Window Frame


In one sense, this is a straight-forward window frame, no curves, no arcs, no complicated layout. This is my first window frame, and I was a surprised by the consideration required to get one done… precisely. I tip my hat to individuals who do this as a matter of course in their work.

This is a commissioned piece, involving antique glass found in a barn so old that it had to be razed for safety reasons. – for the North Central & North Eastern folks among us – "Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco’ type of old barn .

The glass is 60″ × 25″ × 1/2", and not of fine quality – for its day, it was probably considered industrial- or commercial-use quality. I opted for something different in the joinery department, and thought this might be of interest to the Forum. – see pictures #2 & @3 of the prototype joint.

The glass was framed in a simple mortise and tenon joint, with an integral tenon at the two ends of each rail. This type places full responsibility on the glue to hold the tenon in-place, and forms an obvious joint visible from all sides and top & bottom. With the constructed window becoming wall art – becoming the centerpiece along a conspicuous wall – I opted to hide the joinery via a hidden M&T, with a simple stopped overlap, which is not visible from the side views, and has a only a small overlap when viewed top & bottom. This joint should be stronger as well as more visually appealing.

I hope this generates some interest and discussion… I’m not sure anyone is reading these posts.


This sounds like an extremely interesting build. Is that a Festool Domino joint? Half-inch-thick glass that large must weigh a ton! Are you going to post a photograph when it is in its new home? We’d love to see the final project.


“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

This is a domino joint; though, it could be made with most m&t jigs. Virtually all of my joinery is m&t-based.
The purpose for the post is to demonstrate one approach to updating, perhaps improving upon, a previously accepted practice- the window frame itself was instructive for me, but would be rather tedious for someone who has done more than one.
Also, I was uncomfortable supporting the weight of the glass with a traditional exposed m&t,
Once the client views the dry-build, I’ll sand progressively from 220 to 600, then finish with a Zinnzer sealcoat and sprayed Deft Acrylic – the specific intent is to enhance the Sapele grain and down play the sheen.

What an awesome project. Last year I had the opportunity to cob job repair some antique windows (in place – mostly just bondo). We got a quote from a reliable window contractor to remove and repair the sashes for $10k per window. Crazy price. The owner balked and I ended up doing it myself, but like I said – it was a cob job and not a real repair.

Also, since you mentioned sapele, I have a little experience with it. I had to repair a sapele veneer cabinet in place a few years ago, so I called the millworker that made it to see how he finished it. First, he shellaced it, then used a satin poly. I followed his instructions and it came out perfect – totally matched the existing finish. To this day, I don’t know why he used shellac first, but shellac does slightly “amber” the color even when its not amber shellac. It looks nice. Gives sapele a rich color – the lighter highlights become golden more than blond. Looks great.

Losing fingers since 1969

I’ve done a few restoration sashes and adding the Domeno is a great precaution against joint failure. Good Job.

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Sapele is an excellent project wood. Here, in Annapolis, it is readily available in 8" – 13" widths, 6/4: it is my preferred wood for rocking chairs – the ribbon grain can be quiet attractive when designed-in.
My next commission is a contemporary desk and side-table – in Walnut and Hard Maple – this should be interesting… Sapele might be too dramatic for a full-width desktop (~60″ × 27″).

You can see your skill in your work , excellent