Building a Shed Part XI


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We’ve been building this shed for over a year now. Between the cold of the winter and the heat of the summer, this has been the biggest project I have ever taken on. The past few weeks, we’ve been preparing the shed for paint.

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I sanded the body of the shed with 80 grit sand paper with my random orbital sander. This allowed me to take off the glaze from the mill when the wood was being processed.

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The doors and corbels were sanded to 150 grit because we were planning on staining these elements. I filled the nail holes with some outdoor wood putty as I wanted the doors to have a finished look without a bunch of nails holes in them.

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My wife, Anita, went to Ace Hardware and bought Aura paint and primer by Benjamin Moore. This paint isn’t cheap at $70 a gallon, but we wanted to make sure the shed had the best finish on it so we wouldn’t have to repaint it every other year.

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With two coats of primer on it, we let the shed sit for a few days before we applied the top coats.

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The body was painted with two coats of Galveston Gray.

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The shed was starting to look really nice. The top trim and the windows would be painted with Iron Mountain.

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We picked Cedar Bark stain from Sherwin Williams for the doors and corbels. The shed is nearly done, but I still need to make a trellis over the side window and build a small deck underneath the doors. Getting real close.

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Meet me at WIA


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This weekend, I’ll be volunteering at the Woodworking in America conference in Covington, Ky. I’m really looking forward to it as I haven’t attended the conference since the very first one in Berea, KY several years back. I have always gone to the Marketplace while it was in town to shop the vendors, but I could never afford to attend any of the seminars. This year the editor of Popular Woodworking magazine, Megan Fitzpatrick, asked me if I would like to volunteer for a day, so I jumped at the chance.

I’ll be working in one room Friday Sept, 16th doing camera work for the closeups of the presenters so that people in the back of the room can see what is going on. The presenters I’ll be helping are Alf Sharp at 8:30-10:30, for his seminar on “A Simplified French Polish”. Then from 11:00-1:00 with Zachary Dillinger, on “Make and Use a Raamtang”. Finally from 1:30-3:30 with Freddy Roman, on “Federal Embellishment – Inlay, Stringing, Sand and Shading”. I’m really excited about it because these are seminars I would have picked anyway. Now I get a really good seat. Haha.

I’m not sure who I’ll see on Saturday and Sunday, but I’m sure I’ll visit one of Roy Underhill’s classes on Saturday. Roy has been my woodworking hero since 1984 when I was eleven years old. If you are going, stop me and say hello. I’ll have a name badge on. Plus, it would be awesome to meet some of the people who follow my blog.

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Making a Harvest Display Table


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A few months ago, I built a Harvest Table for my wife to use in her booth to sell some of her antiques. You can read the blog post here. She still has that table, but she asked me to build another one for another booth she has. I went to a local antique store that sells reclaimed wood and bought a 4″ square posts and three pieces of barn wood siding. I have a picture of the wood on instagram. Unfortunately, I deleted the original photo from my phone before I uploaded it to photobucket to share here.

I started this harvest table in much the same way as the first one, turning the legs on the lathe. The major difference is that this table was turned with reclaimed birch instead of douglas fir 4×4’s that I bought at Lowe’s. Turning reclaimed lumber is probably not the smartest thing to do since you never know what the integrity of the wood is as it may snap off while on the lathe injuring you, but I thought I’d take my chances.

A couple of the pieces I wanted to turn had some nails stick stuck in the wood. I grabbed a chisel and hammer and I dug into the wood to extract all nails I could find. There were a couple of nails that were too deep to grab, so I carefully turned the leg, stopping every few strokes making sure I wasn’t near the top of the nail.

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While a couple of the posts had nails holes in them, the other two had old worm holes. I turned each leg the same and in the end, they were full of character. You can see the final four turned legs here.

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With the legs turned, I focused my attention on the top. I took the three slabs of barn wood siding and brought them together to determine how wide the top of the table could be. The boards were only 3/4″ thick and I wanted the top to be thicker, so I took some scrap OSB boards I had laying around from when I was building my shed and built a substrate for the boards.

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I glued and screwed the OSB to the siding gluing in the middle of the boards and screwing on the ends. The siding is so old that I figure the expansion and contraction of the wood would be very minimal. Even if they did crack, it would just add more character to the top of the table.

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I added some pine edging to cover up the OSB substrate underneath the top boards. Cutting the corners is where my miter trimmer comes in handy. I love that thing!

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Flipping the top back over, I figured out where the legs should go. I kept the design simple by using a scrap pieces of edging that were 1 3/8″ wide and making them gauges to show me where the legs should go. Easy P-easy.

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Next was to make the frame of table. I grabbed a 2×12 and milled it to 3/4″ thick by 5″ wide pieces and cut them to fit between the legs.

