Steaming up the windows: the sequel

Over my three-year tenure on Double Fracture I have dabbled with secondary glazing options. Mostly this has taken the form of double-sided tape and cling film. But last year I didn’t bother with anything; it wasn’t markedly colder, but there was a lot more condensation. This year, I have got ambitious with my windows.

It had been suggested that double glazing could be made by screwing Perspex onto the window frame. The suggester quickly found himself roped into an evening of sawing and drilling sheets of plastic – probably not what he had in mind when he offered his helpful tip. So armed with pizza and cider, Richard and I set about unsteaming the windows.

There are two options for cutting Perspex down to size – scoring a line with a knife and then applying pressure to break the acrylic along that line, or sawing the extraneous bits off. We started with the scoring – trying to achieve a cleaner line – but quickly resorted to sawing when the scoring and breaking proved to be time consuming with a hint of jeopardy. Unfortunately, the sawing brings with it plastic sawdust which sticks to everything and spreads itself far and wide. Two weeks later and I am still finding it on the underside of my socks.

Beautiful rectangles of plastic cut, the next job was to drill the holes for the screws. An electric drill would be no good apparently – I would met the plastic with all the friction. Luckily Richard had come prepared for this with a hand-powered drill.

I’m not competitive. Much. I celebrate the achievements of others. And occasionally I want to be better them. Drilling holes in plastic was one such occasion. It drove me mad that Richard could get through the acrylic in a couple of seconds and it took me minutes to break through. I tried different techniques, different speeds, standing vs sitting, and in the end had to concede that my double glazing partner in crime was just better at it than me. Not an admission I make lightly.

Holes drilled, we were ready for fixing the windows in place. Definitely a two man job (volunteers will be needed to help take them down come spring), but so satisfying once they were up. It may be a crowning boat DIY achievement to date. Really, these things are quite beautiful (for sheets of Perspex).

It almost doesn’t matter if they solve the condensation problem.

This blogpost was brought to you by ‘Songbird‘ by Oasis.


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