1954 Alum. Picture Window


Little brick bungalow in midwest US, built in 1954.
Double-pane aluminum windows, in pretty decent shape. All but the big picture window are kinda ordinary, stare at one for a while and you can see how they work.
In the front, above 3 big yews, big picture window with a smaller window on each side:
http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/5636/4064parker.jpg
Spiders, dirt, etc have penetrated between the panes of the big window. I gotta remove a pane, clean up inside. The yews pevent most access from outside. How to remove the inside pane?
End windows: 22 1/4 " wide, ~51 " hi. Pic window : 49 " wide, ~50 1/2 hi.
Outside, the big window has a couple small alum. handles and a pair of clips on each of the 3 other sides. Inside, there are 4 small tapper screws on each of the 4 sides of the alum. framing the glass. There might be some wood trim at the top between the panes, everything else is alum.
I pulled the tapper screws, pryed a tad to see if the glass would pop out. Didn't feel like it would. Other than caulk, I dunno what else would be holding it. There are no recesses or handles to unseat it.
Anybody got any idea how something like this might come apart? I've been here for 25+ years and I've put off working on it long enough. :-)
Thx, Will
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On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 17:24:51 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

Can you post some close up photos of the trim inside and outside. Include finish trim, screws, clips, caulk etc ., etc.-

Maybe with some close-up shots.
Do you have _some_ window experience?
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Those picture window panes have to be 1/4" thick, which means that unit is pretty darn heavy.... heavy, heavy! You will definitely need some help. There is a good chance one or both panes will break, when trying to remove them or the unit (inner unit?). Guage your task against replacing with a whole new window unit, including side units.... 2K - 3K, maybe 4K? Last I heard, Pella, Jelwen, Kolbe had pretty good warranties on their higher line of window units.... Kolbe - 10 yrs, complete replacement for any defect or rot, if they or their outlet installed. I don't know too much about Mayfair.

There should be some kind of spacer between the panes all the way around, not just at the top, but the bottom of the panes may be seated in a slot at the bottom of the frame... and the slots spaced. From what you have described, so for, each pane may have been seated/sealed on their backsides (against the spacer).... and each pane may have been installed from their respective sides (one from the inside and one from the outside). If this is the case, you will play hell unseating either of those panes, .... without removing the "inner unit", if it was constructed this way).
By inner unit, I mean.... If the scenario/construction is this: *Your window unit would not be installed as I am about to describe. I am describing it this way, for you to better understand the way the unit may have been put together/manufactured. 1) Your basic window frame (jams) was installed in the rough framing. Stops were placed along the jams, on the outer side of the window frame. 2) The panes were installed into another jam frame unit (a sash), with a spacer between the panes and edge moldings to hold the panes in place. 3) This second framing unit was installed into/inside the first frame unit (somewhat like a regular sash) and held in place with an inside stop/molding (stops were initially placed on the outer side, see 1 above). You would need to remove that second frame unit (containing the panes), in order to access and cut the sealant securing the panes. 4) In order to access the sealant, to cut it away, you would have to destroy the second frame unit and, subsequently, make a new one for reinstallation.... a wooden frame would work.
If there is a second inside frame unit, holding the panes, look for where it is attached to the outer framing (hopefully from the inside jam side, but I doubt it) . This second frame may be seated into a bottom slot of the first frame, similarly as the panes may be seated into bottom slots. This second frame is most likely attached to the outer frame with screws and it is most likely screwed from the outside of the outer frame, which means you would have to remove the whole window unit to access those screws. You would still have a heck of a job separating the two frames from one another. They may not only be screwed together, but be sealed together, also.
If the window unit doesn't have a second inside frame, there is likely no way to access and cut the sealant holding the panes, since they seem to be or may be sealed on their back sides (sealed to/against the spacer between them). If this is the scenario, then the only way to remove a pane, as per your description so for, may be to break the pane.
Before assuming any of the above, inspect again and/or get some close- up pics, inside and outside, that we may better confirm the construction.
There should be some rubber spacers between the edges of the panes and its framing/jams. Don't loose those spacers, as you will need them for reinstallation... or *replace them with new!
Sonny
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I found my link.
"A remarkably simple but effective precision measurement instrument it allows accurate measurement of glass and air-gap thickness in single, double and triple glazed units. "
Enter Merlin.
Video:
http://www.merlinlazer.com/Glass-Measurement-Gauge
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Here's 3 more that *may* help a bit:
http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/2057/picwin1.jpg
http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/9493/picwin2.jpg
http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/6541/picwin3.jpg

A tiny bit. But, if someone can steer me in the right direction, I'll figure it out sooner or later.
It doesn't *look* like the inner pane was installed from the outside. I can't see anything else holding it in. The tapper screws are slightly longer than the metal that the glass mounts into, seems like they mounted the damned thing. There's a good chance it's just stuck.
Thanks, Will
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On Wed, 14 Jul 2010 21:58:44 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

