Forum Title: Cutting an aluminum nailing flange to remove and replace a 6' sliding patio door
I want to replace an aluminum balcony sliding glass door that is 6'wide. The existing door has an aluminumnailing flange, which is covered by aluminum siding. If possible, I would like to remove the doorwithout disturbing the aluminum siding. I was thinking to cut the flange fromthe interior using a reciprocating saw. Assumption being that I can create enough space between the rough frameand the door jamb to insert the blade. As a result, most of the cutting would be done at the very end of theblade. I am concerned that it will bedifficult to make a clean cut and / or the blade will kick back to create an interiormess, broken blade, injury, etc., Iwould also attempt to shim the exterior aluminum siding to avoid causing damageto it. Unfortunately, I don't have anyexperience with a reciprocating saw. Any suggestions or other ideas / tools Ishould consider? Below is a link to a couple of photos from the outside. You can see the aluminum siding is covering the flange.Aluminum Door - a set on Flickr
Category: Windows & Doors Post By: MARIE MITCHELL (Overland Park, KS), 01/06/2019

A stiff putty knife and careful use of a hammer would be my first try.

- Kevin Anderson (Tampa, FL), 03/01/2019

Thank you Chandler. The exterior is aluminum siding. I will post a couple of photos.

- SYLVIA HARPER (Asheville, NC), 03/04/2019

Cutting from the inside is a bad idea, you will need to cut from the outside so that you can actually see what you're doing. And that's only if you have enough room to slip the blade between the j-channel and the door frame. Generally the safest way to remove a door like that (and not do any damage to the siding) is to remove the sliding and fixed panel, and then cut the jamb into 2 halves... inside half and outside half. You do this along one of the extrusion edges- there is usually one that lines up exactly with the nailing flange. (usually about 1 1/4 behind the leading edge of the frame) Starting the hole is the hard part... and cutting straight takes some practice. But you should be able to reciprocate behind the nailing fin, cutting all the nails that hold it to the wall. (you will cut the nails that hold the j-channel too but don't worry about that) Once all the nails are cut, you can basically collapse the whole frame in on itself, pulling the nailing fin out from behind the siding. And believe it or not, the best blade to use for this is an aggressive wood w/nails blade, not a metal cutting blade. Aluminum will gum up the tiny teeth in metal blades. Best blades are the Milwaukee Axe blades.

- VIOLET STEVENSON (Palmdale, CA), 02/20/2019

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