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Our aim is to make the very best round wooden window frames at a reasonable price. They aren’t cheap but they are extremely good value. From my experience of replacing rotten frames I knew that the joints developed over the centuries for square windows just did not work for round windows. I looked at window manufacturing techniques from around Europe. I realised that if I followed the lead of Sweden, Denmark and Germany, and laminated my frames, they would be much stronger and much more durable. I made more prototypes than I care to remember, but now each frame is assembled from a surprisingly large number of precisely machined components. I have a German computer controlled machine that cuts each component to an accuracy of a few thousandths of an inch.
My opening windows consist of an outer frame, which is fixed into the opening, and an inner frame that pivots about a horizontal axis, rotating right round through 180º so that the outside can be cleaned from the inside. Each frame is made up of three layers of wood. I carefully select each piece of timber, rejecting any knots or defects; each layer has eight segments finger jointed together.
The finished blanks look like the image to the left, but as they are machined for the final time, a satisfyingly elegant frame emerges on the bed of the machine. It is like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, but I cannot afford to get too carried away, because one small mistake at this point can ruin several days’ work.
Once the glue in the finger joints has cured, I machine the eight segments to produce a flat circle which becomes one of the three layers that make up the frame. When I have three circles I glue them together to make a blank, from which I will eventually machine the finished frame.