Steambox Deglazing
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i use a product made by www.rutland.com called '500 degree rtv high heat silicone sealant'...it is typically used between masonry and metal or metal to metal around wood/pellet stoves and pipes...'uses include sealing glass, metal, most plastics, aluminum and wood'..

it cures tack free in minutes and is fully cured (at room temp) after 24 hours...

though the silicone will hold a smaller box together on its own, i still use a very simple two bands of strapping wood as a 'frame' because it keeps the box off the floor and offers some structural support...i use a vertical box and the front is lifted higher than the rear for drainage through the holes in the bottom rear of the box...

each time i build a new box (on number 5!), i learn something new...rather than just applying a bead of silicone to the 'open' surface of the rigid insulation, i 'butter' it with the silicone to seal the absorbent material then apply the bead and put the two pieces together...if at all possible, it is a good idea to apply a bead to the interior joints as best you can (being that the boxes i build are about 12" wide, it's tough to reach in...) i then use duct tape to cover up the seams on the exterior--i appreciate the 'finished' look....

whenever i use my steambox, i am reminded of the pointer sister's song about sss sss steeeam heat.......

...jade
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hdrider_chgo asks:

Quote:
I'm going to be building a new one and I was wondering if anyone had tried to orient the box so the window would stand vertically instead of laying horizontally. The reason for considering it is it would take up a lot less space in the shop.

The problem I could anticipate is the steam rising to the top and creating a greater temperature variance between the bottom and top, than if the box was kept horizontal. But this is only speculation. Does anyone know from practical experience if this would work? All the ones I have sen have been horizontal.


Andy in NH replies:
Quote:
I have built a number of vertical steam boxes for my workshops. There is not a huge difference in temperature if you follow a few basics. I usually insert the steam tube about 6-8" from the bottom. Use a digital oven thermometer (about $20) and stick the probe in towards the top where the sash won't hit it if you want to monitor temperature. A few pieces of 1/2" conduit or a few scraps of wood across the bottom will keep the sash from getting soaked by the condensate. I use 1" aluminum covered foam and tape all the seams with HVAC rated foil tape. Everything sits in a tray or plastic arranged to drain off into a bucket. That's pretty much it. During this summer's Kentucky workshop we ran about a dozen sets of casement sash and some others with no problem - just doing a few at a time.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Key points on vertical steam box orientation for maximum effectiveness:

-- vertical orientation of box, condensing water drains off paint and putty for more effective heat transfer, takes less floor space in the shop

-- steam hose in at the top, small 1sq.in. port at the bottom left open to let out the cold air as the box fills with steam and lets out condensed water droplets during steaming, this means there is less mixture of air and steam, faster temp rise in the box and better heat transfer from steam to putty and paint

-- bottom loading, instead of door on the side. This means the box holds most of the steam when changing out sashes. It is done by lifting the box on a simple pulley and cord rig, exposing the sash, which stay on the base at the floor and are held in a vertical position with a simple rack attached to the base. Also reduces the risk of steam burns when unloading. Sounds crazy, but works and reduces steam time per load by 20 to 30%, plus saves on electricity and water use. Loading the rack is easier and quicker than sliding in the sashes through a side door.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
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Last edited by johnleeke on Sat Jul 31, 2010 8:37 am; edited 1 time in total
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Skuce



Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 188
Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are people using for internal armour? To stop sash from tearing up the foil face of the foam?
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Drew Skuce
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i use 3 pieces of mahogany (culled from parting beads) that are about 3/8" thick and 1" wide...i place them at the back, center and front of the floor and attach with the high heat silicone...

for the next one i build i will have a piece of sheet metal cut to the size of the floor.....

i use extra aluminum tape (i no longer use duct tape) around the perimeter of the door to offer more protection for when the sash bump into it...

...jade
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What are people using for internal armor? To stop sash from tearing up the foil face of the foam?


After about a hundred sash in a box there was a little wear on the sides, where the tops of the sash rub a bit. I could see it would eventually wear through the foil. So I glued on two thin (1/4" x 3/8") horizontal strips of wood, now the sashes lean on the strip instead of the foil. On the bottom of the box I put a scrape piece of 1/4" exterior grade plywood, to slide the sashes in and out on. After about a hundred sash the ply delaminated a bit, so I simply replaced it with another piece of scrap ply that I treated with water-repellent and it's not delaminating. I rubbed some paraffin on it so the sash slide easier. If I had it on hand I'd use a piece of 1/4" marine plywood, but its too costly to buy a sheet just for this.

Some steam box users have reported that any metal inside the box reduces the max temperature and increases the steam-times. This is confirmed by Stan my steam technology buddy. He says some of the steam will always be condensing on any metal in the box, because the metal will always be cooler than 212 degrees (unless you heat the metal, which is what they do in some industrial steam processes.)

One of the neat things about using the foil faced insulation boards is that the metal is very thin and is backed up with insulation, so it warms up quickly reducing the condensation on it. Any thicker metal in the box stays cooler longer, pulling heat out of the steam. One of the custom steam box builders lined his with aluminum sheet metal and found the box didn't work well. Also foil is somewhat reflective, so it radiates some low-grade heat back onto the paint and putty. Every little bit of heat helps.

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Skuce



Joined: 08 Nov 2009
Posts: 188
Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking of a 1/2" PVC pipe "rib-cage" inside of a box.

Totally water repellent and spaces the sash away from the foam in almost all aspects.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plastic would be a better material than metal because it is less dense than metal, so it would have less condensation.

Wood is less dense than PVC plastic.

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Skuce



Joined: 08 Nov 2009
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Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone have new sources for the Tuff-R and Thermax foil boards lately? Especially after Depot stopped carrying it.

