Volume 36, Issue 8, August 2001


All in the Details
    Installing the New Wedge-Lock Rail System

Each day the use of heavy glass becomes more popular in the industry. Today, people want to see more glass and less metal, whether it’s a bath enclosure in their homes or a front entrance to their businesses.
Our company has long been supplying the industry with frameless shower door hardware and accessories, as well as guiding glass professionals with expert technical assistance. We are now working on building our reputation as a high-quality manufacturer and innovator of hardware products for heavy glass commercial doors and entrances.
glaizierguild The CRL wedge-lock dry glazed door rail system works by applying pressure from the bottom of the door rail.

A New Approach
Most recently, we have developed a new and unique approach to heavy glass entryways—our wedge-lock dry glazed door rail system. Designed, engineered and manufactured by our company for securing glass in commercial door rails, this system makes it simple and easy to apply a rail to a glass door, and enables glass professionals to gain entrance into another lucrative business arena. 

Our door rails are universal and can be used on either the top or bottom of the door. An adjustable door alignment sliding block comes installed in all door rails. This universal attachment point is utilized by all of the door pivot accessories, which are easily attached with just two in-place screws. The accessories cover all the different types of door installations and include a heavy-duty, free-swinging bottom door pivot, a top free-swinging door fitting, a floor closer arm and an end-load overhead door closer arm. Unlike other systems, these accessories are manufactured specifically for use in our door rails and eliminate the need for shims.

Experienced installers can now secure a door rail in less than ten minutes. After installing the glass, all that is needed before hanging the door is to attach the door arm or pivot retaining block to the alignment slides that are already assembled in the door rail. This dry-glazing system also allows for field glass replacement.

The wedge-lock securing system works by applying pressure from the bottom of the door rail. The rotation of socket head cap bolts is converted into a clamping force. This action, along with a special retaining gasket, creates a tremendous amount of force—more than 100 pounds per inch. Access to the clamping bolts does not require removal of the cover plates, and tightening is obtained through the use of a T-handle wrench, rather than a cumbersome and slow-to-operate open-end wrench.

To install the door rails, an installer slides the rail on the glass, tightens the bolts located underneath the rail and the door is ready. 

There are two shims at either end that hold the wedge lock open so they can slide easily into the edge of the glass. When the rail is pushed completely against the glass and set properly on the rail, the shims are pulled out. Hex head machine screws are located across the bottom—every 7 inches. As these screws are tightened, the wedge is pulled down, making it act as a lever and providing tremendous force against the glass. To hold the rail in place, the screws are hand tightened, starting at the center. Once each bolt is hand tightened, a torque wrench is used to tighten the screws to 8 pounds. All screws have Loctite on them and lock washers. Once they are tightened, they will not back off or cause slippage of the glass. 

This new rail system also incorporates an adjustable alignment system, ideal for vertically out-of-square openings. This standard feature on both bottom and top rails allows door adjustment of 1/8 inch toward or away from the door jamb without removing the door. 

The pivots slide easily on to the bottom of the door rail. With the pivot center mounted 25/8 inches from the outside end of the door cap, the pivot can be adjusted a full 1/8 inch toward or away from the jamb before and after installation. To accomplish this, the end cap is removed while the door is still hung. Then, three socket head cap bolts in the rail can be accessed. The center bolt is the securing bolt, which is used to lock the adjustable slide in position. The two outer bolts are used to adjust the slide 1/8 inch in or out. Once the slide lock is in place, the two outside bolts are tightened and the plate is locked in position.

Because it is easy to gain access to the bolts from the end of the door while it is still hung, this design meets all the needs of the fabricator, installer and the customer. If glass is broken or scratched, and an emergency replacement is needed, the rails can be removed in minutes, new glass applied and the opening can be filled and squared quickly and efficiently. 

Accessory Products
The wedge-lock dry-glazed door rail system includes solid aluminum dry rails in 4-inch tapered or square design, and 6- and 10-inch square rails. Four-inch square and tapered sidelite rails, as well as 6-inch square sidelite rails with top load roll-in gaskets are also available.

Door rails are available in five stock finishes in single and double door styles, and accept 3/8 inch (10mm) or 1/2 inch (12mm) glass. Door rails, with or without locks, are available for standard 36-inch single and 72-inch double door openings, and are carried as stock items in all five finishes.


Charlene Kull serves as corporate communications director for C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. in Los Angeles. Glaziers Guild appears bimonthly with rotating authors.

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