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Historic Windows: Part One

This is the first from a series of blog posts that will give you a detailed look at historic windows and their construction. Before we look at windows and window sashes themselves, I thought it would be good to start with a quick look at some of the tools used to make windows by hand. Although there were other specialized tools used by house joiners to build windows, these are the basics. So, keep an eye open for subsequent blog posts if you want to learn about the tools pictured below, how they were used and the characteristics of hand-made windows. This series will conclude with a look at machine made window sashes that appeared during the last half of the 19th century. Enjoy!!!

American Style window sash planes that strike both the inner molding profile and the outer rabbet for the window glass.
Bottom on an American style sash plane showing the two cutting irons. One cuts the square rabbet for the window glass and the other cuts an ovolo molding profile.
English style sash planes. Unlike American sash planes, English sash planes only cut the inner, molded profile.
English sash fillester plane. This plane strikes the external rabbet for the window glass and was used with the English sash planes shown above.
Three different coping planes. These planes were used to cut the coped joints between sash rails, stiles and muntins.
Different templates and miters used in window joinery.
A few other tools used to make window sashes. These include a wooden brace, shell bit, sash mortise chisel, an in-cannel gouge, a glazier’s putty knife and a try square.

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