Replica Wooden Windows being built on our shop assembly line.
We have finished one of our single largest historic renovation contracts creating 860 historic replica windows. Built by hand from African mahogany they passed all physical wear and environmental challenge tests before we began building. The Montgomery Building in Spartansburg SC renovated by Harper Construction. Our team has put in overtime, thought through materials problems and worked diligently through some long hours to make sure we met the project deadlines. Thank you all for your skills and dedication!
Built on a Modern Timeline
Gepetto craftsmen specialize in matching and remaking historic pieces for accurate and lasting renovations qualifying for historic tax credits. While the woodworking may not have changed, people’s expectations as to how long something should take sure have!
The solid mahogany window frames are to the millimeter replicas of the originals, however our bid and the general contractor’s timeline called for a 100 day turnaround on 860 windows. We had to devise a workflow that built 5 windows a day to meet that timeline!
Wooden windows over 70 inches tall
When the tallest guy on your team can walk through a window frame without ducking, it’s a big job. The window frames are of pine, and so sourcing stable quality pine planks 8x2″ over 6ft long is also a trick of the trade that you’ll have to hire us to take advantage of fully. Part of our ability to meet detailed project requirements are our network that sources the raw wood materials right for your construction. The window frame boxes must be accurately joined to square and plumb and so in the video you see us filling the window frame boxes with the window sashes. We have a few more trade secret tips for weather sealing and glazing that helped us pass the stress and efficiency tests that were required by the contractor before they signed off on the whole project. Historically accurate, but meeting modern energy efficiency and weather resistance standards are a modern manufacturing success.
Master Craftsmanship Passed On
Matthew (with the logo t-shirt in the foreground) intently solving the positioning and fit puzzle that manufacturing wood projects presents on a daily basis. He teaches the craftsmen who are observing the process as well as the sensibility for checking the work. Unlike metals, cement or fiberglass – wood can only be shaped once. Forming a miter joint must be done with exacting precision or it’s too loose and fails. The solid wood construction of these windows include over 20 joints that must be tended to individually. The decision making process of the craftsman guides the fitting and because we have such a large manufacturing scale – the craftsman makes better choices. If piece A is too tight, he can choose from the source stack of forty or fifty pieces to find a better fit without creating wasted pieces or time.
Manufacturing scale at your service
Contact us to bid your historic renovation and you might be surprised at the price. We have managed many large construction orders for clients across the Eastern United States. The windows in the video are shipped to South Carolina where the coastal towns of Charleston and Savannah Georgia have beautiful sections of historic homes. We supply warehouse and industrial space reconstruction projects in Maryland, Delaware and as far north a Connecticut as the move to re-purpose industrial spaces trends throughout the building and architectural trades.
20 years of experience in the field of mill-work has brought Matthew to the level of managing million dollar contracts for large scale production. Nothing in the wood construction field is quite as organized as you might assume, in the above picture Matthew is measuring and calculating the quantity of raw beams needed to be transported from the warehouse to the shop. Materials management, time management and building a skilled workforce that can solve problems as they develop in manufacture all contribute to meeting your project demands.
Big Projects Lost in Small Details
Raw lumber comes from raw nature – she’s not perfectly uniform. These planks are from 8ft to 12ft long and any width from 4 inches to 34 inches! We have to mill the mahogany from it’s beam size to a 3.8 ” wide window sill. The plank mahogany will be sorted and ripped before the decorative edge is milled into the side to replicate the historic windows from the 1920’s era building.