Making a window frame

Written by steve smith
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Making a window frame
Make a simple window frame. (David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The first step in making a window frame is to cut boards to a rough size. Measure the window itself from the inside of the window opening to get dimensions for the outside of the frame. Then measure the pane of glass or size of the window viewing area to see what the dimensions are for the inside of the frame. The actual width of the wood frame that holds the glass can be any size you like, but typically it is 3 inches high on the bottom and 2 inches wide on the sides.

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Roughing the frame out

The first step in making a window frame is to cut boards to a rough size. Measure the window itself from the inside of the window opening to get dimensions for the outside of the frame. Then measure the pane of glass or size of the window viewing area to see what the dimensions are for the inside of the frame. The actual width of the wood frame that holds the glass can be any size you like, but typically it is 7.5 cm (3 inches) high on the bottom and 5 cm (2 inches) wide on the sides.

Routing and joining

To build a solid frame, you need to join the ends of the frame once the exact measurements have been made. To do this, you need a router and router table with a dovetail bit. The dovetail is the most common joinery bit used for window frames. Cut the frame boards for the bottom and top to the right length, leaving extra for the size of the joinery. Then router them to build the joint. Do the same for the sides of the window frame. Before you join them, you need to channel router the insides to create a slot for the window panes. This slot should accommodate the width and height of the glass you are going to use in the windows.

Assembly

Assemble the window frame carefully just to see if the joints are cut precisely. Chances are you will need to make some adjustments using either sandpaper or a small saw. Once the frame fits perfectly, it is time for the final assembly. This will be done with glue in the joints and the glass inside the window frame. The frame needs to be assembled around the glass for a perfect fit. So fit the glass into the channel slot and build the frame around it. Use caulking to complete the assembly and create an airtight window.

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