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I then channeled my inner Scott Phillips of The American Woodshop and used my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and screwed the frame to the top. I was trying to build this table as quick and as easy as possible. I wasn’t trying to win a woodworking contest with this table.

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I still needed to attach the legs to the frame so I drilled a pilot hole in the legs and screwed in 3/8″ hanger bolts.

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I then simply drilled a hole in the corner brackets, fed the bolt through the hole, and tightened it in place with a nut. As the nut tightened to the corner bracket, it drove the leg tight to both sides of the frame. Attaching the legs this way makes it possible to take them off and carry it out of my basement shop.

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Flipping it back over, the table was built. Super simple and super fun. I posted this picture on instagram and it has been my most liked picture, ever!

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The final picture is the table with an antique stain applied to it. I’m happy with the way it turned out and so is my wife.

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World’s Longest Yard Sale 2016


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Last weekend my wife, Anita, and I got back from the World’s Longest Yard Sale. We started on Thursday and drove to US-127 in Florence, Ky around 9:00am and drove all the way down to Frankfort, KY. We ended up in Frankfort at 8:00pm stopping at nearly every yard sale on the way. Once we got to Frankfort, we hopped on I-64 to South I-75 and headed to our hotel room in Chattanooga, TN.

The next day, we hopped back on US 127 in Chattanooga and headed north. There are tons of yard sales in Tennessee, however a lot of the stops where there were multiple tents were mainly antique dealers selling their stuff. If we wanted to find a real yard sale, we stopped on the side of the road where there were only one or two people selling. That’s where we could find the deals.

We went every day from Thursday through Sunday and we found some good deals along the way. I would have to say that this year’s sale was a little bit thinner than years pasts. I’m not sure if the oppressive heat had anything to do with it, but there were a few stops in Kentucky that we were looking forward to stopping at only to find that no one was set up this year. Nevertheless, I still found some good deals and was happy with my haul.

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I bought a handful of bench planes, but I did pick up this little unusual rabbet plane in an antique store in Kentucky. I’ve never seen a rabbet plane like this before, and I haven’t found a maker’s name on it, but I may find out more about when I clean it up.

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It appears to be production made as it’s made from cast iron. I’ll have to look in my Martin J Donnelly tool catalogs to see if one is in there.

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If anyone knows who made this, leave me a comment. I’d love to know more about it.

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Another nice find was this Stanley No 37 Jenny’s Plane. I’ve owned a couple of these in the past and they are considered one of the most collectible transitional Stanley planes (apparently, all the other ones are only worth being burned).

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I bought a few lanterns for my booth in an antique mall. I cleaned the glass up with soap and water and they look pretty good. The one in front is a Dietz and the black ones are from Lamplight Farms. I’ll sell them for $20-$35 a piece.

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By far the coolest thing I bought wasn’t a tool at all. It was a bankers chair from the Colonial Chair Company. Anita was looking at some ironstone at a ladies yard sale when she had this chair on top of her trailer. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. I thought it was a cool industrial looking chair with a leather back and metal mechanisms made from cast iron. I offered $30 for the chair and she agreed, so I took it back to the van eager to google the name to see what I just bought.

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The back of the chair was riveted and even had lumbar support on the bottom. All the mechanisms worked which helped me decide that I needed to own the chair.

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It still had the original label underneath the seat which is how I knew who made it.

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I googled the Colonial Chair Company and only found a couple of references to them on the internet. According to this website, they were only in operation from 1915 -1916 which I find very hard to believe considering the size of their factory.

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Another clue to the age of the chair was the company property tag underneath the seat. It was stamped The Sabin Robbins Paper Co. A quick internet search told me that they were a full service converter company that specialized in purchasing, warehousing, converting and distributing job lot and over run paper. The company was founded in 1884 in Mansfield, OH.  How this chair wound up on this lady’s trailer in Kentucky is anyone’s guess, But I would say she had a family member who used to work there.

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I cleaned up the chair with some fine steel wool and the antique oil I make. The leather back has some cracks from age. I’m not sure if I should try to fix them or just leave them be. The chair is probably over a hundred years old, but is still very comfortable to sit in. It’s so nice, we’ll be keeping it for sure.

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Building a Shed Part X


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The same weekend it was too hot to work on the shed, was the same weekend I built the corbels. I sell to 26 Lowe’s and 14 Home Depot’s in the Cincinnati-Dayton area, and in all those stores, only one of them carried cedar 2 x 4’s. So, I’m lucky to be building these corbels out of cedar instead of douglas fir. I glued two cedar 2 x 4’s together to give me a post 3″ thick. I then cut the posts to 25″, 25″ and 46″.

