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  • attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

    Well we were going to go with an aluminum railing system but I'm still recovering from the sticker shock of +$4,000.00 Cdn So, taking what I know about deck railings, wood movement etc., I'm going to construct my own railing system out of PT wood and insert tempered glass purchased from a local glass company. Total cost $1,600.00.

    So I thought y'all might be interested ... and steer me straight if you see a problem with the design. Below is a pic of the deck so far. I'll scratch together some drawings and load them up and see what you think.
    Attached Files
    Woodwork Safely,
    Jim Barry

    Me - http://www.woodchuckcanuck.com
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  • #2

    Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

    posts

    drawings for the end post and mid-post
    Attached Files
    Woodwork Safely,
    Jim Barry

    Me - http://www.woodchuckcanuck.com
    Blog - http://woodworkersworkshop.blogspot.com/
    Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Woodwo...70640316322582
    Twitter - https://twitter.com/woodchuckcanuck
    Store - http://www.WoodworkersWorkshop.com/store/index.php
    Free Plans - http://www.FreeWoodworkingPlan.com
    Copyright Infringement and its affect on the Woodworking Industry - http://www.WoodworkersWorkshop.com/c...fringement.php

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

      other posts

      corners posts
      Attached Files
      Woodwork Safely,
      Jim Barry

      Me - http://www.woodchuckcanuck.com
      Blog - http://woodworkersworkshop.blogspot.com/
      Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Woodwo...70640316322582
      Twitter - https://twitter.com/woodchuckcanuck
      Store - http://www.WoodworkersWorkshop.com/store/index.php
      Free Plans - http://www.FreeWoodworkingPlan.com
      Copyright Infringement and its affect on the Woodworking Industry - http://www.WoodworkersWorkshop.com/c...fringement.php

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

        I'm doing the same thing come spring only I'm going to use 1/2" tempered.

        Personally I would skip the dadoes in the posts where you are going to insert 2 x 4's as my guess is that is the spot you will get rot........no where for the water to go.

        I'm putting my glass panels into a frame much like you would make for a window with tilted sill and drip line, then screw them into the posts with SS screws.

        Cheers

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

          Jim, I question the Foam Rubber material as a cushion for the glass, It will not take the weathering and such, along with the UV rays etc. and will deteriate over time (short time) besides the weight of the glass will simply crush the base piece. Look into a vinyl seal or such. there is aplace near here call Miami rubber Co. they have a host of other type seals , gasket material and such. Should be something of the same nature in your area. I would seak out some different seal, but other than that, you plan looks great.

          Bad experience with PT wood over long spans as you have, It come to me soggy and wet from the Treatment plant. then as it dries in the sun, it wants to shrink and move and twist or bow. One way to combat this is to purchase the wood early and allow it to acclimate. Sticker stack & weight it down and let nature take its course. Allow to dry and control the movement and then set the joints and such. Might be a bit happier with the results. That Gasket you discribe will be needed as weather changes but I would look elsewhere for the product. You would be surprised what is available and already on the shelf, if you can find the supplier.

          Look at the glass shop where you get the glass, ask them for a supplier.

          As a matter of fact.... It just popped into my knoggin' Look at Boat windshield places or repair places. The windshield of my boat is held in place (in such a groove as you discribe) with a rubber or Vinyl "U" shapped piece and the Aluminium shrinks and expands rapidly as the sun bakes and winter chills. Check that route.

          PS Be sure to put Weep holes in the bottom of the grooves to allow winter/summer rain/sleet to pass through w/o rot or freeze.
          Bill "Hickory" Simpson

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          • #6

            Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

            Also, I built my fence rails in the same manner as you, but with a different panel between the rails , etc. I found that 3" Coated Deck screws toenailed at the joint was not only hidden within the joint but provide a great deal of strength. (I added a red nail to your picture to explain where) I put one in the top and two from below on the top rail and two from atop on the bottom rail (as I couldn't get to the bottom) It pulled the rails together nicely. By the way, water won't get in the joints enough to create a rot problem (especially if you let them dry before you cut the joints. (Sorry Roman ) I have been building decks for well over 25 years and not one has rotted or fallen, some had to have a board or so replaced because the sun cooked it but no damage from moisture in the joints. Worse example is one 12 years old that sits in the shade (sun NEVER shines in this wooded area) and covered with green moss, but no rot. I clean and re-treat it every year. (daughter's place)
            Attached Files
            Bill "Hickory" Simpson

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            • #7

              Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

              Fence Rail

              My only concern has already been mentioned. The foam rubber breaks down very quickly with UV exposure.

              I would suggest a U shaped channed made of UHMW with rubber stripping in it. Then no rot, and if you get UV resistant rubber no breakdown of the glass lining.

              All the best

              Stephen

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                Dont be sorry Hickory but just because you or I do it one way doesnt make it necassarily the right way or at least it doesnt mean there might not be a way that is more pleasing to the eye. Tempered glass is expensive.

                By making a frame it lets the deck railing be stepped, no dadoes, quicker and to my eye.......way more pleasing to the eye.



                Cheers

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                  Some other suggestions

                  We are dealing with the same problem. To meet code our new deck railing will obscure the view of the lake from our family room. We considered tempered glass but decided against it because of the necessity of keeping it clean and concluded we are not looking for additional maintenance. Instead we are raising the grade level sufficiently that we can reduce the deck railing height.

                  However, if you are taking the glass panel route:

                  1. If you are anywhere near a glass tempering plant, check to see if there are glass sizes you might use that are just sitting in the warehouse. Often these are cleared at a much lower price.

