Fasteners for storm windows on fixed casements

A home owner from In Massachusetts says:
Dear Sir/Madam:

I am considering fabricating a storm window panel using C.R. Laurence's CRL BS1W or similar for a sash frame and either 1/8" Plexiglas or 1/8" Lexan for glazing. My existing wooden fixed casement frames have a recess that could act as a stop for the storm panels. A panel 65-3/4" x 20-7/8" will fit inside the recess.

My problem is finding a fastening method that 1) allows removal of the panels once a year, 2) will be secure in 60+ mph winds, 3) will be relatively concealed or at least not too busy looking.

I've been looking at the following:

· ¼-20 brass slotted wood bushings (similar to your rivnut) with sidewalk bolts.

· Threaded hanger bolts with capped nuts thru the metal frame.

· SS wood screws with white heads thru the metal frame.

· Your 70-056 screen hanger kit

Would your screen window spring pin retainers work? Are there any better alternatives?

Any suggestions of methods and parts would be greatly appreciated.

Chris J.
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Dave Sr. from SWISCO responded:

Perhaps I can be of help! There are a few different attachments you could use to hold in your storm panel. The suggestion that you made with the 70-056 hanger was a good option to hold in the top of the storm sash. Take a look at the 62-022 riv-nut used for wood frame along with the 33-083 screw and the 70-112 thumb screw. These could be used to hold in the various clips we carry on the web site. Look at the 70-110 and 70-140. Not sure of the depth of the frame or how deep offset a clip you need. You could also use a regular screw into the wood like the 33-090, but I kind of like using the 62-022 riv-nut. We also carry the adjustable clip 70-215 which is another option. It all depends on what you like the best using and what would look best on the window frame. As for the type of material you want to use. I would go with Plex-i-glass acrylic or double strength glass. Lexan will Yellow after a few years. Lexan is a polycarbonate. Not sure why you want to remove the storm panels annually. Once installed you can keep then up unless you need to clean them or if you get condensation between the glass and storms. Take note do not caulk or seal up the storm panels. Allow them to breath so to lessen the chances of condensation.

A home owner from In Massachusetts says:

Dear Dave,

Thank you for your suggestions. I am leaning toward using the 70-056 hangers with the riv-nuts and a sidewalk screw or some kind of clip.

Three questions -- 

  1. Are the parts you suggest rust resistant? I've had good luck with 316 stainless steel, but it is not always easy to find a part made out of SS. Galvanized and zinc coated will work as an alternative.
  2. Second, any suggestions for spacing of the rivnuts and clips. Ideally I would like the hangers and a pair of clips near the bottom of the panel. However I have seen suggestions of every 14-18" with 6" off the corners.
  3. FInally, have you had any experience with UV resistant polycarbonate? Lexan and Makrolon apparently make a UV stable product, but I have not seen any references on line regarding long-term results.

Thank you so much for your help. Being able to get a real expert with the parts and hands-on experience is invaluable.

Chris J.

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Dave Sr. from SWISCO responded:

The 70-056 might be a good way to secure the top of the panels. These are normally used when installing screen panels, but I think they should work well for what you are doing. The clips and ball head screws are made of aluminum. However the nail that attaches the clip to the window frame are made of steel. 

As for the screws like the 33-083 and 33-090, they are made of 410 stainless so you can use your magnetic Philips tip in your screw gun. The 62-022 wood riv-nut I believe is made of a die-cast metal. Not sure what clip to recommend using. My concern is the off set when you place the panels in the wood frame. You would need to get a piece of the metal and see what the off set is when it is in place. That will determine which clip to use between the 70-110 or 70-140.

We also carry the 70-180 poly-carbonate clip, as well as the adjustable 70-215. Another metal screw you can use is the 33-017, which is 410 stainless. Personally, I would like for you to use the 70-110 as long as the 1/4" off set matches what you need. As for the fastener, you can use our 62-022 with either the 33-083 or 70-112

As for the placement of the clips, I would install two at the bottom or bottom side along with one or two up the sides. Then you want either one in middle on the side, or two matching up with the wood mullions. You don't want to get to crazy with the clips since too many will take away from the look of the window. 

As for the Polycarbonate sheets. I'm not familiar with the UV resistant Lexan or Makronlon. I feel that a acrylic sheet like Plexiglass should be sufficient. Unless you are in an area close to a ball field or some other situation that would damage your storm panels the acrylic should be fine.

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