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I sized the 25″ long posts to two 12″ lengths. I then built a sled for my table saw so I could cut one of the ends to a 45 degree chamfer. The stop on the sled made sure all the cuts were the same on each side.

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Flipping the post over with each cut, I quickly made the soft point for the front of the corbels.

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I made eight of these pieces. Two of the eight, I will save for a trellis that I will build over the side window.

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I then took the 46″ long pieces and cut them to 12″ long with 45 degree cuts on each end.

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I got lucky with my first post as I was able to avoid a large knot in the middle.

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The woodworking Gods were with me that day as I was able to avoid another large knot on the other post.

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I wanted a 45 degree chamfer on the bottom of the back of the corbels, so I moved the stop over on my sled and reattached it in the proper place.

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Using exterior wood glue, 3″ deck screws and 1 1/2″ long, 1/4″ crown galvanized staples, I fastened the hell out of the corbels as I built them.

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Eight corbels are all the same. I took the best two corbels and set them aside for the trellis as it will be stained and not painted.

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When it cooled down, I fitted the corbels into the soffit. I used a level to accurately scribe where I needed to cut and then used my Fein Multi-Master to cut away the wood.

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As luck would have it, the width of my level was pretty much the correct location of where I needed to cut. I attached the corbels to the trim of the shed with 1 1/2″ long 15 gauge pneumatic nails.

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After a few minutes of work, one side of the shed was done.

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The shed is getting really close to being complete. We just need to build a platform in the front for a step, build and attach the trellis over the side window, build shelving inside, paint/stain the shed, add landscaping, and possibly add electric. Shit, we’re not that close after all. HAHA.

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Building a Shed Part IX


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I’ve been as motivated to work while it’s 100 degrees as I was when it was 30 degrees, so the shed has been sitting the past few weeks acclimating to the sun. The good news is that it has given me time to work in my nice cool basement workshop building the doors and corbels. I bought ten more 8′ long 8″ wide siding and slid five of them together to figure out how much to cut off the end boards to make a nice centered door.

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After figuring how much to trim off the end boards, I clamped them together and stapled 4″ cedar trim across the top and bottom. I used 1/4″ crown galvanized staples 1 1/2″ long.

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I attached the sides and center rail the same way. I used a liberal amount of Titebond III exterior glue to help hold everything together.

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I flipped the door over and did the same thing on the other side. I left the door over hang the inside trim about 2″ so that the bottom of the door would be flush with the bottom of the siding. I attached one board on the back at the diagonal to strengthen the door.

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I built the other door exactly the same way with the only difference being the diagonal board was going the other way.

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After the weather cooled down a bit, I took the doors out to the shed to see how they fit. In a perfect world they would fit perfectly, however I don’t live in a perfect world and I’ve never built anything perfectly. So, I had to trim the doors down to size about 1/4″ and shave down one end about 1/8″ less than the top.

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After fiddling around with the doors, they fit well enough for me to be happy. I used large hand screw clamps and clamped the inside of the doors to the frame opening. I then attached three hinges per door while they were clamped.

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After they were hung, they stuck a little bit at the top. I grabbed my block plane and shaved away the tops of the doors so that they would open and close freely.

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Installing the locking handle was a breeze. A simple hole drilled through the door allowed the stem to pass through. I then attached the inside handle with a set screw.

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I needed the left door to stay put while the right door was locked, so I drilled a 5/8″ hole through the floor and used two-part epoxy to glue a small piece of 1/2″ copper pipe inside the hole.

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I then attached the door hardware to the left door so that the bar would fit nicely in the hole.

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I did the same thing for the top of the door except I used a 1/4″ copper coupler instead of a 1/2″ pipe.

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I trimmed out the inside of the door the same way I did with the windows. I took a 2 x 6 and ripped into three pieces that were 3/8″ thick by 2″ wide and attached them with finish nails.

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I’m happy with the way the doors turned out. Now on to the corbels.

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Fine Woodworking’s New Old Look


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I received the latest issue of Fine Woodworking today and noticed a familiar layout to its front cover. It reminded me of when I first started subscribing back in the ’90’s.

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The editor’s column stated that they released this special issue to subscribers after receiving feedback that a lot of them miss the old days of Fine Woodworking. The newsstand version will look more like their current issues with the front cover with a full color photo.

I skimmed the articles in the magazine and my favorite so far is Steve Latta’s reclaiming an old window’s glass pane for a new cabinet, however, the other articles look good as well.

I just recently started to subscribe back to Fine Woodworking after a seven-year absence. I’m glad they’re trying to  revamp the magazine back to where it was. Now if they would just bring back their woodworking forum Knots.

