My office has a metal-framed awning window (i.e. a casement hinged at the top). To stop it closing under its own weight, it has an arm either side, the other end of which slides along a vertical track. (This also limits how far the window can be opened.)

awning window

The other vertical side (not visible in the photo) is symmetric with the visible one. Note also the solution I improvised to stop the handle of the blind banging in windy weather. :-)

The problem is, the track is not that stiff, so while it keeps the window open in usual circumstances, a gust of wind will blow the window closed. There's no mechanism to tighten the tension of the track or lock it in position.

I've tried wedging a small object between the outer and inner frames, but sometimes a gust will relieve the tension of the object, making it fall out of position. I've also tried bending a paperclip into a U shape, which I can fit into the track as an end stop, but the paperclip isn't springy enough (or maybe it doesn't have enough friction), so it doesn't lock in position.

How can I keep the window slightly open without having to keep reopening it? All the usual office supplies are available, and I also have access to electronics tools and supplies such as pliers, cables, solder.

  • I use a pen/pencil. If the wind is too high, maybe you can try two or three?
    – Wha2wear
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 6:47
  • @Wha2wear Where do you put the pencil? As I said, I've tried putting small objects at the bottom of the window, but if the wind takes the weight off them, they'll fall out, which is very bad.
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 8:15
  • A picture or diagram would be helpful as there are several different designs for an "awning window" that I located online. Each would need a different solution to accomplish what you wish to do.
    – Stan
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 18:37

2 Answers 2


I use a wooden spoon that I cut down to suit my window - see picture. The hole in the end of the spoon goes over the window handle so it can't fall out. For your window it probably wouldn't need to be cut down.

wooden spoon wedge


Look into using a bowline knot to secure one or both arms. If you don't know how to tie it, here is a link: http://www.wikihow.com/Tie-a-Bowline-Knot.

I've been using bowlines for years, and they really do come in handy for practically everything.

  • 1
    How would the knot keep the arm from sliding in the track?
    – Stephie
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 18:57
  • Welcome to Lifehacks SE, please take the tour and visit our help center to learn more about this site.
    – Stephie
    Commented Apr 30, 2016 at 18:58
  • If the loop end of the knot is tied around the base, tension with another object could keep it open.
    – bdm888
    Commented May 1, 2016 at 0:54

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