Thursday, March 4, 2010

Not a Knot

I had the unenviable task of replacing all the ropes for the window sash weights in one window today. This is nasty work, at least the way this house is built - back in 1910 or 1920. Anyhow, after a lot of prying off of trim I was finally able to get to the sash weights sitting at the bottom of their chambers, their ropes having broken years ago. When I fished out the weights, they were tied in this interesting way. This is not a "knot", it is a "hitch." I will spare you the technical details, other than to say it works by friction alone. It is interesting, if you tied this with a strand of spaghetti, it would just slip free, and yet with this sash cord, it has stayed like this since it was first tied. And that got me to thinking about how long ago this was tied. If the house is nearly a hundred years old, I would guess that the sash cords were replaced perhaps 50 years ago. Who was it that tied this? I am the first person to touch his work since he did it.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is amazing. I've always thought that what makes you an incredible photographer is your eye for light, composition, and texture -- also your ability to edit the image down to its essence. Very nice!

Ken Spencer said...

Maybe the photo is amazing, but the job itself is a mess! Whew! Glad this window is done. I failed to mention that I replace the cord with chain, so each window is a once-in-life fix. Thank you so much for the nice comments. Made doing a messy job easier!

Anonymous said...

I replaced a few window ropes and it is a pain. Many more need it but I get by with sticks to hold the window open! :-) Feel free to finish my house when you are done with yours. I have never considered using chain. Hmmm