Steambox Deglazing
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ditweed



Joined: 19 Jan 2012
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Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject: steam cracked window glass Reply with quote

I just built a large vertical steam box. When I removed my first sash from the "Steam Machine" (nicknamed by my wife), the glass had cracked during steaming. I'm wondering if it could be from the rapid change in temperature the glass experienced (the sash was in my basement, approx. 50 deg F, prior to steaming). Next I'll try keeping the sash in a warmer room (70 deg F) prior to steaming, but I'm not sure if 20 deg will make that much of a difference. Has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks, Shannon
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johnleeke
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Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that may be the most likely cause: cold sash put directly into the steam box. I have seen this happen when the sash is at 40-45 F. and below.
Warming the sash up first may be the solution, either in a warm room, or perhaps by laying the next sash to go in up on top of the steam box.

Another possible cause might be if the steam enters the box so it is streaming directly onto the glass. This might heat up a small spot on the glass quickly and cause differential expansion cracking.

Another less likely possibility is if the glass is fit very tightly into the sash, and there is a lot of bare wood on the faces of the sash, then moisture accumulating in the wood during steaming may expand the wood and press on the glass.

Can you attach some photos of your steaming setup?

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SashGuy



Joined: 10 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have had trouble with hot spots and sputtering in the past myself. My fix was to install a coffee can and run the feed directly into the can. This serves to diffuse the heat and collect the sputters. Much more stable now.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sputtering is from steam condensing in the hose. It can be eliminated in two ways.

Arrange the hose outside the box so that condensing water drains back down into the pot.

Insulate the hose so that there is less condensing. This also improves the efficiency of your system reducing the sash steam times a bit. Making the hose as short as possible helps too.

What are you using to generate your steam?

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SashGuy



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use the Jiffy J-4000.
I have an over-sized cabinet, as I do a few doors, so it's vertical at ground level. I put the port at the bottom thinking that the steam would be more effective if rising. Yep, once done, I picked up on the fact that a bit of water was trapping in the hose, so rather than re-configure it, I chose the coffee can method. It actually works pretty good now. One of these days, I'll plug it and move it up, but there are so many windows and so little time when you are racing against the Disposable Window Salesmen.
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...the "poor boy's sandwich steamer," that we use for ad hoc onsite sash work. (horizontal sandwich made of two pieces 4'x4' foam board with the sash and a wood frame of 1x4 pine in between, lay sash weights on top to hold it together during seaming) Works lickity-split because of the limited interior volume, temp at 205F. Richard Nisson came up with the idea when we were on a project in Nebraska last year. ...Works good when you have limited time or funds and one sash at a time makes sense. The next day I wanted to build them a bigger foam board box (ala Dave Bowers), but they said that's stupid, let's just make another poor boy sandwich, it only takes 20 minutes.
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buckyswider



Joined: 30 Mar 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm. So my barn/workshop is 54 degrees, with an ambient outdoor temp of 52 right now (going up to 58). Should I even bother taking the steambox outside and attempt to deglaze a sash that's been sitting in my workshop, or will it just snap/crackle/pop?

If I do need to keep the sash in a warmer area, would there be any cause for concern in steaming it outside in this weather? Or do I just need to wait until spring settles in???
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

50 degrees and above should be OK.
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buckyswider



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks John!

The steam didn't break the glass! But the glazier did.. :(

This was the larger lower sash. Definitely replacement glass, so it doesn't really matter. I got it all stripped and was popping it out before it cracked, so...progress!

One weird thing: At the parting rail, there's a groove for the glass to slip into, so the putty wasn't beveled out- just a very thin layer flat against the sash rail. No idea how to measure for the replacement piece. I assume the bottom side will have a little gap between the glass and the rail, equivalent to the depth of the groove on the opposite side. So I measure wood-to-wood, lay it flat against the three rabbets, then slide into the groove on the fourth side....
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's right. You have to clean out the pane groove in the rail, then you'll know how deep it is, and can size the glass to fit up in there, a little shy of the bottom of the groove.
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isaiahc



Joined: 29 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does the steam box effect the stained or varnished side of the Window? Mine are still in good condition in the inside, but the outside has lots of paint and old glaze that needs to be taken off.

I don't want to ruin the inside portion of the Window, that is more work that isn't needed, so would the steam box be a good solution for my situation?
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johnleeke
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the steam in the box affects all surfaces of the sash. If you want to save the interior finish of the sash, then consider using the portable steam method on the bench:
http://historichomeworks.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1587

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rmlogan



Joined: 03 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Fabric Steamer Reply with quote

Muffin wrote:
Hi John,

It's the SteamFast Professional Fabric Steamer made by Top Innovations. Model SF-465. It has a 1.5 gallon capacity but also has a large opening in the top that you can open and refill during steaming. I'm using distilled water in it to cut down on maintenance. 1500 watts.

I bought it from Amazon for $99 plus shipping but after looking a few days ago they seem to have increased the price to $139. Still good value and works really well. In the box there is an ad to buy a kit of attachments for $49 that turn it into a steam cleaner for other applications which may be useful in many other ways.

I use a zip tie to keep the finger trigger open and keep constant steam flowing.

Cheers,
Martin


Muffin, how has the steamfast unit held up to use in the steam cabinet? I am building a cabinet now and researching what steam generator to use, I found a steamfast 450 on craiglist for $35. It is 1500 watts, but only 1/2 gallon reservoir. made in china
I have also found the jiffy 4000 on amazon for $230 w/ shipping. I have two de-glazing restorations lined up over this winter, so it will be getting moderate-heavy usage.
thanks for any help.

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