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What to do with old window counter weights? Answered

My house was built in 1915 and we are replacing the windows to get better efficiency. Now I have all these weights. I can have them thrown into a landfill but that seems like a bad idea. I've seen people doing things with homemade forges but I don't have one. Would these be useful? Could they be melted down? Or could they be toxic?

Discussions

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ethollander68
ethollander68

16 hours ago

I have just purchased an old home and have about 20 or so of these weights from a house built in the 20's if any one is interested

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AnnabelA1
AnnabelA1

1 year ago

We have just restored our windows (1915 building) and replaced weights with Jamb Liners. We now have 48 weights needing a home. Shipping's on you, but happy to give them if you are looking for some. We are in Chicago.

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Chicago homeowner
Chicago homeowner

Reply 9 months ago

I am trying this again- I posted yesterday saying I too am in Chicago and cd use a few of these, but I dont see my post today. Hm. Anyway hope u see this soon and u have a few of these left- 4 or so wd be great :)! Thank u so much!!! 6/24/19

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SavannahR15
SavannahR15

1 year ago

I have 33 window weights contact me for details

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stainedglassjoe
stainedglassjoe

Reply 1 year ago

i could use 12, they measure 1 1/2 x 21

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ShylohP
ShylohP

Reply 1 year ago

I could use a bunch if you haven't gotten rid of them. Re-doing our 1915 farmhouse windows to original

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dandyjensen
dandyjensen

1 year ago

I have over 20 of these pigiron weights available in Brooklyn NY. Happy to give them away free to a good home. Please contact me at dandyjensen @ hotmail dot com

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GeorgeV79
GeorgeV79

1 year ago

i missing some in a old farm house i am working and have use for them,

1
richie4524
richie4524

2 years ago

I have 1 that has the roman numeral XII stamped on it and it is 20" long. Anyone know how old it might be and what it may have came out of? I'm assuming a large Victorian style home or church window or maybe a large barn?

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RonaldG28
RonaldG28

3 years ago

I have a use for them. where is home for them now? How many do you have.

Please advise

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SarahG227
SarahG227

Answer 2 years ago

Do you still need? I have 60

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CarolS182
CarolS182

Answer 3 years ago

I have 7 of them that I would like to find a good home for....

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Davey1000
Davey1000

3 years ago

Hi! My answer to your question is that the cast iron sash weights are usually of poor quality (the metal usually has blowholes, cementite and sand in it.) After all the only thing that the weights are required to do is to be-heavy! All is not lost however as if a boat-builder is building a long-keel-sailing-yacht, the weights might save him a lot of money. The material of choice is of course Lead but it costs over $1000 per ton. A cheaper method is to paint the sash weights with anti-rust paint then embed them in the keel with resin. The problem of course is obtaining more than a ton of weights.

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BenG82
BenG82

3 years ago

mine were iron as well, and I use them as the weights at the end of a trot line when I am fishing in the river. they can come in handy seeing as they have a eelit that makes them easy to fasten when you need em, I don't knw why everyone hates new windows. They reduce drafts and cold spots in my old home not tmention the immense savings in the heating and cooling costs that I have seen

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Rocketshoes
Rocketshoes

4 years ago

regrettably i have a stack of these weights as well, mine have roman numerals on them and i will keep a few for book stops and door stops and to remind my self what a huge mistake i made replacing the windows in the first place. no matter how much money you spend on the top of the line new windows, they will not come close to the elegance and feel of the original windows made with early 20th century craftsmanship. take the time and money and restore your old windows, even the best of the new windows are crap.

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RonaldG28
RonaldG28

Answer 3 years ago

Where is home for the sash window weights? How many do you have? if the freight is not prohibitive i could do with 20 or 30

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ctgscott
ctgscott

4 years ago

This one disappoints me a little... and here's why: Modern windows simply are not that much more efficient than a repaired historic window. I run a firm that repairs both modern and historic windows and we regularly find that modern windows have a life span of around 15 years (guides, rollers, latches, springs break, dual-pane glass fogs up and the old, trusty wooden windows just keep on chuggin' along. I urge you to consider repairing the old windows, integrating modern weather stripping and perhaps adding a low-E film to your south and west facing windows. Then you will not have the problem of what to do with your left over iron weights.

They are iron by the way. There were a few made out of lead, and one or two made out of brass or bronze, but VERY few. Nearly all were made of the cheapest/densest metal builders could find, pig-iron. They are non-toxic, they are not valuable but they will keep working if you let them.

Another thought about what to do with them, in case you have them lying around in your garage... donate them to a firm like mine that needs to put them back into houses undergoing restoration. :)

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Ann Carlyle
Ann Carlyle

Answer 4 years ago

I have a pile of circa 1922 window pulleys. Would you like those? I can send them to you.

