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Step 21 – Glazing the Doors

When we put the glass in we want it to be as tightly sealed from the outside elements as possible.  That said making drainage/vent holes in the bottom is a good idea, because this dry glazing style, like all methods, is at some point likely to let in tiny amounts of moisture.  Having the edges of the glazed units drained and vented and resting on spacers rather than the wood, should ensure good unit life and prevent their seals failing prematurely.

Below you can see how the seal is applied to the outside of the door’s glass retainers.  I have one layer of what I have called edging seal, that has a lip to deflect the water, and an inner layer of double sided security glazing tape (it looks yellow in the photo below because the backing is still on).

puting on the seal

Double sided security glazing tape, uses the same kind of acrylic bonding agent as sign writers use to put designs on commercial vehicles.  It grabs instantly and is strong in all weather.  By using this tape all round we also ensure that the glass adds to the structural strength of the door rather than detracting from it.

Below are the retainers that will be screwed down on the inside of the doors. Obviously these need preparing in advance of the fitting day – it takes quite some time to work out the equal spacing and drill all those holes (a fence setup with the pillar drill helps).  Because they will only be screwed on, rather than glued and clamped, if you don’t want any cracks developing you need quite regular screw spacing (mine had about 15cm gap between them).

Glass retaining bars

Time to carefully fit the sealed unit – this is definitely a two person job.  If we place it on roughly 5mm plastic spacers, then the air can circulate in the cavity and maintain dryness.  Because there is likely to be some fiddling about to get it correctly positioned, it is a good idea to take a tip from signwrites and wet the glass surface before pushing it home.  That way the double sided security foam will not instantly stick the glass in the wrong position.  When the water dries off it will be there for good..

First triple glazed unit is in

While one person holds the glass in (thanks Dave!), the other can take the glass retainers and push them into place.  With the glass retainer located correctly use a rotary or similar tool to mark the positions of the screw holes. Take away the retainer and drill full depth pilot holes.  I borrowed my dads rotary tool and flexi-shaft, it allows you to drill in the confined space.

pre drilling with rotary tool

This is what it looks like from the outside. Quite clean and simple, although you may be able to see the tiny gap in the corner of the seal here. I added some dabs of clear sealant to be sure.

outer glazing seal

It has been a long day and it is dark and late before we get the last triple glazed unit held in with the retainers, and we have a closable, lockable,  secure opening.  Phew.

Glazed and intruder proof

Still plenty more finishing up to be done now though.  A door handle would be nice too!

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