Friday 26 July 2019

Kitchen window phase 1

The indications of damage from water ingress around Erin Mae's left-hand kitchen window have been getting worse, and they have to be addressed.

One of the targets for this period was to remove the window and sort it all out. Last year's experience with a living area window gave me confidence for everything that has to be done once the hole is window-less, but I am still a bit nervous about bodywork. In particular, given the history with Erin Mae's windows, that I discovered well after we bought her, I expect to face problems resulting from the technique of those who first endeavoured to make her water-tight.

The proper method for attaching a window is to use machine screws through its aluminium frame, secured into tapped holes in the hull. The internal wooden frame (see the picture) is secured by countersunk screws from the the outside, which pass through the hull and into the wood, and whose heads are covered by the aluminium frame itself. But whoever effected the repair when the windows first gave problems chose to fix the aluminium frame with wood screws passing through the hull and into the internal wooden frame, trusting that the grip between them would be enough to prevent ingress. It never has been – I imagine that just the natural movement of the wood and the metal expanding in hot weather would be enough to cause a failure. So today, with some trepidation, I started on removing the window.

It was as I had feared – most of the screws were wood screws passing through the hull into the internal wooden frame. I tapped my screwdriver with a hammer to loosen them, and most came out fine. But on two the head had rusted too much to get a grip – I don't understand why they didn't use stainless steel screws. I tried to remove them with a screw extractor kit (thanks, Ted!) but they were too hard for that to make any impression.

So I phoned Dave Freeman, the engineer who fitted our new gas hob on Monday, and he's going to drop by shortly to see what he can do to get the screws out for me. Unfortunately, I can't yet see whether my eventual solution will necessitate drilling any more holes in the hull – the two stuck screws are in just the wrong position for me to move the frame sufficiently to have a look.

Debit it to experience, Uncle Paul would have said.


  1. There always seems to be one stubborn screw on any project.

  2. Yup!

    I'd quite like to know how to deal with them myself. All the tools I've so far acquired for extracting them seem to make no impression at all.