Found: Stained Glass Window from Architectural Salvage
Twenty years ago (at least) I built an oak frame for this stained glass window I had found at an architectural salvage warehouse, which is the best place to find bargains like this! I gave it to a family member, who later hung it outdoors. When I recently spotted the window, it was stuck in the corner of a dark basement, falling apart. So, I took it back to my workshop.
As you can see, the weather had nearly erased the finish, but I knew I first had to deal with the four loose joints, as the rain had also broken down the glue holding the frame together. Follow along to see the steps I took to rehabilitate this stained glass window frame and give it a third life.
1. Loosen and re-glue the boards.
I gently tapped the four boards of the frame apart, taking care not to loosen them to the point where the stained glass window would drop out of the grooves. I used a cotton swab to coat the inside of each joint with woodworker’s glue, then clamped them back together.
2. Sand the frame down to fresh wood.
There was no possibility of saving the wood finish I had applied years ago. Besides that, the rain and sun had also discolored the surface of the oak frame, which all meant I would have to sand down to fresh wood.
Last summer I built a garden shed behind our house for Leigh Ann. Scored me some major points, but also gave me more space in our garage for my woodworking workshop. Beneath these two stained glass windows that we had found in a salvage warehouse, she hung a wrought iron planter, and asked if I could build a wood liner for it.
1. Measure and cut pressure-treated board.
I picked up an inexpensive pressure-treated board, took my measurements from inside the planter, then cut and laid out my boards.
2. Nail, glue and clamp five boards together.
Knowing her window box planter will be subjected to both moisture and extreme temperature swings, I nailed, glued, and clamped the five boards together.
3. Drill drainage holes.
Naturally, the flower box needed drainage holes, so I drilled three half-inch holes in the bottom board.
4. Sand and apply two coats of Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil.
While the pressure-treated lumber does resist water, I wanted to make sure it had some additional protection. After a light sanding, I applied two coats of Minwax Helmsman Teak Oil, designed for exterior projects. As you can see, the Teak Oil also made the wood look more attractive.
5. Place the planter and add your plants.
All that is left is for Leigh Ann is to add the plants, safe in knowing that the wood liner will hold moisture longer and better than moss — and without soon rotting or falling apart.
Everyone loves to watch birds, whether at a feeder or around a nesting box. Putting up nesting boxes is a good way to attract birds year round. But as you can see by this bluebird house of mine, it doesn’t take long for unprotected boards to begin to swell, crack and warp. Before long they simply fall apart.
Last week, I picked up these two cedar bird houses at my local home improvement store. This time, however, I decided to protect the wood before I put them up.
For the first bird house, I selected Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane, which has special “blockers” to ward off the damaging ultra-violet rays of the sun while also preventing moisture from soaking into the wood’s pores.
For the second, I chose Minwax® Helmsman® Teak Oil. Whereas Helmsman Spar Urethane dries on top of the wood, the Teak Oil is absorbed into the wood, where it dries and hardens. It also protects the wood from sunlight and moisture.
I prefer to pour the Teak Oil into a shallow container, then brush on a liberal coat, which the wood quickly absorbs. After it dries, I will apply a second coat the same way.