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Sanding/Smoothing Vinyl Window Sashes?


John Donohoe's Avatar
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08-11-14, 09:54 AM   #1  
Sanding/Smoothing Vinyl Window Sashes?

Greetings all,

I just received my vinyl double hung pocket window that I'm going to use to replace a bathroom window. Its custom made as the window casement is not-standard sizing.

It measures out exactly as expected but the unfortunate thing is the manufacturing process to create the upper and lower sashes left unsightly, raised seams.

I need to get this window in so rather than go through the process of complaining to the manufacturer I figured I would just deal with it myself but I have never needed to smooth out vinyl before.

Reading online, it seems like slow movement with 240 grit is a common suggestion. No electric sanders due to the friction melting the plastic. Any other suggestions or resources folks could throw my way?

Thanks!

 
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johnam's Avatar
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08-12-14, 04:50 AM   #2  
The raised seams are the result of the welding process used to join the corners. Some manufactures leave sloppy joints. If you want to sand them, I would first put a piece of duct tape on either side of the seam to protect the vinyl and then start out with at least and 60 or 80 grit paper and then 120 to 150 and finish with 240. Experiment on the outside of one of the sashes where it would be less noticeable.

 
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08-12-14, 05:23 AM   #3  
You are talking about just the outsides of the frames, right.
I've done this to dozens of vinyl windows.
There is no need for fine sandpaper or tape. It's just going to load up, and there's no need for a perfect finish.
I've done it with an oscillating saw, a 4" electric plane, razor knife, oscillating saw with 60 grit paper.
What ever is handy.

 
John Donohoe's Avatar
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08-13-14, 07:02 PM   #4  
Thanks for the replies. This is my first vinyl window so im probably going to approach it in an overly safe way. I'll try to post some before and afters.

 
John Donohoe's Avatar
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08-31-14, 10:31 AM   #5  
So i sanded the seams. Started with just 150 grit then switched to 240 grit paper. It was slow going so i switched to a dremel flat sanding disc (EZ413SA EZ Lockā„¢ Sanding Discs, 240 grit / Model: EZ413SA). It seemed to work good enough. Here's the before and after.

Still wished the window manufacturer cared enough about their product so I wouldnt have to do this. Name:  IMG_0896.jpg
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08-31-14, 10:47 AM   #6  
Still wished the window manufacturer cared enough about their product so I wouldnt have to do this
.

All depends on what grade of windows. When I sold them there were 3 grades by our supplier. Bottom grade had seams like yours, mid-grade was slightly better/smoother, top of the line was almost unnoticeable. The explanation was cost and design of the sashes made the raised weld a requirement for strength. Many people just used a router of some sort and cleaned them up a little.


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johnam's Avatar
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09-01-14, 04:22 AM   #7  
John, great job but time consuming. If manufacturers wanted to, they could get that look but it would add manufacturing time and therefore added cost. Apparently it's acceptable since all welded vinyl windows have some degree of raised weld.

 
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