Aaaand… done!

I completed all the woodwork on the bay window unit today. I won’t play conquering hero either. With the weird angles and different depths of the windows, the embedded convection steam radiator, and more than a couple of measure-once goofs, I was very lucky to get through this without a major screwup.

This weekend, I completed and installed that removable grill in the center of the windows. This was also a bit of work. There are seven boards and two store-bought but modified red oak grills in that face panel, all of them biscuited together with waterproof glue. I wanted no chance that heat and steam from a leaky air valve would cause problems with that lamination, as it did in the dining room cabinet. I was going to do some router scroll work between the grills. I caught myself just in time. It would have exposed those embedded biscuits.

Because the panel needs to be removable, I used some old-style cabinet spring catches. Sometimes a 99-cent solution is the best.

By the way, the convection works! Tonight turned very cold again so the heat is cranking. I checked the convection with a cigarette but you can actually feel the breeze from the top vent.

I also added an additional trim detail to the windows: a standard door stop strip that I tarted up with a fluting bit. You can’t really see it in this picture but I think it helps frame the windows a bit better. My flash photography skills suck but, trust me, it looks nice in the daylight.

One thing I definitely want to do is something about those stark white aluminum windows. Once the woodwork is stained and finished I’ll probably paint them, color matched to the trim.

Next up: the drawers and doors for the cabinet, the doors for that “attic” cabinet over the closet and the frames for that window into the hallway. I probably won’t get to the stained glass for the cabinet and window until this summer. While stained glass is basically just wood joinery using broken glass, it’s a completely different design mindset than woodworking so I’ll wait to do all the glass projects at the same time. A couple of those jobs have been on my to-do list for at least three years.

I’ve always maintained that this room reno would take me seven months. Well, it’s Month Seven and I still have a lot to do. Besides the woodwork finishing, the two big projects looming are finishing off the closet interior (cedar, clothes pole, shelves in back) and laying down the new floor.

I hope it’s finished by May. But then what will I blog about?


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Welcome to Brooklyn Row House

This blog is about the challenges of renovating an old (1903) Brooklyn, New York row house.

My last major renovation project was the master bedroom, most of which is about finish carpentry. You’ll find other completed home improvement projects in the Projects submenu at the top of this page.

I’m not a professional builder and don’t pretend to be. I’m just an experienced amateur raised in a family of committed DIYers. I try to closely follow local and national building codes but don’t mistake anything on this site to be professional or even accurate advice! Your mileage may and definitely will vary.

This is the third iteration of, from scratch-built to Drupal and now Wordpress. I hope you enjoy your time here.