Kurt Shafer here, the inventor of this kit. I spent a lot of time looking into materials and sources and ways to cut the garage door openings. Here is what you will find that will make my kit easy to use.
- I am now selling thick plexiglass – 1/4 in. I GUARANTEE they cannot be broken.
- I found a sheet metal cutter for you that works with any electric drill.
- I include rivet nuts that you install in the door.
- I have info on tools for rivet nuts that are very inexpensive and very easy to use.
- I have added instructions for you to understand how to use the tools.
So the total cost of tools is under $30 and the installation is very simple.
WHAT IS IN THE KIT
First are the windows themselves. You get thick 1/4 inch plexiglass – did you know that is what is used on golf carts? Cut to 12 inches high and 16 inches wide – 4 of them fit on half of my 2 car garage door. 8 fit across the entire door.
NOTE YOU PAINT THE FRAME AROUND THE EDGE
The windows are perfect for painting the frame look around the edges. I use the protective plastic sheet that comes with the window and I cut 1 inch of the sheet off the edge so the rest of the sheet is a paint template. Then I paint the edge of the plexiglass and peel the plastic sheet off when it is dry. The result is a perfect frame look.
These are incredibly useful because they attach the nut to your garage door so you don’t need another person inside the garage to hold a nut in place.
Here is one example of installing a rivet nut. First you see a “mandrel” – the threaded metal rod that threads into the nut.
Here it is being squeezed into the thin door metal.
Below you can see an example of a tool.
8-32 PHILIPS HEAD SCREWS
The rivet nuts and screws are all threaded to #8-32 which means they are .164 inch in diameter with 32 threads per inch. These are easy to get anywhere. If you have a singlesided door it is thin so the 3/4 inch long screws you get will be perfect. If you have a 2 sided door with foam insulation inside, you will want to get screws long enough to go through the thicker door. Below is a diagram of the installation in a thick door. You have the choice to cut a wooden spacer so that you can tighten the screws and not crush the foam in your door or you can put a thread locking fluid in the rivet nut to hold the screw in perfect tension without coming out.
Installation guide for cutting door
The door is cut using a “nibbler” that is driven by any electric drill you might have.