Sunday, September 10, 2017

New Window Design & Assembly

Faster!  Better! Stronger!  Easier!

We've been working hard on developing better, faster, easier and stronger designs to help our customers build their Custom Advent House.  We've recently completed the design change on our windows so we are providing this blog post as a way of instruction.  Enjoy!


Make note that the keystone has numbers on one side, and nothing on the other side.  This gives you the freedom to either use the etched numbering we provide, or you can do other forms of numbering.


We drill hinge holes on all of the narrower frames (even the back ones that won't need hinge holes) so that if you have something break, you might be able to use another part without having to drill that super tiny hole.  This also gives us an advantage later on in this process.  Also note, later on, these holes will define which direction you want the window to open.  We'll cover that in a moment.

A couple of things to note here:
  1. When assembling the 2 frames, place the frames so that the edges create a convex shape (not concave).  Keep in mind that only the inside edges of these parts will ever be visible once assembled and installed in the structure.  Because of this, you really should only care about the inside edges.
  2. The hinge location DOES NOT MATTER at this point!  We'll define the opening direction in a moment.
  3. Use Medium CA glue (5-15 seconds) to glue the 2 frames together.  Please be careful with CA glue - it can wreak havoc.
Using the Gluing Jig (described here), assemble the window frames in as shown below:

Add glue to one of the window frames.

Place the two frames glue-side together.

Use the Gluing Jig to gently press the two opposing corners together to ensure that the frames are perfectly aligned.

Now place the Back Block (fatter edged frame), apply glue to the frame, and use the Gluing Jig again to ensure correctly alignment.

A couple of things to note here:
  1. We ARE NOT defining window opening direction yet. - BUT ---
  2. Since we drill both the front and the back smaller frames, you can glue the BACK piece to either side of the frame.  Glue the Back part to the assembled frames with the edge creating a Concave shape.  This provides more area on the backside of the window frame for when you glue the picture to the back.
  3. Use the same Medium CA glue to glue this together.  Again - please be careful with that CA glue.

This Window Frame is laying Back-Down on the table.  The small lip of the 'BackStop is there to prevent the Window Shutter from swinging IN to the frame (because we want it to swing out!)
BUT! - Even now, we have NOT YET defined the window opening direction.


THIS IS IT!  We've made it!  We will NOW define which direction the window will be opening.  At this point, you'll want to look at the 'big picture' (the whole structure) and think about which windows you want opening which direction.  We've always done the left sides open to the left, the right sides open to the right and the 2 left-side ones in the middle open left and the right-side one in the middle opens to the right.

But since you are the one building this - you get to decided.
Before you glue the face to the frame, you need to look at where the hinge holes are (on the front frame only).  If the front frame hinge holes are on the right-hand side, the window will swing out to the right.  If the front frame hinge holes are on the left-hand side, the window will swing out to the left.

To define which way the window shutter will swing out, simply rotate the frame like a clock!  Rotate it 180 degrees and the front frame hinge holes will now be on the other side!

Once you decide where you want the front frame hinge holes (and thus define the swing direction), you can now glue the face to the frame.

It is imperative that you ensure the face is glued on as perfectly centered as you can.  We designed the windows with fairly tight tolerances on purpose so any variation in gluing can require some light trimming later on.

Use the Medium CA glue for this step as well.

And now it should look like this!  We're already almost done!


Now we apply the Keystone - BUT -------

If you want to do something extra special with the keystones, do it before you glue this in place!  If you are going to paint the whole keystone the same color as the frame/face, then you go ahead and glue it on.

Be sure to place the keystone at the topmost location on the Face.  You want the top edges of the face and the keystone to be aligned..  Use the Medium CA glue to glue this up.

(For reference: if you look closely, you can see the hinge hole in the front frame and you'll note that this particular unit is a right swing.)


Now glue the Sill in place.  Center the sill on the width of the face and keep the top edge of the sill aligned with the inside bottom edge of the frame.  Use the same Medium CA glue to glue this up.


And now the sill is glued on.  Use the same Medium CA glue to glue this up.

Now STOP!  That's right - just stop a moment and take one important step before you go to painting.

You need to assemble the shutter to the frame over every single window.  This step is important because you need to be sure that the shutters all swing freely before you go to painting.  If any of the shutters aren't swinging like you want them to, take the time to do the light trimming/sanding now (before painting)

Once all of the shutters are swinging like you want them to, you are free to move to the next step.


NOW we paint!  We used a forest green spray paint on this one, but you can choose whatever color and medium you like.  Make sure you do all painting in a well ventilated area.

PAINT ALL SIDES of these things  Make sure you paint inside the frame on the inside edges.  Make sure you paint from above, below, sides, front and back.  We ensure every surface is painted sufficiently.


Add Vellum to the Window Shutter by placing a very small bead of Medium CA glue on the backside of the shutter, laying an oversized piece of vellum on carefully, then allowing to dry.  Once dry, use a very sharp Exacto knife to trim the excess vellum.


And the window is nearly complete!  Of course, at this point, you'll want to put the window knob on (using the same Medium CA glue).  And you could then do any additional painting/decoration you'd like.  For example, maybe add gold or silver color to the vertical stripes on the window face.  Add the window numbering to the keystone, etc.

The last few steps to the process involve assembling the window to the structure.  This new design allows you to set the window frame inside the openings to allow for a more secure connection. You'll want to apply the printed picture (printed on vellum) to the backside of the frame as well.

We'll be working on creating an assembly video on this new window design as well so watch for that.

Questions?  Please feel free to contact us on our website!