Having a hell of a time up here finding the stuff.

The Syrofoam foil boards I had worked great...till they melted at the edges.

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Drew Skuce
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artigiano



Joined: 10 Apr 2010
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just put my first sash through my newly constructed steam chamber. Thought I would post the result and get some feedback.

Steam cabinet 1.0 was a bust because the unsealed edges of the styro board "bloomed" with the heat. So I did a reconstruction that perfomed much better. Sides of 2x10, bottom is an old kitchen table with a styro sheathing applied on top, and top cover of 1/2" Hardiebacker.

The steam is supplied by a Shark steamer that can run for several hours with no refill. I tilted the table by sawing off two legs. Drilled two weep holes so the condesation drips into buckets below.

My first reaction is that the deglazing of the sash was as quick and easy as I saw in the video demonstrations online. I can see where this method cuts your breakage percentage down to near nothing. It is lightyears ahead of the heat and beat methods John taught me back in the mid nineties.

But I am less than impressed with the paint removal that steam produces. I think I could get better results, faster, with a heat gun, now that the glass is removed. I tried putting the glassless sash in the cabinet for a long while. And very little paint scraped off easily.

I imagine that the top temp that a steam cabinet could ever operate at would be 212 F or below since that is the vaporisation point of water. I don't have a thermometer on my cabinet. But I would guess the surface of the sash is between 180 and 200 F. At that temp the paint softens. But not enough to scrape off easily.

I am thinking that I will use steam as a great way to remove the precious wavy glass and old glazing putty. But still rely on heat guns, chemical strippers, and sanders to get back to bare wood sashes.

Any advice would be appreciated. I'm on sash number one of several dozen that will be restored.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark, welcome to the Forum. Everyone, I'd like you to meet Mark DiChiara, he worked with me in my shop back in 1996, on an internship:

http://www.historichomeworks.com/hhw/education/interns.htm#Mark%20DiChiara

We had first "met" a couple years before that on the CompuServe discussion boards. (wow, seems like ancient history)

You're on the right track with steam deglazing. Whether or not you can get the paint off on the first steaming depends a lot on the characer of the paint which varies from building to building. Many steam deglazers use a two-step method: 1. steam box to get the glass out, then 2. hot air gun or infra-red lamp for paint removal and wood cleanup.

It's nice to hear you are getting some progress on your fine old place.

Hey, it looks like I'll be in Alabama this August; Mobile to help teach a seminar on weather disaster recovery, visiting friends in Montgomery, then a window consult in Valley.

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by hammer and hand great works do stand
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Last edited by johnleeke on Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mike-in-Maine



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

PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steam box... hmmm... very tempting.. check out my update on my steam head (hand) steam deglazing... things are somewhat coming into focus in the technique... definately pros and cons and definately a technique required... see the steam removal thread in 'paint and finishes'...
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a direct link to Mike's message in the other discussion:

http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7737#7737

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Hannah



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 74
Location: Kansas City

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, my name is Hannah and I've been lurking around this site for some time, absorbing all the arcane and useful knowledge. Mr. Leeke, you are now topping my list of personal heroes! I would love to attend one of your workshops someday, but sadly a trip to Maine is not in the budget until I've finished college and landed a "real" job.

I am looking to restore my 1946 home's nine original windows (two horizontal panes in each sash, that's one-over-one, right?). I will be replacing the sills and exterior trim, stripping the jambs and sashes, and reglazing. I wish to do so with steam, after watching the videos.

I have just ordered a Wagner 905 model, 1500W steam generator and bought hardware for my steam box. I have 2x4s to make the frame, but I couldn't find foil-faced insulation at my local Home Despot. After re-reading this thread, it seems imperitive that I make the box correctly, judging from the mixed results gotten from various designs.

My questions:
1. Insulation--how thick and what R-value? Foil-faced only, or is there another way to make it steam-proof?

2. Are these steam boxes meant to be airtight except for the exhaust port? And if so, how should I seal the seams? Aluminum ducting tape? High-heat silicone? Rubber weatherstripping for the door?

3. Should I make drain holes for condensed water in the bottom or back?

4. My largest sash is 40"Tx34"W, so the inside dimensions must be at least 42"T and 35"D (vertical steam box)...but how wide? I read that it is effective to tilt the sash slightly off vertical, so how wide should the box be to allow some shimmy room?

5. Is there a book available for sale about steam box construction? Mr. Leeke, does your book on steam paint removal cover steam box construction?

Thanks in advance to anybody who helps, and sorry for the long post.

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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does moisture buildup in the wood of the sash and cause problems later during glazing and paint?

Short Answer: No, the sash dry out completely within hours.

Long Answer:

I have done moisture studies on five different projects. taking readings before and after steam paint removal. The following numbers are from softwood window sash and are an average of the five studies. 12 to 15% EMC throughout the thickness of the sash before going in to the steam box with the sash vertical. When right out of the steam, 19 to 23% in the outer 1/8" layer of wood, 12 to 15% deeper into the wood. The same readings 15 minutes later when deglazing and paint removal is done. If using dry heat (infra-red or hot air gun) for the next step of sash paint removal and cleanup the moisture content is back down to 12 to 15% 20 minutes later when the dry heat clean up is done. If setting the sash aside in a shop with 60degrees and 50%RH all wood in the sash is back to 12 to 15% in 24 hours. Stack the sash in a vertical rack or horizontally with stickers that hold the sash apart and blow through the stack with an ordinary window box fan set on medium and all wood is back down to 12 to 15% within 4 to 6 hours.

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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 Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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