I have a bunch of windows in my little 1950 Cape Cod in need of re-glazing but they also need a bit of mechanical repair for their "brakes". The "brakes" hold the sill in place, they are actuated by small levers at the bottom of the sill. The "brakes" are made of hardboard or something very similar.They reside in a gap along the vertical rails of the sill and grip against the frame. Picture should help.Side view wind brake

A) Wondering what these "brakes" are really called.

B) Hoping somebody knows company out there is making replacement parts.

View with lever

1 Answer 1


In many cases, repair of really old wood windows can be as or more expensive than replacement due to a variety of factors, one of which you have found--unavailability of off-the-shelf replacement parts. And after you're done, you still have leaky, single-glazed windows! I would only consider repairing these windows if they have architectural or historical value to the house. If they don't, you may be better served by replacing them with modern, well-sealed, energy-efficient windows, which come in wood if you like that look. You can even get windows that are wood on the inside and aluminum or fiberglass on the outside, which really improves their durability and reduces maintenance.

  • If the windows need substantial repair than replacements may be inevitable, but the return-on-investment for new windows is a tough sell. Old wood windows in decent shape + storm windows actually perform about as well as modern double-glazed ones.
    – Hank
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 15:03
  • Yeah, storms do a lot for old windows, especially if they seal out air well. You can add window films as well to beef up their performance. But all of that can get pricey too. Replacing the glazing in old windows + adding storms + adding films might approach the price of new windows. It all depends on the specifics of the situation.
    – iLikeDirt
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 15:09

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