Cutting a notch in a windowsill - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Cutting a notch in a windowsill

I'm not entirely sure which forum this should go into, my apologies if this isn't the right place.

We're putting a new counter, sink and faucet in the kitchen of our 1910 bungalow. The spacing is a little tight and the faucet we picked will hit the windowsill, so I need to cut a notch in the sill for it.

I'm on the fence on whether to (a) remove the sill (I assume banging on it from the bottom will loosen nails?) and take it into the shop to work on with a router, or (b) use tool(s) to work on it in place. I'm pretty sure a router will not fit with the sill in place, so I'd be looking at other tools. Also need to keep in mind that my freehand skills are not the best, so if I just went at it with a keyhole saw and cleaned it up with files, it won't win any beauty contests.

Given the above, any suggestions on which way to go?

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post #2 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 11:52 AM
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I would pry from underneath the sill with a stiff 1" putty knife. If there are window moldings on top of the sill, I would remove those first. From my experience in finish carpentry, the nails holding the sill are approximately 2" long, maybe 2 1/2". They should come out easily.
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 12:05 PM
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I would use something better then a keyhole saw. Maybe small pull saw or even dovetail saw. Just saw carefully and then clean up with whatever is necessary.

This is such a small cut that removing the sill to do the work might cause more damage/headache then even your less than perfect skills.

Depending upon how much is required to be removed, you might even do the entire job with a rasp.

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post #4 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 12:15 PM
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The real problem is the counter people made the sink hole and the holes for the faucets closer to the wall than they should have. You might check to see if the faucet lugs will tighten being so close to hanger of the cabinet before altering the sill. It might be necessary to have the counter replaced. If it turns out to be unnecessary to replace the counter I would just take a saw and trim the sill off and bull nose the edge of it with a sander.
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post #5 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I have plenty of handsaw options, so we'll look at working on it in place and cleaning up with sanding.

The plumber's been out to check it and says he can make it fit, but the sill will need a notch.
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 01:08 PM
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After making your cut, use a small sanding drum in your drill motor to sand a smooth radius in the sill.

Good luck. Measure twice, cut once inside the line, then sand smooth.
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 05:35 PM
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Cutting a notch in the window sill is not going to be an elegant solution, are you dead set on that particular faucet?

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #8 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 06:18 PM
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Removing the sill will require removing the casing around the window--it was installed after the sill--

may I suggest a hand powered coping saw? Some sanding and fresh paint?



Done nicely, it can look just fine----
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 07:10 PM
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choices: hide it or make something of it

The minimum approach would be a hole saw larger than the offending faucet pipe. Use a clamp on or nailed on support extension so the hole saw will have even material to cut away. It won't work to just saw away a portion close to an edge, it needs full support on the cutting edge..

The other approach would be to make a longer decorative recess with radiused returns on either end, maybe 8" or 10" long overall. A saber saw will fit in the space I see, and for the radius you can saw in from both ends. Use a spacer between the window and the saw base to get a nice straight line.

A small based mini router with a small roundover bit.will also fit in the space unless I'm it's more narrow than it appears.

For my money, I like the holesaw approach.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 07:59 PM
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I don't electrician, who works for a general contractor. We major in kitchen and bathroom remodels. How much of an overhang on the sill. Meaning how far does the sill plate extend past the sheet rock? One objective would be to take a jigsaw and make it flat with sheet rock and sand it down. Like you said all the sill plate if it is not underneath the window. Then cut it on the backside, so you still have the beveled edge. Are you gonna tile behind the counter, on the backsplash? Tile the sill. Another thing to look out it's changing a faucet itself. I hope this is somewhat helpful any questions ask them.

Eric
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 08:05 PM
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Notch in windowsill

How about a forstner bit for a round notch and an oscillating multi tool for a straight sided notch?
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post #12 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great ideas and advice, very helpful. Mike, that was particularly helpful to know that removing the sill would require taking off all the window casing, though we had pretty much decided on working on it in place anyway.

We just picked up the faucet this afternoon (wife looked long and hard for it, so changing isn't looking like an option). Besides the tubular column of the faucet hitting the windowsill, there is also an issue that the single-arm water control lever (on-off, hot-cold) extends out to the side right at the windowsill level. So we're looking at a straight-sided notch rather than a round notch. Too bad, because I too had ideas of hole saws or forstner bits.