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ctgscott
ctgscott

Answer 4 years ago

Hi Ann, I would be grateful to receive them. Pulleys are interesting in that they often are not quite the right size/shape/design when attempting to match with an old window where one or two have been broken or lost, but when they are a fit they are very helpful! Thanks for thinking of us! -Scott

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Rocketshoes
Rocketshoes

Answer 4 years ago

this is excellent advice! we just spent a fortune on the top of the line new double pained windows and i feel they have ruined the feel of our 1929 home. i wish i knew about your firm, now you live and learn hopefully.

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JustinS112
JustinS112

4 years ago



I think you should have to replace your old window counter
weights with new windows. You can buy it from srshardware.com. They are
offering window weights at 1.60 dollar per pound.

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orb4me
orb4me

4 years ago

I have 6 of them now. just came out of old windows. cheap on ebay, but pay through the nose for shipping. I like some of the ideas for them to weight things down. tx for the ideas.

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orb4me
orb4me

Answer 4 years ago

paint them and place them in real fireplace or just decoration for the fireplace?

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iceng
iceng

4 years ago

They are collectibles offer them on eBay.

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VisaP
VisaP

4 years ago

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rickharris
rickharris

6 years ago

They are more than likely lead, It has a high scrap value try your local scrap yard who will pay you by weight for it.

They may be brass and are equally valuable, again the scrap yard will buy them off you. Alternatively if you have a local model engineer he/she will be delighted to take them off you and turn them into something interesting.

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explosivemaker
explosivemaker

Answer 6 years ago

that was my thought

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Answer 6 years ago

Never seem a lead one. All the ones in mum and dad's were pigiron.

Steve

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Answer 6 years ago

Might be a time/regional/cost thing - I've seen lead ones.

A friend's house had a sash wall - the dividing wall between two rooms could be lifted into a hollow wall upstairs. It had a pulley system in the loft, with big lead counterweights.

She went and got it replaced, a choice she later regretted.

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

Answer 6 years ago

Ouch. I'd've paid money to see that idea in action.

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Kiteman
Kiteman

Answer 6 years ago

I never saw it move - for a while, I think it was painted shut!

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rickharris
rickharris

Answer 6 years ago

Our Victorian house had lead weights in the windows. I have seen brass as well - very nice for turning - Old brass seems to be a lot more friendly then newer stuff. maybe I am buying the wrong grade!

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Yorkshire Lass
Yorkshire Lass

6 years ago

You could:
  • use them to hold down the corners of picnic blankets and tablecloths used outside
  • pile a few in the bottom of any tree tubs you have, to stop them blowing over in high winds and make them less desirable to plant thieves (who won’t know they are filled with brass or lead, just that they are too heavy to carry away)
  • keep one for use as a plumb bob when hanging wallpaper
  • pop one in your garage/shed to tie on the end of a rope the next time you need to sling it over a branch to hang a swing, hammock or to control the fall of the branch when you are pruning it
  • if you have a garden pond, you could use a brass weight to anchor newly planted waterlilies
  • the weights could maybe be used to secure the ends of party bunting or banners by hanging them over tree branches - less trouble than tying the ends around branches
  • use one with a length of cord for chilling a bottle of wine or beer in a stream when picnicking - there isn’t always anything convenient to tie the cord around on the bank
  • keep one under the seat in your car in case you ever have a crash and need to smash your way out through the window (lead may be too soft for this)
  • likewise, if you have toughened or laminated glass in your house windows, keep a weight in each bedroom in case there is a fire and it's too dark or smokey to find the window keys/catches
  • get kids to practise their swimming skills by picking up a weight from the bottom of the pool
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vince 09
vince 09

6 years ago

I gave all of ours to a local blacksmith

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iceng
iceng

Answer 6 years ago

Who probably sold them on eBay :-)

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vince 09
vince 09

Answer 6 years ago

Well I hope he got something good for them lol there where like 30 of them lol

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steveastrouk
steveastrouk

6 years ago

There are shops that renovate old sashes and can't find weights.

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RavensCraft
RavensCraft

6 years ago

They would make great tarp hold-down weights,
If you have something outside that you want to protect
from the weather. Just tie a piece of rope to the weight
and let it hang from a grommet on the tarp.

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Burf
Burf

6 years ago

Some old window sash weights are collectable, particularly those that have manufacturer's markings on them. Those not of the typical cylindrical shape are more collectable.
I have seen a fireplace andiron and grate made from old sash weights but for practical purposes, if you can't sell them or use them as decorator pieces, they're not anymore useful or valuable than any similarly shaped piece of cast iron.