I've got a boatload of window panes to replace in an old house I
About half are on the second floor and must be done from a ladder.
Making it worse, most of the glazier putty is in great condition.
What's your best advice for approaching this task (other than hiring
someone, I'm getting quotes of $25-30 per pane). Will I be able to
take useful measurements before removing the glass, or do I have to
take out the glass, scrape out the rabbet, measure, duct tape up the
opening, go buy the glass, bring it home, put it in, and move to the
next one? Is there a more factory-assembly-line efficient way to
Also, what's my best bet for fast removal of the old glazing putty?
If the putty is in good shape why are you changing the glass?
Most people would remove the window and work on them horizontally on an work
There are tools made for this, scrapers and such. On "This Old House" they
used an heat gun, to soften the putty.
Chances are there are only a few different sizes of windows. Measure each
one accurately then multiply
Better to take out glass first , if putty is hard a heat gun for the
putty, then you need to repaint stripped paint, the whole window. Or try
a chisel and razor knife, wear tough leather gloves and saftey glasses,
After measuring the first window pane exactly (by removing some putty and
measuring exactly from corner to corner) it should be much easier to
estimate the other panes without removing any putty (from your first pane,
you can estimate how much glass is hidden behind the putty).
Also, I have used the Praxi Putty Chaser a few times and it did save me a
lot of time. It doesn't remove everything, but it gives me a quick first
pass. However, note that the adjustment screw tends to slip occasionally and
it has to be tightened pretty hard (but not too hard or it strips...).
No fast method for removing old putty, especially if it has hardened. I
worked on windows in my daughter's house, all first floor. Some putty
was so hard, I pasted on contact paper (bought roll that was
discontinued and on sale) and then broke the glass on those windows.
For second story, I would take the windows out from inside (in good
weather), take them to garage, strip and reglaze. More work perhaps,
but lasting results. You can measure your opening - where putty and
wood meet - take the measurements to glass shop or hardware store.
We used torch to remove some of the old, alligatored paint (lead) but
that is an outdoor job. Stripper healthier and can be disposed of
properly. Digging at old, hardened putty and risking putting my hand
through the glass was not on my agenda. Too dangerous.
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