Capiz Windows - A new look from long before I was born

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Project by BertFlores58 posted 07-02-2010 07:29 AM 10339 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

To have a better understanding of Philippine woodworking from before (century old), here are some restoration I’ve done using Capiz Windows.

It is common in Manila that a lot of capiz windows are sold in the antique shops from PHP 1000.00 to 3000.00 ($1=php46.00) depending on the size. I bought 6 pairs. These windows were already century old meaning I was not born yet when it was done. The wood is really hard but easy to sand and plane. But in this case, I did not plane and sand them because I want to preserve the texture how the different era made it. The hard part of the grain still the actual size and some deterioration on the softpart makes it wrinkled like surface (like the 90 year old lady … lol). But if you take a closer, you will appreciate how the carpenter worked before on the manually made mortise and tenon joints on the frames using only chisels and they are tight. The lattice work is also outstanding with delicate capiz (shell – nearly similar to Mother pearl) inserted at less than 1/16” groove. The joints are still intack though the glue were already gone. It is the tightness of the lapjoint that counts. NO NAILS and only DOWELS of very hardwood were used.

I made repairs as necessary on the window. The target is to create a faked windows to be fitted on the kitchen counter and one pair on the wall. So I made two slide top and bottom and fitted it to the wall. I get some recycled wood (Narra). The slide slots were 3/8 routed. Mounting to the wall was aided by lugs screws.

ERRORS: Something to know about mounting to the cemented wall.
I have already finished the jambs and ready for attaching to the walls. I did not realize that cemented walls’ surfaces are not normally leveled precisely. The right angle of the frames was affected as shown in the picture #6. The slide is a bit awkward to open.

Some people around the area and most of my visitors like this very much. There is only one big “NO” from me if somebody wants me to make the lattice work with capiz window. I can make the frame easily but the lattice the way it was done is quite tricky.


-- Bert

7 comments so far

View manilaboy's profile


177 posts in 4176 days

#1 posted 07-02-2010 09:08 AM

Hi. Beat me to it. I was going to do the same thing although mine will be fixed. I am just going to accentuate one bare concrete wall of the house.

I am also thinking of adding “ventanillas” above and below.

Very nice!

-- "Real jocks do it on a bench"

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 3283 days

#2 posted 07-02-2010 09:25 AM

Thanks for sharing Bert, I always like to see designs from other countries. Real nice work on the restoration.

View Ken90712's profile


17616 posts in 3430 days

#3 posted 07-02-2010 10:28 AM

I like it, boy I miss the Philippines! I have been there 8 times and need to get back!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 3277 days

#4 posted 07-02-2010 03:28 PM

This is a very nice piece! Thanks for posting it!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3163 days

#5 posted 07-02-2010 04:22 PM

By the way the violin is my original made in 1967. I found in my province, with all glued part cracked and gone. I restored it back and I discovered a lot what an amazing work inside. The front is solid 1 pc from mahogany. The back is one-piece solid jackfruit (Langka) wood. The black ones are very hard wood probably iron wood or kamagong. The sides are very thin strip crosswise cut of mahogany. I noticed that the curves were manually carved including the shoulder (rabbets) are manually carved. There were no routers used in those times. This was made in Legaspi, Albay (where the MT MAYON is situated). My father bought it when I was in second grade. This is my brother’s but mine is smaller but I could no longer find it. The bow is horse hair.

-- Bert

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3348 days

#6 posted 07-02-2010 08:03 PM

Thank you for a very interesting tour! I have my grand fathers violin too. It was very old when he traded a sack of corn for it in the 1920’s. The first thing my eyes went to was the violin. lol How is the tone? Do you play? I went back to recheck the windows. Very nice restoration. Thank you for the tours of your home. You have done some very nice work there.
Your friend, Rand

View janice's profile


1117 posts in 3666 days

#7 posted 07-06-2010 03:25 AM

I like it! And I like the philipannos. If that’s how it’s spelled. I’ve been watching your Charice for a couple years now. I love her, and your wood working too.

-- Janice

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