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How to Turn a Barn Window into a Curio Cabinet

May 1, 2009

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Okay, I had this idea a while back to turn a window into a curio. MWT was up for it, so this is how it went. Although I would have loved to get my hands on an old barn window, I bought a new one from my big box store. I decided upon a pine 19 7/8 x 24 7/8 four-paned window.

First, MWT made a simple box slightly smaller than the window out of 1? x 4? pine, using half lap joints (pictured below) at the corners and a thin piece of plywood in the back. Overall, the box’s dimensions are 19 1/4 x 23 7/8.

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Then he rabbited a slot half way up the sides of the box–so it falls at the window’s center molding. He also glued a thin piece of window-stop molding to the back of the cabinet.

In the slot I fitted a piece of Plexiglas that I had cut and purchased at my local hardware store.  The window-stop molding at the back of the cabinet serves as support for the Plexi.

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Four simple hinges were fixed to the side of the box and then on to the window itself. A magnetic closure was added to keep the window-door closed. (We centered the box over the window’s panes, not the overall window. This was because the molding at the bottom of the window was wider than the molding at the top.)

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I finished up with a fruitwood stain and satin varnish. And to add a little drama, I added a DOT-it LED light at the top, which illuminates the entire box through the Plexiglas. Because of the cabinet’s weight, we screwed it into a stud in the wall.

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