Sash Deglazing, and paint removal (with Video)
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:25 pm    Post subject: Sash Deglazing, and paint removal (with Video) Reply with quote

Steam Deglazing, Portable

Deglazing is removing the old putty and the glass from the sash.


Video: sash deglazing with the portable steamer at the bench. This method can be used in the shop on the easel or bench, and onsite with the sash still in the frame. This video has production times broken down by step, 52 minutes total for deglazing, all exterior paint removal, 30% selective interior paint removal, ready for painting and glazing. It probably would have taken less time for complete interior paint removal, say 45 minutes total.

At minute 14:20 in the video you can see where I've removed paint from the margin of the face of the sash, so the sash is less likely to generate lead-containing dust and the associated health risk.

Deglazing might be necessary to replace the pane or to take apart the sash for further repairs. Often deglazing must be carefully done to preserve the glass for reuse.

There is no secret or product that makes removing the glass panes easy. Some good methods have been developed that eliminate the struggle, but it is still work. The two keys to effective deglazing are to warm up the old putty and use a pull-type scraper to remove it. To do this work safely wear safety glasses and gloves to prevent cuts, and follow lead-safe work practices.

Back in the 1970s a common method was heating the putty with the old standard Masters Red hot-air gun, protecting the glass from breakage caused by the blast of hot air with aluminum foil pads folded ten sheets thick. The putty could be pried loose with an ordinary putty knife. This worked, but it was slow and blew around a lot of lead-containing dust, and broke a lot of glass. Typical glass breakage rate was 30-40%.

In the 1980s hot-air guns were available with controllable air temperature, controllable air volume and a flat nozzle. With settings for limited air and the least temperature necessary glass breakage rate dropped to 20-30%. A custom-made air baffle that kept the hot air off of the glass and eliminated the need for the aluminum foil pads. With the use of a pull-type scraper production rates doubled and the breakage rate dropped to 10-20%.

It is possible to use an infra-red paint stripping lamp to warm up the putty. This works, but the lamps are 4” wide and it is difficult to control all the heat they generate. Shining the heat on an area of exposed bare wood can result in charred wood. You have to work on a heat-resistant surface--an ordinary wooden bench top may char and catch fire. This is a ‘dry’ method, so it generates lead-containing dust that must be controlled. Using the lamp itself is slick and quick, but following high level Lead-Safe Operations adds to the time and cost.

A method using steam to soften the putty has been developed in recent years. This is slick and quick and can be used in the shop on the easel or bench, and on-site with the sash still in the frame. It is a damp operation so that helps control the lead dust, and lower level of Lead-Safe Operations applies, which is easier to implement. One disadvantage is that the steam can soften the wood if it is scraped the wrong way or scraped too much, resulting in “scruffed” surfaces or “threading out.” It is possible to develop techniques to limit this damage. A portable steamer with a hose can be used. Special steam heads can be made that guide the steam right along the line of hard putty. It takes just one or two minutes of steam to soften the putty so it crumbles out easily. With steam typical glass breakage rates are only 2-3%. Whole sash can be steamed in a box made of foam board insulation, or in a stainless steel chamber.

Once the putty is soft, use a pull-type scraper to remove it. If you use a putty knife or chisel you will be pushing toward the glass, which is what breaks glass, especially when you slip, or the putty gives way all at once. To keep from breaking the glass do not make ANY movement, force or pressure toward the glass when scraping out the old putty--not perpendicularly toward the glass, not even at an angle toward the glass. All movement near and on the glass must be parallel to the glass or away from the glass to prevent breakage. Use a pull-type scraper. If you slip, or the putty gives way, all the force is away from the glass and it will not break.

Remove the glazing points. This is easy to do with a pull-type scraper. The sharp edge of the scraper hooks into the soft metal of the point and pulls it out right along with the putty. Double-check to make sure all of the glazing points are removed. Also, check to see if the old putty beside and under the edge of the glass is loose. If not another round of steam or heat-lamp may be needed with a little edge scraping with a crack-tool.

