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Arch Windows

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I'm not the best on arches... but I can do them w/o any problems. This was how I was taught - which I have no doubt is the worst way to do them. lol


I just cut the arch as a square or rectangle... like any other window. I make sure I have a good a amount of slip in my water and put up the film... trim and finish. I use a hardcard to cut my film - I'm not good at free hand cutting. After I initially put the film up, and I get it in position, I'll then chop off the top left and right corners.


That being said... I know tinters that will pre-cut the film on the ground. If you have done other windows in the job that are slightly bigger then the arch window, take a liner from a previous window you did.. go up and use that as a template. Put it up on the window and cut it out. Then take that pattern and cut the film on the floor. That way you don't have a ton of extra film around the arch that you're trying to deal with.


Another option if you can't do that - prior to putting the film on the window - chop some of the left and right top corners.


Basically you're trying to not have any extra film then you need. Extra film can bunch on, fold over/under, etc. So doing what you can to minimize that is helpful.


Like I said, I use a hard card for my cutting. So I'll start at one end, cut up and over the curve and down to the other end. The hard card flexes enough to conform to the curve.


I dunno... that might help you some. There is def a knack to doing them. Half the problem is that you're generally on a ladder doing all this by yourself.


How big is the arch?



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Been a while since I did one, as I usually stick to automotive, but what I usually do is put up rectangular cut film, cut excess down(be careful not to cut back too much!!), push film in carefully,  bend your hard card to the same shape as the curve then cut.


Some arched transoms can be really deep with little frame, so relief slits cut into the excess film can help with getting the film closer to the glass until you can see better how much more excess you can trim off.


Hope that helps!


Oh, and no one ever cleans them, so..

Edited by CustomGlassTinter
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I have found it to be much easier, especially when dealing with large arch top windows, to precut them as close as possible. 


You can make a simple compass with some string and a sharpie. I’ve even used a strip of film when I had misplaced my stringed marker and had to cut it on the job.


Mark your halfway point at the bottom of your piece and then mark the height, extra included each way. Tape or thumb the string  on your center mark and trace out your curve.


Arch tops with the extended legs can be marked by dropping the center below the bottoms of your piece. Just mark you leg heights and center height. Play around with the amount you drop the center until all three points line up. 


When it comes to gothic, ellipse, or bell top type windows I’ll usually try to tape the piece up and mark a general outline. Makes it so much easier not having to deal with all that excess. :twocents 



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