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Monday, January 26, 2015

Door No More


***Caution***
The following images are very dirty!  They contain a door that has been left lonely and abandoned in my garage for the better part of 3, maybe 4 years!  While these images may be shockingly sawdust covered, the door in the photos has been rescued from it's torturous circumstances and will soon be living in a clean less-dirty home environment.

Hello my friend.  Today we will be taking the first steps to place this lost and forgotten door into a loving home.  Before it can all happen, we have to remove the glass.   I chose to post these pictures just in case you know of a door, laden with glass pains, that needs similar TLC for whatever reason.  This door has been adopted by a fabulous shelving system that has just the perfect spot for him.  Following our procedure today, and a couple sloppy coats of paint, this handsome fellow will be permanently employed in my photo studio.

Since this process is a messy one, I have refrained from cleaning the door first.

I am sorry.

It is very painful to look at all of that dust, so if you happen to be allergic, close your eyes.

Did you know that these doors have a good side and a bad side to work on???

One side of the door {if you have a well built door that is ;0} is solid wood on one side, but on the other side, it is a series of shelf-like ledges for the glass to sit on, and then some trim that has been nailed or stapled into place to hole the glass.  The image above shows the window section with the wood trim still on.  The image below shows the same window segment without the trim.  That image shows what the ledges look like without the trim...

Let's get started prying that wood trim off!

My preferred tools of choice, a chisel and a hammer.  I have been known to use a slot head screwdriver when a chisel could not be found.  Basically, stick that chisel as close to the seam between the trim and the door sashing as possible.  Tap the handle of the chisel or screwdriver {a butter knife can be used but don't tell anyone I told you that.  It would be embarrassing} a time or two and you will begin to see a gap open up between the trim piece and the sashing.

Tap, pry.  Tap, pry, move down a little.  Do it some more.

Done.

If your wood splinters here it is A-O-K.  Take the top slivers off and start again.

The first piece is the worst, and typically it breaks in the middle.  Once that first piece is off, the other three drop like flies.  You can see in the top right picture above that staples or nails can be left behind.  You will want to remove those before trying to take the glass out.

I use pliers/wire cutters.  I have found the area too small for a hammer, so the plier/wire cutter option is probably the best idea for removing the hardware.  

Then you are good to take that glass out.  

This door was SO STINKEN' HEAVY!!!
I bet you had no idea it was all the glass's fault!?!  
Once that glass was out it was like lifting a milk gallon instead of the whole cow.  Working in my messy garage, I put the glass pieces in an old pizza box and tossed the box into the recycling bin {since glass is recyclable}.  That was the heaviest pizza box I have EVER lifted!

Don't you know, this door must have had a piece of glass break.  It had trim that had been nailed, unlike the rest of the panes held in with staples, AND the dumb piece of glass was stuck in there with caulk.  I was able to take the trim off no problem, but the glass was basically glued to the door with caulk that WOULD NOT BUDGE!

This point is where everything gets messy.

I used to remove all glass this way, lay the piece over a garbage can, cover it with a towel to guard against splinters, and then bang the glass until my arm was vibrating.  It isn't the preferred way now that I know how doors are made and how they go together.  It makes it much easier to take them apart.  This whole process counts for windows too BTW.

Anyway, I laid the one pain over the garbage can, facing the side I had de-trimmed down towards the trash can.  {Sorry for making you stare into my trash can ;0}  I did tap on the glass with the hammer, and the glass did break, but it was nothing like trying to break the glass when it was all locked in with trim.

I tapped along the edge of the glass to try and loosen the calk's grip on the glass.  The glass did break, but it broke in bigger pieces.  You want the glass to break in big pieces so there are less tiny shards to clean out later.  The big chunk fell into the trash can, then I tapped on the big pieces that remained.  Basically this piece fell out in three big chunks and then I was left with the little corner of shards shown below.

I just put the door back over the trash can and used my chisel and hammer to knock those little shards free.  It worked like a charm!

In less than 10 minutes I had 8 pains of glass out and the door vacuumed off!

The first window I ever gutted was adorable.  
It was at my first house we bought after graduate school.  This is a picture of the house last winter, all the windows replaced by the new owners.  If you look at the back of the house...
You can see the tiny long window at the top.  That window is the bathroom.  Scott and I took the windows out that were there when we moved in {they were about 3 inches off the floor of the bathroom.  Something about that was awkward to me ;0}  

We took the widows out, built up the wall, and made a much smaller window-that did not open- using just the top window pane.

The house was over 100 years old and had these beautiful windows, called prairie style similar to this picture, all throughout the house.  I JUST LOvEd them!  Long story short, I decided we needed to take the bottom windows, dig out the glass, replace it with mirror, and use them as doors for our bathroom vanity.

If I could find my pictures on the computer I would show you.  I will have to bribe hubs to get the old computer hooked up again, but just trust me, IT WAS GORGEOUS!

The thing was, I didn't know about the whole trim popping off like magic thing, so I spent probably 8 hours between my Dremel and my RotoZip digging the glass out of that hard, hard, super hard wood used back in the 1870's.  Once I learned I could have just popped the trim off I felt like a fool.  Obviously I was working on the wrong side of the windows, thinking they must have been magicians to get the glass in the middle of the wood like that.

I only tell you that story so you don't make the same mistake.  Poke just a bit at the sashing between the glass and see if the trim pops off.  If not, try the other side of the door.  One side is magical, trust me ;0}

Now to get the rest of my plan in place and build my amazingness in the photo room.  I am getting really sick of all the clutter from miles and piles of props.  This newly gleaned door will be part of a shelving system I am dreaming of...if only I could figure out the final parts I would be in business.  More on that later...

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