That single photo tells me that glass is removed from outside.
Then you have to have tools. Glass cups, strong workers and so on.
There is an art to de glazing a window -- without cracking the glass.
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That window pane unit is really heavy. That's a large window. It may not readily move with gentle pressure, but you have to be careful with whatever pressure you apply. If there are rubber spacers around the sash unit, they may be flattened, some, at the bottom and they are likely stuck down, also. Try running a thin knife blade around the edges... see if you can feel something that would be contributing to the "stuckness".
To be on the safe side, tape the panes well, just in case one/they break. Is there some small printing or a logo "tattoo" on one of the lower corners of the panes, indicating tempered glass? I didn't see any, in the pics. If there is no logo or printing, the glass is plate glass and would break into dangerous shards.
Sonny
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wrote:

Ordinarily on the bottom right of the glass.
Windows installed upside down, the logo would be in the top-right or backwards on the left top. I think. Read backwards?
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Will do. Careful, careful, and more careful.

Mostly it won't penetrate at all. Around the bottom, it will go thru half-way (only) in places.

No. I checked all 4 corners.

The glass looks thin, like 1/8 " or less. When you look thru it at an angle (maybe 30 degrees or less), the image is "rippled". Cheap plate glass?
I took a tap hammer and a little block of wood to it to see if the mounting might break loose a little. Nothin' shakin', but the spider got very, very nervous. :-)
Looks hopeless?
Thanks, Will
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On Thu, 15 Jul 2010 13:55:13 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

I have a "cake spatula" that I use to de-glaze glass.*
Use good gloves, working the tool between the glass and frame. Work around the frame / glass. The idea is to separate the glass from the frame. The spatula is flexible making it easy to work with.
Mine is 1 inch wide and 12 inches long -- looks like the middle one in this pic:
http://selfservebaker.com/decoratingsupplies/images/spatula.jpg
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No, it's not cheap glass, hell, it has lasted since '54.
Light is refracted through glass, as through water, so your view is skewered. I'm almost certain your glass is 1/4". 1/8" glass, that large, would have been broken, by now (60 yrs), from some form of wind pressure... accidental slamming of a door, causing a concussion type pressure enough to break a 1/8" pane that large.
I'm at a loss for a remedy to remove the panes/sashes. About the only other thing I could suggest, without more detaled pics (of what?), is to spray the edges with lithium spray lubricant and see if that helps. Spray just enough to dampen, not to run or drip so much. If that doesn't help, at least your lithium won't be wasted..... spray some on a cloth and wipe the remaining sash edges and jams in your home, making for smoother opening and closing of the windows (I'm assuming up-down slide type). Lithium isn't oily, per se, and is great for lubricating sticking sashes and the like. Spray a cloth and wipe. Don't spray the sashes and jams, then wipe. Doesn't take much for good lubrication.
Lithium spray lubricant should be available at any good hardware store. I've never look for it at Lowes, Home Depot or the like, but they may have it.
Sonny
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After finding the inside access to be hopeless, I revisited the outside. There is a gravel garden with 3 huge yews right under the window, so I hoped to avoid that (no room to work).
I fiddled the clips, etc until I got it loose, managed to lower the outside pane to the ground while balancing on a cheap little step-ladder in the damned gravel garden and with a yew branch nearly up me arse.
Mounted pane is maybe 45 lbs, measures ~50" square, so glass has gotta be 1/8" or less?
Too hot to work now. I'll clean it up, add some spider poison, put it back together this weekend.
Your efforts to help with this are much appreciated.
Will

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It looks like a typical storm window install to me. I suspect that you pick up on the handles, the top of the window goes up into a "pocket" far enough to allow you to pull the bottom out and then let the window down out of the pocket and remove. There may have been some clips along the sides that needed to be removed to allow this movement. If you've not opened them each year for cleaning, I suspect they will be well married together. Flushing the edges with a garden hose with fairly high pressure may help flush out spiders, snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails. An air tip would do similar.
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I'd want to call an insured glass company. Could turn out to be a lot cheaper than the hospital bill for lacerations, and then having the window replaced.
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote: ...

As others said, too far away/no detail to tell anything really.
Have set of Al storms that look to be quite similar--the little handles are just that, nothing more.
These the clips come off and then the window will lift upwards and come out of the bottom track. _HAS_ to be from the outside, though, there's nothing to be done with these inside other than remove them entirely from the opening. I'd guess similar w/ those if not identical; that predates the "inside clean" phenomenon afaik.
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Need close-ups of the Outside, the big window has a couple small alum. handles and a pair of clips on each of the 3 other sides. Inside, there are 4 small tapper screws on each of the 4 sides of the alum. framing the glass. There might be some wood trim at the top between the panes, everything else is alum.
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Precisely the opposite of what we need for security ...

You mean the newer fancy-dancy ones that fold in. Mine are surely not those.
Will
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