August 31, 2009

A New Window

Emboldened by the new doorway we built in, and countless niches, we decide to add a window in the main shower room of our project house. The stone wall is about two feet thick, and built in the standard practice of building two parallel walls and filling the middle in with rubble.
The window we wanted to add in was small so there was little threat of collapse and no great need for interim support. We built the window at eye level and in the form of an arrow slit for defending a medieval castle. The window is about 30" tall and about 6" wide at the exterior opening while being about 20" wide on the interior.

The process, which seems easy and obvious by now, is first to choose a location that makes use of the existing stones. Locate a large stone already in the wall to be the header and another for a sill, that sort of thing. Then with a large diamond blade, cut the inward tapering vertical lines to a depth of about 4".

With a hammer and a chisel (pneumatic in this image), you carefully remove stones cutting and chiseling deeper and deeper until you reach the exterior.

Here, the top stones are supported temporarily with wood, while the sides are cut and chiseled clean and straight.

Oscar, always ready to work, but quickly bored with the slow pace, got the glory job of removing the last stones and "creating" the window. I wonder if this kind of stuff will pay off when he's a famous architect?

I then lightly braced the two sides with plumb boards and cemented the edges and sides. I could have made these side stones perfect and left them exposed, but that would have turned a 1 day project into a 1 week project, and besides now I can plaster the sides in a white luminous plaster and reflect much more light inward than the stones ever would have allowed. These boards came down the next morning.This is the finished window, awaiting a tile wall on the interior and plaster on the insides of the opening....or maybe mirrored tiles...hmmm?

Here is the window from the exterior, hardly noticable from the street, yet a profound effect on the forming shower.


Anonymous said...

Awesome! You know I love me some photos! Thanks!


seth said...

Nice work. I love the step-by-step photo essaty. Fine Stonebuilding beware!