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Member postings for Andy Bell

Here is a list of all the postings Andy Bell has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Designs for up to spec box sliding sash
12/09/2008 16:07:00

I'm back after being busy with a bit of a progress report. But I've posted it under the thread [b]Kick out the plastic[/b]  By JohnMcM

I dont know If I should carry on under this thread or John's, Any clues?



Thread: Kick out the plastic
12/09/2008 15:53:00

I've just been out and taken some pictures of the test window.

The proportions look wrong because its small only about 600mm high, all the sections are actual size so I could test out how to make the joints and get the clearances right

It works well and slides beautifully

The weight boxes are designed to take 50 x 50mm lead weight, on the final windows these will be around 600mm long.

This shows the brush seal on the meeting rail. This is the only seal that will be visible, only with the window open.

Gavin, I got about £1200 of new tools authorised by the missus. Only trouble is, I've got to make all the windows now.

I hope my efforts are of interest.


12/09/2008 14:38:00


I think we could be going along the same lines except I'm opting for softwood. I came across the same dearth of information. I Started a thread a while back [b]Designs for up to spec box sliding sash[/b]. Thanks again to everyone for advice etc.

I've negleted the forum for a while due to almost finishing my loft conversion. Ive got a blog about it if anyone interested.  Also I've been working on the window designs.

I did loads of research. The Trada web site has a great section "High Performance Wood Windows" (don't know if the link will work, you might have to log in.) this give advice on design and seals principles.

So far I've drawn up the designs and made a small working mockup. I've modified traditions designs to incorporate 24mm Double glazing and managed to keep the box width down to 160mm. I've designed in hidden brush seals and kept all the proportions as traditional as possible. The design is for tradtional weights, it will cost a lot in lead, approx 40kg per window. I'll post some photos of the model/test piece.

I've tooled up with a bench saw, planner thicknesser and router table. I did look at a Spindle moulder but the price of tooling put me off. I have made all the sections from scratch with a small set of 1/2" router tools. The next stage is to make the first full size window to test the design fully before I make the rest.

Thread: Designs for up to spec box sliding sash
12/03/2008 14:31:00

Hi Malc,

I've had good look at many old designs and there are quite a few variations for the joints. As with may traditional designs these will have evolved over many years, taking in to account new tools, fixings and adhesives (including machining in 1904). Joints with dovetails on the sash styles are a fantastily elegant solution, the joints may swell,shrink come unstuck but there's noway the window will fall apart.

I'm undescided yet about the joint designs i'll be using. If I can simplfy the designs using modern adhesives and fixings, I'll consider it.  I certainly don't want to disregard years of evolution (your windows have lasted 104 years) just for the sake of easy machining.


Speil ceqer not wurkin,

10/03/2008 10:38:00

Hi John,

Thanks for the ref to UKworkshop forums. I've a search through, theres lots some intresting stuff on there. Three other people have asked for sliding sash designs and I've followed up a few of the suggestions made. But these all lead to old designs.

I've started designing now, and will update when I've got some ideas together.


06/03/2008 22:59:00


Thanks for the referal to TRADA. I've spent most of the evening absorbing the "High performance wood windows" document. It's the loads of detail and reasoning in there that's going to be useful.

Only problem is, I've got to apply the theory to box sliding sash as they dont get a mention, it's all hinged opening.

I'll try their technical helpline tomorrow


05/03/2008 22:53:00

Baz Cheers,

Watching the telly is job I can set the wife on with.


05/03/2008 22:49:00


Thanks for the ref. to Mumford and Wood. I managed to get through and view the drawings. Very interesting, treble seals, drip grooves, vapour/drain holes under the glass. Lots to be considering.

I'm starting to feel the drawing board about to come out.

Thanks John, I'll give TRADA a try as well.


05/03/2008 14:53:00

Hi Derek,

Thanks for your info, appologies I may not have been clear. I'm going to be building these from scratch to accomodate double glazing, mounted from the inside and incorporating seals on the staff and parting beads. Also seals on the top and bottom of the sashes. I haven't yet found a timber merchant that sells the mouldings for double glazing to make the sashes, they are all for traditional single glazing.

Its interesting what you say about cills not often rotting. I've noticed the same,everytime I see a sliding sash I have a look. Its more common to see rot on the bottom of the Box housing. Some maufacturers however advetise the cills being hardwood because of a roting problems. Could it just be a problem with the modern maufacturing design?

I'd like to build using tried and tested designs but incorporating modern seals and glazing. It's old details like this that I keen to make sure I don't miss out on.

