The original upstairs bay window was rotten and couldn’t be saved. (It turns out it is an oriel window as it doesn’t touch the ground.) The new window frame was made by my cousin John and was installed today.
The profiles were recreated using spindle cutting tools modified to exactly match the original, and further mouldings were guesswork based on old photos of the originals.
But the frame isn’t an exact copy of the old one. It looked nice but It would be mad to copy something that only lasted for 100 years. We’re having another go at it.
The original wood (a slow grown redwood) is resilient and would have been fine but it isn’t easily available these days so we used Douglas Fir. The window will seal only to the inside face of the frame, and if (when) that seal cracks water will be directed into channels and some holes to a ventilated space below the window cill. There are no horizontal surfaces – everything sheds water, and there are drip features and overhangs all over the place.
I like old stuff and conservation, but mostly that is because I like quality of workmanship and materials. I think this is the best bit of the house.
There is still some work to do. I’ll need to fit the crittall openers and leaded glass, then fill the remaining bits in lime to keep everything breathable. Then secondary glazing to keep building regs happy.
While measuring up for infill panels later I found I couldn’t measure as accurately as the window frame has been made. It must be to 0.1mm tolerance.