I'm not going to lie to you, sometimes a project comes along that juuuuuust seeeeems to taaaaaaaaaaaake foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeever.
This is one of those projects, mostly due to it's reliance on clamping for just about every operation and assembly. I have a lot of clamps, but I'd need literally 4 times what I currently have to really speed this up any. As it is, the best I can do is get things glued and clamped, and have other work to fall back on while the glue dries. It makes for sort of a herky-jerky project, with so much dry time involved.
All that said, now that the pieces are starting to get assembled, I'm really proud of how they're turning out. Maybe proud isn't the right word, maybe excited is more appropriate.
I designed and redesigned these things maybe 4 or 5 different times. I wasn't changing the design, just double checking (and triple checking, and quadruple checking, etc.) the math involved. These things need to hug the windows as well as essentially mirror the existing window trim on the original windows, and with all the radii involved, not to mention the number of pieces that have varying thicknesses and width, I'm still - after all the checking and rechecking - a little nervous that they won't fit the way I want them to.
That said, so far, the dimensions of the components and final assemblies are just about dead nuts what I designed them to be, which is pretty awesome, all things considered. So, where'd I leave off last time? I think I'd gotten up to marking out the upper and lower radii on the main trim bodies.
Once I got the shapes of the radii marked out with tape, I spent a lengthy amount of time at the bandsaw doing a rough cut. I can't overstate just how much time this took; those blanks were about 4.25" thick, and my little bandsaw had a difficult time with the cuts. I knew it'd do it, I also knew it'd take forever, and it did.
Bandsaws generally yield a pretty rough surface post-cutting, so the next step was to build a jig that I could attach the router to and clean up the cuts. The jig was nothing more than a piece of 3/8" plywood I had laying around, the plunge router base fixed at one end, and holes at the other end. The holes were located very, very specifically, corresponding to the radii that I needed for the curves. I had a fixed pivot point that I'd screwed down to my work bench, and by placing a nail through one of the holes I'd drilled in the jig and into the pivot point, I could cut very, very specific radii. It probably sounds a lot more complicated that it really was.
Once the radii were cut, I fabricated the lower bent laminations, which consisted of 5 strips of 3/16" thick Douglas Fir. It's pretty tough to bend anything thicker than that without a steam box, but I didn't have any issues.
The upper bent laminations, those were a little trickier. They were much, much wider than the lower bent laminations, and even though they were thinner, bending the upper ones inward was definitely a lot squirrlier than the lower ones, which I was bending outwards. Regardless, they all turned out fine. I'm not sure that ratchet straps are a traditional woodworking clamping method, but sometimes ya have to do what ya have to do.
With the lower and upper bent laminations knocked out, I could disassemble everything, cut all the pieces to the appropriate lengths and widths, and then reassemble.
Once the big, bulky parts were put together, all that was left was to fabricate some trim. This didn't take a whole lot of time, but installing the trim, which involved more bending, more gluing and more clamping, that took forever.
But...I got 'em finished. Threw a little primer on them and got started on the installation...