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Sliding doors: attach door frames to greenhouse frame? Or remove glass and attach more directly?

 
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In accumulating glass for the greenhouse we hope to build, we have picked up a large quantity of discarded sliding glass doors made from double-pane tempered glass. (Thanks, friendly glass shop owner!) I had assumed that we were going to attach them to the greenhouse by driving fasteners through the door frames, but then the shop owner and I were disassembling a sliding frame (probably not the correct term ... the frame in which the sliding door can slide to open or close) and this particular door, being somewhat cheaply made, had that part of the door frame integral with that outer sliding frame --such that one edge of the glass is now exposed. Which made me wonder... should I take time this winter and do that with my other door panels, then mount directly to the greenhouse?

I'm envisioning the pros and cons this way (experienced people, please feel free to correct me here) -

Pros:
- a little more light, since there aren't opaque frames around the glass
- less weight, since much of what's heavy about these doors is the stout wood/metal frames (the ones with plastic frames are noticeably lighter)
- might be nicer to look at
- perhaps less likely to leak, since not as many junctions?

Cons:
- not all windows are the same size, whereas doors seem more standardized
(and along those lines, difficulty replacing a pane / needing to find same exact size, if one breaks)
- need more doors to cover a given area
- lots of work, to remove the frames
- how do I actually mount bare double-pane glass to the wooden frame of the greenhouse?

Right now I'm thinking the cons outweigh the advantages, and that I should just keep the frames and caulk around everything after installing. But what have others done in using sliding door panels? Looking back, are you glad you did it that way or do you wish you'd done something different?

Thanks in advance!
 
gardener
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I think you'll have to build frames for them either way, so I would strip them down.
I would build a stud wall and affix the glass to its face.
 
Charles Rehoboth
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Stud wall was definitely the plan either way, because this is going to be really heavy. Each of those doors must be 80+ pounds - and we're talking maybe 30 of them. (We are hoping to make it 16x25)

Can you elaborate a little on needing to build a frame for it either way? I had been thinking that with sufficiently robust (and appropriately located) studs, I would be able to screw the door frames directly to them, and then caulk between them. Not a good idea?
 
William Bronson
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Ah,  I didn't read your plan closely enough.
Rereading,  I think the shadow cast by the frames could be significant.
But yes, the work to remove the frames would be considerable.
My own greenhouse has only 4 verticle posts and one beam across the glass face,  and the shade is noticeable.
It uses two aluminum framed glass doors,  on their sides, with screws through the frame.
The bottom 3 feet is an opaque stem wall, a choice made from site considerations.
If I were in your position,  I would consider stacking equal length doors horizontally on top of one another to reduce the number of vertical studs interpreting the wall.

As to how to affix the glass to the face of the wall,  deck screws with fender washers or a strip of wood  can clip them in place.
I used this on the slope of my greenhouse to hold down the single pane storm windows it's made of.
I have not had too much trouble piecing together the different shaped windows,  but then again,  I had no choice.

Here's a photo looking out from the greenhouse so you can see the messy construction :
IMG_20201017_170252.jpg
 Here's my work in progress
Here's my work in progress
 
Charles Rehoboth
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I really like your design! Using those adjustable shelves from fridges was clever, too. If it's strong enough to hold a few 8-pound gallons of milk...

Would fender washers really spread out the load sufficiently? Or are the deck screws and fender washers for if I keep the frames in place? I know they make some sort of rails to support the glass, with gaskets, for the prefab kits but I am not having luck finding it separately.
 
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On the "pro" side: you can crack open the windows for better ventilation in summer, and let pollinators in.
 
Charles Rehoboth
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:On the "pro" side: you can crack open the windows for better ventilation in summer, and let pollinators in.



Are you envisioning a hinged mount for the window frames? Or mounting a door by its existing hinges (one or two weren't sliding doors and do have hinges left) ?
 
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Charles Rehoboth, I've been experiencing almost the same issues with sliding glass doors, when was removing them. But fortunately I could find this article ( here: https://agreenhand.com/how-to-remove-a-sliding-glass-door/ ), with all the needed information about sliding doors and how to remove them properly, or maybe even how to maintain them, removing different parts of them. You can check it out.
 
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Hi Christopher,

Welcome to Permies.
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The Greenhouse of the Future ebook by Francis Gendron
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