The Italianate

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Building Styles, Historic Preservation, History, Millwork, Miscellaneous

Examples of the Italianate can bee seen across the country.  It was the most popular building style in the United States during the mid-19th century and persisted in the West until the 1890s.  Despite being so common, however, its origins aren’t often discussed and many have a poor understanding of the artistic and social  factors […]

History Hiding in Plain Sight: The Vergeboard

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Historic Preservation, Masonry, Millwork, Miscellaneous, Picturesque

When we speak and write we use lots of words, often without being aware of what they actually mean or what their origins are.  We also use words as metaphors but don’t pause to consider what their original definitions or meanings might be.  For instance, we use the word “verge” all the time,  such as […]

Historic Windows: Part Two

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Carpentry, Greek Revival, Historic Windows, Joinery, Millwork, paint

This is the second installment in a series of blog posts on historic wood windows. This post will focus on my process for evaluating windows and recording important data and features. Before I undertake any restoration or conservation project or reproduce an historic window, I do a systematic and thorough evaluation so I can determine […]

Details, Details, Details: What I look for when examining historic windows.

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Carpentry, Historic Windows, Joinery, Millwork, Miscellaneous

The more you look the more you see. With a casual glance you will identify general shapes and outlines, but when you look closely all sorts of detail will become apparent. When I look at historic windows I try to identify as many details as possible so I can understand better how old they are, […]

Northern Bedrock Preservation Corps

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Doors, Historic Preservation, Maintenance, Millwork, Miscellaneous, paint, Preservation News, Tools

I just had the great pleasure of doing a presentation on the historic trades and preservation for the Northern Bedrock Preservation Corps.  Northern Bedrock was established in 2011 to help young adults enter the preservation trades by providing training and hands-on experience repairing historic structures and architecture.  The founders of Northern Bedrock are aware that there […]

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

Posted 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 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.  Although 19th century house joiners did rely on pattern books, these books didn’t […]

Window Sash Repair: Part One

Posted 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 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 […]