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How to Replace an Exterior French Door Astragal – Part 2

How to replace an exterior French door astragal (or t-astragal) step by step instructions. Remove the broken astragal and glue the split door frame.

This project is continued from How to Replace an Exterior French Door Astragal – Part 1.

Here’s the new extruded aluminum astragal next to the broken wood astragal on the French door. Installation was easy, requiring only a cordless drill/driver.

Exterior French Door Repair: New Aluminum Astragal

Exterior French Door Repair: New Aluminum Astragal

Buy a Replacement French Door Astragal

You’re unlikely to find a replacement astragal at the “big box” home improvement stores. Instead, check with the door and window suppliers in the yellow pages, at www.kudzu.com or order one online.

Be sure to measure have the dimensions for the door thickness, height of your current astragal, if your door is an inswing, outswing and left or right hand style.

My patio doors are 1-3/4 inches thick, the astragal is 79-1/4 inches long and the active door is a right-hand inswing type. Remember, the astragal mounts on the inactive door.

Ultimate Astragal by Endura Products

I really liked the Ultimate Astragal made by Endura Products. The description about “Why is my Patio French Door Failing” is very informative and described my problem. However, I was unable to locate a stocking distributor in my area and their distributor listing was quite out of date given the number of listings that had gone out of business or didn’t know what I was talking about when I called. In fairness to Endura, I did not contact them directly since the weekend was coming up and I wanted to do the job on Saturday when the weather was forecast to be nice.

AstraSEAL Aluminum Astragal by Imperial Products

Lummus Supply in Atlanta, GA has a windows and door division that stocks the AstraSEAL aluminum astragals by Imperial Products of Richmond, Indiana. I liked the design – it was way better than the original wood astragal on the door – and picked one up for $85.

French Door Repair: Remove the Broken Astragal

The t-astragal is fastened to the exterior French door with wood screws. Remove the astragal screws (mine had six) with the screws holding the slide bolts and strike plates for the door locks. Check the seam where the astragal meets the door face for caulking and cut the caulk line if present with a utility knife. Angle the knife flat against the door face to avoid cutting a line in the door finish. My astragal wasn’t caulked and came off easily when all the screws were taken out.

Exterior French Door Repair: Remove Screws from the Old Astragal

Exterior French Door Repair: Remove Screws from the Old Astragal

The old astragal taken off the door.

Exterior French Door Repair: Broken Astragal Removal

Exterior French Door Repair: Broken Astragal Removal

This is the old wooden t-astragal and hardware. You can see how the U-shaped mortise for the slide bolts is thin and weak. It’s no surprise the wood astragal split.

Old Astragal and Hardware

Old Astragal and Hardware

Repair the Split Door Frame

The exterior French door wood frame has split between the two screws that held the slide bolt. This must be repaired before install the new aluminum t-astragal.

Exterior French Door Repair: Split Wood Frame

Exterior French Door Repair: Split Wood Frame

The split door frame is temporarily widened by placing a screw driver in the bottom screw hole and a fine mist of water is sprayed in the crack – just enough to lightly moisten the wood, then Gorilla Glue is worked into the crack with a toothpick. A clamp is applied to door while the glue cures. Water activates the curing process and Gorilla Glue expands as it cures to fill all voids for a strong bond.

Exterior Door Frame Repair: Glue the Split Door Frame

Exterior Door Frame Repair: Glue the Split Door Frame

The excess glue is wiped off after clamping.

Wipe off the Excess Gorilla Glue after Clamping

Wipe off the Excess Gorilla Glue after Clamping

Gorilla Glue foams and expands as it cures. The fresh foam is very sticky and makes a mess if you try wipe or scrape it away. Best to wait until it’s cured past the tacky stage but before it’s fully hardened to remove it with a putty knife. You just have to watch it and catch it at the right time.

Door Frame Repair: Gorilla Glue Foams and Expands as it Cures

Door Frame Repair: Gorilla Glue Foams and Expands as it Cures

This project is continued in How to Replace an Exterior French Door Astragal – Part 3.

Thanks for reading,

Bob Jackson

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2 Responses to How to Replace an Exterior French Door Astragal – Part 2

  1. Mitch July 23, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I’m looking for replacement parts for the imperial t astragals on my exterior patio doors including the vinyl thumb sliding latch and the top seal etc. Please let me know where I can purchase them. Thanks.

    • Bob Jackson July 25, 2010 at 7:43 am #

      Contact local door & window suppliers in your area because the Imperial Products are only sold through distributors.

      I see you’re in the Palm City, FL area. To find a local retailer, do this:
      1) Go to http://maps.google.com
      2) Type “Palm City, FL” (or other location as appropriate) and click Search Maps.
      3) Palm City is now your default location.
      4) Clear the search box – just backspace over “Palm City, FL”.
      5) Type “doors and windows” and click Search Maps.
      6) Scroll through the resulting list of door and window business – installers, suppliers, etc.
      7) Call around to check if the astragal is available.

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