Trying to Locate Curved Glass Bowed Windows
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LadyStephens



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Trying to Locate Curved Glass Bowed Windows Reply with quote

I hope someone can help. I live in Boston MA and own a home built in 1898/1899. We are keeping all of the wooden molding/doors/stairs/etc but have updated the property in terms of electrical/plumbing/heating, etc. We want to keep the look of the original curved glass bowed windows but am having extreme difficulty finding a local company/contractor that can replace the glass and repair or even provide the appropriate glass. Here are pics to give an idea:



The windows on far right - we have a total of 9 of these windows. They follow the "shape" of the walls that curve outward. They are also what I guess some say "doublehung". We can raise the bottom half to open the windows and have found the "half" screens that attach on the outside. We absolutely cannot stand the look of more straight glass square modern windows in the curved wall & from the outside they don't look appealing/right.

Even if we could find the appropriate glass then we could replace ourselves (I think!) My husband has begun stripping them and states that the wood is in good shape. Any assistance/resources/links would be extremely helpful. Many Thanks for any replies.
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 786
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi and welcome to the forum! it's encouraging to know that you are preserving some of the historic character of our home...

i'm not sure i entirely understand your dilemma--is the glass broken and you need to find a source for curved glass? you cannot install curved glass in a flat sash...

i am a window restorer living in western mass and working throughout new england....i have purchased large pieces of curved glass from www.heritageglasslex.com in lexington (no longer in business)...be forewarned that this glass is rather expensive depending on the size and thickness...a few years back i purchased 1/4" x 30" x 55" panes and, as i recall, paid about $250 each...your's appear to be smaller and you may be able to go with a thinner pane...to properly size the radius of the glass, what you will need to do is get a piece of construction paper that is the width of your sash...lay the paper on the sill and gently lower the sash...trace the outline of the curved sash onto the paper then supply the dimensions of the glass...you may even want to bring a sash (or two) into the glass supplier and leave the measuring to them...typically, the top and bottom sash are not the same height so don't assume that getting the measurement for one sash will suffice for both.....

please feel free to contact me at my email below or give a call....
good luck!
......jade
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LadyStephens



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Jade for the welcome and reply! Yes, some of the glass is broken/cracked and in one window our plasterer broke the bottom window. Also the glass seems to be the original and nothing has really been done to the windows except to have massive layers of paint on them. They also rattle and are not insulated at all. We did not find the storm windows for them either. If I understand you correctly, the sash, frame, etc., is also curved/bowed to fit. We wanted to "upgrade" the glass so it's insulated or if not possible, replace the glass and find/have made "storm windows" for winter.
We did end up with one quote a few years back from an outfit in Florida who quoted approximately $30,000 for the total of nine windows to replace. We do expect the glass and/or replacement to be more expensive than regular windows but not that much!!! All of our other [regular] windows are the Marvin Tilt/Wood Frame.

So all this to say/ask: 1) Is it possible to find "insulated" curved glass?
2) Can you give a ballpark $$ figure (per window) to repair/upgrade? (If I need to call you on this then my apologies for asking - just say "call me on this" :-) )
3) Is it easier/more cost effiecient for us to do the repair? (yes, I will send hubby to the Saving the Window course! :-) )
3) Is there a source where one can get a replacement window (bowed/curved glass & frame and all)?

Again, many many Thanks for your prompt reply!!
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 786
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello again...

Is it possible to find "insulated" curved glass? well, it may be but i would not advise you to take that route...the original sash was made to hold the weight of the orginal glass...in order to install insulated glass, some of the wood at the glazing rabbet must be removed from the sash to allow sufficient depth...essentially, you would be removing some of the structural integrity and adding twice the weight...the weights in the counter balance system would need to be increased to balance the additional weight...

Can you give a ballpark $$ figure (per window) to repair/upgrade? we can discuss this over the phone...i am listed under 'trades and contractors' as heartwood building & restoration.

Is it easier/more cost effiecient for us to do the repair? 'easy' is relative...i wouldn't say it is easy...it's dirty and tedious and there is a learning curve involved but if you (or mr husband) is handy, i always encourage home owners to give it a try! cost efficient for you to do it yourself? yes indeed! if you want to tackle all 9 at once, count on months of weekends to complete the project....

