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Old 12-06-2007, 03:46 PM   #57
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Progress today:

1. Bought the Platinum heat control film at HD -- like $30.

2. Got the window apart (it's a "test" window, one of the narrow ones). Small didn't mean it took less time. As a matter of fact, even though there were small bubbles in the film, it was stuck tight to the glass and in good shape. Getting it off was a trial compared to the previous two large windows. It seemed logical that a very strong wood scraper would work best, but in the end it turned out that a single-edge razor blade was far more effective.

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3. The weather striping comes off easy with a dull chisel. It's also easier to clean the residual glue off the frame if you do it before you take the window apart. You can see the rivets that need to be drilled out in an earlier post.

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4. Good News! GOOF OFF (petroleum solvent based) and GOO GONE (citrus based) are much better at removing residual butyl and glue than MEK. Much better. Did I say much better?

5. Once the frame is off, you have to strip away the foil tape and then gently pry the glass apart and dig the butyl out from between the panes. You'd think it would peel apart, but most of the circumference has to be dug out--just be careful not to stress the glass with an edge of the screwdriver.

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6. The dimension of the inner glass is smaller than the outter glass by about 3/32 on the long edges and 5/32 on the short edges. When I did the trial with the new gasket (see earlier post), the gasket did not pull down tight to the frame on the inside and this dimensional difference is the reason. I think this can be helped by putting the butyl right at the edge of the outer window, which hopefully will make a nice filler for the gasket. It isn't easy to see, but this is the inner glass lying on top of the outer glass. It is interesting that the inner glass has more curvature (at least in this pair of panes), so the gap at either end is about 1/4". You can force the panes together with one hand at each end, but it doesn't feel comfortable. Ick. I hope this doesn't make taping the panes together difficult. I intend to use heat duct foil tape all the way around, slit lengthwise so the width is appropriate.

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7. The film goes on easily. However, handling the film before it goes on is really a two-person job, if you want to avoid creases and dust on the surface. One person can do it if you build a small frame to help hold the film while you wet it and strip off the clear protective layer. I used the recommended attaching fluid, but I think water with a tiny bit of detergent would work. Once you squeegee it on, you need to trim the edge. I kept two of the existing edges just inside the edge of the glass so I'd only have to trim two sides. The trim line isn't critical (I think) because it will be under the butyl and hidden by the gasket.

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8. The finished product is not as "platinum" as I expected and not as reflective as it appears in the photo. More than plain glass, but certainly not California Highway Patrol sunglasses! The tint of the film looks darker in the photo than to my eye.

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9. Bummer time--the directions says the glue "cures" in a week to 10 days. I tried to use a heat gun for a few minutes, thinking "warm and dry=cured." NOPE! Put the butyl on about half way around and wound up pulling the film away from the edge. This stuff is pretty forgiving--peel it up, spray, and squeegee again and you're good to go. You can remove trapped crud if you need to.

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10. Second Bummer--you can see in a photo of the trimmed edge, above, that I got a fair amount of dust under the film. And the film is slightly abraided just from rubbing around in the box, not to mention a couple of tiny crinkles while I was cutting and fitting it. But I think this will be good enough if the film sticks down tight in a few days.

More after the glue cures...
Zep
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:02 PM   #58
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Why inside?

I decided to put the film between the panes for a couple of reasons:

1. Protects the film.

2. Hides the trimmed edge.

3. Prevents the edge from getting free and peeling.

4. But the real reason is that I remember from years ago in Phoenix that the film makes the glass significantly hotter in the sun than glass without film. I want the hot pane to be "outside."

5. If I want more tint or reflectivity, I can add another layer inside of the inside pane. The spec sheet for this stuff says "safe for all double pane windows." But don't put it on plexiglass or on "automotive" glass--I assume it doesn't pass the clear vision test. The real killer is it says "don't apply to glass more than 40 years old!" What the heck is that?

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Old 12-06-2007, 05:13 PM   #59
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Zep,
You are a tough act to follow up, king of the aluminum jive, a mean motorsicel and a badd go getter.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:27 PM   #60
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If you want to make a noble effort you can use Argon-so called because when you look for it a few weeks later it are gone.
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Old 12-06-2007, 07:37 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [B
Excella CM[/B]]If you want to make a noble effort you can use Argon-so called because when you look for it a few weeks later it are gone.
I must diverge here and hijack my own thread to put out a WARNING about this member, Excella CM, whose mission it is to drive me nuts. Just last week he refused an offer for a spare vacuum tank with the thought that he didn't need another tank full of vacuum...the mind quivers at the thought.

Let's see if he can do something with the concept of letting the cold in.

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Old 12-06-2007, 08:53 PM   #62
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Zep,
Are you planning on putting any silica gel between the windows to grab any moisture that might be left in?
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:27 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster
Zep,
Are you planning on putting any silica gel between the windows to grab any moisture that might be left in?
I thought about it, but never got to the planning stage. Now that I'm held up for a few days, maybe. Is that stuff readily available? Where?

When you look at the old windows, it looks like Airstream only put in about 5 BB's worth. I don't mind a few yellow BB's in the bottom of the window. You don't notice them until you start thinking about fixing them.

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Old 12-06-2007, 10:45 PM   #64
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You can get it at hobby stores. Jan uses it to dry flowers. You put a few roses in a shoe box and fill it with the stuff. Throw it in the microwave for a few minutes and you have dried roses.

