Sunday, May 12, 2013

Making a new window

After finishing the gable, I decided to tackle a project that I have been meaning to do ever since we bought the farm (in 1999). One of the windows on the back of the machinery shed is past its premium.
The plan is to make the new window a bit smaller, since the original window have been partly covered by adding 3 rows of bricks. I assume that it was done because the machinery stable was once used to house pigs. And if they were able to get to the bottom of a wooden window - they would eat it. Therefore all the windows on the backside have been made smaller by adding three rows of bricks.
I intend to add another 3 rows on the outside once the window is going to be installed, so it will look nice.

There is no need to make a window that can be opened, so it will be a fairly simple model. The original frame is made using 1 3/4" thick stock. I am going to use some rough 2x4" stock, so my frame will end up being close to the original but maybe a tad stronger.

I am going to make the arch on the top part in the frame itself rather than nailing on a small ornamental arch. I expect that it will look OK.

At first the stock was cleaned up using the jointer, and then I sawed the pieces to the correct length. except for the dividers.
I then planed all the rabbets. I think it would have been faster to make the rabbets on the table saw, but they wouldn't have looked as good.

The idea is to dovetail the frame together, and mortise the dividers into place. But that will have to wait for another day.
The finished gable and the disassembled scaffolding.

The window (or what's left of it).

Truing up the stock for the frame.

A bunch of curly shavings from the rabbet plane.


  1. Here is your American English Idiom lesson for the day: Google the term "bought the farm."

    The gable looks amazing! Well done. It is interesting how handwork can look so much better than the crap many professionals are putting out nowadays.

    One quick question, why not take the built-up bricks out instead?

  2. I think the new gable end looks great! And the color is the perfect shade of barn red. It's nice that you bought the farm, just make sure you don't "buy a farm"

  3. OK, now I get it.. We purchased the farm :-)

    I don't want to take out the extra bricks, since the window niches look OK on the inside. And also because all the windows in the room have been raised that way. I'll take some pictures of it for the next post.

    The colour is Swedish red. which is iron oxide colour.
    The funny thing about the paint is that it is called a "sludge paint", and the binder in the paint is either rye flour or wheat flour. It is only designed to go be used on rough sawn wood.

    I'll might try and make my own one day, I found a recipe that will give 50L roughly 13 gallons. So the plan is to make one fifth of the portion.

  4. During WWII many American soldiers were the sons of farmers. Of course most of the farmers didn't completely own the farmland and there was still a mortgage to be paid off. All of the GI's received a $10,000 life insurance policy. So if a soldier was killed in combat his family received his life insurance and it was jokingly said that he "bought the farm"

  5. Thanks for the explanation Bill. The page I found, only explained that it meant that you had died or had been killed.

    Brgds Jonas

  6. There are other legends regarding the origin of the phrase, but they all basically come down to soldiers dying and the government paying off their families somehow. The life insurance policy story seems to me to be the most plausible.

  7. Hi Jonas
    What kind of wood are you using? Pine?

  8. Hello Aymeric.

    I am using larch.
    As far as I know, traditionally windows were made out of dense pine. I once read that as a rule of thumb there should be at least 25 growth rings per inch. I am afraid that kind of wood is not so easy to find anymore.
    The reason why I am using larch is that it is more resistant to rot than pine, and because I still have a lot of it.

  9. Considering how it turned out, I’d say that’s a very big improvement! Hope to see what other things you have planned for your machinery shed so you can work more comfortably while in there. Cheers!


    1. Hi Allyson.

      Thanks for the nice comment.
      I have considered making a door, but I am afraid that it will stay open most of the time anyway, so it will be sort of wasted to make one. I made some very nice doors for the garage in the other end of the machinery shed, but they do stay open all the time, so maybe that was why they were missing when we first moved here.
      The machinery shed actually used to be my workshop for a couple of years, until one day I got fed up with the climate. There used to be a large metal clad door/gate at the end, but the room was still impossible to heat up. So that was why I moved my workshop to its present location.
      The machinrey shed is now used for storing various vehicles such as my old military trucks and a couple of old lawn tractors, a surprisingly high number of biycles and normally also our everyday Volvo estate. In addition to this, there is an old motorcycle with a sidecar, some old diesel engines, and a lot of spare wheels for the military trucks. I sometimes try to reduce the amount of stuff in there, but it never helps for long..