Replace window pane ?

graywings123September 2, 2011

When reglazing windows, do you replace the glass in a pane if there is a small chip in the edge?

I'm torn. The chip would be completely covered by the frame and window putty. But what if it weakens the glass in some way?

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If completely covered, I would leave it unless you think the chip originated from pressure on the glass from somewhere on the frame (hard nubbin of putty, nail poking out, etc.). I'd work to find and eliminate the pressure point and then reglaze with same pane, especially if the glass is old and this might result in a slightly different quality (color, waviness, tone, etc.) among panes.

I actually sometimes "harvest" intact panes from a sash if I have to replace just one or two with new glass. I save the intact ones to combine together again with others of the same vintage in another sash as it relly bugs me to see obviously new plate glass combined with older glass in the same sash or window opening. I can live with windows in the same room being slightly different though, and certainly where necessary, I can live with windows on different sides of the house being different.


    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 8:38PM
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I agree with liriodendron. I also buy old glass from a local window repair company. They have glass from 100+ old windows - people are throwing out those windows plus they buy "new" glass that is made in the old techniques without modern machinery. You CAN get "new" wavy glass but it will not be an exact match to your old wavy glass (but better than just plain new glass).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Thank you both for the responses.

The chips in the glass are a result of my inexperience in glass removal and a too-heavy hand with the tools.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 8:33AM
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I just bought 7 new panes of glass to fill an entire window sash and one in another window, in the small barn/shed. This time I bought Dap's glazing in a tube, like caulking, thinking it might be easier and faster to apply. We'll see.

Are you using the points to hold the new panes in or nails? I like the points, but they can sometimes be difficult to press in hard enough.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 10:07AM
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Last year we reglazed 25 six over six windows. My DH was in charge of stripping the old paint, removing the glass when needed and reinserting. He broke 8+ panes of glass. It happens. If I did it I would have gone thru much more glass.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Oh my gosh bostonpam, that's alot of reglazing! Thankfully I only have to remove one which is broken and have to put glass into an empty three over three window. No old paint or glaze to remove either. The wood is so old, that will be what breaks if anything. :) I could have bought new windows, but I like the shape of the old ones and besides no one will see them much since they are on the back of the building.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 10:59AM
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"This time I bought Dap's glazing in a tube, like caulking, thinking it might be easier and faster to apply."

It will not be.

One of the 'tricks' to using gazing is rolling it in you hands to get it warmed up so it can be applied.

Pretty hard to do with a tube.

During the summer I keep the glazing in a cooler with ice on the bottom to prevent if from becoming warmer than it should be.

On larger jobs I have more than one can i the cooler, and put them back as soon as I have removed enough for the bead at hand.

Glazing becomes softer as it warms, but also starts to get sticky and hard to strike off and finish smoothly with a putty knife.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 12:07PM
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I use glazing points that look like this:

The ones I am removing are flat triangles.

Speaking of glazing putty, a painting contractor who specializes in old historic houses told me he uses something, an additive or coating of some type, to speed up the dry time for the glazing putty. Is there anything out there like that?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 1:41PM
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Not sure about the additive, but I suppose if you were an experienced glazer it would a good idea.

brickeyee, I went online and did some searches on the tube glazing and found more negative feedback. So, I'm thinking of returning the $5 tube and getting the canned stuff. I've used that before and it's ok. Thanks for the heads up.

graywings, I haven't opened the boxes of points yet so don't know for sure what type they are - flat or otherwise. It was 90 degrees yesterday and today, so I'm waiting for a bit cooler weather before I start the task.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 6:33PM
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The points pictured above are what I've used when replacing small triangular and diamond-shaped panes in a small window with stained glass...the view was of the street in front of my house, and the other half of my side street--they stagger cross-streets in my neighborhood just to make campus life more difficult. :)

I won't swear to it, but I don't think you can get flat glazier's points anymore. My old points were also the flat ones. The canned compound is far easier to use.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 1:30AM
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Since glazing putty is an oil-based substance, you can add "Japan Drier" to it to force the oils to harden faster. The downside will be that the putty will get super hard and crack. Do not add drier to putty.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 8:39AM
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"The downside will be that the putty will get super hard and crack. Do not add drier to putty. "


the long drying time is what allows the putty to still remain at least a little flexible after it cures.