Handle glass carefully. When removing and handling glass always lift or pry it along the longer edge. This puts the stress across the shorter distance of glass making it less likely to break. To work the glass loose from the sash, grip the stile or rail of the sash with your thumb on top or toward you, with your fingers underneath or behind. Put the tips of your fingers against the inside edge of the wood sash where it meets the glass, and your fingernails against the glass. Gently curl your fingers, levering between the end of your fingers on the wood, and your fingernails on the glass. This presses your fingernails against the glass in a very controlled way. The very sensitive nerves in the ends of your fingers can detect the slight movement. If you feel no movement in the glass, shift your grip to other areas along the edge and try again, working back and forth along the edge, until there is some movement. Watch this ‘working edge’ and the other edges of the glass to see where the glass is not moving, and check that out to see what is holding the glass. A glazing point or spot of well-adhered putty may be holding it there.

Further important discussions:

Scraping the moulding profiles of sashes with profiled scrapers:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=987

Is dipping sash a sin? If so, your purgatory is The Brown Ooze:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1357&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=

Also, working on the sash on an easel in a near vertical position rather than laying flat on a bench helps some workers reduce their glass breakage rate. It is a well known technique in the glass trades to always store and handle glass vertically to prevent breakage.


Tools and Equipment

Steamer & Steam Heads:

To make several steam heads with different shapes and capabilities I've used ShopVac vacuum heads, which cost $5-10. The plastic used by ShopVac holds up to the steam. It can be easily cut and formed with a coping saw and utility knife. It can be heat-welded and re-formed with heat. The ShopVac "system" includes "wands" which I cut off and attach to the steam hose, so the different steam heads fit right onto the hose.

Here I've cut some parts off the vacuum nozzle with a coping saw, to make a steam head for heating up the front line of putty. It has a built-in swivel feature that makes this steam head convenient for deglazing on the bench, the easel or onsite with the sash still in the frame.

I have published a Report from the Field on Steam Paint Removal, which covers methods, techniques, equipment, sources, making custom steam heads and profiles of three steam paint removal projects.
21 pages, 23 illustrations, 2 step-by-step methods on making custom steam heads. See it here:
http://historichomeworks.com/hhw/reports/reports.htm#Steam

See this discussion on steam methods:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=133
and equipment:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2663#2663


Scraper:


http://www.stortz.com/OnlineStore/ProductDetail/ProductID/13352/square_end_panel_blade_paint_scraper.aspx

Stortz tools are well-known for their quality. At $10 each these scrapers do not seem over-priced. Their only downside is the wide acute bevel. As I use and re-sharpen this scraper I made a narrower and more obtuse bevel that controls the cut and make an edge that lasts longer. They are Made in America, and I'm now recommend the Stortz scraper over Marshalltown's scrapers, which are made in China.

Gloves:

Gloves for steam deglazing and steam paint removal:

I like "Atlas Therma Fit"



Manufacture's info:
http://www.atlasfitgloves.com/atlasthermalgloves.html
The glove is like terry cloth inside so it acts like insulation to help protect from heat. The rubber coating helps keep the insulation dry. Get several pairs and change them as they get wet (from sweat or steam condensation) because if wet they don't insulate from the heat as well.
Cost: about $40 for a dozen pairs

Videos of steam box deglazing:

Marc Bagala, Maine, steam chamber:
http://bagalawindowworks.com/2011/05/23/stripping-a-sash-with-the-steam-stripper/

Dave Bowers, New Hampshire, steam box:
http://www.oldewindowrestorer.com/steamcabinet.html
http://blip.tv/olde-window-restorers-video-learning-center/using-putty-knife-with-steam-to-deglaze-a-window-sash-332641

Dave Kuns, Washington State, steam chamber:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10216#10216

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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought


Last edited by johnleeke on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:17 pm; edited 20 times in total
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used the CRL Putty Softener



in past years. It does work, but the risk of glass breakage is greater than some other methods. Be sure to protect your glass with a pad of aluminum foil, about 5 or 10 layers thick, folded to exactly cover the glass, and develop a technique and timing to avoid charing the outer edge of the glazing dado (aka glazing rabbet).

