Making My Own Window Grills

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  #1  
Old 06-24-12, 01:33 PM
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Making My Own Window Grills

Hi:

I have some simple windows that I want to dress up by adding
wundow grills. I purchased exterior trim material that is thin enough so that when i place them outside, they should not, hopefully, interfere with the window itself.

my question is how do i make the cuts on the trim in order to make the grill. Second, what kind of material can i use to connect the grill pieces to the windows. the windows appear to be made of some type of plastic. is there something non-permanent I could use to attach the grills to the windows?

I am attaching a photo of the house for your reference. Thanks,
 
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  #2  
Old 06-24-12, 06:54 PM
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Not really sure how to answer since we don't know what material you purchased to use for the grilles. You might be able to half-lap the joints, or you might have to miter them... really can't say. Grooved or beaded profiles usually look best mitered together so that the profiles all match together at a central intersection. Flat profiles can usually be half-lapped.

Hopefully, you plan to apply the grilles to both sides of the glass (you don't want to look through the glass and see the tape) so I'd probably recommend that you use 2-faced glazing tape to adhere the grilles to the glass. If your grilles will be 3/4" wide, get 1/16 x 3/4 tape... if they are 1/2" or 5/8" wide, get 1/16 x 1/2 tape.

You will need to make sure that the added thickness of your grilles will not interfere with the operation of those horizontal sliding windows.
 
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Old 06-24-12, 07:17 PM
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Thanks for the good advice
 
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Old 06-25-12, 04:34 AM
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While I've painted too many factory window grille inserts, I've never run across any homemade ones.
I would add that since there will be grilles on the exterior - prime/paint them well! Use an oil base primer on all sides. Latex house paint is fine for the top coats. The paint job on interior grilles won't be as critical.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 04:45 AM
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i bought the material in home depot. it was in the trim section. it is an mdf type of product. it is white and it is designed for exteriors. it is about 1/4 inch thick and 3/4 inch wide. it says br scr trm on the upc sticker label. it has slightly curved beveled edges on either side in the front of the trim.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 09:25 AM
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Hi:

Is there a way to half lap or miter these these grill pieces if i do not have a table saw or a circular saw? i have a jig saw, a recirocating saw, some chisels, a couple of handsaws. thanks
 
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Old 06-25-12, 09:31 AM
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You can take your handsaw and cut the half lap on each side and then carefully chisel out the rest.... a table saw sure would be a lot easier - any friends that have one?
 
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Old 06-25-12, 09:57 AM
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I think what you have is called screen moulding or screen bead.

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I'm not sure a 1/2 lap will be very easy to do or if the result will be satisfactory. I'm wondering if there is a way to concave the end of a piece to match the rounded profile of the piece it butts up to.

Maybe a round file of some sort? Belt sander upside down in a vise right at the roller?

You also need to decide how you will attach these before you go to too much work. If they are on the exterior...whatever you use (double sided tape of some sort?) it will be visible on the interior.

Since the windows are vinyl...you can't use some of the pin type grill holders.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 11:38 AM
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i have a dremel tool, i am wondering if that could help with the 1/2 lap?
 
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Old 06-25-12, 12:13 PM
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A router or a router attachment for the Dremel would do the half laps.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 01:07 PM
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Screen moulding would either need to be completely mitered, as was mentioned, so that at the intersections everything meets at one central point. The intersections would be like putting 4 <'s together. As Vic mentioned, you might not be satisfied with the way half laps look due to the rounded profile... it will be a little gappy at the laps, they will not match up perfectly. The only other method you could use, which I didn't mention, is a jack miter, which is where you only miter and notch the rounded portion of the profile, as in this illustration. But you would also need to do this perfectly to get a nice tight fit.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 01:15 PM
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That's exactly the type of joint I meant Xsleeper....I didn't know there was a name for it.
 
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Old 06-25-12, 01:24 PM
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I had to do some window trim a while back using that sort of joinery. It's kind of a pain in the neck and not very forgiving. After you make about a hundred of them it gets a little easier. LOL
 
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Old 03-13-13, 08:25 PM
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I hope its not too frowned upon that I'm bumping an old post, but I am working on this exact same project. I also found the pvc screen moldling, and I have to say - its perfect. It matches the vinyl windows truly perfectly. It looks factory installed to me. Also, all this talk about mitering ... and half laps, and those notched pieces... forget it. This molding is 1/4" thick! Where the bars meet does not look bad at all to me. The stuff cuts very cleanly with a hacksaw. I was able to cut very precise cuts and it fits in snuggly that it holds itself in place. It also has perfect clearance from the other sash opening, the frame of my window is about 1/16th of an inch deeper than the molding, so the clearance is there and it also just makes it look really clean and built in. I'm installing only on the interior of the window, driving around - this seems to be how most are (unless its original and wood). If its worth the extra work to you, the same pieces could easily be put outside and stand up to the weather. From my research, I plan to use a silicon based glue (Household Goop) - right now I have my grid held up with one piece of tape, so I expect just a couple of drops of glue should be all I need.

It took me about 10 minutes (mostly measuring) to do one sash, and an 8 foot piece of molding is $2.50 ... you can't beat that in terms of cost vs. impact.

I tried one window and before I did it I was concerned about not being able to make a professional looking result (up close from the interior) without doing tons of mitering or notching... but it simply wasnt necessary. I couldnt be more pleased with it, I'm actually anxious to do the rest of my windows.

See attached photos. Note in the second photo, top top vertical piece shows a very slight gap where the vertical is a FRACTION of an inch taller than the horiztonal (due to the beveled edge its meeting up with). Frankly from 6 inches away, this is unnoticeable, and if I paid for this job to be done, I wouldnt question it. If you do have a problem with it, one solution I've found - if you have the clearance.... is to simply pull the horizontal piece off of the window by about 1/32 of an inch. You can probably just put a thicker dab of glue behind it. It would be imperceptible that it wasnt completely touching the glass, and would give you the perfect edge if you're a stickler like that. Another option, is you can probably run a sander across the BACK (the part touching the glass) of the verticals, just along maybe the top 2 to 3 inches, this will give you a slight taper but a clean front (if you can, you could just do the whole thing and your verticals will be inset by that maybe 1/32h of an inch...if that). Not positive about that method, but if you need it perfect, its an idea.
 
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Last edited by joeny1980; 03-13-13 at 08:41 PM.
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