As mentioned, there is no shortage of saw options in our shop, both hand and powered. A mini-router would be nifty, but unfortunately I don't have anything midway between my Porter Cable 690 and a Dremel. Coping, saber or jig saws all seem like reasonable options. Though I once bought an oscillating multi-tool I don't use it often enough to be good at it.
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post #13 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeswoods View Post
Removing the sill will require removing the casing around the window--it was installed after the sill--

may I suggest a hand powered coping saw? Some sanding and fresh paint?



Done nicely, it can look just fine----

If it were me, that's what I'd do. Coping saw, smooth cabinet rasp, touch up with sandpaper if necessary, and paint.
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post #14 of 19 Old 12-27-2014, 07:55 AM
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How deep does the notch need to be? If the dimensions worked, I'd probably remove the sill & rip it to a narrower width to eliminate the interference with the faucet components. Then it would still look like a plain windowsill. If I didn't want to remove the casing in order to remove the sill, I'd try prying the sill up a bit & using an oscillating tool (with the right blade) to go in & cut the nails off. Nails too far in for the oscillating tool's reach could be cut with a hacksaw blade. Tedious work though.

If you prefer to cut a recess, I'd agree with woodnthing's suggestion to make the recessed area wider than necessary, and make it a bit decorative. Then it would look more like a "design feature", rather than an afterthought to make the faucet fit.

Good luck with it!
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post #15 of 19 Old 12-27-2014, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The real problem is the counter people made the sink hole and the holes for the faucets closer to the wall than they should have. You might check to see if the faucet lugs will tighten being so close to hanger of the cabinet before altering the sill. It might be necessary to have the counter replaced. If it turns out to be unnecessary to replace the counter I would just take a saw and trim the sill off and bull nose the edge of it with a sander.
Though a little more work, that would probably be the best looking option.

George
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post #16 of 19 Old 12-27-2014, 08:16 AM
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I'm wondering now how the wall is to be finished behind the counter. Is it just going to be painted or will there be a back splash or maybe ceramic tile? If there will be a splash or ceramic tile will there be room to cut the sill off and leave a little for a overhang and still clear the faucet?
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post #17 of 19 Old 12-27-2014, 08:51 AM
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the wall looks finished to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I'm wondering now how the wall is to be finished behind the counter. Is it just going to be painted or will there be a back splash or maybe ceramic tile? If there will be a splash or ceramic tile will there be room to cut the sill off and leave a little for a overhang and still clear the faucet?

looks like tile as a backsplash to me:



Here's another option. Remove the existing sill and replace it with a piece of the marble used on the counter top only narrow enough to clear the faucet.

It may require some "surgery" with a multitool, saber saw, nail puller, etc to get it out without damaging the casings. It will last loner than wood and look better. JMO.

Who ever did the layout for the sink and faucets holes left too much room in front and not enough space behind for a faucet. DUH.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-27-2014 at 08:53 AM.
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post #18 of 19 Old 12-27-2014, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
looks like tile as a backsplash to me:



Here's another option. Remove the existing sill and replace it with a piece of the marble used on the counter top only narrow enough to clear the faucet.

It may require some "surgery" with a multitool, saber saw, nail puller, etc to get it out without damaging the casings. It will last loner than wood and look better. JMO.

Who ever did the layout for the sink and faucets holes left too much room in front and not enough space behind for a faucet. DUH.
I wonder why counter people can't seem to get the sink in the right place. I built a kitchen onetime where the counter was a concrete countertop poured right there in the kitchen. The people doing it put the sink so close to the front the fold down soap trays I made were obsolete. I ended up having to come back and mount the fronts as false fronts.
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post #19 of 19 Old 12-27-2014, 12:17 PM
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I'm more of a do it right the first time guy. And I really dislike it when I see what appears to be a quick fix on something. So to me notching the sill is going to look like a quick fix. I would remove the sill, and window trim, and re-trim the window in a "picture frame" style with no sill. That's going to give a better overall appearance in my opinion.
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