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post #1 of 7 Old 09-23-2012, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Building basement windows

Friend has asked me to build some windows for his basement in a 1950's home. Unconditioned basement with CMU walls, current windows have rusted out metal frames and shattered glass. Just looking to make simple fixed frames to hold lexan. There are four in total, roughly 30" long by 18" tall. Currently each window has two identical side by side panes per frame. My plan is to use this project as an excuse to purchase a router table and tenon bits. I have access to a table saw, but it is not mine and I do not have a dado set. I am going to use scrap lumber and 2x6s ripped to dimensional lumber something like 1.5" x 1.5" at the bottom and top and 1.25" x 3" on the sides and middle.

This is a learning project for me, any thoughts?

First time attempting windows. First time ripping lumber. First time attempting mortise and tenons or dovetail joints.

Last edited by mavawreck; 09-23-2012 at 03:46 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-23-2012, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavawreck View Post
Friend has asked me to build some windows for his basement in a 1950's home. Unconditioned basement with CMU walls, current windows have rusted out metal frames and shattered glass. Just looking to make simple fixed frames to hold lexan. There are four in total, roughly 30" long by 18" tall. Currently each window has two identical side by side panes per frame. My plan is to use this project as an excuse to purchase a router table and tenon bits. I have access to a table saw, but it is not mine and I do not have a dado set. I am going to use scrap lump and 2x6s ripped to dimensional lumber something like 1.5" x 1.5" at the bottom and top and 1.25" x 3" on the sides and middle.

This is a learning project for me, any thoughts?

First time attempting windows. First time ripping lumber. First time attempting mortise and tenons or dovetail joints.
By fixed frames.... They don't open at all or just hinged to swing up?
If they are static, I don't think you need m-t's, just tongue and groove would work OK. Just put 1/4" grooves in the rails and stiles, put 1/4" tongues on the rails and center stile. Use 1/4" Lexan and assemble with TBIII. Standard router table wouldn't be my choice for M-T joints anyway, can be done but not the safest IMHO. Horizontal router table is different.

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-23-2012, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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By fixed frames.... They don't open at all or just hinged to swing up?
If they are static, I don't think you need m-t's, just tongue and groove would work OK. Just put 1/4" grooves in the rails and stiles, put 1/4" tongues on the rails and center stile. Use 1/4" Lexan and assemble with TBIII. Standard router table wouldn't be my choice for M-T joints anyway, can be done but not the safest IMHO. Horizontal router table is different.
The original ones swung out but have been stuck shut for the past 30 years or so judging by the debris. So these will not open at all. There are two other windows on the above grade sides and two entry doors which can be opened if need be. Since the bottom of these are almost at grade, not a lot of joy comes from having them open anyways.

Tounge and groove is an option for sure. Would be cheaper for me since I have the bits already. We're lucky enough to have a local klingspors and I spoke to them for awhile today. Sounded like M-T would be workable but I need to build a sled. Which looks pretty easy.

Thanks for the advice!
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-23-2012, 05:07 PM
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It sounds like these windows will be subject to lots of weather problems. I would NOT make then out of scrap lumber.

I would make them of something that is weather resistant.

George
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-23-2012, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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It sounds like these windows will be subject to lots of weather problems. I would NOT make then out of scrap lumber.

I would make them of something that is weather resistant.

George
Good thought George.

I'm not too worried about them because they are pretty well protected by the eaves and will someday be covered by a porch. They are original to the house, look to have never been repainted and are over 60 years old at this point. I was going to completely paint and seal the casings before final assembly and installation so there is no exposed grain. Several good finish coats and a thorough caulking and they should be absolutely fine.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-24-2012, 05:18 AM
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I would just use housing and rabbeted joints


Recycled lumber - no worries.

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post #7 of 7 Old 12-20-2012, 12:23 AM
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The simplest way to avoid the header size issue is to make an existing basement window taller. Typical small basement windows measure 30 in. wide by 15 in. high. If you extend this opening down and install a 29-in. wide by 47-in. high casement window, you'll satisfy minimum egress window requirements.
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