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English Oak Windows

English Oak Window

It's not often we get the chance to use home grown timbers in our joinery work. This is not unsual, the UK has been a big importer of timber for hundreds of years, from masts to furniture and joinery timbers. On this occasion the timber in question is English Oak (Quercus Robor) and we're using it to make windows for a unique Devon property. The windows are an early casement style and emulate the work of the stone mason in their design an proportion. The give away for that reasoning is the large mullions, head, jamb & cill with very wide chamfers and beyond that they look just like stone windows!

English Oak In Workshop
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All the mortice and tennon joints are secured with oak pegs, rather than the more usual wedges. Very substantial pegs in regards to the frames. We made our pegs and found that making the big pegs was best done witht the "oversize pencil sharpener method". This worked very well, I think the guys caught how to do that from the various YouTube videos showing the method. The smaller pegs for the casements were made using a dowel plate.

Making some pegs to replicate the joinery on some early oak windows #woodworking #joinery #craft #oak

— G S Haydon & Son (@GSHaydonJoinery) September 4, 2017

The great thing with pegged joints is that they don't require the clamping during the glue up process, all it requires is an offset hole in the tenon and the joint comes up snug when the peg is driven home. The only reason I generally prefer wedges is that wedges avoid having end grain facing the weather and drawing moisture through. When the joinery is this big and of such a durable species it's not a concern for my lifetime.

Oak pegged joinery devon
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We look forward to sharing a few photos of the installed windows in the coming months. As an aside I grabbed one of the offcuts which has some stunning figure. I ran my smoothing plane over the surface, it might of been just a sweet section of timber but it worked like butter, smooth clean shavings. Wiped on a bit of oil to bring out the beauty. I'll keep the offcut, would make a lovely box, drawer side or veneer material.

Quarter Sawn English Oak
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