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Is 1950 molding 'architectural salvage' worthy?

Posted by sioushi (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 14, 11 at 10:34

The DM (darling manthing) and I are butting heads. I just bought a house built in 1950 (a kind of hybrid ranch/bungalow style). I'm replacing the 70" x 40" window and casing above the kitchen sink. The paint on the interior and exterior sills in terrible shape, and lead-containing chips shower down whenever the window is opened - onto my food prep surface! No thanks! So he's ripping off the window casing, I'm stripping the exterior sill (which is sound) and the inside of the window frame, and we're replacing the sashes.

The window casing (millwork / molding) is the problem. I want to save it - one side is damaged, and would need replacing, but the rest just needs stripping and can be reused (after sealing). He says chuck it and buy new at Home Depot. I say it's vintage. He says it's cheap pine tract home stuff that was cranked out all through the 50s and is not worth saving. He says he can reproduce the profile. I say it's cheaper to strip. He says have you EVER stripped a window and do you know how much work this is?

So... 1950 window trim. Worth saving, or scrap it? Opinions?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is 1950 molding 'architectural salvage' worthy?

If you're prepping it for painting, it doesn't have to be stripped.

I read recently that Dame Helen Mirren claims she enjoys darning her husband's socks. Not much economic sense, but it gets her endorphins pumping.

RE: Is 1950 molding 'architectural salvage' worthy?

"So... 1950 window trim. Worth saving, or scrap it? Opinions?"


Even in 1950 some patterns were expensive.

If it is less than 3/4 inch thick at the thickest spot, and less than 4-5 inches wide it is probably still in production and can be easily replaced.

When you get trim that is multiple pieces, over 1 inch thick or 5 inches wide you get into some real money to replace it, but even patterns from the 1800s are still available (at a price).

RE: Is 1950 molding 'architectural salvage' worthy?

It was 3 1/2" wide by 3/4" thick on the sides, 4" deep at the apron, and 5" wide in the middle between the two windows, all built of multiple pieces. The argument nearly ruined our Valentine's day dinner so I told him just to throw it away.

When I could figure out how to post photos, I will do so. I can photograph the parts that are left in the garbage can.

I'm going to test strip some wood and see how difficult it is. I don't mind time-consuming tasks, and I would rather preserve the existing molding.

RE: Is 1950 molding 'architectural salvage' worthy?

It's real simple if you take it to a cabinet shop they can remake it. Or if you have a friend with router maybe he could do it. If it is just 1 side I don't think cost will be too much,I know people that have done that out here.

RE: Is 1950 molding 'architectural salvage' worthy?

Open a free account on Photobucket, upload your photos to it, then copy the HTML code and paste it into the body of your message here. The photo should show up when you hit preview. If it doesn't, try again!

If it's factory painted, as it may have been at that date, it's very hard to strip. Trust me, I've tried!


RE: Is 1950 molding 'architectural salvage' worthy?

Try several lumber yards in your area. Since the the advent of the box stores nobody goes to these places. They usually have people who really know their business when it comes to millwork.A lot of people are not aware that the box stores are home improvement centers, not lumber yards or electrical supply houses or plumbing supply.Box stores carry what seems like a wide variety,effectively a large hardware store, but no where near what can be found in the businesses I mentioned.

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