Is there a source where one can get a replacement window (bowed/curved glass & frame and all)? yes, there is...how about we talk about this on the phone as well...

call between 8am and 7pm, mon--sun (self employed, we never sleep!)
...jade
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LadyStephens



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Again - Will/haved called. Also sent you an email.
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soularddave



Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Location: St. Louis, Mo

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:18 am    Post subject: curved glass Reply with quote

I'm looking at this topic because we're talking about it on the Rehabbers'Club here in St. Louis. Curved glass is of interest to me, not because my house has it, but rather because I wish it did.

If I might be of help her, let me know...

I have a couple of sashes with curved glass in my basement. I just couldn't let them go to the dump when I saw that someone was throwing them away. I also saw 4 sashes with curved glass at the ReStore, the outlet for used building materials run by the Habitat for Humanity.

My windows are about 36x36, and the ones at the ReStore were about 20x20. These numbers don't answer the big question, though. The third measurement is the *chord*. The chord is measured across tha concave side of the curve, from edge to edge.

So curved glass would show a measurement like this: 36x36x4.

Now, tell us what glass size you need, and we'll go looking for it. Now if, perchance, my windows are what you need, you'll get them for the price of shipping. I just want to see them used. Additionally, I'll tell you that they are the old, wavy glass with all the original imperfections inherent in old glass.

Soularddave
in St. Louis, Mo
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soularddave



Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Location: St. Louis, Mo

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:40 am    Post subject: curved glass Reply with quote

Well, damned if I didn't have more to say after I hit *send*.

Storm windows for curved glass: There are several prominent buildings in St. Louis where curved glass is an important part of the facade. I've been called upon to insulate a few of them. It was not too difficult, and here's how:

Clear acrylic applied to the inside. This meets the National Park Service standards for Historic rehabilitation. One measures the height of the inside of the windows and the width around the curve, leaving just enough room to snap the acrylic into place. Standard window stop is obtained for both sides. A piece of fir lumber is obtained, from which to cut (on a band saw) the curves, to the same width as the window stop. Using a router with the proper profile, the curves are shaped to match the side stops, and cut to fit in the window at the top & bottom.

With the help of a confederate, wearing cotton gloves, a bead of caulk is applied before the curves are placed to hold the acrylic against the bottom sash. Similarly, the wooden curve is applied at the top. With the clear acrylic centered between the sides and caulked, the straight pieces of stop are applied at each side.

It's amazing how effective the "plastic windows" are in eliminating drafts & noise. Yes, there is a downside; the acrylic attracts dust. To clean it will scratch it if not done right. One also cannot use any cleaning product that contains ammonia, as it will degrade the acrylic - so don't use Windex!

The product used is the same as is used to clean the "glass" around a hockey rink - Zeperflex, and automotive finish polish. Yes, it's made here in St. Louis by Zep. Also, for deep polishing of acrylic, we use McGuires automotive polish and a power buffer, but I believe you can do as well with a cotton towel.

Hopes this helps .

Soularddave
in St. Louis, Mo.
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soularddave



Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Location: St. Louis, Mo

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:49 am    Post subject: curved glass Reply with quote

Just Google bent glass" or curved glass. There are several suppliers. I just looked at one, in Arizona, and they offer bent glass in insulated units, safety glass, laminated glass, Low e, tinted, and annealed; so you have choices!

Don't forget the weight factor if you want them to operate. Where I installed double glass, I used "spiral lifts" to replace the iron sash weights. This allowed me to rebuild the windows with styrofoam in the weight boxes. I thought this was a good upgrade.

