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Broken Window: Putty or Caulk? (and Glazier's Points)

Broken Window: Putty or Caulk? (and Glazier's Points)

Old 02-25-09, 05:12 PM
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Broken Window: Putty or Caulk? (and Glazier's Points)

I actually already replaced the glass in a broken window a few days ago and wrote about how to fix a broken window here.

The thing is, the guy at the glass store (glass is all they do there), said "putty is a thing of the past, we only use caulk now". And recommended a silicone/acrylic blend caulk, as it's cheaper than pure silicone but just as effective.

I'm thinking now that I should have used glazing putty. Wouldn't glazing putty be harder and tougher than silicone/acrylic caulk that I believe remains pliable?

I'd really would like to know so that I can correct my article if the information I have out there is not correct.

Also, the guy said the glazier's points are only used to hold the glass before the caulk sets and after that, the caulk does the work to hold the glass in. I'm thinking they are used not only to hold the glass while you caulk, but that they are also an important part of the window strength, so a kid can't fall against the window pane and have it pop out...


Thanks in advance.--Peter
Old 02-25-09, 07:09 PM
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I prefer the old-school way of glazing, (similar to what is described here), using the oil based glazing compound just like they did years ago. IMO, you can tool it much better and get a "perfect" triangular seal against both wood and glass. Takes a lot of practice, though, so the caulking method is often faster and might turn out just as well. They make glazing compound in caulking tubes as well- it's just a lot more runny than the real thing- that comes in tubs. (Dap 33)

As for the glazing points, they are only used to hold the glass in place during glazing, until the glazing sets up. If there were no glazing points, the glass would fall out before the glazing dried. And no, they are not really a critical part of the window strength once the glazing has solidified. Actually if you push hard against a pane of glass when the glazing is still wet, the glazing points will be a pressure point that would likely cause the glass to crack and break. If a kid accidentally falls against the glass he's going to need a lot of bandaids, or worse.

You probably can't say that one way is wrong and one way is right, but I prefer the "original" method, using a "glazier's knife" which is a stiff putty knife with a chisel-like point on the end. Not like the plain stiff putty knife in your illustration.
Old 02-25-09, 07:24 PM
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Excellent reply thanks. I have a 100 year old home and now I wished I'd done it the old way. Seems more in fitting with my home, even if it is a detail. Well there will be more windows to fix with time, I'm sure.

I'll get glazier's knife too.

Yes, good point, about the points. Thanks!--Peter
Old 02-26-09, 05:04 AM
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I also prefer to use glazing compound. I like SWP's 66 glazing because it's not as oily as the others - keeps my fingers cleaner

Personally, I don't care for the glazier's knife, I like to use a flexable putty knife - but that's just me

Caulking might be preffered on some of the newer windows but an older single pane glass has a wider sash and it would be difficult to get a nice looking job with caulking.

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