Frequently asked questions.

1. What is a leaded light?
Glass held within a lead structure often inserted within a window or door. There are many techniques in which to colour glass. The point I want to make is that some window panels  made of lead can have really interesting glass texture but no colour. This is one of the reasons why these are sometimes  to referred to just as “leaded lights”.

2. What is stained glass?
There are numerous ways in which to apply colour to glass. Some people will argue that the true definition of stained glass is when it has been painted with silver nitrate which is what gives the distinctive yellow / brown appearance. This is typically seen in European church/cathedral windows as the use of silver nitrate was introduced in the 14th century.  Glass which has not been painted but is still coloured, like this, has been made using a chemical compound at the point of production. For instance copper is added to make it green.

Frankly I have given up trying to define the term “stained glass”. The term is used generically for commercial ease.

3. Your reclaimed stock looks lovely but what can I do with such things?
Internal fixtures (e.g. above a door/stud wall partition)
Ornaments/ hanging suncatchers
Wall art
Reinsert as external windows if in suitable condition.
See ideas for what previous happy customers have done.

4. Where do you get the salvaged stock from?
I go to great effort to rescue from all over the United Kingdom. They are usually removed from Victorian to 1930s era domestic property. The owners are of the mindset that they are “upgrading” the property with modern alternatives. I often have to bite my lip when going into a rescue situation.

Above. Typical British three bedroom semi detached house in which the wooden windows are removed. I buy the sections within the top of each window unit which are referred to as “toplights”. 

5. Do you do repairs?

No. But if you contact me regarding my referral service then I may be able to put you in touch with someone who can. Please keep in mind asking anyone to repair anything has to be worth their time regardless of how small the repair may seem. I specialise in selling spare panes of old glass which people can use to fix themselves or give to someone who can.

6. I am looking for a big window to go in a landing, about 1.2 x 1.5 metre, have you got anything?

I am able to help but for this sort of size you are probably looking for a complete window casement (not just the individual sections of a window which I more commonly sell). It is unlikely you will find one in your size from any reclaim dealer as these are so large/heavy it is not practical to transit and store. I can refer you to someone who could make the leaded lights. This is relatively easy but first you might want to investigate the services of a joiner/carpenter who can make and it you a window unit.

A “big” is often within an overall casement and will consist of several leaded light panels which fit together.

7. Can you recommend someone to fit leaded light panels and new timber windows?

Mark Stanton is a carpenter based in Ruislip who will travel around the London area: / 07958 293925. Please reference me if you contact him.

He had made and fitted new timber windows for me – click here for photos.

8. What’s your view on dipping doors to remove the paint?
If you want a rustic look or the door is to be fitted internally then it may not bother you that the chemical treatment will remove some of the binding glue or any filler. Having had a few internal doors dipped myself I was happy with finish though once saw a door which having been dipped had a ‘furry’ texture to the wood – weird. Handstripping a door is not without risk either. For instance if using a heat gun to remove paint be careful not to scold the wood if you are not repainting! Take care not to use too fine an abrasive when sanding down after stripping. Don’t bother trying to use a chemical to remove the paint yourself as you need it in industrial quantity to make any progress.

My response to common statements!

  • We liked the old windows but they had to go because it was too cold and the frames were rotting.

    This is a myth the uPVC double-glazing industry has peddled because they want to sell you their mass produced Putrid Vicious Crap. Take a look at my newly made windows. I have also used two-part filler to repair one set of windows which were not too rotten and had secondary glazing installed. In my opinion the secondary glazing was cheaper and is warmer than conventional double-glazing: come and see! If your pre war home has already been mutilated with PVC I can sell you a set of leaded panes for new frames to be made!
  • The old doors are drafty.

    Old houses need to have some ventilation. They need to breath to prevent problems such as damp. Old buildings are made with materials that are not designed to be hermetically sealed in with ghastly modern insulation products.  Fact: humanity has evolved over millions of years with a bit of draft. I would rather put on a jumper and see something like this everyday:Promotional Neath

2 thoughts on “Frequently asked questions.

  1. Kudos to you, Richard, for calling PVC by its proper name–Putrid Vicious Crap! The studies showing the link between the plasticizers in vinyl and endocrine disruption/disease ought to be enough to have us all calling it by its proper name, and calling out the industries who foist it upon us. That aside, how could plastic be compared to authentic, stained glass in a wood frame and be found to be anything but truly ugly?!
    Thanks for fighting the good fight! You’ve a kindred spirit and cheerleader in Texas!

    1. Thanks Michelle – I wish I had the time to read the study!

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