DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

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DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby SamD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:30 am

I have been wanting to double glaze our front windows for some time but commercial quotes were very expensive. They don't get a lot of direct light but they do let a lot of heat thru, and a lot of noise.

Being traditional heritage style windows I couldn't find a way to do it easily at first. But I have a plan so I am capturing my progress here.

At first I found quite a few magnetic tape based solutions. These should seal well to a flat surface such as modern aluminium windows, but my windows are a bit older and irregular. And each panel will be 1.2m by 0.55m, so in 3mm acrylic plexiglas it's about 3 kilos that need to be held fast by the magnetic tape. Easy to do with chunky and modern neodymium magnets, but I am not so sure about cheaper tapes holding onto the irregular surface of my well aged windows - the house is over 100 years old.

I needed the panels to be removable so that we can still open them on hot days. I don't want to fit anything permanent with hinges.

The windows have large internal surfaces, so I am going to try making a push in 'plug' format, and see if friction will seal them and keep them in place. A bit like a push in poster frame with foam rubber around the edges to provide friction and a seal.

I took a look at the local hardware store. I could use an aluminium frame for strength, but I think I will try to use weaker Tassie oak as it is about half the price per meter, and the capping trim is in oak.

Here is a cross section of my concept.
Untitled.jpg
Cross section of the frame sizes
Last edited by SamD on Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby SamD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:36 am

Yesterday I sourced the 3mm acrylic plexiglas from a local plastics supplier.Three sheets of 1220mmx550mm and three squares of 550mm square cost me $130 plus gst cut to size.

I made a start on one frame last night. Using a mitre saw to get 45 degree angles helped. I glued the ends and used a screw. I don't need it to be very strong yet - as the plexiglas and trim will be glued and screwed to the wooden frame adding strength later.

I brought a roll of the self adhesive (10m) for under ten dollars, and a can of spraypaint to roughly match our existing windows. I also bought a couple of brass handles for $3 each to make it easy to pull the plgs out without breaking them. I hope.

Here's the rear frame for the plug of one window:
2013-01-07 22.05.39.jpg
Plug


I reduced the width and height by a total of 5mm each, to allow for the foam rubber when fitted and compressed into the frame. Hope that makes sense. Future pictures should help to explain.
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Re: DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby SamD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:47 am

I applied the 9mm wide by 6mm thick self adhesive sealing foam to all four sides and gently pushed it into the existing frame. It is maybe a bit too tight, but I will go with it.

The plexiglas will screw onto this frame, then the oak capping will go over the top of it all like a picture/poster frame. I hope.
By bending the mid points in a mm or two when fixing the perspex I should be able to loosen the fit slightly but maintain a good seal on the sides.

I have a noise meter installed on my smart phone, will do some before and after testing. It's not going to be calibrated in an absolute sense, but it will be relative and indicative. It does seem reasonably accurate though!
2013-01-07 22.15.11.jpg
Plug in place to test for friction and seal


The rebates in my window's edges had me worried at first, but the plug pushes in 10mm past this point - so all should be ok. It actually gives a nice shape for the foam rubber to start pushing past so it doesn't get pulled off the frame while the plug is being inserted.
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Re: DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby SamD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:51 am

Just a thought, it would actually be pretty easy to triple glaze this way - put a sheet of plexiglas on either side of this plug. That'd be lush!

I'll walk before I run. Maybe a retrofit down the track...
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Re: DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby SamD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:58 am

Current costs (approx) for my bill of materials is a bit over $320 :
$45 - Three small 550mm by 550mm plexiglas plates 3mm thick ( about $15 ea)
$90 - Three large plexiglas panels 1220mm by 550mm 3mm thick (~$30 ea)
$3 - Packet of 15mm screws
$9 - Edge foam rubber seal (Moroday econoseal)
$80 - Eight lengths of 18mm by 18mm Tas Oak at 2.4m long
$70 - Eight lengths of 18mm shelf edge in Tas Oak
$10 - Can of heritage cream coloured spraypaint
$9 - Three brass heritage look handles for pulling the plugs out easily

Need to find out about glueing plexiglas to wood next. That's my only other expense I hope.
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Re: DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:09 am

How scratch resistant is the plexiglass? Its an awful lot less expensive than Perspex, a sheet of which I recently purchased for a battery cover- $130 for 1200 X 550mm X 4.5mm thick, and the quote for 3mm thick was $90.
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Re: DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby SamD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:19 am

Good question - I suspect I am about to find out! I bought a higher grade as there are several that they make according to the Evonik site. Whilst it is softer that some ploycarbs used for bus shelters etc, it is UV guaranteed for thirty years. That said, it survives scratches ok on our posters at home.

I think I would use a heavier grade perhaps on the kids' room if I did theirs.

There does seem to be a few youtube videos about polishing out scratches - and one suggests filling deep grooves with clear PVA glue then cleaning. Interesting...
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Re: DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby SamD » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:20 pm

I took some background sound readings while the kids were out at the local pool with mum at lunchtime. ;)
2013-01-08 12.38.09.jpg
Six panels for double glazing


Background ambient just inside the glass was 26 to 28 dB. With a few cars going past along our street it quickly jumped to 38 to 40 dB. The microphone is directional but didn't seem to make much different where it was positioned on a 2 axis basis.

I'll use the same device to measure afterward.
2013-01-08 12.42.06.jpg
Android sound meter
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Re: DIY Double glazing for traditional windows - build thread

Postby SamD » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:21 pm

Well I am reasonably happy with the result - given the cost. I should have measured properly once the design was finalised - had to cut the plastic sheet. Sheets seem highly charged with static - might just be the effect of pulling off the protective brown paper charging it. Hopefully it doesn't persist! There is a lot of dust attracting currently. There's a real tendency to want to wipe the surface but the risk of scratching is there.

I fitted up the final result (needs a sand and a proper coat of paint now but I just wanted to prove the concept). Brass handle at the bottom is useful for removing (Handy :lol: ) but maybe I should of put it at the top to stop the kids from mucking about with it. I can't just turn it 180 degrees due to the out of square shape. No biggie.
2013-01-08 21.37.57.jpg


The frame no longer felt as snug as before a fit to push in. So I removed the single bead of self adhesive foam tape and used two double rows (two lots of 9mm makes a nice 18mm seal) - it sits really snug in the frame now). Worth the extra few bucks.

I'll need to make the other frames before I test for sound, but placing my uncalibrated ear directly behind the new frame there is a marked difference in being able to hear any light road / outside wind noise at all. As you'd expect.
2013-01-09 07.42.35.jpg
Double tape
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