My shed windows had been kept shut with screws for a few years but as summer was coming up this year I felt like opening them up. Of course I didn't wanna unscrew and screw them up every time I used them so I made a couple of simple handles and bolts from some little scraps of recycled wood I had lying around in the shed. The handles are made from a piece of an old cot and the bolts from the same piece of wood and also some sapele offcuts from a carpenter.
There's a video documenting the build on my YouTube channel and more detailed instructions below.
I hope you enjoy it!
Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed
- Pencil and rule
- Paper/card for a template
- Coping saw or scroll saw (a bandsaw or jigsaw would probably work too)
- Sharp wood chisel
- 3mm, 13mm and19mm drill bits (1/8", 1/2" and 3/4" respectively)
- Brace or drill
- Philips screwdriver or drill bit
- Dowel plate or dowel maker
- Tenon saw (or band saw)
- Carving knife (optional)
- 1 length of wood around 40cm X 6cm X 1.5cm (approx. 15 3/4" X 2 3/8" X 9/16")
- Small wood offcuts for the ends of the bolts, I used sapele
- Wood glue
- 4 X 50mm screws (2")
- Wood finish, I used a beeswax and mineral oil mixture
Step 2: Cutting and Shaping the Handles
For the template I simply held a piece of card up against the window and drew a rough outline of what I wanted the handle to look like. I then placed it on the wood and drew around the template and cut it out with a coping saw. I repeated the process for the other handle.
My coping saw abilities aren't the best and so my handles came out slightly different to each other. To remedy this I clamped them both in the vice next to each other and used a chisel to cut along and curve the edges until they matched. I then chamfered the edges down with a chisel. I quite enjoy doing it with a chisel only as it gives the wood a nice burnished look, a very glossy feel.
After I had the handles cut I used the 19mm bit (3/4") to make the finger holes. I drilled slowly from one side until I could feel the point of the auger bit coming out from the other side, I then flipped the piece over and drilled from the other side. This prevented any break out of the wood. I used the chisel and a small carving knife to smooth off the handle holes.
Taking the 13mm bit (1/2") I then cut the holes for the bolts to go through.
Step 3: Attaching the Handles to the Window
I drilled some 8mm holes (5/16") followed by 3mm (1/8") holes in the handles where I thought the screws would be their most useful. The 8mm holes aren't essential but I thought it'd look nicer to sink the screws in a little. Once I had the screws in the holes I held the first handle up against the window, roughly in the centre and used a level to screw it in straight. I sighted where the next handle would go and used the same method to attach it.
Step 4: Drilling Holes for the Bolts
Once the handles were attached I was able to mark where the bolts would go inside the window frame. Making sure to pull the window shut tightly I then slid the 13mm drill bit through the bolt hole and made a mark on the middle post of the window frame. It was then just a case of opening the windows up and drilling the holes into the frame using the 13mm bit.
Step 5: Making the Bolts
I split a piece of wood and cut it into 2 lengths around 10cm long each (approx. 4"). I shaved them down with a chisel until they were just a little too big for the 13mm hole in my dowel plate and bashed them through the hole. I then shaved them down little by little with a carving knife until they fit snugly but not too tightly into the handles and bolt holes, making sure to leave the outside ends alone.
I drilled two 13mm holes into the scrap sapele and cut around them to make two small blocks. Using a sharp chisel I then cut the sapele back little by little until they felt good in the hand and glued them onto the outside ends of the bolts.
Step 6: Shutting Your Windows
I was now able to open and shut my windows as I pleased, which was a great relief as the British summer has just hit us. I finished the handles and bolts with some beeswax and mineral oil mixture, I wouldn't say this was the ideal mixture but I'm not too fussy with this project. After making these I realised two things, firstly that I need to attach the bolts to the handles with a little piece of string or something similar to stop them getting lost. Secondly I need to make some latches that will hold the windows open, preferable adjustable ones, so that'll be my next project!
As always thank you for checking out this Instructable, I hope you enjoyed it and maybe it helped you think of something you can make in the future. If you'd like to see more of my projects please subscribe to my YouTube channel and like my Facebook page.
Thanks a lot and I hope to catch you soon!