Another one of the few

On our “Recommended Resources” page, there are less than 20 products, companies, or opinions that have been proven time and again to work for 118 Henry Street. These few, of the dozens of products/techniques we’ve attempted, worked the first time we tried them, and continue to work to this day.

For positive example, take Valspar’s American Traditions paint. We’ve used it on every interior project so far. We’ve used half a gallon, let it set for 6 months, then use the remainder with no color change or ill effect. Some other expensive paints were not so stable. The final finish is always stable and durable.

For negative example, despite having spent over 300 hours stripping paint in the last five years, we cannot recommend any chemical paint remover. All of them we tried have extremely negative side effects, either discoloring/damaging the wood or being caustic. Most were downright ineffective. The most reliable, the quickest, and the least damaging (to wood or environment) way to remove paint is with a heat gun and a variety of scrapers. Which heat gun is the best? Which scrapers work best? Truth is, all heat guns are about the same, buy the most expensive you can afford. Regards scrapers, buy about everyone you find..likely you will use them all at one time or another. Thus, no 118 Henry Street recommendation for paint removal products.

We do have a new addition to the “Recommended Resources”. A tool that has not only make the process of restoring our windows easier and faster, but also has reduced the inevitable loss of old glass in such a process.

Old float glass is thinner, more brittle, and of variable strength compared to modern window glass. For every 12 panes we remove from the old sashes, 1 or 2 is lost to breakage. When replacing the glass in the restored sashes, it normally has been the same loss ratio. Almost always, breaking of the old glass when replacing them has occurred when trying to insert modern glazing points in the sash.

The Fletcher-Terry Framemaster point driver has completely eliminated this source of glass breakage for us.

Framemaster point driver

The Framemaster use a very small 3/8″ glazing point that is spring driven into the wooden sash to hold the glass. It puts no pressure on the glass and is very quick to use.

Ultimately we have over 30 windows to restore and the Framemaster is a must-have for us.