Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day gift to myself: Window sills.

Oh come on, like I was expecting roses or something? OK, perhaps it was just a coincidence on the date... whatever.

So, we had purchased some new oak window sill boards from the Covington Reuse Center a while back, but they've been sitting in the basement ever since the "I'm an idiot" moment with the compound miter saw.. you know the one where I measure the sill width, add 2" for an overlap edge on each side, measure the depth and the not-so-90-degree angles in the back, and then carefully, but boldly go ahead and cut the whole overlap edge clean off. It's been about 3 weeks since then. Time to try again.

This time with much more success, much less embarrassment.

First thing's first: after the first gobstopping chopping error, I figured out a rather decent way to get the sills cut correctly. This is probably so old school for many of you, but for me, it was a first time, so bear with me.

I originally was using a square piece of paper and folding the side until I matched the angle perfectly, then squared up the paper onto the wood, drew the line, then... well, I cut the cut the ^%$#@* overhang off, but at a perfect angle.

So here's a better way. First, I measured the sill opening at the outside edge (farthest away from the window pane). Then I took my square and checked the left and right back corners closest to the window pane to see if they were square. If they were square, it would be an easy 90* cut, but me, I had no such luck. I built these window frames.

I put the square in the corner, then measured the distance from the edge of the square to the drywall on each side. That's the measurement to subtract from the original sill opening to get the length (and therefore the angles) of the back ON THAT SIDE. Mark the measurements on the sill, and cut, remembering to NOT cut off any overhang you want to stick out to the left and right side of the sill. Using the circular saw to cut through the bulk of the oak, I then used a jigsaw to cut the inside corners out.

On the underside of the sill board, the wood was pre-routed out to fit a 4" sill (A 2x4 and 1/2" drywall) but as this wasn't always perfect (what is?) I had to double check. One sill had to be routed out a 1/4" back to the sill would fit. Another one was off just an 1/8" so I knocked off the drywall instead.

The important thing to remember is that the distance at these corners is the measurement you need to cut out of the sill to make a snug fit at the back. Cut off too much and you'll be compensating with caulk... cut off too little and you'll have a gap between the overhang and the drywall.

I chose a 2" overhang arbitrarily.

The first one took a few extra cuts and some sanding to get the perfect fit, but once the first one was done, the rest were fairly routine and easy.

All that's left is a few coats of polyurethane, some construction adhesive, some shims to make them level, and a couple of brad nails to attach.

Now that we've got three more days of rain expected... I have to figure out what to do next. Since the floor trim needs to be cut in the breezeway outside, that's out.

Looks like stairway caps it is then.

1 comment:

Hub said...
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