Doormaking and Window-Making for Carpenters & Joiners

… though some so-called up-to-date men may dub them old-fashioned, they are not so by any means, being in constant use at the present time for good work by many who decline to do “jerry” work

I’m taking a short break from timber frames to review Lost Art Press’ new Doormaking and Window-Making for Carpenters & Joiners (available here). The book collects in a single volume two booklets originally written by an experienced joiner and published in England in the early part of the Twentieth Century.  Get past what may seem overly-formal language to a modern ear, and the book contains a wealth of useful information. Doormaking covers the construction and installation of board-and-batten and frame-and-panel doors as well as door frames. Window-Making moves from the simple to complex, detailing the construction of casement and sliding sashes and frames, then bay windows before concluding with Venetian windows. Frequent drawings and occasional photographs illustrate the text. The care with which the originals were scanned and reproduced is evident—the text and images are clear and show minimal artifacting. And all of this comes in a delightful package: the diminutive hardback is embossed with a drawing of the bolection-molded three-panel door (figure 64 from Doormaking), a visual invitation to open the book and learn.

The book will be of use to anyone interested in traditional techniques or old house restoration, and I fall squarely into the latter camp. One of the projects I will get to eventually is building a screen door for the back entrance, and I look forward to adapting the designs and techniques presented in Doormaking to the effort. And Window-making is likely to prove more useful for my needs as I look to build new storm windows and restore the few remaining original sash windows in our bungalow.  Doormaking and Window-Making for Carpenters & Joiners is a welcome addition to my library, complementing Bob Lang’s excellent Shop Drawings for Craftsman Interiors and Terry Meany’s useful-but-limited Working Windows.

More Information

Doormaking and Window-Making for Carpenters & Joiners is available from Lost Art Press.

Robert Lang brings does for trim and built-ins in Shop Drawings for Craftsman Interiors what he did for Craftsman furniture in his earlier books, measured drawings and useful background information. The drawings are easily adapted to the specific situations, making the title useful for anyone interested in thoughtful renovation or looking to add a touch of Craftsman appeal to their homes.

It’s always sad to see replacement windows installed when the originals offer so much character, and Terry Meany’s Working Windows remains one of the best titles on restoring old windows despite its limitations.

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