Window Restoration – HeritageNL Mentor Program

Welcome to the third post in our 2023/24 Youth in Heritage feature series – where we feature the amazing work our partners are doing and the opportunities they are giving their youth employees. Below, you will find our third article in this series shared with us by HeritageNL about their windows restoration mentee-mentor pair they supported this fall!

Wooden windows comprise one of the most significant character-defining elements on the majority of historic buildings in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Retaining traditional skills to maintain original historic wooden windows, particularly on designated buildings, is increasingly important. Through their mentorship program, HeritageNL hired Jack Kilmer to learn from a seasoned professional about heritage window restoration.

Rex Passion, Jack’s mentor, shared some details on Jack’s training and progress this past fall. Jack Kilmer worked in the shop to learn window restoration. His tasks included de-glazing window sashes, that is removing all the old glazing, glazing points and the glass, stripping and repainting the sash, replacing the glass, reglazing the sash and painting the finished product ready for reinstallation in the window.

The removal of old window sashes, which have most often been painted shut for decades, can be a difficult process. Jack was trained to use different methods and to work carefully to get the best possible result. He practised removal and boarding, and was trained on the most efficient way to reinstall sash and adjust them so they work smoothly, as well as on the removal and replacement of exterior window sills.

Jack shared the following about his experience:
I am incredibly grateful for the chance to learn from experts in my field and navigate the niche we occupy. Heritage NL and Hammond Woodworks have created a learning environment that allows me to enjoy unprecedented access to heritage windows, and to engage with, and employ, Neil Hammond’s wealth of knowledge. Working directly with mentors is an inspiring and all too uncommon opportunity. I will always be grateful for this experience and for the knowledge transferred to me.

ICOMOS Canada and Youth in Heritage are delighted to have supported HeritageNL in training the next generation of heritage tradespeople. For more information on HeritageNL’s work, check out their website here: https://heritagenl.ca/

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