How to Replace a Window Pane

No matter what time of year, kids across the country are trying to set a new home-run record or complete a screen pass. Usually the thing that breaks is not a record, but a windowpane when the ball hits it. Putting in a new pane is painless-we’ll lead you through it:

1. Wearing gloves and safety goggles, carefully remove the shards of glass by wiggling them.

2. When the glass is out, scrape away the old putty. Brush linseed oil over hardened putty to soften it up. Or, use heat from a heat gun or propane torch. Keep the torch moving so that you don’t burn the wood. Try to retrieve the little metal points that held the glass in place. Metal-framed windows won’t have the tiny glazier’s points. Instead, the pane will be held in place by a spring that fits in a slot in the frame. Don’t lose these.

window pane replacement How to Replace a Window Pane

3. Use a wire brush to get the last crumbs of putty.

4. Coat the bare wood with linseed oil.

5. Measure up, down, and across and subtract 1/8-inch from both the vertical and horizontal measurements.

6. Then measure again to be sure!

7. The retailer will cut the pane to size. While there, also buy a can of glazier’s compound.

8. Roll the compound in your hands to form a long string about as big around as a pencil.

9. From outside, push the string of compound against the frame where the pane is to go.

10. Push the pane of glass against the compound. Don’t worry if some squeezes out.

11. Using a putty knife, firmly embed the glazier’s points every 6 to 8 inches around the wooden frame.

12. Next, put blobs of the compound against the glass and use the putty knife to spread, smooth, and bevel it so that it resembles the putty around the rest of the panes.

13. Let the putty cure for three days and paint it. Let just a little of the paint get over onto the glass so the putty is sealed.

If you wish to make sure that pane isn’t a target again, consider replacing with an acrylic instead of glass. It won’t break!


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