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rosemonster 01-04-2011 02:54 AM

Replacing window sill, but now it's stuck.
I'm almost too embarrassed to post, but desperate, so I will.

I had posted here a couple times when I dug too much rotted wood out from under the window. Being a woman and the 1/4" glass is 8 feet or so, I couldn't lift it out by myself. So I had to figure out how to replace the sill with out breaking the glass. Got threw it and painstaking hours of butchering one piece of wood after another trying to get a good replacement chiseled. I finally did it and painted it first. I went to slide it under the glass tonight to test fit so I could nail and glue it to the piece that will go above it and it got stuck half way under the window glass. I mean really stuck. Really hard against the glass. I could tell the glass was going to break so I gave up.

I washed the whole window 2 days ago and painted it with primer. I painted the sill piece with primer and real paint. Is the window swollen from washing it or can the paint just add thickness?

The only thing I can think to loosen it with is grease and this will mess up any glue and epoxies from sticking to it. Any suggestions for non greasy lubricants?

Also a few questions to help me finish up.

1. Besides it getting stuck on me today, how tight or loose is it supposed to be under the glass? How much should I take off? Like should it not touch the glass at all or should it sit just touching it lightly?

2. I have some little chips at the bottom of the glass. Should I epoxy these first or sand them with sand paper or not worry. Do I use the glazing putty to set glass on the new wood?

3. Some one here suggested securing the wood with silicone caulk when I screw it in. I really have had bad experience with silicone around rotted wood repairs so far. I have exterior urethane glues and Flex-tec epoxy or Bondo to fill the cracks. Any suggestions which are best?

Here are pics. I'd been stuffing the opening to keep cold air out and forgot to clear them off the interior of the sill. Please ignore these.

Any help would be so appreciated. Thanks.

CplDevilDog 01-04-2011 07:11 AM

It looks to me like the wood swelled and/or paint thickness is making your sill to long to fit in you casing. If I am interpreting the pictures right.

Have you tried prying the sill out from underneath? I would tap a cat's paw of short end of a flat bar into the underside of the sill and then, using a scrap piece of trim as a fulcrum, walk the piece out from each end a little at a time.

Trim should not be cut that tight. Expansion and contraction of the sill will cause it to buckle. Leave yourself a little gap (1/16 inch or so at each end) and caulk and paint that area.

Hope this helps

CplDevilDog 01-04-2011 07:18 AM

After rereading your post, I am concerned that the glass may have settled down tight against the top of the sill (or the primer on the sill made it to thick).

Is there a way someone could stand outside the window? With 3 people, you could have two of them stand opposite each other, place their hands against the glass. By pressing directly against each other, the could "pinch" the glass and apply upward pressure. Maybe relieving enough pressure for the 3rd person to use the above posted prying technique.

The proper way to lift the glass would be to have two of the suction cups that professional glass handlers use, but I doubt even your rental company would stock them.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Ron6519 01-04-2011 07:46 AM

The window should be resting on rubber spacer blocks, not the wood sill. Any expansion of the wood could put undue pressure on the glass and cause it to crack.
How did you stabilize the glass during this repair?
Did you set up any monitoring device to see if it moved? Such as 2 pencil marks, one on the frame and one on the glass.
I think now you need to secure the glass first so it does not move. You need to chop the stuck sill out and start again.
First get some rubber spacers from a glazier.
Make a new sill with space for the rubber.
Pre paint everything.
Chop out the stuck sill and put in the new one.
Fill in between the rubber blocks with a silicone caulking.
Apply a prepainted molding to the sill with a sealant to cover the space and the rubber.
Remove the glass stabilizer.

CplDevilDog 01-04-2011 08:31 AM

Hi Ron,

sounds like the OP put some time into making the sill. I think if we can figure a way for them to raise the glass, even a hair, this job should be salvageable.

How about if we ran two strips of duct tape vertically up the window from the bottom inch to about 2/3" of the way up and then wrapped the top ends of the duct tape around a length of dowel. Do this on both sides of the window, and the helpers would be able to lift up on the dowel, as opposed to pushing against each other (dangerous). Sort of a poor-mans suction cup.

Ron6519 01-04-2011 08:57 AM


Originally Posted by CplDevilDog (Post 562441)
Hi Ron,

sounds like the OP put some time into making the sill. I think if we can figure a way for them to raise the glass, even a hair, this job should be salvageable.

How about if we ran two strips of duct tape vertically up the window from the bottom inch to about 2/3" of the way up and then wrapped the top ends of the duct tape around a length of dowel. Do this on both sides of the window, and the helpers would be able to lift up on the dowel, as opposed to pushing against each other (dangerous). Sort of a poor-mans suction cup.

