Building a Goat Barn #17: Windows!

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Blog entry by David Bareford posted 11-13-2014 03:40 PM 2497 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: New Residents Part 17 of Building a Goat Barn series Part 18: The Hobbit Door »

My daughters wanted the barn to be “hobbit-style,” complete with a round door. So, for the wall on the “human side” that will be visible from most of the property, I wanted to find a round window to match. Again through a free find on Craigslist from a floor and door company, I managed to acquire 2 beveled half-round and two rectangular door lites, double -paned:

For the “goat-side” window, I was also able to get 6 15” double-paned squares from the same place.

While I was building the walls, I used rainy days and evenings to work on the windows to go in the rough opening. At last, it was back to “real” woodworking: mortises and tenons, plow planes, miter cuts, and all the fun stuff. I decided to build a frame to hold the windows in roughly the layout above, with the two rectangular pieces forming sidelights to the central round window. I built the sidelites first, capturing them in a fairly straightforward post and rail frame I made from some poplar pieces I had around:

When both of those were made, it was time for the centerpiece. I decided the best way to mount it was to make a birch plywood surround the same width as the window with molding on both sides to hold the glass in place. In order to facilitate glue up and fitting everything together, I cut the surround into top and bottom parts to allow me to attach the molding before I inserted the window pieces.

To make the molding, I turned to my trusty 1926 Stanley Mitre Box No. 460, with its Disston 30” x 6” saw. I had restored the piece after it had been badly corroded and salvaged from a flooded garage. Using some beech slats from an old futon frame, I cut two dodecagons (12-sided) to hold it in, and glued them in place. I stained everything using simple Minwax Gunstock stain.

I was happy with the finished product: it looked good, it was square…everything was working out. Then I went to install it, and discovered that my 2×6 framing in my rough opening had shifted out of square by about 3/8” of an inch! Somehow, even two diagonal braces didn’t stop the cordwood from altering the shape of the frame. Of course, I had sized the frame to fit the window with about a 1/16” tolerance, so I had to enlarge the 2×6 frame to make a truly square opening again. Once that was accomplished (though now I had about a 1/4” gap on each vertical side of the window, I fit the window in place:

I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’ve gotten a lot of grief from my buddies for making such a fancy window for a goat barn, but hey, the materials were free and the woodworking is the fun part!

Next (and perhaps the last challenge: hanging a round door!

3 comments so far

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 1953 days

#1 posted 11-13-2014 03:47 PM

Very cool. Bilbo would be proud!

-- Ed

View Texcaster's profile


1286 posts in 2231 days

#2 posted 11-13-2014 08:18 PM

My mother-in-law is wanting to know when I’ll be starting her goat barn. Nice work!

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3443 posts in 4270 days

#3 posted 11-15-2014 05:00 AM


When can we move in? Your goat barn is looking nicer that many of the homes around here! Great find on the windows!!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

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