This is continued from Make A Window Greenhouse—Build A Table Base (Part 1)
Framing A Window Greenhouse
Now that the table base for the window greenhouse was built, it was time to create a structural frame to hold the windows in place.
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I’m obviously not a carpenter (nor do I play one on TV) so it took a lot of thought (my poor brain!) to come up with (what I think is) the best way to build this.
My main concern was sturdiness. If it could be good-looking and very solidly built, I’d be a happy camper. And yes, as it turned out, I’m a happy camper.
If you’re just joining in the story, I’m making this mini greenhouse from old, wooden windows found on the curb. No two windows are the same dimensions and neither are any of them actually square, so it’s a building challenge to say the least.
Part Two: Building The Structural Frame
This is what I built:
The frame is made entirely from 2×4 lumber:
- I made the sides to match the average width and height of windows (which are odd sizes and not square).
- Notice the height: I cut the vertical pieces extra long to allow room for the roof windows to hang down without blocking the sides of the greenhouse.
- The tops of the vertical 2x4s are cut at 45° angles. This allowed me to join the roof windows at a 90° angle (= 2 x 45).
I got this dual bevel sliding compound mitre saw (with laser) at an excellent sale (see one here) and what a great tool it is. Mine has a 10″ blade. If you have a choice, I’d go for a 12″ blade so you have just a few more options for the size of wood you can cut. It truly just takes seconds to set up the mitre cuts and the laser guide makes it so easy to get right every time.
The Secret Sauce
This is where the project got really fun. I finally used my Kreg Jig K4 Pocket Hole System. It’s a drill guide that lets you create perfect pocket holes in wood.
It’s simple to use. You just need to know which size wood you are using (I used 2x4s) and the Kreg system tells you which size screws to buy and where to drill the pocket holes. It takes under a minute to create the holes and you’re ready to join your pieces.
Using self-tapping screws (and some wood glue), you can join wood pieces together very snugly and securely. Once you use one of these jigs, you’ll want to make all sorts of things! It’s quite fabulous.
In the photo (above) you can see the self-tapping screws have been placed in the pocket holes, ready to be drilled into the adjoining piece of wood. No pilot holes required.
If you’re a geek like me, there’s a mini thrill to be had when you hear this little squealing sound the screws make when they’re placed just perfectly. Love that!
As I was assembling the frame, I also sanded all the edges with the palm sander so it was smooth and ready for priming and painting.
Between coats of paint, I got to work on the windows…. –
Here’s all the steps for building this window greenhouse
1. Make A Window Greenhouse – Build A Base Table (Part 1)
2. Make A Window Greenhouse – Build A Frame (Part 2)
3. Make A Window Greenhouse – Paint & Decorate The Windows (Part 3)
4. Make A Window Greenhouse – Assemble Everything (Part 4)
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