How To: Install Spring Bronze Weatherstripping

By Scott Sidler • July 29, 2013

Spring Bronze weatherstrippingTo allay your concerns that old doors and old windows can’t be energy-efficient, I wanted to make sure we covered how to install weatherstripping on these openings.

Weatherstripping has changed a lot over the years. Today it is usually foam, vinyl, or felt peel and stick weatherstripping, but there is an old school way of weatherstripping that will last well over 100 years and be just as effective, if not more, than today’s methods.

Spring bronze weatherstripping, while a bit more work than the peel and stick variety, provides an excellent seal to keep air, water and bugs out of your home. Bronze weatherstripping is extremely effective and durable enough to last generations.

There are several types of metal weather stripping. Some are more complicated than others and require modifications to the doors or windows. Leave those to the pros. For the average homeowner, spring bronze weatherstripping will be just as effective and it is user-friendly to install.

Buy your spring bronze right here!

Here’s how to install it:

Tools Needed

Step #1 Cut to Size

how to cut spring bronzeMeasure the door openings and using tin snips cut the weatherstripping to length. The weatherstrip needs to go in the rabbet that the door fits into when closed. There is a flat side and sprung side to spring bronze. The flat side goes on the interior and the sprung side faces the exterior so that the door compacts it as it closes.

You’ll need to cut the bronze so that it doesn’t cover and interfere with the hinges or latches.

 

Nail spring bronzeStep #2 Nail in Place

Line up your spring bronze and nail it in from the top down. Make sure you start from one end and keep the bronze straight the whole length so it does not bubble or bind in places. Also, be careful not to nail the bronze too close the the door jamb (see spacing in photo) or it may not be able to lay down completely when compressed.

Your nails should be no more than 2” apart. I prefer 1 1/2” between nails to make sure the installation is lasting.

Corners require the weatherstripping to meet at simple butt joints.

The nails should be flush with the surface. Run your fingers across them and if you feel any that are standing a bit proud, set them a bit more with a nail set.

spring bronze finished installationStep #3 Spring the Bronze

Depending on how tight the existing door is in the frame, you may need to increase the spring angle on the weatherstripping.

Use a putty knife or screwdriver to gently bend the bronze to increase the tightness of the fit. Close the door and check for any gaps where you can see sunlight. If you do, open the door and bend the bronze a bit more in that section until you achieve a good seal.

Spring bronze is an excellent material for weatherstripping. Installed properly, it will never need replacing and is extremely flexible to fit almost any size gap around doors and windows.

 

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85 thoughts on “How To: Install Spring Bronze Weatherstripping”

  1. If I butt the spring weather stripping to the edge of the hinges, do I need to put some type of weatherstripping behind the exposed hinge? Thanks

  2. Hello, and thank you for all the great tips and sharing of skill and knowledge. I do have a couple of questions. Obviously, there is no school like the old school and I find that it is a nightmare going to the hardware store with all of the vinyl and adhesive crap they sell which in my opinion doesn’t work well at all. So here are my questions:
    1. There are two types V and flat springbronze plus numerous sizes. Is there a General size and type that an old school pro would typically use that covers the majority of door frames?
    2. Many of the newer prehung exterior doors come with a vinyl seal that the door presses against that sort of makes a seal…however, if I can see daylight through the cracks or feel wind I know that it is a poor seal. Do pros use spring bronze in addition to the crappy factory seals or is always typically removed first?

  3. I figure this should be a place to share advice after living through the process. Killian says to space the bronze a matchstick from the stop. Well, matchsticks are no longer uniform and pretty. They should be 3/32. I found out that the free fancy vinyl samples from home depot is the exact thickness. I grabbed one, cut it into quarters then super glued it to a scrap of parting bead (put the parting bead in place, then glue). Slip it in and butt the bronze up. perfec,t even spacing every time.

    1. Hello, and thank you for this tip. Can you please tell me a little more about the vinyl piece that you mentioned is? Also, do you have any pro tips about the lock area?

  4. My home was built in 1929. I just opened up two swing-out casement windows that were painted shut for probably 50 years. The weather stripping looks in good shape but both catch on the windows when I close them. Is there a recommended way to bend the metal back where it should be so the window will close without sticking?

  5. Hi, I found your blog as I have an 140 year old house that I have just noticed has bronze weather stripping on the door. I notice it because the bronze has split along various points where it is bent and has now started to interfere with the door closing properly, calling my attention to it. So I thought I would try to replace this myself. The installation seems straight forward enough. One question i have is do you have a suggestion on getting the many many copper nails out, that are, as described, set well flush with the door jamb, and there are alot that will need to come out to re-do this. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank You. Margaret Malone

  6. while my windows are not original (2 over 2), they are unique and quite thin. Sashes are not even 1 inch in depth. Is there spring bronze that narrow and if not, what would you suggest?

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