Montpelier Restoration Update – 10/22/2008


Mac Ward is installing door sweeps on all the exterior doors.  The rubber sweeps are mounted to aluminum brackets that fit in channels that Mac is cutting into the bottom of the doors with a router.  While we would prefer not to have to install the sweeps on the original Madison doors at all, they will help to protect the house in the long run by reducing the amount of rain that is blown under the doors.

Bill Bichell is adjusting the width of the cellar passage doors due to problems with the locks.

Keith Forry is restoring a Madison-era vertical-board door that originally hung in the doorway between M-001 (North Kitchen) and M-002 (North Cellar Passage).  Currently he is patching holes related to a post-Madison lockset and repairing three generations of post-Madison butt-hinge mortises.  Based on the type of screws used to mount the most recent butt hinge, all three generations of hinges appear to be fairly early (pre-1840s) and suggest that the door was much too heavy for the relatively light cast-iron butt hinges.  To repair the mortises, Keith first plugs the screw holes with heart-pine dowels and then shapes heart-pine patches to fill the hinge mortises.

Gene Lyman continues to install mortise locks and is cutting mortises for brass strike plates on the North Wing’s doorways.  These strike plates will catch the bolts from the door locks and hold the door closed.


Blaise Gaston and Paul Pyzyana have assembled the window sashes for the wing cellar kitchens (M-001 and M-009).  The frames are made from heart-pine while the muntins, which will hold the glass in place, are made from pieces of steam-bent oak.  Even though these sashes are square, when viewed from Montpelier’s front lawn they will appear to be half-round due to the shape of the brickwork around the windows.  This subtle deception allows a much stronger, more stable window sash to be used in place of a weaker, bent window sash that would otherwise be required.


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