When we switched away from the CRL Putty Softener, to a Makita hot air gun with controllable temp and air volume (along with our custom-made air baffle:



our glass breakage rate dropped from 23% to 15%. That's a custom baffle screwed to the standard flat nozzle. I made it out of white aluminum coil stock sheet metal. The lower edge of the nozzle is placed at the putty-glass line. So the hot air blows up across the putty (and not onto the glass). The "blade" of the baffle on the far side is placed so the edge is at the putty-glass line, and scoops the air up so it does not blow across the glass. The wavy-shaped sheet metal is springy, so the blade edge seats right in there. wavy-shape can be bent a little to rearrange the position of the blade so the baffle can be used on muntins, stiles and rails, and on muntins of different height and width. Works slick and quick, prevent glass breakage. I have a couple of them so I can just slip off the nozzle/baffle for muntins and slip on the one for stiles and rails.

Other methods, such as steam,



have dropped our glass breakage rate to 2% or 3%.

I still occasionally use the CRL Putty Softener, and the hot air gun, for certain circumstances, like when we have a lot of glass that is broken already and cannot use steam.

I would hesitate to use the CRL Putty Softener on a sash that is still installed in the building because this is a high-temperature dry-heat method that can start wood, and paint or putty debris on fire. In the shop, where the situation is more controllable, it might be safer, but in recent years I have not even used them in the shop--why would I risk burning down my shop, when there are effective alternatives? Measures can be taken to significantly reduce the fire risk, but they take time and dollars.

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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought


Last edited by johnleeke on Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, see this discussion on scraping the moulding profiles of sashes:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=987

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deglazing is removing the old putty and the glass pane from the sash. This might be necessary to replace the pane or to take apart the sash for further repairs. Often deglazing must be carefully done to preserve the glass for reuse.

There is no secret or product that makes removing the glass panes easy. Some good methods have been developed that eliminate the struggle, but it is still work. The two keys to effective deglazing are to warm up the old putty and use a pull-type scraper to remove it. To do this work safely wear safety glasses and gloves to prevent cuts, and follow lead-safe work practices.

Back in the 1970s a common method was heating the putty with the old standard Masters Red hot-air gun, protecting the glass from breakage caused by the blast of hot air with aluminum foil pads folded ten sheets thick. The putty could be pried the putty loose with an ordinary putty knife. This worked, but it was slow and blew around a lot of lead-containing dust, and broke a lot of glass. Typical glass breakage rate was 30-40%.

In the 1980s hot-air guns were available with controllable air temperature, controllable air volume and a flat nozzle. With settings for limited air and the least temperature necessary glass breakage rate dropped to 20-30%. A custom-made air baffle that kept the hot air off of the glass and eliminated the need for the aluminum foil pads. With the use of a pull-type scraper production rates doubled and the breakage rate dropped to 10-20%.

It is possible to use an infra-red paint stripping lamp to warm up the putty. This works, but the lamps are 4” wide and it is difficult to control all the heat they generate. Shining the heat on an area of exposed bare wood can result in charred wood. You have to work on a heat-resistant surface--an ordinary wooden bench top may char and catch fire. This is a ‘dry’ method, so it generates lead-containing dust that must be controlled. Using the lamp itself is slick and quick, but following high level Lead-Safe Operations adds to the time and cost.

A method using steam to soften the putty has been developed in recent years. This is slick and quick and can be used in the shop on the easel or bench, and on-site with the sash still in the frame. It is a damp operation so that helps control the lead dust, and lower level of Lead-Safe Operations applies, which is easier to implement. One disadvantage is that the steam can soften the wood if it is scraped the wrong way or scraped too much, resulting in “scruffed” surfaces or “threading out.” It is possible to develop techniques to limit this damage. A portable steamer with a hose can be used. Special steam heads can be made that guide the steam right along the line of hard putty. It takes just one or two minutes of steam to soften the putty so it crumbles out easily. With steam typical glass breakage rates are only 2-3%. Whole sash can be steamed in a box made of foam board insulation, or in a stainless steel chamber.