Glass expands when heated, shrinks when cooled.

It might only be a very small amount, but if the putty is excessively hard it will not maintain a seal.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 9:54AM
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what brand glazing do you use?
I've used dap window glazing that comes in
a tub, and applied with glazing tool.
looks like a scraper..plastic or metal.
do you use the tub stuff and roll it in your hands?

the stuff I use dries it must be a different

would you let me know the product you use?
when I tinted my windows the pressure to get the
air bubbles out loosened some of the panes.
I'll have to re-glaze and would like to only do this
once..barring hurricanes and my fondness for breaking glass..temper temper..LOL!
having to do my own repairs has tempered my temper.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 10:53AM
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I use Sarco M-type putty.

You can still buy triangular and diamond-shaped points, but they are sold to be used in point-setting guns. I find the push-type pins sometimes are too big for my very worn old sashes. I have about used up my stash of old points and am wondering if the new ones (intended for guns) will work for me. Has anybody used them and installed them by hand?


    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 12:38PM
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"what brand glazing do you use? "

DAP 33+.

It is reliably the same from year to year.

While it forms a skin when curing, if you cut into it the core remains firm but not rigid.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 3:11PM
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Almost every time I use the push-points (illustrated above) I must cut them down with snips or nippers so they don't stick out beyond the glass rabbet/putty line.
You can use triangle points pretty easily by hand, but I often cut them in half to make them pointier/much easier to drive. It's impractical to attempt to drive diamond points by hand (without the gun/driver).
Sarco putty is very highly recommended. I haven't tried it yet.
I usually condition the entire quart or gallon of Dap33 by hand to get it workable/get the oil all mixed in evenly. Sometimes after mixing the whole can, the putty is still too oily; I fix this by spreading it on newspaper or kraft paper, which draws out the oil. It will lift newspaper ink (just like silly putty!), so blank newsprint is better if that would bother you.
Sometimes the putty is too dry to work smoothly; in a pinch, add some paint thinner, or if you care to, add a small amount of boiled linseed oil, or penetrol, and mix again.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 3:36PM
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Should I start saving these things for the true preservationists here?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 5:36PM
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The old triangle points are like pure zinc; they never rust. The same can't be said for the new ones. I vote to save, straighten and reuse the old points whenever possible. I have a stash of them from salvaging glass/repairs. At work when we replace a lot of panes we use the gun.
Also, it's amazing to run across tiny cut nails used to hold the glass in on some really ancient windows. I guess they used anything they could.
There is another type of glazier point being produced that we haven't discussed; it's nail-like, but has a side protrusion so it can be driven; it's sharply pointed like a carpet tack. See link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Glazier's Tacks

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 9:23PM
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The glass panes in windows of my house (used to be an old school)are held in with tiny nails. In fact, that was normal to me until not too many years ago when I decided to replace panes in a cellar window and saw points. Makes me wonder when the points came into common use?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 5:39PM
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Triangle points have been around for well over a century, but in remote areas where there was a smithy, "old ways died hard" as they say, and tiny nails held on a bit longer perhaps.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 9:54AM
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Returned the tube glazing today, also picked up a box of the flat points and a new fangled putty knife. The guy at the hardware looked at the points and said he prefers to use the ones that graywing posted a pic of on Saturday. So I put the flat ones back. ha. And we both got a kick out of the new knife, but I said I was going to give the thing a try. It has a flat side with the other side being a wedge shape. My old plastic flat one would do just as good of job I bet. :) Oh well.

Yeah Casey, like I say my Dad used the tiny nails and so did I for a long time. Not that I did as many windows as he. Are you really not able to buy the flat points in your area? If you like, I'll get some for you and send them. Let me know. I think they were $2 a box of 250.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 1:44PM
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Circus Peanut

I've also been reglazing windows lately, largely old ones we've collected to restore the windows back from the vinyl hell they were in when we purchased our bungalow. So far, so good!

Graywings, the stuff your old woodworker uses to help skin over the glazing might be whiting? It's powered chalk, basically. I think.