Notch at the bottom of the front of the Box so water doesn't collect behind.

Any input to this project will be greatfully received.

Cheers Andy

Thread: Orbit or Belt Sander Which One?
05/03/2008 10:38:00

Hi Baz,

It sounds like my judgment of belt sanders being a bit rough and ready could be clouded by my experiance with a "cheap n nasty" tool that I've used. I get the feeling your collective experience can teach me alot.

Thanks Andy

Thread: turning long.jpg
04/03/2008 23:41:00
Yeah, I enjoy a challenge
Thread: Designs for up to spec box sliding sash
04/03/2008 23:37:00


You're right I've tried all the web searches 

I've not actually tried asking a manufacture for plans, I just assumed they'd not be willing. I could try the hardware / weights manufacture "Mighton" first. Thanks for another avenue I can explore.


Thread: turning detail.jpg
04/03/2008 23:11:00

Hi Mike,

Glad you like the idea. The I used a motorbike inner tube tied to the roof rafter instead a pole.

It works both ways for material removal but just one way for a better finish depending on which side or face of the cutter is being used. It took about 8 days averaging 4 hours a night for the job start to finish including designing & making the lathe and jig for the morticing. Turning I think would be about 4 hrs over three nights with plenty of rests due to leg ache and to let the router cool. The little router coped well, lots little cuts and I did end up taking some material off with a jig saw to make it hex.

I think I should point out  It's not safe and nobody should try it without developing some guards, clamps, handles and steel gauntlets.   

I enjoyed it so much I put an Acorn on other of the posts I needed a few days latter.


Thread: Designs for up to spec box sliding sash
04/03/2008 22:44:00

Hi Sparky,

Thanks for the links. There's a couple of books there that I hadn't seen before, but alas none that mention actually making the sashes and frames. All I can ever find is how to repair, refurbish, install, paint or advice on ordering.

Its beginning to feel like a trade secret or something that no one has published yet. I'm actually willing to pay for some designs and I'm sure others would be interested as well. If someone out there has the knowledge maybe we could get together and put some designs and instructions together. Or put the plans in one of the mags. I'd willing pay a years subscription. 

Thanks Andy

Thread: Orbit or Belt Sander Which One?
04/03/2008 22:15:00


I'm new to forum and have just spent a happy few hours surfing through. Already posted a question and added some pictures. Hope nobody mind me adding a bit to this discussion.

About finishing, at school, my old  woodwork teacher had a thing against glass paper and it was more than just the schools budget. I was taught to finish with a blade, be it plane or scraper.  I flatened and finished a reclaimed oak (very hard) table top with a plane and finished with a scraper. I'll never forget the satifaction and pleasure it gave me. I also learned through many repetions how to sharpen my blades by hand.

I use a belt sander (cheap Ferm from screwfix) it's good for rough stuff and removing material on rough sawn. I've just cleaned up some purlins in my loft conversion with it. The Orbital sander I use (expensive Bosch one)  is great for keying for paint and normal varnishing jobs around the house, followed by wire wooling.  

But I always turn to a blade when I want to get a good finish. I haven't got a proper cabinet scraper I would buy one if I ever thought ahead. Instead I resharpen a planer blade with a bur. It's fantastic on end grain but with no flexibilitycan leave tramlimes on wider pieces.

I try and photo a sample or two.

Thread: Designs for up to spec box sliding sash
04/03/2008 15:11:00

Hi There,

I'm new to the forum and only found the site today but I like what I see and think I've found some kindred spirits.

I've been searching everywhere I find on the internet for designs of box sliding sash windows with double glazing and weather seals. I've grasped all the basic principles but am a bit stuck when it comes to the details. I think its down to the finer details that will make a good performing, long lasting window.

Lots of what I see on the web is designed for ease of machining based manufacture and often with little regard to how the wood will perform best. I'm thinking mainly of joint design and details to avoid water ingress and pooling. I'm also stuck on, what are the best weather/draught seals, do brushes hold moisture?, are plastic lip seals effective, should I go for stepped meeting rails or wedge type? What clearences should I leave for the seals?

I think I should be able to make each window for around £200 material cost whereas buying them would be around £1000. With 8 to make I've got a big saving that I could spend on tooling up although I can't imagine needing more than a router table.

Has anyone had experince in this area? Do you know where I could get hold of plans? Are there any books with this kind of detail?

Thanks for any help you give.

PS. I'll have to post some pictures of my 15 ft home made pole/router lathe. Proper bodge job.


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