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    Dear people, I would like to make windows and door frames, from scratch. From scratch I mean starting with beams form the store, not going to the woods and chop some tree. The standard profiled window/door posts, have a groove in which de glass/pane/door will be place against.

    My question is, how to make this groove? I think in the same way as you make a tennon, only it will be half a tennon over the whole length of the post? The smallest surfaces of the grooves need to be square with each other.

    Or is there a other method?

    Are there any woodworkers here, that have experience with window/door woodworking?



    Hi Hella,

    In the toolbox videos Paul makes a bottom and a lid for his toolbox. I suggest you take a look at those videos. The same principle can be used for creating doors. Probably window too. I used the same principle to make a mirror.

    It’s pretty simple: the grooves are made using a plow plane and the tenons have a haunch to close up the groove. Do a google search on ‘frame panel woodworking’ for more examples.



    Hi Wesley, thanks for your advise. I can see a video project “Joiner’s toolbox”, is this the one you mean? Are there other free video’s?

    With the groove I mean simply the inside of the L in a L-shaped beam. In The Netherlands this is called a groove (sponning). So double glas will be placed on de short arm of the L. So what I want to make is, taking out a L shape part out of de corner of a wooden beam.
    I think the best way (with my present knowledge) is, using chissle and the poor man’s router.

    I will google frame panel woodworking.




    There is another toolbox series. As far as I know that is only visible to paying members.

    Technically a sponning (Dutch) is a rebate in English, which is not the same as a groove. You can see the difference here:

    If you want to put the glass in a rebate (as opposed to a groove) then the toolbox video does not apply. In that case you can either use miter joints (with rebate) or use an offset motise and tenon. Demonstration:

    I have never tried anything like this and feel a bit out of my depths. Perhaps one of the more experienced members will step in.



    Hi Wesley, great video. So it’s a rebate I’m looking for. There is a dutch word, rabat,looks a bit similar.
    My goal is to make those rebates by hand, chisel and poor man’s router. I have no machines.
    So I thought to make a frame first, joining through mortice and tennon and than make the rebates, with chisel and poor man’s router. If I do it in this order I can use the frame as a guide. Now that I think of it, the depth whereby you’ll have to plane the rebates is too much if you have thick window post, when you do it in this order. Maybe I’t better to make the rebates before putting the frame together? Still there is no guide. There will be a lot of depth, enough space for a double glass window, 21 mm in a another frame, say 6 cm. This means that the router has to go 6 cm deep if you want to use the top of the beam as a guide and I don’t think the chisel in the router can plane at that depth, less force go’s through the chisel. So the question is, ” how do you make a rebate (without using machinery)”?.


    I saw a video, where they use planes to saw away the corner, in order to make a rebate. The plane is the guide and when one surface is done, that surface is the guide for the plane and the second surface can be planed.

    I intend to chisel away the corner fist, like you’ll do with a tennon. I can use planes to make the surfaces flat and square to each other.

    However I’ll be working with large lengths and therefor I thought of using a poor man router, making a guide so that I can plane all 4 sides of the window frame by using the router.


    You could make the rebate plane its intended for doing this a router would do it but slowly the plane can do it very fast if you need help . Send a note private and I will give you my phone number.

    In South Jersey the good part of New Jersey, USA.


    Just noted where you are at forget the phone. I wish more members would add a note to there messages saying where they are from . It’s a big help to other members when giving advise


    In South Jersey the good part of New Jersey, USA.


    Try this video – it’s one of the free videos


    Thanks Tim, very useful video. I just love the poor man’s tools.

    Now I see how I can make the rebates and also I can make them as deep as possible.

    I do believe it’s quicker than using the chisel only.

    Thank you Tim for your advise.

    Thanks Paul Seller for one of his many gifts.

    The Netherlands, Follega, Friesland, the most pretty country side of Holland.


    Reading this post and remembered The Woodwright’s Shop with Roy Underhill have done several episodes on window and sash … they may give you some ideas. Look for the following seasons and episodes:

    PBS S02E09 “Straight and Narrow” and S02E10 “Vernacular Sash”
    PBS S05E13 “A Glass Act”
    PBS S17E08 “Window Sash Restoration”
    PBS S21E11 “Window from Williamsburg”
    PBS S31E13 “Simple Sash”


    New Brunswick, Canada

    Sven-Olof Jansson

    Dear all,
    To quickly create window frames one can start with creating the rebates in one go along the stock, and then cut it to sizes. I have forgotten the name of the joint to use, but basically it is a tenon with one face offset that goes into a slot sawed to the short edge of the meeting part. Perhaps it can be called an open mortise. The rebate will make one of the parts of this open mortise narrower, hence the need for an offset tenon. The attached ‘drawing’ will hopefully add some clarity. Drawboring is probably a good thing, as a tighter joint will be less likely to let rain in.

    The advantage of this method is that it leaves squarely meeting rebates, tight joints, and a typical window frame


    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA


    Thanks Barryb, what a great character Roy Undehill is. I’ll look into it.


    @sojansson, I think the name you’re looking for is bridle joint. If it has a specific name in this application and arrangement I don’t know it.


    Southampton, UK


    Thanks Sven-Olaf, great picture, that’s the one joint I’ll be making. Hopefully if I do it as Paul Sellers shows, there will be no gabs. Also I use waterproof glue that will fill up any tiny gabs.

    I ordered some cheap tools to start with. Wood is laying on the attic of the barn, waiting to be cut.

    My biggest worry was, the making of the rebates. I see now, through all of the feedback of you guys and galls, that you can just use a plane, rebate plane which you can make yourself or other plane.

    I ordered a number 4 plane. If I make a guide on the outside of the plane, I can use it for making the rebates.

    Next worry is, how to design the window. It wil be a opening window, 2 parts. First I make a frame with deep rebates. Than 2 frames with double glass. Those 2 windows have to fit in the big frame. What is the best way, windows opening inward or outward, concerning the rain etc. (sorry I don’t know all the english window terms)? I see it as one big frame with rebates, and 2 similar frames containing the glass, made in the same way as the big frame, that fit into the big frame. So a frame in a frame. The bottom part of the frame is not square, for draining the water.

    I’ll start with making a small test frame first.

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