French Door Windows Repaired

After an unfortunate mishap, I got a call to repair the rectangular window pane in a French door. Each section of the door contains a glass panel assembly with several rows and columns. Likely original to the late 1800s house, the panels in this bedroom door matched others leading to the porch.

Constructed of zinc came and 4×6 inch clear glass sections, I had the opportunity to repair two of these windows, as there was another section in the porch door that had a cracked piece. Repairing a zinc window requires that the broken piece be “liberated” from the rest of the panel so that new glass can slide into its place. That means the zinc has to be cut or desoldered. In this case, I chose to use a thin cutting wheel on the dremel.

Removing the taped, broken piece

Once removed, the broken piece (held together with tape) can be used as a pattern to cut the replacement. Because these windows were antiques, I used restoration glass. This glass is intentionally inconsistent with varying thickness and occasional seeds. It’s a modern product that is mouth-blown and flattened, designed specifically for restoration to match existing old glass.

With the glass replaced, the cut joints must be soldered together and any areas that were disassembled must be reputtied. After completing the repairs, I applied a patina to the metal which disguises shiny new solder and returns the window to an aged look.

Panel repaired and ready for reinstallation

~ by studiohanson on 05/12/2010.

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