Assembly tips for cladded, wet glazed window sash profiles

Wet glazed sashes are a little more challenging than boot glazed to assemble, but still manageable with a few easy steps. Contrary to a boot glazed sash that uses a rubber gasket to hold the glass in the wood sash frame, a wet glazed sash (or direct set)  uses a silicone or butyl based glazing compound to “glue” the glass into the frame. A window sash that originally used a foam glazing tape would also be considered a wet glazed sash by our definition. Much like a boot glazed sash, the cladding can be transferred over; however, additional steps are required when installing the glass.  Fenster wet glazed replicas are shipped with the glass and frame separate, or with the glass glazed in, but no stop applied depending on the model. Here are some steps we recommend to make your assembly go smoothly.

1.  Assemble your new Fenster replica frame by screwing the corners together with the provided screws.

2.  Using clear silicone caulk, or other glazing compound for glass installation, apply a 1/4″ size bead along the glass ledge of the frame. Double check that your glass will fit! Set your new glass unit in place. Try to set it directly down on the glazing compound without moving it around too much. In most cases, it is difficult if not impossible to reuse the old glass.  Trying to remove it will ultimately break it. Also, what most people don’t think about is the life span of glass. If the sash is more than ten years old, you run the risk of the thermal seal failing in the near future or failing during the transfer. But, if you’re patient and lucky, you may be able to cut the old glass out and reuse it.

3.  Square the sash. By design, a boot glazed sash will reasonably square itself. A wet glazed sash will not. Be sure to square the sash frame by measuring diagonally across the frame after setting the glass but BEFORE the glazing compound sets up. We also recommend using glazing shims between the glass unit and the bottom rail to help support the glass and maintain an even air gap around the glass. Small pieces of wood shim will also work.

4.  Remove and save glass stop.  Most of the wet glazed, cladded profiles we have replicated have an exterior glass stop. If you haven’t already (because you reused your glass),  gently pry the glass stop free from the frame with a putty knife. Be extremely careful as you most likely will have to reuse this stop, especially if it is a color matched vinyl or aluminum no longer available.

5.  Transferring the cladding. With the stop removed, you will expose the inside edge of the cladding. On most wet glazed units, the cladding snaps over the face of the wood frame. Some may still slide on from one end.  See assembly tips for boot glazed sashes if you need help with that.  Starting at one corner, gently pry up on the cladding piece. Once you get it started, you should be able to work it free down the length of the stile or rail.  Warning: cladding is very thin. You must be very careful not to bend or kink it.

6.  Reinstall the cladding. Take each coordinating stile or rail and snap the cladding back in place. We recommend applying clear silicone or other sealant to each corner joint prior to final installation of the cladding.

7.  Reinstall the glass stop and seal all corners.

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