Some of the pellets are indicators also, they will change color as the level of moisture increases.

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Old 12-09-2007, 01:17 PM   #65
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Putting it back together

Back on the track after another middle of the night epiphany. You don't need the film to go to the edge of the glass. If there's enough exposed glass, the butyl will stick to the glass and not pull up the film. So, the next part of the process has gone like this:

1. Use a razor blade to cut a 1/4" gap around the edge of the glass. As it turns out, the film is moderately stuck two days later, but comes up without tearing.

2. lay the butyl around the edge of the outside pane, which is larger. You could lay the butyl with the paper side up, but beware that you can't turn the corner of the glass with the paper on the butyl--it's pretty tough and won't bend adequately. I laid it by taking the paper off, then taking pieces of the paper and reapplying it as shown here:

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3. The gap between the inner and outer pane is significant with these two panes.

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4. I closed the gap with clamps with rubber protection on their feet. You can also see the beginning of taping the edge with aluminum tape. I taped the straight sections separately from the curved corners. It turns out, I believe, that this tape is required to hold the panes together (remember the gap) once the clamps are removed. I don't know yet if that works--clamps are still on. (One note: the edges came together very linearly, except one small 3" section near a corner--there was an additional gap of about 1/8", almost like there was a wave in the edge. I used an additional clamp with light pressure and to my surprise it close right up. I don't know if there was a slight thickness in the butyl or what, but it worked out.)

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5. You can see here how far back the film has been trimmed from the edge. One discovery is that the butyl grabs the glass much stronger than it did the film, so it was suddenly very manageable (once touching the glass it didn't come off easily).

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6. Managing the gasket is not easy. I used some strips of maple to hold it along the long edge and the clamp bars to loosely organize it along the short edge. I don't have a clue how to manage the bulge as it turns the corner. I'm hoping that as the frame snugs up, it will automatically pull this in.

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7. Here's the frame just barely on. It seems to fit snugly. Now to the point of this whole post--does anyone have an idea of a lubricant for sliding the frame onto the gasket, other than soapy water?

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devoting my winter to the windows...
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Old 12-09-2007, 03:19 PM   #66
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Old 12-09-2007, 04:03 PM   #67
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Success!

I was thinking of petroleum jelly, but I don't know the long term potential deteriorization effects on the vinyl. I also thought of using TSP, since it's really slippery, but it has a corrosive effect on aluminum. I finally decided on Murphy's Oil Soap and water, about 10:1.

The good news is I have no patience and just went for it. Make sure you relieve the inside of the leading edge of the frame so that sharp edges don't cut the gasket. The frame goes on pretty easy, after all. The problem is, the vinyl gasket doesn't slip inside the frame as neatly as you would think. I had to tap the frame open three times (both sides) to get the gasket to snug itself into the frame. But it's done! There is a small gap in the gasket. I put the joint right at the top center of the window, but I don't think the gasket is essential to the watertightness of the window--the weep channel and holes at the bottom provide that function. But I will put a little Vulkem in the gap.

The bad news is, the final fit is waaaay tight. The frames come together within 1/8", but then even the biggest mallet wouldn't budge them any further. I had to get out the big clamps--I have no idea why the glass didn't just explode. But the window now seems perfectly happy.

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Here's an idea of the tint and the reflectivity of the window. It's not this dark visually, I assure you. I'll be curious to see what it's like to look out at night. Maybe I'll do that test from the house....

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From the stress I had to put on it to get the frame closed, I would advise against even considering using pop rivets to put it back together.

Richard, I'll get some desicant for the big windows. Thanks for the input.


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Old 12-10-2007, 05:55 AM   #68
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Materials

For those of you who are contemplating redoing your windows, I'm confident that we've got the right materials identified. The gasket is easy--100' for $30 plus shipping. A minimum order of the butyl, however, is 20 rolls, or about $230 at wholesale, plus shipping.

If there's sufficient interest, we need to get Vintage Trailer Supply to stock the butyl. He'd probably have to charge $30 a roll (that's 20') to make it worth his while, or we could group together and get a minimum order.

Fortunately, I've got enough butyl to do the Safari and Sovereign, so I'm not so hot to do a minimum order by myself.

Any interest?

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Old 12-10-2007, 01:37 PM   #69
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.......Any interest?

Zep
Man, I was hoping when you started this thread that my windows would be like these, but unfortunately, they're not.

Great looking work and a fabulous explanation.

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Old 12-17-2007, 10:31 AM   #70
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The good news is that the "process" is repeatable and works for the larger windows. The frames pretty much slip on.

The bad news is (1) I never did achieve control of the dust/crud under the solar film (not terrible, just not perfect--but one out of 4 was bad enough that two days later I ripped the film off and applied new) and (2) getting the gasket to tuck into the frame correctly takes lots of pushing of edges and pushing the frame on and then back a little and then on and back a little so you can get the edge along the short side of the glass to tuck correctly.

Here's how I managed to get the protective clear film off the solar film with just two hands (believe me, there were a couple of attempts without the support that were disasters!):

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Once you've peeled the clear film off, spray both sides of the solar film again and then grab the top two "hangar" tapes and move the film to the glass.

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The window on the left is actually a single pane in the double pane frame. Remember the broken inner pane from one of the earlier posts?

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