This is probably really crazy…..but….
After getting a price of around $2500 plus taxes (13%) for a serving window to get it done locally…. I decided to go a DIY route.
Even trying to get something out of the USA was going to end up close to the 2 grand range after exchange and shipping, and then I still had to pay taxes across the boarder.
I have never done anything like this, I have never welded aluminum…
I really had no clue what I was doing or how it was going to go.
But why should that stop me right?
I was able to get a single pane aluminum slider window at the local Re-Store.
Actually got 3 of them – all matching…. for about $45.
The glass is useless, because it breaks when you look at it.
So it will be replaced with plexi glass. Optix brand. – ended up about $130.
The window was already 3 ft high, and 5 ft wide.
I took some sage advice, and decided to make it as big as possible…
This is where the crazy comes in.
The plexi is 44 inches high. So instead of cutting the plexi to fit the frame…
Let’s re-engineer the frame to fit the plexi.
Take the original window frame, cut it, splice in a section from the 2nd window frame, weld it back together and smooth it all out so it looks close to factory.
Here is a shot of the first cut and test fit.
Now welded together and smoothed out.
The welding went really well, only took a few tries to get the feel for welding aluminum.
Besides, aluminum fills the mistakes really good and once its cleaned up, you cant tell.
The hardest part was the waiting….
My welder is not set up for aluminum, so I had to go to a buddy’s place.
5 minutes to do the weld. But I could only do it once a week. So when I made a mistake or had to change something…..or welded the wrong side – DUH.. I had to wait a week before I could fix it.
All in all, it was probably only an hour of two of work.
That was the INNER frame that will house the sliding window and screen.
On to the OUTER frame.
This will house the flip up canopy.
So same deal… it needs to go from 36 inches tall to 44 inches tall.
With the added bonus of removing the grooves ( extrusions? ) that the windows sat in.
So this is the side view of the frame before.
I first ran it through the table saw to take off that extrusion.
Then smoothed it with a grinder and flapp disc.
Then cut, weld, and clean up.
This is a shot of the welded seam.
And a shot of the outer frame, test fit together.
I DID try to paint the frame and keep it white, but it really sucked.
So I spent a couple hours with the wire wheel, and took off all the paint.
Did the same to the inner frame. No more paint.
The plexi was its own kind of challenge.
Even though I went with 1/4 inch thick stuff, it was still pretty bendy.
I siliconed some 3/8 extruded channel to both ends.
That worked well.
The wrinkled stuff is just the shipping saran wrap.
I was able to re-use some of the original aluminum sections from the original glass.
The parts that had the little fuzzy strips on them.
So that when the window slides back and forth, it doesn’t scratch.
A little more silicone and a couple of days to dry.
I siliconed the window to one side of the frame so it did not move.
I only need one side to slide open.
I got one of those DIY screens from home depot.
The quality is pretty crappy, but it will work for now.
This is the unit all assembled.
I added a piano hinge to the outer frame to hold the canopy.
Started to construct the canopy.
Sliliconed some aluminum sheet to one side. and clamped and weighted those whole thing to cure for a couple of days.