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Cutting an aluminum nailing flange to remove and replace a 6' sliding patio door

Cutting an aluminum nailing flange to remove and replace a 6' sliding patio door


Old 07-04-12, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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Cutting an aluminum nailing flange to remove and replace a 6' sliding patio door

I want to replace an aluminum balcony sliding glass door that is 6'wide. The existing door has an aluminumnailing flange, which is covered by aluminum siding. If possible, I would like to remove the doorwithout disturbing the aluminum siding. I was thinking to cut the flange fromthe interior using a reciprocating saw. Assumption being that I can create enough space between the rough frameand the door jamb to insert the blade. As a result, most of the cutting would be done at the very end of theblade. I am concerned that it will bedifficult to make a clean cut and / or the blade will kick back to create an interiormess, broken blade, injury, etc., Iwould also attempt to shim the exterior aluminum siding to avoid causing damageto it. Unfortunately, I don't have anyexperience with a reciprocating saw. Any suggestions or other ideas / tools Ishould consider?

Below is a link to a couple of photos from the outside. You can see the aluminum siding is covering the flange.

Aluminum Door - a set on Flickr

Last edited by melsne01; 07-04-12 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 07-04-12, 02:03 PM
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Do you have brick molding on the outside? If so, remove it and the nailing flange fasteners should be exposed. Pull them out and remove the door frame. If not.........Plan B.
Post a couple of pix of the outside of the door and framing so we can see what you see. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
Oh yeah, welcome to the forums!
Old 07-04-12, 02:11 PM
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Thank you Chandler. The exterior is aluminum siding. I will post a couple of photos.
Old 07-04-12, 03:32 PM
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Cutting from the inside is a bad idea, you will need to cut from the outside so that you can actually see what you're doing. And that's only if you have enough room to slip the blade between the j-channel and the door frame.

Generally the safest way to remove a door like that (and not do any damage to the siding) is to remove the sliding and fixed panel, and then cut the jamb into 2 halves... inside half and outside half. You do this along one of the extrusion edges- there is usually one that lines up exactly with the nailing flange. (usually about 1 1/4" behind the leading edge of the frame) Starting the hole is the hard part... and cutting straight takes some practice. But you should be able to reciprocate behind the nailing fin, cutting all the nails that hold it to the wall. (you will cut the nails that hold the j-channel too but don't worry about that)

Once all the nails are cut, you can basically collapse the whole frame in on itself, pulling the nailing fin out from behind the siding.

And believe it or not, the best blade to use for this is an aggressive wood w/nails blade, not a metal cutting blade. Aluminum will gum up the tiny teeth in metal blades. Best blades are the Milwaukee Axe blades.
Old 07-04-12, 04:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: San Diego Ca. USA
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Hi, I looked at your picture and I believe you don't want to damage the out side. Before I would use a Ricp saw I would try a wood chisel. After you remove the doors and the inside trim use about a 3/4 chisel and cut between the stud and door jamb from the inside. Hold the chisel at a steep angle to only use about 1/4" of the blade and cut the fin like a can opener.
Good Luck Woodbutcher

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