Joinery

A reasonable definition would go something like this: Joinery involves the joining together of pieces of wood to produce complex items... for example, sash windows.

JoineryThis is an area of window manufacture that many people working in the selling side of the industry completely overlook: we find this remarkable as it is the single most important factor dictating both the form and longevity of the window itself.

For centuries, in the British Isles, joinery techniques were universal and they dictated the distinctive style of UK fenestration – a style which, if compared to those employed on mainland Europe, is completely unique. This was a reaction to centuries of experimentation and experience conducted largely in isolation on an island with its own individual climate, social structure, architectural styles, etc. In many ways, the sash window is a pure example of the axiom that 'Form Follows Function'.

Changing the form of joinery employed in the manufacture of sash windows inevitably, and understandably, changes the windows themselves. This is of particular importance to conservation projects where 'close enough` really isn't good enough' – replacement windows must match the originals in all respects to be considered compliant.

joineryWe are a traditional workshop; the joinery and hand-skills used to make our windows today is practically identical to those used when this form of window was preeminent over a hundred years ago. You might think this is reactionary, showing an unwillingness to 'move with the times'; we, on the other hand, believe this is the only logical way to reproduce the style, strength and integrity required by this joinery form. We use mortise and tenon joinery throughout, here are a few of the advantages of using this system:

  • Strength. Unlike the finger joint, mortise-and-tenon joinery does not rely exclusively on glue bonding; wood moves and even the most advanced adhesives will eventually fail, yet still the joint will hold firm unless the timber itself has deteriorated beyond repair.
  • Versatility. A mortise-and-tenon joint can occur at any point along the length of window components - this means that the strength of each component is conferred to other elements of the whole. Also, common features of a sash window, e.g. the horns, are an integral feature of the sash and not added later, this is unavoidable in other styles of jointing.
  • Elegance. Sash windows are renowned for the slimness of their sections which allow the maximum transfer of light to the room and form a pleasant and unobtrusive border to the view outside: as the joinery is not dependent on glue area, it allows for the section of parts to be kept to an absolute minimum thus retaining this uncluttered aesthetic. Modern sash windows are noteworthy for their 'chunky' appearance.
  • Box Depth. Original sash windows of the Victorian period were generally 140mm in depth and the builders and architects of the period worked with this figure as an absolute. Sash windows are usually fitted to the inside of the brickwork reveal meaning that any increase in depth leads to a projection into the room. We make our 'modern' box frames (including double glazed units and draught-proofing) to a depth of 147mm – this compares favourably to other windows with an average depth of between 160 and 170mm.

joineryFor our double glazed sashes, we go a step further. To overcome the increased joinery stress caused by doubling the weight of the glass, we split the joint into two and spread it across the entire width of the components leading to a balanced and resilient structure.

We are proud of the windows we make and are confident that they will be an authentically attractive feature of the property for years to come – this confidence comes from the knowledge that we have made them correctly.

Timber Windows

Butler & Bowler windows maintain the aesthetic of a traditional window manufacture with the benefits of innovative design and incorporating modern technology. Maintenance is a breeze.

Wooden Doors

Timber Doors

Butler & Bowler uses the latest door manufacturing technology that allows our products design versatility and optimum performance.

bespoke

Bespoke Joinery

This section is still under construction. Content will be added soon.