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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A fastener free window frame of course!!!

So, we used to have 2 huge windows that faced traffic in our entry room / music room. Old single pane windows with a 12" wide divider between them that were 30" wide x 62" tall each. I replaced these with a single 48" x 24" window, and put it up high enough to easily see out of and be above the top of the piano that sits under it.

This room has some very special lumber in it. It's original growth Cypress legally harvested from the Florida Everglades back in the late 40's I'm told. Much of the lumber was used to build a hunting camp down there, the rest was brought up here and put into a neighbors house. When the neighbor renovated their home in the late 90's, he gave the lumber to my step dad. All total, about 160 board feet of 4/4 and 5/4 boards. 5 of the boards adorn one wall and range from 20 to just over 24 inches wide by 8 foot tall. The remainder was used as framework and trim for a custom built wall that features 5 large open cut-outs for knick-knacks and other misc stuff...

For the window frame, I decided to make it from Cypress to go with the room...... of course Cypress aged 70+ years, looks nothing like new cut Cypress:



Sharp eyes might notice the joint on the window sill.... the 1 x 8 wasn't quite wide enough as it was, so I added an extra 1 1/4" to the width, cutting a tongue & grove with my table saw which ended up being a nice tight fit!!!



To get as close to the color of the old Cypress, I actually mixed 2 different Minwax stains together: English Chestnut, and Gunstock in a 3:1 ratio. Turned out to be as perfect as I could have hoped for!

I like to hide fasteners or just use glue when possible. I knew I didn't want to mess with a glue-up for a window frame, and I really didn't want to use screws or nails. So I cut the inner frame to exact fit so that the two side boards are wedging the top and bottom boards into place.

But how do you attach the face molding without screws, nails, or adhesive....



Neodymium magnets. As a single magnet, they aren't really strong enough, but if you use 2 at a time, you double the pull strength. I did a bunch of test pieces, and a single magnet in both the side & face frames don't hold together, but when putting 2 in each, wow what a difference!

I of course used a slightly oversized forstner bit to bore a hole into the wood, then used superglue gel to set them in place. I stacked them 2 per recess, and set the face of the magnet flush with the surface of the wood for maximum attraction force.

Because the window frame wasn't dead square (it's about 1/20th of an inch taller on the left side of the window) I initially had some problems with the face frame lining up properly. So I decided I would glue the face frame together with some corner splines for alignment. For the spline, I used a piece of Wenge that I had ripped off of a board I cut up to make the Buccaneers themed cutting board I'm making.



Oh, and please ignore the drywall dust on top ;) If you compare this and the final photo in this post, you'll see just how close I came to matching the wood tone!!!

Here's the window frame / trim as it sits now, before painting the walls or adding curtains:


The beauty of it is; the magnets are strong enough to need the frame to by pried loose, but as soon as one side is loose, it's easily removable for future painting & re-painting!!!

And since I realize it would be kind of cruel to talk about the old growth Cypress without showing it, here's the wall of Cypress:



From left to right, 4/4 boards, they measure in width: 23 7/8", 20 1/4", 23 5/8", 20 1/2", & 24 1/8" the trim at the ceiling is 5/4 Cypress.

They never did base boards in this room, so I'll be picking up a 10 foot and a 12 foot piece of Cypress tomorrow after work, and cutting my own base boards for the room!
 

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As someone very familiar with cypress, all I can say is Holy Cow!!! You’ve really got something there.

And the story is great, too. Nice someone recognized what they had.

That cypress will darken up, some Tung oil or similar.

Thanks for posting ans interesting solution with the magnets.
 

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i've never really dealt with cypress before. this summer my son-in-law stripped off aluminum siding and asbestos shingles to find perfect 1910 cypress siding underneath. the house was poorly maintained for years and had a valley leak, the 1x wall sheathing was rotted, but the cypress siding over it was untouched. amazing wood, very tight grain.

good looking paneling in that room. window trim looks good. i like it (y)
 

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I love cypress except when it comes to cypress sawdust that you can toss outside and it lasts FOREVER.. I had about 20 large trash bags full of it I used to fill in a big low spot in the front yard a few years ago..I even poured a bunch of top soil over it and it's STILL the same rough color it was the day I put it there.. The house will rot and turn to dust before the cypress rots..
I get cypress here for dirt cheap..about $2.50 bf.. Maybe less depending on what's available..
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I love cypress except when it comes to cypress sawdust that you can toss outside and it lasts FOREVER.. I get cypress here for dirt cheap..about $2.50 bf.. Maybe less depending on what's available..
Old growth Cypress is far more rot & bug resistant than Cedar. However, if you're paying less than $10/bf, you're most likely getting modern (or second growth) Cypress which is less rot / bug resistant than Cedar. It's also softer than old growth Cypress. I cannot easily mark the old Cypress boards with my fingernail, but the new stuff I purchased, my fingernail sinks right into it. The difference in hardness is about the same as that of Douglas Fir vs White Pine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's an update: Finished the room, It's all trimmed out and re-painted, & mom loves the new look of her entry room!

Here's a shot of one of the baseboards before & after staining - just showing how close I was able to get to color match the old Cypress!
before:


After:


I also found some walnut coat / hat hooks that I used to replace the old brass plated hooks mom had by the door. Although they were cheaply made and I had to improvise, still came out pretty good & again mom loved them.


I also replaced the face frames on the inside of the door for consistency!


It was time consuming for sure, but well worth the effort & experience!!!
 

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You have a great looking cypress room there. Has any type of finish been used? The color of that cypress is more reddish than what I am used to. Or maybe it is just color difference between south Florida and Panhandle cypress. I build my patio out of cypress 43 years ago. Still have a couple of 12" boards in storage.

george
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think my camera adds to the reddish tint... I asked my neighbor, & he said the only thing he remembers doing to it, was to rub in a light coat of linseed oil every few years.

I did see some boards, that were similar in color to the old boards, at Lowe's when I was picking out boards to use, but they were too warped & cracked for me to use.
 
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