Sash windows. Making your own?

Wood working questions and answers in here please

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
rich5566
Newly registered Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by rich5566 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:12 pm

Anyone here made their own sash windows?

I need to replace 2 large triple sashes, currently single glazed, with double glazed wood sashes.

Quotes are all over £9000 for 2 windows.

I've read a few blogs and been looking at a lot of posts on some other forums about making sash windows.

I have time and the space to do it.

Eventually I will need to replace 4x triple sashes and 4x large bays. So even a large investment in decent machinery would not be an issue.

It may well be the case that I can recover some parts of the existing window frame, but the cills and bottoms of the outer linings are all shot. So for now I am assuming I will be making completely new windows.
User avatar
ayjay
Senior Member
Posts: 8418
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:51 pm
Has thanked: 409 times
Been thanked: 1432 times

Re: Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by ayjay » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:19 pm

I used to make the box frames on a lot of Housing Association re-furbs we did back in the 70s - every box frame in the houses were renewed - I made dozens of them over the course of a few years but only double frames, not triples - just a table saw for power tools - (we got the actual sashes made up off site).

Edit: I could do the equivalent of 3 per day, cutting all week and then assemble 15 on Friday. Makes £9000 look like easy money
One day it will all be firewood.
rich5566
Newly registered Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by rich5566 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:34 pm

ayjay wrote:I used to make the box frames on a lot of Housing Association re-furbs we did back in the 70s - every box frame in the houses were renewed - I made dozens of them over the course of a few years but only double frames, not triples - just a table saw for power tools - (we got the actual sashes made up off site).

Edit: I could do the equivalent of 3 per day, cutting all week and then assemble 15 on Friday. Makes £9000 look like easy money
Ha! Yes indeed!

When trying to understand the costs, I figured it was taking 35 hours to make a triple sash and costing about £750 for materials. So allowing £35 per hour and a 50-60% margin, plus fitting and VAT, you get £9500 for two windows.

Doing it myself should come in at about £1500 for two windows, £2000 allowing for cockups!

What's really amazing is that all six quotes came in at the same +/- £100
User avatar
Job and Knock
Old School Chippie
Posts: 6356
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:27 pm
Location: Lancashire
Has thanked: 629 times
Been thanked: 1477 times

Re: Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by Job and Knock » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:02 pm

Well the big plus is that a lot of timber yards stock sill section in hardwood, and a lot of the ancillaries such as parting beads, weights, pulleys, etc can be had from people like Mighton or Reddiseals. Main kit needed is a 1/2in plunge router and an SCMS which can trench. Most of the cross sections you require should be ex-stock for a decent timber yard
"The person who never made a mistake, never made anything" - Albert Einstein

"I too will something make, And joy in the making" - Robert Bridges, 1844~1930

"Success is 99% failure" - Soichiro Honda
rich5566
Newly registered Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by rich5566 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:42 pm

Job and Knock wrote:Well the big plus is that a lot of timber yards stock sill section in hardwood, and a lot of the ancillaries such as parting beads, weights, pulleys, etc can be had from people like www.mightonproducts.com or www.reddiseals.com. Main kit needed is a 1/2in plunge router and an SCMS which can trench. Most of the cross sections you require should be ex-stock for a decent timber yard
Hi Job&Knock, I've been on Mighton and Reddiseals and seen all the seals, brushes etc. So no worries there. I was hoping to make the windows from Accoya as we have this in our Orangery and as long as the fixings are all stainless, it seems pretty good.

I have yet to find anywhere doing ready made profiles in Accoya. Laavers have a very limited range of stock sizes.

I have a router and chop/band/table saws but am looking at investing in a decent combi machine (used) so cutting my own cils/stiles/rails etc shouldn't be too much of a problem...

So not sure if there is somewhere that carries Accoya profiles (which aren't cladding)?
User avatar
Job and Knock
Old School Chippie
Posts: 6356
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:27 pm
Location: Lancashire
Has thanked: 629 times
Been thanked: 1477 times

Re: Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by Job and Knock » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:29 pm

rich5566 wrote:I have yet to find anywhere doing ready made profiles in Accoya. Laavers have a very limited range of stock sizes.
Unless you can find a local joinery firm who'll make you some up I think that you'll be making your own. Not a commonly available species. In this part of the world we'd probably us pitch pine instead (for painted windows)
rich5566 wrote:I have a router and chop/band/table saws but am looking at investing in a decent combi machine (used) so cutting my own cils/stiles/rails etc shouldn't be too much of a problem...
Before saying that too loudly were I you I'd take myself off and have a look at how much sill blocks cost. They are a peculiarly British thing and AFAIK the only people making full size blocks are Whitehill. Were I making only a half dozen windows I'd probably put the job out to somebody who already had the blocks or buy-in ready machined profile because of the high tooling cost.

