I'd driven past this window many times over the past 30 years and always
thought, "that would be one heck of a window to repair", it being curved
and consisting of all beveled pieces. Well, the phone rang one day and
the window needed repair - again. It turns out this 100 plus year-old
window had been repaired before, probably several times, and not very
well. Seven of the beveled pieces had been replaced with regular,
non-beveled window glass. The zinc came was bent in places and silicon
had been used to fill gaps. Besides having a broken pane, the window
was also falling out of its wood frame due to the bottom section of the
frame coming loose.
After numbering the glass pieces  and photographing the window, I disassembled it.
I made cardboard templates for 8 beveled pieces to be re-created then mailed them to a beveling company in
southern California. The original zinc came was too far gone to reuse so I also ordered new came.
My original plan was to rebuild the window flat
on my work table then set it back into its curved
frame. After repairing the wood frame, I cut a
piece of 1/8" thick white board to the proper
size. This was going to be my template to build
on. When I set it in the frame to check its fit I
thought, "maybe I can build it right in the frame
then slide out the white board". It was worth a
try. I had rebuilt several windows in their frames
From previous experience I've
learned that rebuilt windows don't
always exactly come out to their
original size so I did a "pre-fit" test
using the old window pieces and
the new came I ordered. Sure
enough, I had to make minor
changes in the perimeter came
pieces for a good fit.
Rebuilding in frame supported by
white board.
After soldering all the outside came
joints, I carefully slid the white
board out. The window was now
self supported. I replaced the wood
strips that hold the glass into its
wood frame, then flipped the entire
unit over and soldered the came
joints on the inside.
I masked off the wood
around the window then
puttied and applied
"whiting" (calcium
carbonate) to the
window to help the putty
After vacumming off the
remaining whiting, I dulled
down the new, shiny came with
a patina to make it match the
other windows whose came
had naturally darkened with
After a thorough cleaning, the
window looks as good as new.
The repaired window back in place.
Curved Window Repair
(click on images for larger views)