Montpelier Restoration Update – 11/12/2008

Doors

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Mac Ward continues to install weather stripping on the door frames.

Keith Forry has finished installing the cellar door jambs in the 1797 cellar and has started to install the reconstructed jambs in the c. 1764 cellar.

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Gene Lyman continues to install mortise locks on the doors.  He has also re-installed the door to M-206 (Restoration exhibit room) using wrought-iron H-L hinges.  While the name “H-L” may sound strange, it actually relates to the letters formed by the shape of the hinge.

Bill Bichell continues to work on the cellar passage doors.

Windows

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Joe Doody is installing the interior storm windows in the Mansion.  The storm windows, which were manufactured by Allied Window, Inc, are primarily intended to make maintaining the climate in the Mansion easier and keep condensation from forming on the historic window sashes.  However, the storm windows will also help to reduce the amount of ultraviolet light that enters the mansion.  UV light can cause fabrics and furniture to fade and even deteriorate over time, so it is vital for historic house museums to keep as much UV light out of their houses as possible.  To control UV light at Montpelier, we elected to use laminated glass in our interior storm windows.  By using the laminated glass (two thin sheets held together with a thin layer of plastic), we will be able to block 99% of transmitted UV light from entering the Mansion.  Eventually, when furnishings are placed in the Mansion, we will also install tinted window film on the windows to reduce the amount of light and heat that is transmitted through the windows.  The heat and light energy found in sunlight also degrades fabrics and furnishings and having the films will be a vital tool for protecting the collections.

Thin magnetic strips mounted to the window stops are used to hold the storm windows in place.  Each storm window is custom made to fit the subtle variations found in the windows throughout the mansion.  A tool called a glass-cup is being used to mount the windows in the frames.  The glass-cups are basically two suction cuts mounted to a handle that allow the windows to be carefully placed into the frame.

Garrett

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Keith has also started building a cowl or hood for the lunette window.  The cowl is needed to keep rain from blowing into the garret when the window is opened in the summer to ventilate the attic.  When the window is open it will lean against the cowl to form a watertight seal.  The interior of the cowl will also be coated with epoxy and then caulked and painted to keep it water tight.

Millwork

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Blaise Gaston and Paul Pyzyana have finished milling and assembling the stairs and stoop for the North Wing’s eastern exterior door.  They are currently painting the stairs and stoop and will hopefully be installing it next week.

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