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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ooooh My Parents are Almost Here - and Replacing Sash Cord in Our Old House Windows

My parents are heading up north for a family wedding this weekend.  We are waiting for them to come to our home and ride up with us on Friday in the motorhome.

They took off from down south in Georgia on Aug. 5th...  they showed up in Ohio at my step sis Tonya's house and posted us a pic on Facebook. So we knew they made it that far by Aug 7th.  LOL

Then this morning they posted from my cousin John's computer in Cedarburg, Wi... so we know they made it to Wisconsin!   We chatted for a while, which was a good thing.  My sister Linda and I have been going through "Mom-Withdrawals"!!!  Since they moved from Florida to Georgia this past spring, they do not yet have Mom's computer hooked up at the new house.  So we have not been able to chat, send pics and share blog posts.  Oh my!

They will be visiting with relatives and friends in Cedarburg for a day or two, and then be up here to our home in Chilton by Thursday.  It's only 60 miles from there to here. Easy Peasy.  Then they can help me load up the motorhome for our weekend up in Escanaba, Michigan.  My brother Butch's youngest son Darren is marrying Chelsea and we are going to have a great time!  The motorhome is our travelling hotel room, and the dogs can go along and enjoy the weekend too.

Today was a rainy day which was just fine by me. We really needed it and got about 2 inches.  My rainbarrels had been empty for three days now and we needed some fresh rain for the lawns and my tomatoes!   I hate to use city water on them, and having the rain barrels provide good water is an added plus.  I have been picking 5-6 tomatoes a day now and enjoying them in our evening meals--- plus a few sliced up on a plate as a treat.   Soon there will be enough to can a few jars every other day of stewed tomatoes to restock my shelves in the root cellar.

I was weaving most of the day, and took a break to run some errands.  Then I had to stock up on goodies for the grandtots in case they come out into the motorhome to rest before during or after the wedding and reception.  Granmuddahs gotta do that, ya know.  I am thinking my folks are sleeping in our rig with us, but tossing in a few grandkids for morning cuddles will be fun too

Now for some repairs to Our Old House!  

I figured I would post these pics of a project we did over the weekend.  Of course, you know we own a very old home, 100 years old.  The windows are old fashioned wooden sash type with raising panes that have window weights in the casings.  From time to time the old woven cords will break on either side and the weights fall down inside the casing.  Some of our windows have just one cord intact, which lets the window operate, but a little harder to raise and lower.

Finally one window in the dining room broke it's second cord.  Time to replace it....  so I bought a new hank of  "sash cord" at the hardware store. Do NOT use clothesline, it's not made the same and will stretch after a while.  Sash cord is braided differently and made to not stretch out.

Okay.. now it's time to fix the broken window cords....

First step... get a tall man to fix it for you.  
Then you don't have to stand on a ladder!!!!

He removes the two strips of wood along each side of the casing 
which are attached with screws

Now we can remove the window pane and remove the broken rope. 

The rope is only held onto the pane by a double knot in the end of the rope, 
to make a lump that fits in the circle part 
and the rest of the rope just lays along in this groove....  that is all. 
No other means of attaching it.

Next we unscrewed the bottom portion of the casing on each side to remove the weights and the bottom sections of broken rope down inside the casing.

These are the two window weights that came out of the bottom 
of the casing openings. 
Yup, they are very heavy. 

Bright idea from Steveio:
Save the two pieces of the old rope and place them end to end 
to measure when cutting the new rope!  
NO guessing for how long it is needed.  
We cut both ropes exactly right for each side of the window. 

Now it's time for MY bright idea! 
Drop a fishing line with a sinker weight attached down from the top roller 
through the little hole at the top pulley wheel, 
and let it drop to the bottom opening to serve as a guide string.
Now tie it onto the new rope and pull it through the casing into place!

We then strung the new ropes and brought them down to the bottom and 
tied them securely to the weights. We set the weights back in the bottom openings. 

(there are also another set of weights inside the casing... 
 for the top pane of glass to be able to open it from the top down,
 but we didn't fiddle with those, they were still intact) 

We pulled the knots at each of the tops down along the casings on each side.
Best if you have two people to do this part.  
One to lift the window pane into place 
and one to guide the cords on each side into the slots 
and line up the knots in the circular holes along the window frame.

I could not take a picture while we were both having our hands full. 

Onec we had the knots and cords lined up on each side, we 
slid it into the window frame and pushed it into place.

Last step, putting the wooden pieces back into place on each side, 
and securing them back on with the screws... 

---15 minutes---

Now, I might explain why I posted this.  I like posting the repairs and modifications we do to Our Old House.  But also I posted this because it was a VERY easy job.  And because my husband has been complaining that he wants to have NEW windows installed.  I counter with the fact that I love these 100 year old windows and they are charming and quaint and lovely.... and VERY EASY to fix when a cord breaks!  I don't want new windows on Our Old House. 

You see my point? 

heh heh


  1. I have been watching tutorial videos on this process for five years! It's so hard to see what they're doing! But with your step by step photos, and your helpful hints, I'm a little closer to thinking I can do it. Thanks!

  2. oh boy, I wish we lived near you two. You guys make everything look so easy. Also, Enjoyed your visit with Merikay & Caig. I could have been there wearing my same sweatshirt.

  3. It might also encourage someone younger or lass handy to make the same repair. If you go to a window store or a hardware store and ask for advice they will probably tell you you need new windows.

  4. I always enjoy visits from relatives and it sounds like you all will have a great time, dogs too.

  5. My house in Massachusetts was also 100 yrs old. I used to have my dad fix the windows..I never knew how. You two make everything look easy!

  6. Amazing repair! Too often classic old windows get tossed when such a simple repair would save them and preserve an historic look. :c)


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