                  2. Don't fasten tempered glass in too firmly because it does not handle stress well from wood twisting. Neoprene strips are commonly used as cushions under the glass. Check with a glass installation company for side support.

                  3. Are you sure that tempered glass is acceptable to the municipal building department? A child riding a tricycle could easily break the glass if something on the tricycle is at all pointed. That's quite a fall off your deck. Laminated glass would be a lot safer in your installation.
                  Doug in Little Spain
                  Prince Edward County, ON

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                    A cheaper solution if you weld

                    1. The aluminum railing is certainly a great idea for low maintenance.

                    Here's what we did in 1980 when PT lumber first arrived. The larger posts are simply four pieces mitred on the corners trimmed out top and bottom with pine The smaller posts are scrap steel as are the railings.

                    The steel has required hardly any painting at all. The lower part which is all steel has been painted once in 25 years. The wood parts require a thorough painting every ten years with some touchup in between.

                    Overall, it has worked well and was built quite cheaply.

                    2. As you can see, Lake Ontario is frozen this morning - the first time this winter. This is now the 36th winter we have lived here, and this is the first time that the lake has not frozen in January.
                    Attached Files
                    Doug in Little Spain
                    Prince Edward County, ON

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                      Personally I would skip the dadoes in the posts where you are going to insert 2 x 4's as my guess is that is the spot you will get rot........no where for the water to go....Roman
                      Hi Roman, thanks for the input. I've done the dado thing many times in the past with no problems. That's why I still use the method, it prevents twisting. The longest span is just over 50". You're going to use 1/2" tempered glass? A bit overkill you think, unless you're getting a really good price?

                      Jim, I question the Foam Rubber material as a cushion for the glass,...screws toenailed at the joint .... Bill
                      Bill, thanks also. While explaining what I was doing with all three local glass suppliers they all said to use the foam. But I too have been re-thinking the UV ray influenece. My original thought was some type of plastic U-shaped channel as also mentioned in the replies. Not sure if the wood is soggy now as its quite frozen. :lol: Boat windshioeld repair places in this area would be the same three glass suppliers, unless when I get into the city of Halifax on an upcoming trip, I could have a look around. That's a 10-4 on the drain holes too, already in the plans. That's where I plan to secure the 2x4's.

                      Roman I have to agree, that's a beautiful railing. Its making me rethink...

                      ...Laminated glass would be a lot safer in your installation. - Doug
                      Hi Doug, thanks also for your input. I do know that tempered glass is ok to use. I never thought of laminated glass as you would be correct on the safety issue. Although I don't forsee any little ones barreling down on a littel bicycle on the deck. :? Beautiful spot too!!
                      Woodwork Safely,
                      Jim Barry

                      Me - http://www.woodchuckcanuck.com
                      Blog - http://woodworkersworkshop.blogspot.com/
                      Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Woodwo...70640316322582
                      Twitter - https://twitter.com/woodchuckcanuck
                      Store - http://www.WoodworkersWorkshop.com/store/index.php
                      Free Plans - http://www.FreeWoodworkingPlan.com
                      Copyright Infringement and its affect on the Woodworking Industry - http://www.WoodworkersWorkshop.com/c...fringement.php

                      Comment

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                      • #12

                        Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                        Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                        Hi Jim -

                        Looks like a a good deck...

                        Coupla comments:

                        1) I agree with Roman - making a frame inside the posts is the way to go..

                        2) Your skirt is most likely not deep enough... I suspect you'll need at least a depth of 2 2x10's - but check with your building inspector...

                        3) posts - I'd go with three bolts through the deeper skirt... make sure you brace 'em behind the bottom of the post.... it's a big lever, and you don't want to be flexing the glass panels alot ...

                        4) I'd let the glass panels float - but put an intermittent bead of silicon in the bottom dado - and drill drill drainage holes.... trapped water is BAD...


                        Free advice - worth what you're paying!!!

                        Cheers -


                        Rob

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                          Hi Rob,

                          Haven't talked to you in a long time.

                          I'm leaning towards Roman's design now. I like its simplicity and structural support for the glass and less worries about water. The skirt you speak about, I guess I'd call a rim board, I'll have to look into that, although its attached very very good with joist hangers and toe nailed. Lots of support there I think. I was considering also getting more length to add another lag screw. The whole issue I have with the gasket/seal is that I want something (other than a wooden support) that will keep the glass from rattling in the wind and provide "some" flexibility in the event wood movement occurs either from drying out or from leaning on it. I think with Roman's design there is less chance of glass movement.

                          Thanks.
                          Woodwork Safely,
                          Jim Barry

                          Me - http://www.woodchuckcanuck.com
                          Blog - http://woodworkersworkshop.blogspot.com/
                          Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Woodwo...70640316322582
                          Twitter - https://twitter.com/woodchuckcanuck
                          Store - http://www.WoodworkersWorkshop.com/store/index.php
                          Free Plans - http://www.FreeWoodworkingPlan.com
                          Copyright Infringement and its affect on the Woodworking Industry - http://www.WoodworkersWorkshop.com/c...fringement.php

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                          • #14

                            Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                            Beautiful house Jim.

                            I see several deck posts were omitted from the original design which was gross overkill.
                            Best Regards, Ron.

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                            • #15

                              Re: attempting wooden deck railing with tempered glass

                              Originally posted by Jim Barry

                              (snip) I was considering also getting more length to add another lag screw... (snip)
                              Hi Jim -

                              I'd go with bolts here - and big honkin' washers on both ends...lags can work loose on that application (gotta remember the post is at least a 42" lever...). Bolts can always be retightened easily if things loosen up....

                              Cheers -

                              Rob

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