Removing window frames for reglazing


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Old 11-05-09, 09:33 AM
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Removing window frames for reglazing

My wife and mother-in-law have given me the task of reglazing several windows in the house. The reglazing itself, I think I can handle, but getting the windows frames out of the windows is proving problematic. For budget reasons, simply removing and replacing the entire window is not really an option, plus the house is nearly 100 years old and they would prefer to keep the original equipment.

The windows are (please forgive me if I misuse an terminology here) wooden and double hung. Somewhere along the line, they had some storm windows added, and as part of that process they made modifications to the windows, removing the ropes and weights that used to be there and replacing all that with aluminum channels that have what seems to be a spring-loaded mechanism to hold the windows in place.

Here are a couple pictures:




I have removed the bottom sash, but had to bend the aluminum channel to do it. I'm not too worried about that, because it gets covered by a piece of wood trim and will bend back easily. I cannot, however, figure out how to get top sash out. Even if I wanted to take out the nails and remove the entire aluminum channel assembly, it appears that the installed used an adhesive in addition to the nails, and I'm afraid I would have a pretty big mess if I just ripped it out.

So, I'm wondering if there are any tricks of the trade of which I'm unaware that might help.

Thanks in advance for reading this, and special thanks to those who take the time to respond.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 09:42 AM
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Why not reglaze from the outside? I never remove the sash to reglaze.... or do you intend to replace the single pane with insulated double pane glass?
 
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Old 11-05-09, 09:52 AM
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We would also like to repaint and refinish the window frames, which I neglected to mention originally. Plus, many of the windows are on the second floor, so there would be a lot of ladder work. And, I think I would be able to do a much better job if the window frame were flat on my workbench.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 09:55 AM
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My thoughts exactly. Get a ladder out and take off the storm window if you have to.

If you are dead set on removing them, you will probably have to remove all the nails that go through those aluminum tracks. Best thing to do is to punch them right on through with a nail set. then raise the front sash, lower the top sash, and you should be able to pull the aluminum tracks and the sashes out together without bending anything up. Obviously the top would tip out first, then the bottom would follow. You may have to remove the top parting stop, if there is one.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 10:06 AM
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Repainting should almost always follow reglazing. As a painter, I'm not all that familiar with how the windows are put together but I see one major flaw with your plan - winter's coming. To properly prep, glaze and paint each sash would take several days. After the loose glazing is removed, the raw wood should be primed with an oil base primer. This will help keep the new glazing from drying out and turning loose A faster alternative would be to use a 50/50 mixture of linseed oil and paint thinner which would allow you to reglaze in a few hours.

The glazing also needs to be primed. Add in a coat or 2 of finish paint along with drying times and you can see how long the sash would need to be out of the window.

I'm sure some of the carpenters will be along later to better advise you on how to remove the sash.

See, one that can type faster than me has already chimed in
 

Last edited by marksr; 11-05-09 at 10:08 AM. Reason: add last line
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Old 11-05-09, 10:27 AM
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Mark, you might mention how long one has to wait before priming and painting fresh glazing. And how you don't usually want to paint the sides of a sash, or they may want to stick to the frame as they slide up and down.

While you may think you can do a better job with them laying flat, you are really opening up a big can or worms by taking them out. Even if it is nice and sunny out today here in the midwest.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 10:34 AM
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There seems to be nearly unanimous thought that I should leave them in the windows, so I'll have to give that another think. This is what I get for signing up for these projects.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 12:56 PM
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"you might mention how long one has to wait before priming and painting fresh glazing"

Good point! It's best to wait over night or 12-24 hrs before priming the new glazing. How long to wait on the primer before applying the top coat depends on the primer used. Temperature and humidity also play a part in drying and recoat times.

..... and if you paint the windows inplace, you wouldn't even think about painting the sides and they would stick especially if painted with latex
 
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Old 11-05-09, 01:19 PM
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Those look like an some sort of sash replacement kit...no way they are 100 y/o...lol.

They may not be designed to be removed. Not like the newer vinyl and wood tilt-in kits.

I'd leave 'em in place as well. Bit more inconvenient..but overall..probably quicker and easier.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 02:11 PM
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No, the aluminum pieces are obviously not 100 years old, but the rest of it is, or at least that's what they tell me.

I agree that they don't look like they are meant to be removed, but was hoping somebody on the board would have experience with these and know a trick or two.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 03:27 PM
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Someone may weigh in..give it a day or 2.
 
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Old 11-05-09, 03:43 PM
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Are you looking for some other way to take them out, besides the way I mentioned earlier?
 
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Old 11-05-09, 06:02 PM
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Actually, what I was hoping was that I was simply missing something that would allow me to remove the sashes and leave the aluminum in place, but that didn't look possible to me and doesn't seem to look possible to anybody else, either.

As another poster noted, this is not the time of year to be doing this in the Midwest, but of course the winter is when you really want it to be done.
 
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Old 11-06-09, 05:40 AM
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I see a few problems. You said that the aluminum tracks are installed with adhesive. The tracks were meant to be installed by slipping them in with the sashes and held in place with a few small nails. It looks to me that they will be impossible to remove if there is adhesive.

From the pictures, looking from inside, it looks like the glazing compound is showing past the sight line of the sash leading me to believe that someone has already added glazing compound over the old. Nothing you can do about that so you'll have to remove only loose glazing and fill in those areas.

I don't think you want to replace any glass so you must be extremely careful in removing the glazing compound. If the original is still there, you will find it to be as hard as a rock. That what was used back then.

Are you sure that these sashes are 100 years old? They don't look it.
 
 

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