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Making a casement window (single glazed)

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ColeyS1

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I thought I'd share the process I go through of making a casement window. It's a fairly straightforward design, but might be of interest to someone who hasn't made one before.
I've tried to make the process seem as logical as possible, so hopefully might be easy to follow- fingers crossed !
I wouldn't necessarily do the stages in this order, but this, I think, should be the easier way for somebody considering making there first window.

This is the windows I'm making

The joy of this job, is all the frame timbers are exactly the same size - 94x57mm.

First thing to do is make a cutting list so you can order timber and then cut out your pieces. These are the names of the window parts.


I usually allow around 100mm extra for length, so with this in mind, make a list of each part you require. As an example I've made a cutting list for the top window in the pic.


The windows only having single glazing, so only needs to be ex 2 inch thick.

Cut out and label the parts for your windows.


Top and tail, and thickness the pieces to size.

I've put the frame parts on the left pile to make finding them for machining easier.

Coley
 

ColeyS1

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The next stage is to take a rebate out of the frame pieces for the sash to sit in.
A spindle moulder will make light work of this- Equally a router would do exactly the same, albeit a bit slower.
With the rebate block in, set the depth of cut to 13mm

Next set the height of the rebate. The sash is 45mm thick and ideally a 1.5-2mm gap to allow for a draughtstrip is good. Holding a stile then measuring 1.5-2mm is easy enough to set.

Apologies in advance for saying a few obvious things- I wanted to be thorough and not miss out any steps.
If you've got any rough/damaged bits, nows a good time to lose them when you smash the rebate out.


Push through all the pieces. The mullions will have to be double sided, other than that, push the head, cill and jambs through the same.
You might end up with a pile of wood that looks something like this.

Next thing to do is form the cill. In this instance the easiest way is to tilt the rebate block over to 9 degrees.

You could achieve the same by tilting a table saw, although a spindle will give a nicer finish. Generally windows have a cill projection, so this is quite rare that I make one with a flush cill.
Now the angles set and locked in place, it's time to set the depth.

I like to keep a 12mm piece of mdf nearby as it's a good start for setting the depth. Just get the top of the rebate cutter flush with the mdf.
Now that's done set the height.

Probably the easiest way is to take the cill timber and wind the block up, until the scriber touches the rebate you've already made.
Roller feed, turn on job done.

Needless to say, check everything's tight and the fence clears before considering starting the machine !

Coley
 

ColeyS1

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That's the machining stage done for now. Next is to mark out the parts ready for mortice and tenoning together.
Take a cill or a head and mark the overall width.


From that line, mark the size you have left, now you've machined a rebate.
In this instance it'll be 57 minus 13mm rebate so 44mm.

I'm struggling how to explain it, but hope that makes sense. So mark 44mm in from each end. Measure the gap between the new lines, then subtract the width of two of these ......

Divide that number by 3, then mark out the mullions. I'm hoping this pic might explain what we're marking out.

Now you've got these lines on one piece of wood transfer the lines onto its mate so you've got a cill and head paired together.

To keep things straightforward, I'd square these lines right the way around each piece of timber. When it comes to making the mortice in the head and cill, you'll attack it from both sides.

I wish I could explain this stage clearer. This is why i quite often post pictures instead of writing replies- I struggle lol

Coley
 

ColeyS1

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Onto making the mortices. Wind the chisel so it lines up with the rebate.

Set your chisel to just over half the depth, then mortice from the rebate side

I haven't bothered with face side/face edge marks. So longs you keep the same bit against the fence each time, then it shouldn't matter.
Turn it over and mortice from the other side.

You'll notice in the pics that I haven't morticed to the lines on the outside. The horns will be cut off later, so morticing accurately to the outside lines isn't necessary.
If alls gone to plan, you'll have holes something like this.


Next stage is to form your tenons.


Coley
 

ColeyS1

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I'd say the marking out is the most challenging, it gets easier once this is out of the way.
The easiest way to mark you tenons is to take a jamb and mark the overall height on it. Then take your head/cill and trace the shoulder lines.

This might seem a bit crude but it's fairly foolproof !!
One thing to bare in mind, is you need to mark your jambs out as a pair !!!!!!!!!!!!