Again,

Soularddave
in St. Louis, Mo.
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kirkwood



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 78
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Dave,
What are spiral lifts?
I just finised rehabbing half of the double hung weight and pully windows in my house and was wondering if there was a way to insulate the weight pocket. If that is indeed what spiral lifts do.

dieter
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johnleeke
Site Admin


Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2968
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the years we've found the cost of bent glass to be rather consistent at $400-500 per pane up to 40"x 40", custom bent for your order. That's just the cost of the glass, add shipping, and most importantly, plus about 4 hours time of a knowledgeable worker per order who knows how to measure and document the size and curve, place the order, receive the shipment, check the glass to assure it is correct, etc. About one out of ten orders, some extra time is needed like recovery from broken glass (insurance, reorder, etc.), wrong curve, etc., and that time is averaged out and included in the 4 hours.

When ordering and measuring bent glass always follow the supplier's instructions and use their terminology. When documenting and specifying the size and curve it helps remember our old friend Euclid and brush up on a few geometry terms:

this link will help:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle

Arc, a segment of the circumference

Cord, a straight line between two point on the circumference

Segment of the GREATER circumference (the greater circumference is the convex side of the glass)

Bisect the cord, erect a perpendicular and measure in a straight line from the cord to the greater circumference

We also trace out the curve, showing the thickness of the glass, on a piece of plywood, and mark our dimensions on the plywood, and send that with the order.

Radius, a line from the center of the circle to a point on the circumference.

Can't be bothered with all this geometry? Just let me tell you there is a reason all the old-time carpentry trades manuals have arithmetic and geometry as the first chapter.

Radius is not usually measured or specified in bent window glass orders although you need to check that the curve is developed as a true circular segment from a single radius. In windows they usually are, except that one time when we ordered 20 pieces of custom bent glass to learn that the originals really were based on a oval! All I will say is that we learn a lot from this mistake, which soaked up our education budget for the next three years.

If you have never ordered bent glass and need several panes I suggest ordering one pane first to test your ordering skill and make sure you can communicate with the supplier, and then order the rest.

Sources for bowed or bent glass:

http://www.e-bentglass.com/


Curran Glass Studio
6507 Ogden Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402
708-795-8620
info@curranglass.com
http://www.curranglass.com/

Flickinger Glass Works
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDR7kwPdiQg

Coastal Curved Glass
Unit 103-1875 Broadway Street
Port Coquitlam, BC
V3C 4Z1
604-944-7118
Canada
http://www.coastalcurvedglass.com/

John
www.HistoricHomeWorks.com

_________________
John

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


Last edited by johnleeke on Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:32 pm; edited 3 times in total
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soularddave



Joined: 14 Jan 2008
Posts: 4
Location: St. Louis, Mo

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kirkwood wrote:

What are spiral lifts?
I just finised rehabbing half of the double hung weight and pully windows in my house and was wondering if there was a way to insulate the weight pocket. If that is indeed what spiral lifts do.

dieter




Hey Kirkwood,

You bear the name of the St. Louis suburb where I grew up.

Spiral lifts are devices that fit in the channel on each side of sashes, and attach to the sides of the window casing (in the window track) and to the bottom of each side of each sash. They are somehow made so the spiral action of the moving part counterbalances the weight of the sash. What is visible is a " aluminum tube in the track above the lower sash. A friend of mine treats his to be black so they are not such an eyesore.

I installed heavy insulated glass sashes, and eliminated the iron weights. Into the weight box I inserted cut-to-fit styrofoam and caulked the inside corners with spray foam. This eliminates the drafts that might be coming thru the boxes. In addition, I spray foamed the outside of the boxes against the brick of the house, thus eliminating even more infiltration of the outside air.

So far, so good. I'm warmer and am not noticing ANY wind around the windows. It's sure an improvement!

Dave
in St. Louis
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kirkwood



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 78
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Spiral lifts are devices that fit in the channel on each side of sashes, and attach to the sides of the window casing (in the window track) and to the bottom of each side of each sash. They are somehow made so the spiral action of the moving part counterbalances the weight of the sash. What is visible is a " aluminum tube in the track above the lower sash


hmm. interesting. I'll have to look around for some examples on google. Although I'm keeping the original glass so the weights and pulleys work fine for me. I do like the idea of insulating the weight boxes though. Still trying to come up with a way to do that to functioning pulleys and that can be reversed if there are moisture issues.

thanks for the info dave. the suburb of Kirkwood sounds like a great place to bring the kids up.

dieter
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