes came out less dramatically. Still, it reminded me that glass has very little flexibility, and that partly stuck can be as bad as wholly stuck.

We are also replacing the old hinges on the windows. As far as we can tell, nobody now makes quite the same pattern: the holes in the leaves don't line up. My wife says, Well they almost line up. I say, That's even worse: you would have to drill into the side of the original hole and enlarge it so that the screw won't hold. I guess we'll putty the holes and let the contractors figure out a new placement.

No comments:

Post a Comment