Author Topic: Old school casement window help  (Read 767 times)

affordablehousing

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Old school casement window help
« on: August 31, 2017, 11:36:44 AM »
MMM crowd, our house has the California old school steel casement windows that crank in and out. They are horribly inefficient, barely open and close because of the built up paint, I hate replacing the glass because glazing requires much more patience than I have, BUT, they are easily painted whatever color you want and have crisp modern lines from the thin mullions. Thus, we keep them.

My question, is whether anyone has gotten so fed up with the cranks that they take the cranks out, and instead install some sort of handle or pull that lets you push the windows out once unlocked, and pull them back in to close them. The only reason for the cranks, as I can tell, is to allow the bug screens to remain in place, which we stored away a long time ago for aesthetic reasons. Thus the cranks, which strip easily and don't generate enough torque to get the window closed the last half inch where the paint is sticky and problematic, aren't too helpful and I find myself often enough having to go outside and nudge the window in the last bit for me to lock it in.

So, the two thoughts I've had are to weld a ring on, or to weld a machine screw to a ring, and drill and tap the window mullion. The steel mullion however is only 1/8" thick, and so I worry about drilling into the glass from behind, or having the glass break from the welding heat. OR.... perhaps someone has had this same obscure issue and had luck with epoxy?

paddedhat

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Re: Old school casement window help
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2017, 06:03:39 AM »
My first thought is that at some point, those windows worked great. They cranked open and closed smoothly and easily. I would want to see what is involved with returning them to that functionality. It may be a matter of removing the operators and drowning them in a bucket of paint stripper for a few days. They may need replacement parts, or the whole assembly may need to be replaced, but it is totally doable. On the east coast we have different issues, with wooden double hungs and casements, but absent a really orphan product, there are always parts available, and at least one huge online source that has provided me with some parts that were so odd, I never imagined that they were available. The other option is that some of the old steel sash casements had an operator that was essentially a flat metal stick about 1/8" x 3/8" in cross section, that had notches in it. You swung the stick 90* and pushed the window out. The notches hooked a pin on the sill that determined exactly how far you wanted to keep the window open. I could seen locating, or fabricating, something similar that would be a lot simpler that a crank assembly.

affordablehousing

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Re: Old school casement window help
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2017, 11:17:05 AM »
Thanks padded hat! I think I've seen what you are talking about, and that might be a good part of a solution, though I mostly need something on the mullion (or sash you're right) to pull the sash back in with. The operators honestly work as well as they can. I've replaced some, have learned the differences between new old stock (good hardened gear teeth) versus the modern replacements, which use some lame softer metal. The issue is that with the 50 degree temp swings we get here, even with smooth paint, there's some sticking and rubbing, and the cranks are ugly, I'd like to put in oak ledger boards across the sill, including where the cranks used to stick out.

I think the cranks worked well in general, and the length of the lever arm provides good torque for most of the swing of the window, but the last half inch it has no power.

I'm going to experiment using some JB weld with some steel bar on the garage windows, see if that's strong enough, then do the ones in the house.

lthenderson

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Re: Old school casement window help
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2017, 12:10:11 PM »
I have a house full of those kinds of windows. When I first worked on them, I stripped all the old paint off the gear, relubed them and reinstalled them. They still work flawlessly now six years later. As for the last half inch, all the windows I have seen have a latch located partway up the window that pull the window tightly against the gaskets. It has a hook that goes into a slot in the window frame that has a pin and then cams to pull the window in tight. Have you looked to see if you are simply missing that part?

Also, I have found OEM parts for these windows quite easy to find online. Several of my cranks were stripped out so I looked and found OEM parts being sold online. It solves the problem of dealing with cheaply made repops. The hardest part was looking for some sort of identification mark to figure out what brand I was dealing with.

affordablehousing

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Re: Old school casement window help
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 04:22:33 PM »
Well I guess I could work on the paint and make them close easier, but if I'm going to all that work, then I feel I might just add a pull to make them push out casements, get rid of the cranks (which I think are kind of ugly anyway) and have a clean window sill. I frankly only need two of the windows to open about 10 times a year, to let cool morning air in on the hottest days. I'll try experimenting.