if i could figure out how to share a couple of photos here, it would be easier to explain...
i started out building a 48"x48" steambox and have since made a couple of larger ones to accommodate larger sash...the 48"x48" will be plenty big enough for the average sash...this box will be a vertical steamer because i find that the water rolls off the glass and onto the floor of the box rather than sitting on the glass during removal...
2--1" 4'x 8' rigid insulation foil faced, both sides ($30 each)
2--12' 1"x3" strapping (no need for nice sanded pine) ($8-$10 total)
2--2 1/4 screws1--hand full of 1 1/2" screws ($ minimal)
2--6" pieces of 1x1 scrap
1--tube of high temperature silicone (available at most hardware or wood/pellet stove stores) ($5)
1--jiffy j-4000 clothes steamer ($175--$275) do research on-line
one (or two) helping hand(s)
measuring device (otherwise known as a tape measure)
clamps 14 inches or larger--optional
+cut one sheet of insulation in half (using the straight edge and japanese saw), making 2-48"x48" pieces
+cut four pieces 12" x 48"
+with your helper, hold one 48x48 piece and apply a continuous bead of silicone along one foiled edge
+to the siliconed 48x48, press one 12x48 piece allowing the silicone to ooze out (you will now have an 'L' shaped design) the outside of the 48" piece to the opposite end of the 12" piece should measure 13"
+apply silicone to the inside of the second 48x48 piece and press that into the 'L' shaped piece...you should now have a 'U' shaped design measuring 14" across the narrow end
+apply silicone to the top edges of both 48" pieces and install another 12" piece pressing it together for the oozing....you can clamp of hold for a minute or so...
+flip the box over, apply silicone to inside edges of 48"x48" and install the third piece of 12"x48" piece
+the last 12"x48 piece will be your door...about 6" down from the top of this piece, install 2 pieces of the 6" 1x1 directly opposite one another on each side of the panel then screw (2-2 1/4")through the 1x wood, through the insulation and into the other 1x wood--this will act as your handle
+ your door will be a friction fit
+at the rear of the box, about an inch from the bottom, make a hole just large enough for the steamer hose
+at the bottom of the box and furthest to the rear, make a few holes for the water to drain out
+apply the 1x3 strapping to reinforce the box--cut four 48" pieces and five (yes five, not four!) pieces of 15 1/2" pieces
+screw the pieces of wood together AROUND the box not INTO the box...the extra piece of 1x strapping is doubled up to another on the bottom of the box in order to tilt the box so the water will run to the back
+inside the box you may want to lay a couple 1x cleats on the floor to allow the steam to penetrate all surfaces of the sash...separate the sash with scraps of 1x...
+the steamer comes with a hose with a wand on the end...you can break the wand off or painstakingly remove it for future use...
it is adviseable to get yourself a pair of THERMAL gloves and even a face shield...when the door is removed from the steamer, the escaping steam is VERY HOT and can burn skin if you are not careful and alert.
make sure your cuts are as straight as possible for a snug fit......
i typically put two sash in at a time...once the steam is being produced, steam the sash for about 30 minutes...i then take out one sash, strip as much putty as possible--there is a working time of about 15 minutes...if the sash needs more time in the sauna, stick it back in and work on the other one......
this operation is not suggested for use in your home as it produces a LOT of steam...
i have a few steam boxes, one with hinges and closure clasps, one on rollers, one that has my name on it, etc...after you try this steamer method, you will learn what works best for you and make changes accordingly...SAFETY FIRST--the steam has temperatures upwards of 200 degrees!!
once someone tells me how to upload photos, i think the plans will sound much easier....
feel free to ask questions and let us know how it works for you....