Boathouse Cupola

Tom King

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2 hours ago, curlyoak said:


Nice work Tom. Very impressive. What are the names of the wooden parts in the middle. I think one is Mulliens?



The long ones are called "glazing bars", or simply "bars".   The short ones, that go between those, and to the sides, are "muntins".   All the short ones are muntins, and the long ones glazing bars.  In some parts, they are called different things, but these are the most widely used, and oldest names.

A "Mullion" is also a long part, but they are some larger than the Muntins, and divide a window into multiple parts.  If these glazing bars were larger in cross section area than the muntins, they would be mullions.

If you scroll down on the Windows page, on my website, my process of duplicating old sash is more thoroughly covered.  Those sash were made in 2012 for a 1798 house.  I hadn't touched those router setups, or the small mortising machine, since that job, so I'm just using the same setup for these.

I'm not dong any handwork of these though.  Since there are not so many parts, I'm just nibbling off the tenons on the Radial Arm Saw, instead of hand cutting, and fitting.

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Tom, I enjoy your skill. around 50 years ago I was a helper for a very skilled old man. I washed him repair several windows that he called "favors". If you weren't likable then no favors.  I only know enough not to build or repair one. I did make a couple of replacement windows but they were only styles and rails. Single light.

Tom, it is obvious that you have skill levels that are very special. And I am thankful that you are very willing to share. I bet there is an interesting story of how you attained your skills. Previous generation(s), or you did an apprenticeship?

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Yes, top only.  Only the smallest clearance around the shank of the bit where it comes through the top.  It gets 100% of the dust.  Notice how clean that router is.

These sash are not nearly so meticulously made, like I normally would do for replacements in an old house, but just slammed together quickly.  All machine setups were just eyeballed close, and gone on with.  I originally thought I'd just epoxy them together, and let the epoxy fill any gaps, but they're actually not too bad.  There was absolutely no hand fitting.

It would have been faster, and simpler to just use cope, and stick, like modern windows, but I didn't have cutters, and had this setup ready to go left over from a previous job.  It only took me a couple of mornings work to slam out these four little sash.  They're 21" square.  Panes are 5x5". 

No glue, and not even clamped tight yet.  I think I'm just going to peg the corner tenons.  Anything else would just be extra work for nothing.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

The solar cell is built into the top of the light.  It doesn't get direct Sun much, but plenty to make it operate. The light is just hanging in there, and is easy to replace the whole light fixture.

There is one 1/4-20 wingnut, with built in washer that holds the top shut.  There are some recessed holes under the top that hold a bunch of spares.  I told them not to chase one down the roof if they dropped it.

The glasswork on the roof is not real pretty, but like we say in building theater stuff, the "30 foot rule" applies.

Roof slope of the cupola is exactly double of the 18 degree slope on the boathouse roof.

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I'm not sure.  I guess if the Sun charges the battery enough, it will light up.   I don't know when I will have a chance to take a photo at night.  It would have to be from the lake, and I haven't been out there at night, for years.  Pam, and I used to do a lot of sailing at night, but the place has really been built up, since then, and too many idiots operating boats.

When I was building our house, in 1980, we lived in a tent on the lake, with no houses in sight.  We'd have the whole lake to ourselves, during the week, and any week nights.  We kept a Laser rigged up, and laid over on the beach.  All we had to do was flip it upright, and take off.  Things are a Lot different here now.

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I quit building new houses in 2007, after selling my last spec house.  Everyone in the building business had gotten a lot smarter than me then.  My to-do list is longer than I can possibly ever get done.  Just keeping up the Ponderosa is more than a regular full time job.

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