Window Making Demonstration in Rockford, MN on June 14, 2017.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Historic Windows, History, Joinery, Maintenance, Millwork

On Wednesday, June 14th at 6:00 PM I will be giving a demonstration on 19th century window making and restoring historic windows for the Rockford Area Historical Society. The event will be held at the historic Ames-Florida-Stork house, an 1860s Greek Revival house in Rockford, MN. I will use use authentic 1850s tools and techniques […]

Making a 19th Century Door: Or, Why do Modern Replacement Doors Look so Strange on 19th Century Homes

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Doors, Historic Preservation, History, Joinery, Millwork

There are many differences between woodworking in today’s machine age and the 19th century. Contemporary carpenters and furniture makers rely on drawings, dimensions, and precise measurements to help them plan and build things. Before the Industrial Revolution, however, things were very different.  19th century house joiners certainly did rely on pattern books, but these books […]

Window Sash Repair: Part One

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Historic Windows, Joinery, Maintenance, Millwork, paint

Although most of my work with Historic Design Consulting consists of consulting with owners of historic buildings, I occasionally so some restoration/conservation work myself.  As people have become interested in retaining historic windows I find myself working on window sash fairly often.  This Spring I have been restoring some sash from an 1881 railroad depot from […]

Selecting Doors for your Historic Home

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Carpentry, History, Joinery, Millwork, Molding, Tools

One frequently neglected step when restoring a historic home is the selection of millwork that is appropriate for the building’s age and style.  This includes interior and exterior doors, which are often hastily chosen after thumbing through a catalog or browsing in a showroom.  Few salespeople in home centers or millwork outlets know the differences […]

Making Molding the Old Fashioned Way

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Carpentry, Joinery, Millwork, Molding, Tools

I am occasionally asked how molding such as window casing or base was produced during the 19th century. The answer depends on when and where.  By the middle of the 19th century steam and water powered mills were producing most millwork, including casing, base, cornices, spindles, doors and windows. However, in some remote areas many continued to […]