Once the putty is soft, use a pull-type scraper to remove it. If you use a putty knife or chisel you will be pushing toward the glass, which is what breaks glass, especially when you slip, or the putty gives way all at once. To keep from breaking the glass do not make ANY movement, force or pressure toward the glass when scraping out the old putty--not perpendicularly toward the glass, not even at an angle toward the glass. All movement near and on the glass must be parallel to the glass or away from the glass to prevent breakage. Use a pull-type scraper. If you slip, or the putty gives way, all the force is away from the glass and it will not break.

Remove the glazing points. This is easy to do with a pull-type scraper. The sharp edge of the scraper hooks into the soft metal of the point and pulls it out right along with the putty. Double-check to make sure all of the glazing points are removed. Also, check to see if the old putty beside and under the edge of the glass is loose. If not another round of steam or heat-lamp may be needed with a little edge scraping with a crack-tool.

Handle glass carefully. When removing and handling glass always lift or pry it along the longer edge. This puts the stress across the shorter distance of glass making it less likely to break. To work the glass loose from the sash, grip the stile or rail of the sash with your thumb on top or toward you, with your fingers underneath or behind. Put the tips of your fingers against the inside edge of the wood sash where it meets the glass, and your fingernails against the glass. Gently curl your fingers, levering between the end of your fingers on the wood, and your fingernails on the glass. This presses your fingernails against the glass in a very controlled way. The very sensitive nerves in the ends of your fingers can detect the slightly movement. If you feel no movement in the glass, shift your grip to other areas along the edge and try again, working back and forth along the edge, until there is some movement. Watch this ‘working edge’ and the other edges of the glass to see where the glass is not moving, and check that out to see what is holding the glass. A glazing point or spot of well-adhered putty may be holding it there.

Also, working on the sash on an easel in a near vertical position rather than laying flat on a bench helps some workers reduce their glass breakage rate. It is a well known technique in the glass trades to always store and handle glass vertically to prevent breakage.

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Uchmar



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not have skill and experience like many of you, but several times I successfully used oscillating tool (Fein) to remove putty without damaging the glass (needed to be re-used elsewhere). Painting was not needed because old paint was in very good condition so only new putty was repainted. Obviously any use of heat would lead to repainting.

Tool is used to cut vertically along the edge of the rabbet just a fraction of the inch into the putty. Then you cut under 45 degree angle from the glass side towards the rabbet edge. You may cut under smaller angle, but carefully not to hit the glass. While working at one frame I reversed the process by doing 45 degree angle cut towards rabbet edge first, and this worked nicely with lot of putty coming off the rabbet without need for vertical cut. It is not necessary, but the blade can cut glazing points.

Work is fast and it is not messy because oscillating blade moves very little and does not create much dust. Also it does not chip and flip putty leaving putty parts and dust on the glass. Still, tool provides some air flow which may blow the dust, but I think it is quite possible to spray the water to prevent this.
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sschoberg



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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can tell your a technique type of person. You use tools with an appropriate style unique to the tools ability and yours too. That's a good thing. Thats a good idea to share.
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Mike-in-Maine



Joined: 08 Nov 2008
Posts: 145
Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Rockwell SoniCrafter that I got last Christmas... I dont have a clue what it does, but I just did a google search on Oscilating tools and what do ya know? Its rated second only to the latest Fein tool. Guess I been sitting on a gem all this time. Its got a zillion accessories and a hard case for storage....

I still have no clue what it does or what I should use it on.... zero, zilch, nada, nothing.... (Ive never even plugged the thing in...)... I DID read through all the documentation it came with, which educated me on how to attach its doo-dads, but didnt tell me a thing about what it does...
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Rockwell SoniCrafter appears to be an exact knockoff of the Fein Multimaster.
http://rockwelltools.com/RK5102K.htm

It may have been a 'one run' knockoff though, even Rockwell's own website has dead 'buy now' links, and they have deleted their own videos showing how to use the tools. Although some of Fein's patents have run out I wonder if Rockwell got into legal trouble with their knockoff.

Anyway, yours probably works great and you should try it out. I've been using my Fein in window and other work since 1992. It's nice for controlled precise cuts in wood where you don't want to disturb the surrounding materials, such as removing wood at a decayed sash joint when the sash has to stay in the frame and you can't remove the glass. And, like Uchmar says, removing old putty with the offset bell-shaped metal cutting blade.

