How to build window with perforated board design

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SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Is it only a coincidence, do you suppose, that a sheet of plywood or sheetrock is typically 8' in the longer dimension . . .?

The dimensions of building products of course would have no bearing on acceptable living conditions, safety issues, etc. Still . . .

RR, that sounds dandy; your hearts and heads are clearly in the right places. Bon chance, best wishes, and all that good stuff !

S

dkottum
Posts: 427
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 8:52 pm
Location: Battle Lake, MN

Post by dkottum »

Note that the Hagen house offers another alternative to the perforated windows. The perfs are fixed and have only insect screens in them. The operating sash is inside of the perfs, and open inward. Bookshelves or storage cabinets under these keep you from banging your head when walking through the passageway.

The perfs should be directly under horizontal soffits inside and out, for best effect. This will allow you to use the minimum UBC height for less than 50% of the interior space. At 84 inches (?), that's still 4 - 6 inches too high by Wrightian standards, and to suggest a Wrightian space.

Unless you or your family are taller than average. Then the soffit scale may be higher than Wrightian, a custom design for you or your tall family.

Or you may want to ditch the too high soffits altogether and work with exterior walls that are at standard door height (80 inches), with a low pitched roof. I cannot think of a Wright design that used perfs immediately under this type of roof, but he probably did.

So a couple of things that would be good to know for suggestions here are your own body height (if you are the tallest one living there), and the location (climate) where you are building. In most climates, face the window walls southeasterly.

Some thoughts that may be useful:

I believe Wrightian scale and proportions of the house are the most important elements to achieve, with an extremely limited construction material and color palette (which avoids pure white), and a house that is one-room-deep as much as possible so that the interiors receive plenty of light and exterior views (Hagen house, for example). Line the interior of external walls with window walls, built-in low cabinets, seating, desks so that exterior wall is not visually terminated with a corner at the wall-to-floor junction.

For revelations of what a house might be, do what FLW did. Study traditional Japanese houses for scale and simplicity of materials, color, furnishings and interior decoration, which are all limited. A grid sized to a 3' x 6' tatami mat holds human scale and proportion. Even some perforated wooden panels may be seen, more literal than Wright's abstractions.

Or go all the way:

A Usonian House is a complete work of art, rather than a collection of Wrightian objects tossed together. Study and learn, find the artist in you. You may find your own work of art, of you and in your own place and time.

Douglas


Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Kentuck Knob also has perfs that are paired mirror images, rather than all in one direction. That approach suggests an extensive run.
Too few perfs thus aligned might not make much of an impression.

SDR
Posts: 19704
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Good point. Are there any in another house, paired or twinned like Hagan's ?

S

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

No others that come to mind.

dkottum
Posts: 427
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 8:52 pm
Location: Battle Lake, MN

Post by dkottum »

Another feature of Kentuck Knob's perforated board windows worth noting, is a solution to the problem of an attached carport blocking out natural light on that side of the house.

The pitched roof at Kentuck Knob changes to flat at the carport, and is positioned under the row of perforated board windows so they may continue on, undisturbed, to the bedroom fireplace stonework. Patterned natural light continues to flow beautifully into the bedroom, even though the carport is attached there.

Douglas

rroach@hypoxia.net
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:06 am

Re: How to build window with perforated board design

Post by rroach@hypoxia.net »

All,
Revisiting perforated window construction mid-pandemic. I came across this description of a decorative window based on Hoffman perfs that I found interesting for the construction details. How many of those details are taken from Hoffman drawings or other specs of the original I cannot tell. But it does address edging for the plywood (I imagine meaning only for four sides of rectangle, not for interior of cutouts).

https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/ ... clearstory

What do you all think?

I still have not found the most practical material for to use for our attempt at making perfs for our house. I have read a lot about marine plywood, but the veneers tend to be in typical marine woods, like teak and mahogony or other exotic woods I would not use in interior of house. I know some regard it sacrilege to think about stain and a protective finish on a high quality interior grade wood, but so far I am leaning to that option on a high quality birch plywood which to my eye has a nice look on unfinished edges.

All the best, and hoping you're all staying safe.
Rob

SDR
Posts: 19704
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: How to build window with perforated board design

Post by SDR »

Thanks for getting back to us, Rob.

If the seller is so proud of the quality of his perforated panel, one wonders why he wouldn't display larger photos of it. At any rate, it represents an interesting project, seemingly carried out with finesse and devotion.

However the maker has managed to make his edgebanding removable, it wouldn't really be necessary if the inner and outer plywood panels had been banded separately. The offered object presumably differs from the windows you plan to make in that it is a display piece with all edges exposed, while (depending on the detailing you employ) the edges of your panels might be hidden ?

If so, and you wish to band your plywood, you would simply glue the solid-wood banding---perhaps as thin as 1/8" hardwood---to the plywood, using Titebond III or another weatherproof adhesive, sand the edges of the banding until it is flush with the faces of the plywood, and Bob's your uncle ! This would without doubt be the best way to secure the panels' edges from weather and mechanical damage or deterioration. It is the method a cabinetmaker would employ in making a piece of fine furniture from plywood or other wood-based sheet goods.

Only a very dedicated maker would take the trouble to edgeband the interior openings of a Wrightian perf panel; I can't say I've seen it done in one of his houses (though if any perfed house would sport that detail, it might be the Hoffman house !). But again, it would seal the plywood---even or especially a material with a poorer, coarser grade of interior veneers---from visible or physical fault.

S

rroach@hypoxia.net
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:06 am

Re: How to build window with perforated board design

Post by rroach@hypoxia.net »

Thanks for the suggestions. Edge banding I know how to do; I appreciate the "OK" to not worry about the interior edges :). That post did make me thinking about making the glass easy to replace by having a bolted together frame. With I think a EDPM or similar gasket for the glass to sit in I should be able to make it pretty weatherproof. I am thinking every other window on the long wall will be operable, so those may be only ones that have to get edge banded..don't know. I'll keep posting here as the project develops.

cahse1001
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:17 am

Re: How to build window with perforated board design

Post by cahse1001 »

SDR wrote:
Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:42 pm
Thanks for getting back to us, Rob.

If the seller is so proud of the quality of his perforated panel, one wonders why he wouldn't display larger photos of it. At any rate, it represents an interesting project, seemingly carried out with finesse and devotion.

However the maker has managed to make his edgebanding removable, it wouldn't really be necessary if the inner and outer plywood panels had been banded separately. The offered object presumably differs from the windows you plan to make in that it is a display piece with all edges exposed, while (depending on the detailing you employ) the edges of your panels might be hidden ?

If so, and you wish to band your plywood, you would simply glue the solid-wood banding---perhaps as thin as 1/8" hardwood---to the plywood, using Titebond III or another weatherproof adhesive, sand the edges of the banding until it is flush with the faces of the plywood, and Bob's your uncle ! This would without doubt be the best way to secure the panels' edges from weather and mechanical damage or deterioration. It is the method a cabinetmaker would employ in making a piece of fine furniture from plywood or other wood-based sheet goods.

Only a very dedicated maker would take the trouble to edgeband the interior openings of a Wrightian perf panel; I can't say I've seen it done in one of his houses (though if any perfed house would sport that detail, it might be the Hoffman house !). But again, it would seal the plywood---even or especially a material with a poorer, coarser grade of interior veneers---from visible or physical fault.

S


Agree with your opinion that if the panels will be so great the seller will provide us with bigger photos to attract the attention. But the project is really interesting. Speaking about plywood banding, what glue can you suggest?



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