Webb Machinist Gives Historic Stevenson Taylor Hall Patio Doors Some TLC
Jamie Swan, the Engineering Laboratory Technician and Machinist at Webb Institute, explains the steps he took to restore the leaded glass doors that leads from the dining room to the patio.
“The hinges were worn, so the door was dragging on the sill. The design of that style door doesn’t provide for much resistance to wracking, so every time somebody opened the door the twisting action was wreaking havoc on the lead bars (“came”) that hold the glass panes.
The glass is made weather tight in the came with a special putty that they call cement. The cement usually lasts around 100 years, so the cement in our doors was in bad shape. The combination of the twisted came and the failing cement meant that our door was practically falling apart.
The repair work involved removing the door and placing it on a horizontal platform that was bearing directly on the lead came. The came needed to be massaged back into a flat plane. That was followed by scraping out the old cement.
The broken solder joints were repaired, and new cement was applied. The glass panel is held into the steel door frame by small steel angles. One of those was missing, so a replacement had to be fabricated. Bronze shims were machined to raise the door up so that it no longer dragged on the sill.
The original dead bolts that held the door closed were missing, so reproductions were fabricated. The original components were made by casting, but it was easier to make the replacements by machining.”
To view Jamie’s entire photo album, please click here.