Applied wood grill for a window


I need to make an applied wood grill for a large window that was broken. The existing grill is made of pine roughly 3/4" square stock. The intersections are joined with half-laps. What tooling do I need to make the half-laps and to profile the long edges?


Allison Park, PA

Our Expert

Historically speaking, architectural window sash as well as doors on furniture and cabinets had narrow strips of wood, called mullions, that separated the relatively small individual panes of glass. Presumably, small panes of glass were used because the technology was not available to make larger pieces. However, there is a definite appeal to the small panes that persist to today to the point that large windows are covered with a fake grillwork to simulate a real divided light sash.

A true divided light sash or door is a framework of narrow strips of wood which are "stuck" (hence the term sticking), or shaped, on the face for decoration and rabbeted on the back to accept glass panes. The strips are usually joined with mortise-and-tenon or half-lap joints. Where the sticking intersects it must be mitered or coped. True divided light window sash and cabinet doors are beautiful but a lot of painstaking work involving several careful steps to ensure that all the parts fit during assembly.

An easiest solution to making a decorative grill is to simply join the mullions with half-lap joints and rout a decorative chamfer or roundover profile on the mullions after assembly. 

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