If you don't, you'll end up with two left/right hand jambs- its easily done, ask me how I know !! [SMILING FACE WITH OPEN MOUTH]
If you're cutting them by hand you just need to set your mortice gauge and cut to the lines.
When it comes to using a tenoner, I first set the tenon with square shoulders to test fit.

Once happy with that, adjust the stepped shoulder


Having a tenoner spin this way means all spindling moulds, rebates etc, can be done before forming the tenons.
If you've cut the tenons by hand then this is irrelevant.
The tenoner can only do square shoulders (easily anyway) so they still need the 9 degree angle cutting on them.
This is a fairly easy way of marking the line required.

Simply set the compasses to the gap on the square side.

Might be cheating, but I find it easiest to do the 9 degree cut on the chopsaw.

Set the chopsaw to trenching, tip to 9 degrees and the rest is history ;) if the calculations are right you'll end up with something like-


Coley
 

ColeyS1

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Tenons and mortices are done, now time to add the extra mouldings.

Mortar grooves on outer timbers (jambs head and cill)


Drip groove on cill


Drip groove in rebates where opening sash is. (Don't do the cill, just uprights and head !)

I like to put the rebate drip groove so it misses the hinge


The only other mould, is a small splay on the uprights. Either set this up on a spare piece of timber, or perhaps the end of the head or cill



Splays on uprights done


Coley
 

Fitzroy

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Wish you done this a few months back. My windows ended up very similar in construction but took way longer to figure out than if I'd had this post to reference. It's great to see how a professional does it, especially like the level of detail you're providing. Thanks!

Fitz.
 

ColeyS1

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mikefab":2uie3rmk said:
Great thread!
Thanks Coley I will be following this with interest. I have a strange fascination with windows!!
Cheers Mike.

Coley
 

ColeyS1

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Fitzroy":2oz3tw22 said:
Wish you done this a few months back. My windows ended up very similar in construction but took way longer to figure out than if I'd had this post to reference. It's great to see how a professional does it, especially like the level of detail you're providing. Thanks!

Fitz.
Thanks Fitz. I appreciate the comment. I was quite surprised how much work goes into making a fairly basic window.
I thought if I posted lots of pics on a single glazed version, I could skip various parts on perhaps double glazed or sliding sashes.
I'm just looking at getting it all down on paper first. I'll try and sort out the dodgy image rotations, once it's complete.

Cheers



Coley
 

ColeyS1

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Now most of the spindling works finished it's time to start fitting the joints together. If alls gone to plan your tenon should be too wide for the mortices. Cut these back so they're flush with the rebates.



Do the same to the cill end and chisel or saw off the 9 degree cill cut.

Test the joints fit.

Once you've got all your uprights inserted in a head or a cill, you can 'bone' them through by eye to check they're all in line.

If you've cut the cill angle end with a chopsaw, it's something that shouldn't need any tinkering. If not adjust ease the shoulders to suit.
All the joints are now individually fitted and labeled where necessary, chuck it all together and check the overall dimensions.

Chuck it all together and check the over dimensions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Any errors in marking out, should now be obvious. Check the sizes and rescue/remake any parts that need redoing- Better to notice now, then when everything's stuck together !
Check it, go on. Measure twice, remake if necessary [WINKING FACE]
On your opening sash, it'd be nice to some draught proofing.

I use aquamac 63 on window frames. The grooves for the draughtstrip is machined using a router- no more earth trembling machines lol.


Set the depth just shy of the rebate depth (around 11.5mm deepish)

You'll notice in the pic the block of wood/packing fixed to the base of the router. It's the same thickness as the rebate (13mm) having this makes it almost impossible to accidently tip the router.

That's all the machining done now !!
Sand up all your inside edges


Drill some holes in the head and cill for screwing the joints together.
5mm screw means a 5.5mm hole

I've found somewhere around 30mm screwing into the timber usually gives a good enough fixing.

Test screw the frame together.

The joints should now be nice and tight and the window frame nice and flat. A small bit of twist isn't the end of the world, just be sure to get the jambs plumb when you fix it [WINKING FACE]

Coley
 

ColeyS1

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Once you're happy with how everything fits, next step is gluing It up.
Back in the day it was always cascamite for hardwoods and pva for softwood. The reality is, even if the glue failed the screws should hold everything together.
I use cascamite just because it's stood the test of time.


