Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Throw-Away Window Inspired Jelly Cupboard, Part 1

I've been walking around and stumbling over a couple of old windows for years now and, it seems to me, - since they've yet to be broken - they deserve to be the subject of attention. So What to do with an old window? Any rational person would be thinking, "Jelly Cupboard"!

I thought I'd continue using up my pile of old barn siding and salvaged 2x4's much as I did with other recent projects such as the Barn Wood Tables and the Barn Wood Bookshelf. My secret to using barn siding for furniture is to make a frame out of 2x4's. Why? Old barn siding is brittle and splits easily and therefore does not lend itself to being fastened together. But it can be fastened to other things - like 2x4's! Why 2x4's? Well, 2x4's are made from softwood trees such as Douglas Fir and others that are fast-growing (compared with hardwoods like oaks and hickories). Softwood trees yield softwood lumber that lends itself well to being nailed and screwed together without splitting and without requiring pre-drilling fastener holes. Its the wood you see houses being framed-up with. That's why house framing can go up so fast (air-nailers help too!). Anyway, you get the picture.

So I figured I better start this projects' dimensions by making a frame for the window to swing from. To cut down on weight, I used 2x4's that I ripped (cut along the long dimension) in half. I simply made the inside dimensions of the frame a smidgen larger than the outside dimensions of the window, cut the pieces, clamped them together and used long drywall screws to fasten it up:

Then I made another identical one (which would be the back of the cupboard), determined how deep I wanted the cupboard to be, cut small pieces to achieve that depth and screwed the back and front together using these spacers:

Here's the rough "box" or frame that serves as the skeleton of the cupboard and provides a fastener-friendly softwood inside to receive the brittle barn wood covering:

The rest is just filling in the holes. The key here is to pre-drill and countersink the barn wood so it does not split when its fastened to the frame. First, I covered the front with face boards:

The side go on quickly and, before ya know it, it is becoming something:

The back goes on using the lap fashion as in the original siding:

The top is just a couple of boards nailed on:

The base goes on carefully, using a level so that the cupboard ends up that way:

Screw the window on and I've provided an old window with a new sense of purpose:

Next time: shelves, sanding and wrap-up.


  1. steve, why do you tempt me like this???? john is going to remove your blog from my favorites.... do you have any more windows???? great idea, and great work, as usual. -alicia cb


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