Has the window dropped?
Is there space above the glass to raise the window into?
Is the glass painted, caulked or wedged in place from the original installation?
Do you want to pay to replace the glass or spend an hour making a new sill?
The glass should have spacer blocks and not rest on the wood sill.
If you can get the sill out unscathed, I would still modify it to accept the spacer blocks.

rosemonster 01-04-2011 10:11 PM

Whewwww, it's out. I used your advice here, then tapped it with a chisel from inside, went back outside and it started to wiggle out. I've never been so relieved. Even after it finally loosened, had I pulled straight out, it would have broken. The wiggling really worked.

My temporary sill (unpainted) wouldn't slide back in either, so I think the glass slid down a hair because I left the supports out for 2 days while primer dried. The paint added a lot as well. I had made these sills as tight as I could possibly get them since that's how water had leaked in. I didn't know to leave a little space like you say. I've been shaving them down today. Once today's paint dries, I'll shave a little more. Thanks so much for your help. It totally saved me today.

CplDevilDog 01-04-2011 10:25 PM

No problem. While you have the caulk gun out, check other areas of the house. Look for old caulking that has cracked or shrunk over time. Scrape clean and

rosemonster 01-06-2011 01:30 AM

Hi Ron, I've been trying to get the rubber spacer blocks. Home Depot didn't know what I was talking about.

I think I just found them on amazon under automotive. Is what they should look like?

Thanks so much for your help again.

CplDevilDog 01-06-2011 06:57 AM

Any clear piece of rubber should be fine. The idea is to cushion the glass from any swelling of the sill that might occur, either through temperature our humidity changes.

check the hardware section for cabinet door bumpers, tiny pieces of clear rubber that stick to the inside of the cabinet door to keep them from slamming. Also, try rubber feet for vases so they don't slide off tables

I'm not entirely sold on the spacers idea for a couple of reasons. Were there any there when you removed the original sill?

Thurman 01-06-2011 07:21 AM

"Home Depot didn't know what I was talking about."
That doesn't surprise me, they are not glaziers. I get the rubber supports from a local glass shop. They are low cost, but so necessary.

CplDevilDog 01-06-2011 08:42 AM

"You can do it, we can help sell you some stuff" That should be their motto.

My only hesitation regarding the rubber inserts is the OP is going to have to router the sill to allow it to slide into place and then add quarter round and caulk to the outside of the window to shed water.

It does add a considerable amount of complication and I wonder if it is necessary if the window has survived without.

I am not a glazier though and defer to those who know better...:yes:

rosemonster 01-07-2011 04:50 AM

Is there any difference between a glaizer and glass shop?
I went to glass shops today. Some where only auto glass and others just sell glass. The last place finally told me of a different glass place to try. I was thinking glazier was a glass shop or glass installer.

I'm not sure how window was originally. Due to bars and the fact that it's a hand made window, no one wanted to replace the glass a couple years ago. A carpenter ended up doing it but I think he ordered the glass too long. I'm only guessing by how it looks now. He sat glass right on sill. He cursed up a storm installing it. I'm not sure if he intended to install it this way or not.

The way he had it is the only way my sill can sit because the glass is flat. which is exactly level and won't shed water. I tried tilting down, but I see this would definitely break the glass. It definitely needs something in there to cushion it. I don't have any experience with routers. I've been sanding and chiseling the bottom where it will sit on wood so it will make the sill drop in looser. I'm hoping this spacer won't need more than I can do with a dremel and chisel.

Am I being realistic? What does the spacer look like? Is this glazier any difference then a glass shop?

CplDevilDog 01-11-2011 06:28 AM

Has your problem been resolved? How did you finally handle it?

rosemonster 01-11-2011 10:46 PM

Well it's snowing cats and dogs right now. Last week's snow was almost done dripping off the roof all over the window. I've had it covered with plastic this whole time.

Once it is finally dry out again, I still need to finish getting the sill chiseled down the rest of the way. I'm about half way there. I was going to let the window dry out more before doing anymore chiseling, but the way it keeps raining and snowing, I think I'm going to have to just do this as soon as it's safe to uncover it.

Meanwhile, I finally found a real glass shop yesterday who knew what the spacers are. They didn't have the rubber ones at this location, only plastic. They say it won't make a difference because they are identical. What I have here is clear, 1/2" round, flat plastic disks. They are about 1/16" thick. Looks like a thin clear dime. I guess i'll need to cut them to fit only under the 1/4" of glass and then fill the gap with glazing putty or silicone, right????

I hope these discs sound like the right spacers to you. They are really thin. I'm thinking of getting a few of the clear cabinet bumpers as a back up.

Once I'm ready to glue and screw it all in, I'm going to post a pic of what I'm doing first in case I'm making any big mistakes. Realistically, this may not happen before weekend or possibly Monday or Tuesday.

Hope you are enjoying the snow. Thanks for checking on me.

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