After a year and a half, I finally finished fixing the bathroom window I broke while cleaning the place prior to moving in. I somehow dropped a screwdriver between the sashes and managed to break a 100 year old pane of obscure glass trying to retrieve it. Then, a year or so later, we found a complete sash of the correct size (well, the glass was anyway) and approximate vintage (with a different pattern, but also beautiful), at a garage sale for fifty cents. We dragged it home from Indiana and I spent the better part of an afternoon cleaning it, only to break it after five hours of work. That was discouraging. I just replaced the pane with regular glass after realizing that if we had obscure glass in the lower sash we’d be totally fine privacy wise.
So, for a long time we just swapped the positions of the upper and lower sashes so we’d have some privacy in the privy. But of course, they won’t seal out the cold that way, so the plan was to swap the panes before it got cold. Which didn’t really happen until yesterday, so miraculously we were ok.
Of course, I should know by now, but still am somehow surprised to remember that embarking on a project in a building of this age inevitably waves the magic can opener at the nearest can of worms. Those worms want out! Swapping two panes of glass is pretty straightforward – but… once you start painting the glaze everything else looks worse in comparison. So the hardware comes off, I install new cord for the counterweights and pump in numerous beads of caulk.
These were covered with five layers of paint.
The previous mentioned Soak in Warm Soapy Water trick did not work as well for this batch of hardware. It helped for sure, but this time I had to resort to more vigorous mechanical methods: a knife, the wire wheel side of the bench grinder, and the trusty dremmel, the wire wheel brush of which is now worn just about down to the nubs.
The handles were much easier – I suppose because they don’t have any concave recesses.
I also realized after soaking the old fasteners in oil and gouging out their slots with a razor blade, that the latch sits so high that pretty much no-one will ever see that there is no paint in the screwheads! Wasted time!
But overall I’m quite happy with the outcome. The bathroom is much better insulated and it looks a lot less “skeehaw” as they say in Montana.
The finished product
Something about painted hardware really bugs me. I realize that it is probably just a personal preference, and this may out me as an elitist snob (and a redundant one at that) but to me, nothing says Crappy Rental Apartment like painted hardware.