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Windows to the Past

During this past week at work, Jeff Finch (the National Park Service instructor) taught us about window sashes. My peers and I learned how to shellac, oil, and putty the windows. All these chemicals help the windows stay strong against moisture.

The shellac is a special type of base we put into the window corners before we actually put the window in. This helps the windows from rotting from too much moisture. Before we oiled the window we cleaned all of the dirt off the window so that the oil could set in. We then oiled the windows with a special type of oil-based paint. This keeps the paint from chipping off.

The putty is the hardest job of them all. It's like sticky clay but holds the window in place. We had to make sure that we didn't touch the window with putty so that the windows wouldn't get dirty. We also made sure that we didn't break the glass due to the fact that the windows are expensive. The putty has to be put on before putting the window in.

Working on the window sashes is very time-consuming. One window sash may take up to 3 to 4 hours to do if you want to do it correctly.