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Mike-in-Maine



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Location: Fort Kent, ME

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Just saw this great video showing how fast a steam box is. When I compare this to using a hand held steamer I want to cry. I *NEED* to make me one of these. The difference is 2 hrs of tricky careful and somewhat difficult work vs 45 mins of hands-off steaming and 6 minutes of quick easy work.

Watch!

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that's Dave Bowers. He learned about steam boxes at my windows training workshop back about 2005, when we visited Marc Bagala's shop here in Portland to see his stainless steel steam chamber. Then Ginger in that same workshop went back to Vermont and saw two carpenters who had built a steam box out of foam board and powered it with an old coffee pot. Ginger posted a message about it here at the Forum and several of us started do it.

The photo at the beginning of the video was taken at my shop when he returned the next year to show us his new steam box design.

It really works.

You can buy plans for Dave's steam box over at his website:
http://www.oldewindowrestorer.com/steamcabinet.html

You can get the stainless steel steam stripper from Marc at:
http://www.steamstripper.com/

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John

by hammer and hand great works do stand
by pen and thought best words are wrought


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:33 am    Post subject: Dip Stripping Sash Reply with quote

Sash can be taken to dip-stripping shops to remove the glass and strip the paint. Dip stripping sash can cause problems.

Chemicals remain in the all the joints, then it comes back out after glazing and painting. No amount of "neutralizing" will get it all out without damaging the surface of the rest of the wood. "Neutralizing" is needed with caustic alkaline-based chemicals. When these chemicals are reactivated with moisture in the joints they can attack the lignin component of the wood, resulting in the "brown ooze" that litterally eats its way through the wood, and oozing out at the joints and elsewhere. In Louisiana an entire houseful of original historic sash had to be replaced because of this. I have also seen it in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and heard of it in Wisconsin.

Solvent-type stripping chemicals don't get the brown ooze, but it can take weeks or a few months for all the solvent to evalporate out of the joints. If it's not all out when you paint, it will come out after the paint and may damage the paint, right at the joints where it's most needed.

I have been called in to do problem solving on five cases where dip-stripping caused major damage and very costly recovery.

Chemical stripping would not even be considered if the hidden cost of the damage to the environment was included in the price of the stripping. The chemical industry "externalizes" these costs so they do not appear in the purchase price of the chemicals. These externalized costs are paid by others, often as health care costs by neighbors of the chemical factories, fishermen in Louisiana, etc.

In my book there is no "good" or "bad" method or treatment. Every method or treatment has certain characteristics, and it is up to us to know what they are and when they can be used for the benefit of our projects.

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I met Dave Kuns, from Millwork Preservation in Washington, when he came to my window preservation training course in LaGrande, OR, in March. Here Dave demonstrates some of his methods for lead-safe operations and sash deglazing with steam and infra-red lamp:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More sash deglazing techniques:

http://preserveandrestore.blogspot.com/2010/11/stripping-paint.html

(scroll down to see video of profile scraping)

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject: Gloves Reply with quote

Gloves for steam deglazing and steam paint removal:

I like "Atlas Therma Fit"



Manufacture's info:
http://www.atlasfitgloves.com/atlasthermalgloves.html
The glove is like terry cloth inside so it acts like insulation to help protect from heat. The rubber coating helps keep the insulation dry. Get several pairs and change them as they get wet (from sweat or steam condensation) because if wet they don't insulate from the heat as well.
Cost: about $40 for a dozen pairs

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to remove a leaded glass panel from a wooden sash:

Soften the old putty with steam heat, or perhaps solvent-type chemical paint stripper. More on steam deglazing:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1587
but you have to be very careful to not damage the soft lead cames with heat, or with the scraper. Too much heat could weaken or melt the cames. With steam the heat can never go over 212 degrees--not enough to melt the lead. I use the special "crack tool" to get the putty out from between the edge of the leaded glass panel and the wood rabbet. You can see the crack tool at minute 6:30 of this video:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1810

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