Glazed and Confused

A request came in to see the progress in my window glazing putty application efforts. So, at the risk of both glazing narcissism and the dullest imaginable blog post in the history of the interwebs, please note the first window I attempted on the left and the last window on the right. I attribute the progress entirely to Eric of Garden Fork‘s useful how-to videos on glazing putty application (video 1 and video 2).

I’m left with two glazing putty inspired philosophical questions:

  • YouTube can be simultaneously useful and dangerously distracting. How can you use the internet productively without losing hours to cat videos?
  • How do you retain a skill like window glazing putty application when you don’t do it often?

Alas, there is likely no definitive answer to these questions. But, as one things leads to another, please know that I will continue to explain the mysteries of old window repair and replacement. Stay tuned.


Saturday Tweets: OMG This is Everything

How to Apply Window Glazing Putty

I spent yesterday afternoon applying glazing putty to a window while simultaneously speculating about hosting the world’s first Olympics of window glazing. Who needs gymnastics? At the glazing Olympics, the judges will score the smoothness of the putty line, evenness of the corners, economic use of materials and cleanliness of the glass.  One can also easily imagine the constant and exciting play by play banter in the broadcast booth.

For those of you lucky enough to have escaped this task, window glazing putty is a soft and slightly greasy material that seals the glass and keeps it secure. Fumble the application and, every time you glance out the window, you have wavy gobs of putty to provide an ongoing reminder of your lack of glazing skills.

I’ve always found applying glazing putty to be a challenging job, one of those tasks you only do every few years and never get the chance to get good at. Yesterday I was applying glazing putty to a new and expensive window that I had milled and I wanted it to look good. So, naturally, I took to YouTube for some tutorials and quickly landed on two excellent glazing tutorials by none other than Root Simple pal Eric of Garden Fork (video two is here).

After viewing the videos several times and getting plenty of practice on my new window (nine panes on the top and one on the bottom), I managed to achieve acceptable (though not gold medal) results by the end of the job. Some tips that I gleaned from Eric’s video:

  • Use a stiff, bent putty knife like this the one above. It makes the job a lot easier.
  • Pack the putty in firmly. You can see this first step in the video. If you don’t do this it will pull out when you make the final pass with the putty knife.
  • As to that final pass, use a lot of pressure and don’t hesitate.
  • Clean the glass immediately with mineral spirits.

Now I’m kinda serious about the Olympics of window glazing. Perhaps we will see some gold medal glaziers when we host the event in 2028. Get practicing as the winners will make millions from Dap sponsorships!

Swedish Death Cleaning

A big thank you to Root Simple reader Harkinna for tipping us off to the latest decluttering trend, Swedish death cleaning. No, this doesn’t refer to cleaning tips from Swedish death metal rock musicians. A Treehugger article details this Scandinavian answer to Marie Kondo,

In Swedish, the word is “döstädning” and it refers to the act of slowly and steadily decluttering as the years go by, ideally beginning in your fifties (or at any point in life) and going until the day you kick the bucket. The ultimate purpose of death cleaning is to minimize the amount of stuff, especially meaningless clutter, that you leave behind for others to deal with.

The article goes on to describe Margareta Magnusson, the doyen of Swedish death cleaning, as Marie Kondo with a dose of momento mori. Not having read Magnusson’s book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, I can’t comment on the method’s effectiveness, but its clear that both Magnusson and Kondo are addressing a universal problem of our consumer culture: too much stuff.

Recipes From the Rye Baker

Berlin Rye. Photo: Stanley Ginsberg/The Rye Baker.

A number of you, our dear readers, said you’d have liked to have attended the rye class this past weekend taught by Stanley Ginsberg if only you weren’t thousands of miles away. Short of putting Stanley on tour, the next best thing is to take a look at his detailed rye blog which I neglected to mention in my last post. There are enough recipes there to keep you busy for months. The bread recipe we made on Saturday was the Berlin rye pictured above. You can find that recipe here.

I’ve had to take a break from baking, but when I get back to it I’m going to specialize in rye exclusively. Why? You just can’t find a decent rye loaf for sale even in the big city. You gotta make it yourself!