First Phase of a Much Larger Project


This woodwork is a simple one, but it's just the first step in a much larger project.

Our toddler is going through his teething phase and loves to gnaw on all sorts of things. Unfortunately, one of them is the plain plaster windowsills of our house. After doing about a half-dozen spackling repairs, I figured it was time to look into making the window sills much more durable and resilient. The design is simple enough, but requires a fair degree of finesse to have it fit in as an integral part of the window frame.

Window sill design

For this task, I chose Red Oak as the principal lumber. It's not as hard as Ash, but it's hard enough and it matches our hardwood floors.

Window sill corner

The Red Oak board I purchased cost $3.00 per linear foot, but it was well worth it. The board was easy to run on the router table to round the edges, and it held up nicely as I cut a half-inch dado into the bottom edge to fit it into the existing sill. I used a jig saw to cut out the rounded sections and used an electric drill sanding drum to do the precision sanding on the curved areas.

Window sill corner

This board has an exquisite grain that really took well to the Golden Oak stain I used on it. The wood is pretty enough that I didn't bear a grudge against it after I had a 3/8" splinter jammed under my fingernail when I was doing some detail chisel work on the underside. (After having the splinter extracted, I now know why the Chinese developed it as a means of torture.)

Window sill wood grain

All nastiness aside, the oak fit in rather nicely and was secured to the original window sill using Liquid Nails.

Window sill installed

This window sill is just the first of several that I will be designing, woodworking, staining and installing throughout our home.

Window sill edge

Ultimately, every picture window in the house will be fitted with these red oak sills; six in all.

Window sill edge

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