I don't know how much the little mechanical point guns cost, but the one we inherited is a little blue thing by CRL and it's brilliant, easier than pushing or hammering them in. The gun also helps break less glass; I can get a little kamikaze with a hammer.

We use little points with the gun that are more like diamonds than triangles, although I think the gun will take various shapes. They're perfectly flat so they work exactly like the old ones.

I haven't encountered any nails-for-points in windows yet (I'm in Maine, there might be regional differences?), but have had windows that have tiny little slivers of extra glass wedged in to hold the panes. Zowie! Those freak me out every time I crunch into one with my scraper.

Schoolhouse, I found that your new wedge-shaped putty knife is actually brilliant for when you're removing glazing and trying to get the triangle points out -- mine has a slight nick in the front that just scoops up the points as you scrape along, easy as pie.

I've been using Sarco-M putty and just love it. You can get small quantities of it from in NH or in Vermont. It's great chewy stuff that warms up well in the hands and I think it's easier to work with than the gloppy tube or jar stuff.

Ooh, rats, I just looked up the point driver gun and it's pretty pricy. Here it is, just for reference: CRL Point Driver. Still might be worth it if you have lots of windows to do?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 1:30PM
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"It has a flat side with the other side being a wedge shape."

Bad concept.

You hold the knife at an angle to set the glazing.

The low corner rests on the glass, the edge on the muntin, with a shallow angel in the direction of movement.

One swipe and all you need to touch up is the inside corner you moved towards.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 1:42PM
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I haven't done windows or glazing in awhile but I have a tool I used in picture framing where we used brads to hold the glass in place. The the link and text to c&p for an alternative. (Haven't posted here in a long time, either so I will have to review how things are done ... meanwhile, c&p is only a teeny bit of extra work!)

Again, don't remember if I did it but it seems like this tool would work on most glazing points, too. I have several windows needing glazing before winter and I'll definitely be giving this tool a try. They work just on hand pressure and, I guess leverage and tend not to break the glass very easily.

A little different from mine and cheaper:

Here is a link that might be useful: Brad setter like I have

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 2:00PM
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I have a Fletcher Point Driver (bought in 1988 - & it was $45 then!) that's similar to CircusPeanut's CRL and it's the only thing I can imagine using on really old, very thin muntins. I've tried other points, but they either show or I was afraid I'd damage the ultra thin wood.

If you have a lot of panes to replace or reglaze, it's an excellent investment.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Has anybody used both the Fletcher and CLR drivers enough to compare? Also do both use triangle points or only diamond ones?

I have 198 sashes here (thankfully, only few requiring urgent work this season, but all needing overhaul after 150+ years.) I have been using up my remaining stash of recycled points, but will run out soon so I need to find another solution. I'll go mad trimming a bit off the toes and shoulder off the typical points.

Sarco-M putty rocks!


    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 3:27PM
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The Fletcher looks very interesting. Too bad I didn't have that awhile ago. Just came in from putting all seven panes of glass in the two window sashes in the barn. I used the push points instead of the triangular ones, and it took me three panes of glass before I got the hang of it. And then,with the majority of them I don't think I placed them close enough to the glass. I was also so worried about using too much pressure pushing them in, my tool slipping and my hand going through the glass!

First I pushed them with my thumb and then used the flat end of the putty knife (a no-no probably)to get them in further. The window frames are so old and weathered and in some instances there was no wood left for the point to go in; so I used extra for a tight hold. This is just an old barn/shed, so it's good practice anyhow.

If tomorrow is as nice as it was today, I'll start the caulking. And since the points aren't as flat as they should be I know I'll have to do some tweaking with those. I would take photos, but I might offend you professionals. :) :) :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 3:48PM
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Liriodendron, my old Fletcher uses 2 sizes of the diamond points: a very small & a larger one. Both comes in 'strips' like staples. I don't think it uses the trianges but it's been awhile since I had it out. I'd never heard of the other brand until Circuspeanut mentioned it.

My local hardware no longer carries the Fletcher but I've seen them sold online. Of course, the new ones are made in China. I agree with everybody else about Sarco putty - the best ever!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 5:17PM
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