Painted Apothecary Drawer


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I built this apothecary drawer for a cabinet my wife bought a few months ago. You can read the post here. My wife needed to paint the drawer and make it look old to match all the other ones.

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The first thing she did was take a solution of white distilled vinegar with steel wool and wiped it on the drawer so it would take on an aged look.

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She then painted the front with white milk paint. She built up the coats to give the front some depth since the original drawers had multiple layers of paint on them. After the paint dried, she applied some green paint to front and quickly wiped it away as there was also some green highlights showing through the white paint on the original drawers.

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The drawer was a little too white, so she gently applied dark wax and rubbed it in. Getting a perfect match with the colors from old drawers is really hard, but she did a really good job making the new drawer blend with the others..

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Here’s the drawer with the rest of the them back in the cabinet. She got lucky with the hardware as she found matching pulls from a seller on eBay. She had to replace nine of the handles because when she bought the cabinet, it came with handles of two different designs.

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Bentley came to see which drawer was the new one, but couldn’t figure it out. Can you?

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Building a Shed Part VIII


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Moving forward with the shed, I installed the large fifteen pane window on the right side of the shed. Being so big and heavy, I screwed some scrap siding boards to the corners so I could lay the window in the frame and shim around the window until it was plum and square.

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With the window secure, I used scrap siding for the inside of the window frame and nailed it to the 2 x 4 framing.

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I then started to build the window trim by taking away one piece of the scrap wood and replacing it with 4″ wide cedar. I nailed it to the siding with 15 gauge galvanized finish nails. The bottom and top of the trim over hang the sides by 1″ on each side, with the top angled at 10 degrees. I then nailed a piece of cedar to the top for a little added detail.

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Putting up the trim was one of the easiest parts of building the shed so far. The cuts were simple and straight forward. Home Depot even had 3 1/4″ wide cedar boards so that I didn’t have to rip  4″ boards down to wrap the corners properly.

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I nailed the trim around the two front windows very much the same way as the side window.

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The only difference is that I had to cut a notch on the side trim boards to fit around the window sill. I had a follower tell me on my last post that I need to add a drip edge to the bottom of the sill to prevent water from going inside the shed wall. I’ll do that soon by either cutting a shallow groove or a gluing bead of wood underneath the bottom.

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Here’s a quick shot of the side finished with the trim. It’s starting to really look like a shed now. I just have to install three  corbels around the roof line and a cedar trellis above the window. Stay tuned.

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I wanted to work on the door frame, so I took two of the 2 x 6’s that I used to make the scaffolding and ripped them on the table saw.

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I cut almost half way through the wood on the table saw and then finished up the cut on the band saw.

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After they were ripped, I planed them down to 3/8″ on the planer. I only need one of the shorter boards so the other one will provide heat to make S’mores.

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I attached the boards to the inside of the front door frame. The boards did two things. First, it cleaned up the edges with a full piece of wood, especially on the top. The second is it kept the top trim of the door level with the top trim of the windows because I used 3/8″ wood to make the window frames as well.

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The trim has been installed around the door frame with a similar top detail in the middle. Now it’s on to make the two front doors.

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Building a Shed Part VII


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My wife and I bought two old ten pane French windows a couple of years ago at a flea market. We knew as soon as we saw them that they would be perfect for the front of the shed.  Even though they were in good shape, I had to trim off the edges a little bit so I could work with them.

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After I took all the hardware off,  I covered all the screw holes and areas with damage with two-part wood putty. The stuff did the trick as it was hard as a rock the next day.

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These windows were very well made with through tenons. They appeared to be made from old growth white pine.

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Because we wanted the windows to actually function, I had to build a window frame for each window. I took a 2 x 8, sliced it on my band saw, and milled the lumber down to 3/8″ thick on my planer. I then started to make the bottom sill with a slight chamfer to allow rain water to run off.

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I built a frame to fit inside the window opening and sized the window to work inside the frame. I did a whole bunch of test fitting taking it back and forth from the shed. It took all day to make just one of the frames.

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Once the window fit, I attached boards inside the frame so that the window would have a nice place to sit when closed.

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I bought 2 1/2″ wide hinges with removable pins and laid out the mortises. I cut the mortises with a chisel and a router plane to make the depth of the mortise the same throughout its length.

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I then test fitted the window in the frame before I went out to the shed to attach it.

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Being very patient, I fitted the window frame to the opening with wood shims and tested the window. It took nearly two hours to fit this window so that it would operate to my liking.

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Once the window fit well on the outside, I attached the frame to the opening with 15 gauge galvanized finish nails.

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The next day, I built and installed the other window. They both came out really well and open and close with ease.

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A simple scrap of cedar with a screw in the center acts as a latch for each window.

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