Monday, December 31, 2007

 

Crash! Broken Windows

It's your worst nightmare....you come home after a trip out of town only to find a broken window. Something that happens out here in Southern California with regular frequency are the Santa Ana winds. These are warm winds that can blow quote fiercely. This year, they visited us on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The winds were so strong that some my Christmas lights were actually blown out of their socket. These are the screw-in types. I came home to also find this:
Because of the winds and New Year's, the glass people were all booked. However, I found one that could cut me glass, on-the-spot, if I was willing to install it myself. So that's what I did:
Once I cleaned out the old glass and the 3/8" trim stock that holds in the pane, it was remarkably easy -- sorta. The glass I put in was actually the second piece of replacement glass.

It turns out in infinite wisdom I made the assumption (a very dangerous word around a 50+ year old house) that the opening was square when I measured. I got the first piece of glass home within an hour of returning to SoCal. However, when I got the old trim and glass out I discovered my glass was about 1/16" too big in one corner. "No problem" I muttered as I went to get a file and my trusty Dremel tool. For 2 hours I worked....filing, grinding, sanding, and test-fitting. I was sooooooo close and then, without any warning at all, "crack." I'm so used to disappointment when working on the house that it's rare for me to have any kind of outburst but this time I was pissed. Enough for me to yell -- scream -- a 5 minute expletive-laced tirade finally concluding with "Holy shit! Hallelujah! Where's the Tylenol!" I got a new piece of glass 1/8" smaller the next day and it went in without a hitch.

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