Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What a pane

If you have never reglazed a window before, you need to at least try it. Reglazing is an  art form that takes patience and experience. Perfection in glazing, as in many other aspects of woodworking, can be difficult to achieve, but is it truly that important that it should cause individuals not to try it at all?

I am way ahead of myself here. In order to reglaze, first one must deglaze. For the most part deglazing is a simple matter of flicking the old glazing from the muntins. Other times, you need a little help. I use my heat gun to soften it up and then flick it. A word of caution while using the heat gun. If you don't have an adapter to focus the heat on a certain area, you run the risk of breaking your glass as the heat causes a rapid change in the ambient temperature of the glass. Yes, guilty. The temperature in the shop was about 40 degrees, but I only broke a couple of them. Breaking a few pieces is also expected if you aren't that experienced at it...which I'm not.

After deglazing, I had to replace a total of 6 lights. A drive down to the big box store in Rocky Mount allowed me to get them cut to size. A second drive to the big box store allowed me to get 4 new ones cut 1/8 smaller. Here's some advice, the windows need a little spare room. I cut an 1/8 off of two of them using a Dremel tool. That wasn't fun, nor worth my time. (It amuses me the depths I will go to avoid spending another $5 on a project. Yes, it cost $5 to get 4 new pieces of glass cut.)

Once the windows were all installed and pointed, it was time to glaze. Nothing fancy here. Typical DAP 33 window glaze compound. You can add a little BLO to it if you need to and you can clean it up using mineral spirits. The application technique is simple.

Work the compound in your hands until it gets soft and malleable, the softer the better. Next you need to work it in to the gap and corner where the glass meets up with the muntin. The way I do it is to roll it into a snake and press it in with my thumbs. I then follow that up with the flat of the putty knife. Finally, I draw the knife at an angle to push it firmly into the corner and to cut off the excess. The corners suck, but don't work at them too much. At some point you have to let it go. Smooth out the rest with your finger if needed and move on the the next one. It's repetitive and takes time. (I'm still new at it, but it took me about 2 hours to do both sashes.)

I'm still waiting for the glaze to cure which is typical for the temperatures around here at the moment. I have them sitting in a heated closet for now, until I prime them.


  1. I never like using putty. Like you I can never just let it be!

  2. I completely agree. I've had to concentrate really hard on not letting perfection get in the way. I'm ashamed to say I still haven't painted and installed the window do to the really low temperatures we had in March.


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