Thursday, March 19, 2009

Windows 101

A lesson learned early was to give more than you receive. I have received so much help from friends and total strangers that I felt it important to give a little help back. I have compiled a group of photos involving window repair for the Herh Mark Xii windows and wanted to give a little tutorial for those wanting to do this work themselves or for those wanting to know how I will do it for them. Window repair is fairly easy to do, but it is like so many things, by the time you fully understand and get proficient the job is done. I hope this helps someone out.
I will be posting this in stages. This first stage involves getting ready to do it. You will notice that not all photos are of the same window, however the steps are all the same on any Herh Mark Xii window. I believe that this style of window came into use in 1959 and was used until 1965.

Any trailers out there with original seals is in need of refurbishment. The window is a tremendous leak potential and should be kept in good working order. Many look like the one shown. Grime has gotten behind the gasket and parts are broken due to UV degradation. You will notice that the black butyl tape behind the glass has some air pockets which are a clear sign the seal has been broken.

Sometimes the window seals are new, but bad axles pounding on Central New York farm roads has cracked the pane.

The first thing you will need to do is purchase some supplies, glass being one of them. Accurate, I mean very accurate measurements are needed. Remove all the outer gaskets from the frame. The glass should not leak at this point, but you do not want to take the trailer out on the road. The glass WILL fall out if you do. DO NOT TEMPT FATE.

A trick used by carpenters to get an accurate measurement is to start on one inch. The tip is only correct when pushed tight to a surface or hooked over an edge. Start on one inch and subtract it from your total.

Twenty eight inches minus one inch is twenty seven wide by...

Seventeen and a half minus one is sixteen and a half. So this glass is 27"wide x 16 1/2" high. You can measure all the glass panes needed this way. If you are fortunate, you can call up my man Charlie Donaldson. He has been cutting glass for 48 years and it is always exactly the size I order. I stress to you to make sure you tell your guy that exact sizing is crucial.

So now you have glass on hand, but other things are needed too. I Buy all my supplies from Vintage Trailer Supply. As far as I am concerned there is no one else to buy it from. I would not buy it anywhere else.

You will need some of the butyl tape and the outer gasket shown here. Do a quick take off by adding all the sides and adding a little for mistakes. Mistakes are bound to happen and they are good. They are good as long as you learn from them and do not repeat them again.

You will also need some inner window gasket that looks like this. Once again add up all the sides and add a little extra. Wouldn't it feel dumb to come up a few inches short and have to order more? So get all that stuff on hand and then we will go on to the next step.

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