Sliding glass doors

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Forum topic by kenzen posted 11-28-2012 04:08 PM 707 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 2202 days

11-28-2012 04:08 PM

Am thinking about rebuilding my sunroom which was made in the 70’s so the glass has lost its insulation value and the wood at the base, treated wood, has rotted out. Did find site “Floweering Elbow” where they made a wooden French door so gained some ideas on making the frames. But still would like to get some ideas on making the big sliding glass doors frames and any ideas of how to build it so it will slide. Will be making it out of red oak for the frame and actually found some nice straight black locust that I thought I’d use for the base to help with the rotting over time. Am having it kiln dried to finish drying the locust after 1 1/2 years of air dying. So any help advice, etc. would be appreciated.

-- Ken

2 replies so far

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Dan Krager

4195 posts in 2430 days

#1 posted 12-15-2012 05:57 PM

Since you are waiting for kiln, I’m probably not too late…I hope. I’m often a day late and a dollar short, but my mental capacity isn’t the issue!
First, most of these heavy doors don’t slide. If they do, it will take three housewives to open it. The good ones have at least two rollers running on a metal “rail” so they move relatively easily. Weather stripping adds a LOT of resistance, so would consider wheels a necessity. They are readily available and I would put as many as four under a standard single pane (double glass evacuated) door. A well built door will be at least 1 1/2 ” thick often 1 3/4” and with relatively wide rails and stiles. This means that it may take four or five sturdy housewives to help install the thing!
IMHO you should study carefully how to machine and assemble an old fashioned coped MT joint for strength, because with only four joints surrounding the glass, there is going to be a LOT of strain on them. Rot should not be an issue for doors on rollers, but the stationary door if there is one could be an issue. I’d be inclined to make both moveable, thus eliminating the rot issue.
If you are starting from bare framed out opening, treat it with preservative before applying any jambs. Treat or completely finish the jamb, header, and sill on all sides before installation. This should further help prevent moisture retention necessary for rot to progress. And use replaceable weather stripping where possible.
Sounds like an interesting project. Good luck and
Merry Christmas!

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL Now there's a face that would stop a clock! And seriously mess with small watches.

View MrRon's profile


5189 posts in 3440 days

#2 posted 12-15-2012 09:47 PM

Are you looking to replace the old windows with 2 or 3 layer insulating glass? They are expensive and need a very strong frame to keep the glass panes from twisting and rupturing the gas seal between the layers. In my opinion, this is not a DIY type project, unless you have worked with this kind of material before.

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