Have you decided whether or not you are going for box weights or springs? The weights can get awfully large with heavy hardwood sashes and double or triple glazed windows

I think there's a point about sash windows traditionally being softwood - it's to do with repairability. You can still get parting beads and the like which will fit sash windows made 150 years ago off the shelf. And the parts are cheap. The biggest problem with sash windows is decorators. In my experience they routinely paint the darned sashes shut - or worse still open. But if properly maintained they will last a century or more, although not with modern water-trapping paints
"The person who never made a mistake, never made anything" - Albert Einstein

"I too will something make, And joy in the making" - Robert Bridges, 1844~1930

"Success is 99% failure" - Soichiro Honda
rich5566
Newly registered Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:45 pm
Has thanked: 0
Been thanked: 0

Re: Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by rich5566 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:23 am

Job and Knock wrote:
rich5566 wrote:I have yet to find anywhere doing ready made profiles in Accoya. Laavers have a very limited range of stock sizes.
Unless you can find a local joinery firm who'll make you some up I think that you'll be making your own. Not a commonly available species. In this part of the world we'd probably us pitch pine instead (for painted windows)
rich5566 wrote:I have a router and chop/band/table saws but am looking at investing in a decent combi machine (used) so cutting my own cils/stiles/rails etc shouldn't be too much of a problem...
Before saying that too loudly were I you I'd take myself off and have a look at how much sill blocks cost. They are a peculiarly British thing and AFAIK the only people making full size blocks are Whitehill. Were I making only a half dozen windows I'd probably put the job out to somebody who already had the blocks or buy-in ready machined profile because of the high tooling cost.

Have you decided whether or not you are going for box weights or springs? The weights can get awfully large with heavy hardwood sashes and double or triple glazed windows

I think there's a point about sash windows traditionally being softwood - it's to do with repairability. You can still get parting beads and the like which will fit sash windows made 150 years ago off the shelf. And the parts are cheap. The biggest problem with sash windows is decorators. In my experience they routinely paint the darned sashes shut - or worse still open. But if properly maintained they will last a century or more, although not with modern water-trapping paints
I want to use weights and I know I can use lead instead of steel/iron but you're right I will need to check lengths etc. The sashes will weigh around 12kg and 15kg, so the weights will be half that on each side, so 6kg is 500mm of 38mm round lead or 300mm if I use 45mm square...

The upper sash weight wants to be slightly heavier and the lower slightly lighter.

Thinking of using Accoya which isn't too heavy.

Yep I've seen the huge cost of cill blocks (£450), so was thinking about using a planing block on a tilted shaft?
User avatar
Job and Knock
Old School Chippie
Posts: 6356
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:27 pm
Location: Lancashire
Has thanked: 629 times
Been thanked: 1477 times

Re: Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by Job and Knock » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:20 am

rich5566 wrote:I've seen the huge cost of cill blocks (£450), so was thinking about using a planing block on a tilted shaft?
How do you intend to deal with the non-90° corner (81°, assuming a 9° slope) at the top of the sill?
"The person who never made a mistake, never made anything" - Albert Einstein

"I too will something make, And joy in the making" - Robert Bridges, 1844~1930

"Success is 99% failure" - Soichiro Honda
Grendel
Senior Member
Posts: 1500
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:08 pm
Has thanked: 105 times
Been thanked: 277 times

Re: Sash windows. Making your own?

Post by Grendel » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:34 am

I've made windows , doors and all sorts of stuff on sites and at home. No sash windows of my own but I've made a fair few glazing bars with just a router and a planer . I would have made more use of the bench saw but the big old saw I have just doesn't have a rise and fall capacity .
One large job I did was repairing and remaking all the windows in a large country house , can't remember exactly how many but therre werre dozens . We had sections produced in our joinery shop and shipped to us on site to make them up although we never fully understood why it wasn't simpler to make the sashs in the shop . Tool wise we had planer , router and sanders and the usual hand tools. Perhaps unsurprisingly we had sash cramps but two other things we had were a bench morticer and a set of bathroom scales. The bathroom scales allow for easy weighting of the finished sash and also of the lead weights that were cut to length to suit.
Post Reply

Return to “Carpentry/Joinery Forum”