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glass panes with wood framing instead of metal?

 
pollinator
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I've got dozens of small square panes of glass, which were originally intended for a greenhouse, and I'd like to build a greenhouse and some cold frames with them. I'm sure they were supposed to be used with a metal frame. If so, would there be anything wrong with using wood framing instead, using glazing putty and metal points, much as old multi-paned windows were built? I would not do this overhead in a greenhouse; there I will use sheets of polycarbonate for freedom from leaks and peace of mind.

I know that for cold frames, water might pool a bit. But the lids will be sloped, and the rabbet for the glass only slightly inset. And I can always reglaze with more putty.

I don't want to use metal because I don't have the ability to weld and cut it.
 
gardener
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Wood would insulate better but rot quicker. Plenty of people have done it.
 
pollinator
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Remember too, wood swells and contracts depending on the moisture in it.

So when you build your frames make sure to make allowances for this.
 
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Devin Lavign wrote:Remember too, wood swells and contracts depending on the moisture in it.

So when you build your frames make sure to make allowances for this.



I mean, that's true, but metal expands and contracts with heat, so you should really leave small allowances either way.
 
pollinator
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For coldframes, I'd be concerned about pooling water. In what I've seen and experienced, that's never good on wood. With temperature changes and pooled water, I think you'd have rot soon.

So I'd look for a way to use the pieces that would reduce pooling. Maybe placing them close together on top of a frame, held in place with glazier's points or that kind of thing, then covering the seam between the pieces with interior/exterior silicon sealant.
 
pollinator
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Use cedar or some other rot resistant wood and it will last a long time, pooling water or ground contact is what you want to avoid. Don't have glass touching glass. Find some kind of weather stripping (or wood) to keep them apart with some cushion.
If you use silicone (sparingly) instead of putty it's like glue, no need for points.

 
gardener
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This was my carpenter father's system: With a circular saw blade the thickness of the glass cut a grove 3/8ths inch deep in the top and the sides have the bottom edge of the glass be flat on the surface of the wood not in a grove or rabbit.  2 glass points or brads to hold it in place and then the edge of the glass covered with vinyl caulk. The size of the frame should be so the glass inserts in the grove 1/4 inch.  The top of the next in a vertical row can also be flat on the surface of the wood and separated by the caulk.
 
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If you choose glazing in a humid climate, mold on the glazing putty can be a problem. All the metals like lead and zink that use to control mold in glazing putty have been removed. The best option I found for actual putty comes in a caulk tube and is a latex product.  It had a funny shaped square tip that you pull sideways and gun a bead down the corner.  Probably a video on it somewhere.  

I would highly recommend you stay away from the stuff in the cans unless someone can verify the mildew issue has been fixed.

 
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Best to keep it simple as possible I think IMHO.

I would add small hardwood blocks to keep the wind from lifting the glass.

I have built green houses out of hardwood that lasted decades.

Just as a point of interest , the curved glass edge  is designed to guide the water away from the wooden frame.

Some detailed drawings that may inspire :

 
pollinator
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Definitely do it!
I made my 'poor man's thermal panes' with 2 layers of acrylic glazing and wood boxes.   One issue i had was fogging between the panes.  a 1/4" hole in the bottom left and top right of the outside pane solved this.  If the holes were made on the inside pane, it would make the fogging worse.
 
steward & bricolagier
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I was interested in the picture James Victor posted, it was hard to read... Too much caffeine on an off day, I redid the text to make it legible. Can someone look at it and see what the bits of red text are? I'm uncertain of those... some E looking things that look like a specialized symbol (edge to edge maybe?) and 6 inch butyl tape? I see no such thing on line for sale, not sure I have that right.
As far as the drawing itself, wow. That dude has a much higher budget for butyl tape than I do. And uses a LOT of the stuff. Not sure about a lot of it for my own use, but it is an interesting reference diagram.
 
James victor
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Pearl Sutton wrote:I was interested in the picture James Victor posted, it was hard to read... Too much caffeine on an off day, I redid the text to make it legible. Can someone look at it and see what the bits of red text are? I'm uncertain of those... some E looking things that look like a specialized symbol (edge to edge maybe?) and 6 inch butyl tape? I see no such thing on line for sale, not sure I have that right.
As far as the drawing itself, wow. That dude has a much higher budget for butyl tape than I do. And uses a LOT of the stuff. Not sure about a lot of it for my own use, but it is an interesting reference diagram.




Butyl tape is expensive , and I would be be using butyl rubber cartridges.

This tape is good , and about the cheapest.

GSSI Tape
 
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