Restoring Wavy glass windows
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Eileen B



Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Superior, AZ

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 11:30 am    Post subject: Restoring Wavy glass windows Reply with quote

We are brand new to restoration, but on a limited budget, we are restoring our house mostly by ourselves.

We have an adobe house in Arizona that was built somewhere between 1912 and 1915. We have replaced all piers, studs, joists, walls, and stripped and reinstalled the tongue and groove fir flooring planks (local contractors are bringing their clients over to show our floor to try to convince them NOT to junk the old tongue and groove flooring). Lots of out of town investors are buying local properties for investment and resale, and junk old windows and flooring, so we have been taking any old windows, screens, glass, doors and flooring that several of these developers were just going to throw away.

Now, we are working on the windows.

The windows have 9 to 12 layers of paint on the sashes, so we are removing them, restoring or rebuilding the frames and sills, and I have been trying to remove the old glaze, remove and clean the glass, clean, sand and prime the windows and reglaze them. If a sash or sill needs patching, the material we have salvaged from all the demolition going on become donors for wood that we fit in to replace missing or deteriorated wood.

I have been working on windows that have modern clear glass, and in removing the old glaze, I have had miserable (50%) success in removing the old glaze without at least cracking a corner of the glass.

The old windows are glazed with everything from regular glaze (still soft) to latex caulking, to superglue. I have tired chipping, using heat (Roburn mini torch÷. My dad had a glazing knife that plugged in and heated, but my brother in MN is restoring a 1915 house and had first dibs÷)

My front windows are huge, with old, thin, brittle, wavy glass in most of the panes. There are four double hung on the front and front sides, with each pane measuring 43Ów X 31.5Ó, all but one of the 8 panes is wavy glass.

The window sashes are in terrible condition. We have chosen not to brace them with a metal žLÓ bracket, but to repair with drilling and dowels so that there is no visible patch on the outside. There are so many layers of paint, in some places it looks like cottage cheese. The paint on the windows is all over the glass (owner left house empty and it was used by squatters for about ten years).

One front window has a chunk cut out so it would (presumably) have fit over a window AC unit, so we need to strip and insert a piece of wood in to fill the missing chunk from the sash.

My question, other than, what is the best way to do this, is: How can I most gently and effectively remove old glaze from the sashes to be able to sand and clean them and repair them? I have ordered your publication compendium, but the index of žSaving your wood windowsÓ does not seem to address removing old glaze.

I wish I had found your site 4 months ago. Thanks, Eileen



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Front window with chunk missing to fit AC unit.
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jade



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

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Eileen...
I applaud your efforts and your respect for old homes! Better late then never to arrive at this website....

In my experience, glass breakage is inevitable...keeping it to a minimum, of course, is preferable....I use both steam heat and a dry heat gun to remove putting, then the glass.

When using a heat gun, be sure to protect the glass by covering it with sheet metal to shield it from heat and breakage. I prefer the steam method because it is safer. You can use the system outlined below or a steamer on its own. Setting up an easel is the easiest and least messy method as the water and glazing fall to the floor. There are photos and instructions on this forum as to the steamer's use. The steamer can be used for paint removal, but depending on the layers, the type and age of the paint, it may or may not work well....

Dave Bowers who often posts on this site has designed an inexpensive steambox and sells Jiffy steamers which make a complete setup. This system allows you to put two sash in the steam cabinet at a time, possibly three. Once the steamer is at maximum heat/steam, it takes about 20-50 minutes for the glazing to losen up enough for removal--and it's an amazingly easy removal at that. There is very little glass breakage in this process. You may view the steambox and contact Dave at: www.oldewindowrestorer.com

This is what I do to remove a large piece of glass from the sash: remove all the glazing, pins and paint that may be holding the glass in place. When you are sure the glass is loose and ready to come out, lift the sash and place a piece of plywood or scraps of wood covered with a soft cloth/cardboard that are a bit taller that the thickness of the sash, lower the sash gently back down and the glass will now bit sitting above the sash for removal--for John Leeke's sake(!) and safety's sake, I will suggest using gloves for lifting the glass...

Perhaps you've reviewed the discussions on glazing putty on this site--very informative.....

Please come back and ask as many questions as you have...we enjoy offering feedback!

Good Luck!
...Jade
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johnleeke
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What Jade says, goes!

You will find the Steam Paint Removal discussion, with a little on deglazing, here:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=133

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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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Eileen B



Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Superior, AZ

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

THe steam works great. I have a hand held Eureka Hot Shot steamer, with an attachment like the one John has in the video. HAve taken one wavy window completely apart.

Gets the crud off the window, too.

Many thanks.

E
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johnleeke
Site Admin


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

PostPosted: Sat May 27, 2006 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eileen:

That's great. Could you tell us the exact model number of your Eureka? Do the label or instructions say how many watts it uses?

And, can you attach or send a photo of it in action?

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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 Mon May 29, 2006 6:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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Eileen B



Joined: 27 May 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Superior, AZ

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2006 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I certainly can take pictures for you, but I am now out of town for the holiday.

I think the Eureka Steamer is no longer available, but if you do a search on Scunchi steamers, you will find an identical model.

It's great for cleaning and did great on the glaze, hasn't done anything for the paint I have tried it on.

Will send a picture when I return home on Thursday.

E
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