The Six Hour Window?

One thing that makes woodworking more interesting is getting a project done in a reasonable amount of time.  Sometimes, especially when your amount of shop time is notably less, having a project take ‘too long’ really means you just lose steam. Too fast and an interesting project becomes interesting.  Keeping in mind the time proportionate to what it is you are making is important.  And having it be because you’re better at a certain skill that you can work faster, over say, going fast and doing a bad job, is obviously ideal.

Some basic rules were needed. I wanted to frame in the window I installed and have some sort of shutter on it.  I didn’t want to spend any money.  I also didn’t want it to take more than 6 or so hours. And of course, I wanted it to look decent. The two towels I had hanging over the window just weren’t cutting it.

I had three poplar panels I found in the trash that were badly warped.   I planed them flat and ripped them all to the right width.  Then glued and nailed them up. Window framed in? Check.

Figuring out what I could use for the panel shutter took a little searching.  I knew I wanted the end product to be  a single panel that hinged on the top to lift and hook to the ceiling when I have the window open.  Even though I was building it out of scrap, I was hoping to have the horizontal rails run the whole length of the window.  The alternative would be to glue up a bunch of smaller scraps, but then that would take too long and maybe violate the ‘looking decent’ rule.

I had one 2×6 of pine. Alone, it couldn’t span the length on the top and bottom rail, yet alone the vertical stiles. Plus it would too thick and bulky. I resawed the 2×6 on the bandsaw, and had enough for the rails and 6 stiles after planing them all to the same thickness.   I had two pieces of 1/8 inch plywood that made up the space difference between the stiles.  I thought through having all six stiles and five panels traditionally placed. But since the 2×6 was resawn I had a nice bookmatch thing going on with 4 of the pieces that I though would be neat to showcase on the door.

Panel glued, grooves / tenons cut and it all fits together great.

So far it been about 5 to 6 hours of shop time on this project since the window has gone in.  I’m happy with that.  I hope I have some hinges to use. Otherwise, the cost of the actual 2×5 insulated window, 2×4’s etc for the wall, and the panel covering it, is going to push this past the $85 mark.   An $90 window?  I have mouths to feed.


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