Put glue inside the mortice (come in from both sides if the glue brush won't reach) and also glue the area where the tenon shoulders fit.

Gluing both mortice and tenon should mean that everything gets a good covering of glue.
I tend to have a few bearers on my bench and then screw the frame together flat on the bench.

Now everything's screwed up tight, check the diagonals for square.

If necessary stick a clamp/temporary batten across the corner until the measurements are the same.

Clean off any excess glue with a sharp chisel or a rag

This is gonna be painted so living a glue residue won't be an issue

If you're gonna have a varnished/stained window, you'll need to spend alot of time scraping/wiping away all traces of glue. It's boring, but unfortunately necessary !

Best to leave the frame overnight now for the glue to cure.
Once the glues dried you can start cleaning up the frame.

Chop of the horns (easiest to cut from both sides)



Then tidy up the corners for the draughtstrip. For years I just used a chisel

But a multimaster type tool makes the job much quicker


Plane/smooth the inside and outside of the frame.

Generally I'll just belt sand with 100 grit followed by orbital sanding 120 grit.
Finally just sand off ALL sharp edges with a piece of sandpaper.

By this point you should end up with a finished frame !! Have a beer or a brew to celebrate, relax and put your feet up!!

Next stage is making the sashes/casements ;)

Coley
 

Eric The Viking

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Thanks Coley.

I've only done a couple of small windows, but I enjoyed the process, and that's a great guide you've posted.

I don't have a spindle, nor a tenoner, and at the time I did the first one, no p/t either, so the moulding was done on the router table. I know I could have morticed with the router too, but I bought a small chisel morticer, and I really like it for ease of setup, etc.

I've learned quite a bit from your guide, which I'll take into the next time :)
 

AndyT

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Thanks for taking the time and trouble to explain all this in detail.
I don't think I will ever need to make a window, but I do like to understand and appreciate how a professional joiner does.
 

custard

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Top work Coley. Invaluable for joiners, interesting for non joiners, everyone's a winner!

=D>
 

pollys13

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WOW, amazing Coley, really interesting to learn how is done for this design.
Thanks loads.
 

ColeyS1

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Eric The Viking":2z7e1z2q said:
Thanks Coley.

I've only done a couple of small windows, but I enjoyed the process, and that's a great guide you've posted.

I don't have a spindle, nor a tenoner, and at the time I did the first one, no p/t either, so the moulding was done on the router table. I know I could have morticed with the router too, but I bought a small chisel morticer, and I really like it for ease of setup, etc.

I've learned quite a bit from your guide, which I'll take into the next time :)
Cheers Eric. That's really what I'm hoping to get across here. I'm fairly sure the exact window could be made with a few router cutters a hand tools. Forming the tenons can be done any number of ways, just for speed and ease a tenoners used.
I was dreading trying to explain how to mark the height of the jambs, cutting them by hand (drawing around the head and cill) is easier to do then setting up the tenoner- if only I could saw straight [SMILING FACE WITH OPEN MOUTH]
You did well to make it without a p/t. I guess it's taken for granted until it stops working.

Coley
 

ColeyS1

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AndyT":27u7t8jy said:
Thanks for taking the time and trouble to explain all this in detail.
I don't think I will ever need to make a window, but I do like to understand and appreciate how a professional joiner does.
My pleasure Andy. I'm not saying it's the right way or wrong way, but you should end up with a window that keep the wind and rain out ;) hopefully it won't fall to bits either lol

Coley
 

ColeyS1

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Thanks for the comments Custard and Peter.
I'll try and get the sash making bit up tonight.

I think trying to orientate the pics the right way may be a challenge. The only way I can think of,is to delete the tapatalk pics then upload them to photobucket. Im waiting to hear back from the tapatalk guys, an easy fix would be lovely.
Thanks guys

Coley
 

ColeyS1

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So the frames all done, now it's time to make the sashs. First thing is to machine the parts so they have rebates and a mould

The quickest way is to spindle them both at the same time

Another easy way would be a router table, obviously you would have to machine the mould and rebate seperstely.
The mould depth and the rebate depth are the same. This should make tenoning easy peasy cause the shoulders are square.
I've found the easiest way to check they are square/the same depth, is to machine the glazing bar first

This will show up any differences. Once you're happy, roller feed/feather boards and away you go.


Time to start marking out the parts for m &t's


Coley
 
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