My daughters wanted the barn to be “hobbit-style,” complete with a round door. So, for the wall on the “human side” that will be visible from most of the property, I wanted to find a round window to match. Again through a free find on Craigslist from a floor and door company, I managed to acquire 2 beveled half-round and two rectangular door lites, double -paned:
For the “goat-side” window, I was also able to get 6 15” double-paned squares from the same place.
While I was building the walls, I used rainy days and evenings to work on the windows to go in the rough opening. At last, it was back to “real” woodworking: mortises and tenons, plow planes, miter cuts, and all the fun stuff. I decided to build a frame to hold the windows in roughly the layout above, with the two rectangular pieces forming sidelights to the central round window. I built the sidelites first, capturing them in a fairly straightforward post and rail frame I made from some poplar pieces I had around:
When both of those were made, it was time for the centerpiece. I decided the best way to mount it was to make a birch plywood surround the same width as the window with molding on both sides to hold the glass in place. In order to facilitate glue up and fitting everything together, I cut the surround into top and bottom parts to allow me to attach the molding before I inserted the window pieces.
To make the molding, I turned to my trusty 1926 Stanley Mitre Box No. 460, with its Disston 30” x 6” saw. I had restored the piece after it had been badly corroded and salvaged from a flooded garage. Using some beech slats from an old futon frame, I cut two dodecagons (12-sided) to hold it in, and glued them in place. I stained everything using simple Minwax Gunstock stain.
I was happy with the finished product: it looked good, it was square…everything was working out. Then I went to install it, and discovered that my 2×6 framing in my rough opening had shifted out of square by about 3/8” of an inch! Somehow, even two diagonal braces didn’t stop the cordwood from altering the shape of the frame. Of course, I had sized the frame to fit the window with about a 1/16” tolerance, so I had to enlarge the 2×6 frame to make a truly square opening again. Once that was accomplished (though now I had about a 1/4” gap on each vertical side of the window, I fit the window in place:
I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’ve gotten a lot of grief from my buddies for making such a fancy window for a goat barn, but hey, the materials were free and the woodworking is the fun part!
Next (and perhaps the last challenge: hanging a round door!