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Thread: Windows, Muntin to Frame Joining Question

  1. #1

    Windows, Muntin to Frame Joining Question

    Let me start with, I'm very new to wood working.

    I've made some window sash's out of cypress. My intention was to use some kind of mechanical or chemical bond to attach the muntins to the stiles and rails. I've considered glue, dowel, or a tiny SS screw. These muntins are only 3/4" wide and then have the profile cut into them on 2 sides. Not much room for anything really.

    The muntins are coped on the ends and fit snugly into the profile cut on the stiles and rails. It's occurred to me that as they fit into place like a jig saw puzzle they really can't be removed without first removing at least 2 panes of glass. My point is they can't just fall out as the coping cut locks them in.

    My question is, do i really need any additional joinery here? If I glue them, I can't see them ever being removed without damaging them.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Fake muntins are over the glass - they make a large single piece of glass look like several smaller pieces. I haven't built windows that way, so I am not sure the tricks required to hold the fake dividers in place. Sometimes the fake muntins are removable to make washing the window easier.

    Real muntins are between the multiple smaller pieces of glass. I cut them just as I do the rails and stiles. Since they are very narrow, I use the regular stile cutter on a wider piece of material, then rip it free. To make it stiff and to keep my hands away from the cutter, I use the cutter for the ends of the rails to make a jig to support the muntin as the second side is cut. The ends of the muntins are cut the same way as the end of the rails. The muntins then interlock with the rails and stiles as they are assembled. The primary strength is from the interlocking wood, the glue is incidental.

    This is the front of a prototype door for a client Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	94393 and the back of the same door to show how the munions are built Click image for larger version. 

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    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  3. #3
    Mine are the real muntins, separating individual panes of glass. Mine interlock as well. Just to be clear do you recommend glueing the muntins in? Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Definitely glue, to keep the mutins aligned while you are finishing them and inserting the glass. But I would not count on glue as the strength of the mutins after installing the glass... that strength comes from the interlocking wood. In the prototype in the picture, it was difficult to keep the 3-section aligned, but the 2 section was so tight that in fact I cracked the mutin. If it were real rather than prototype/sample, I would have had to replace the mutin dividing the 2 section. That was too tight, but the glue was essential on the 3 section.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

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