How To Build a Freestanding Divider Wall


If you have basic woodworking skills, you can create this simple, decorative room divider in a weekend. Here's what you'll need to complete the project.

Tools:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Pipe wrench
  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Router with flush-trim bit

Materials (see the next page for a detailed assembly illustration. The letters here match up with the letters in the illustration.)

  • Two 2x4s, 69 inches long, for frame stiles (A)
  • Two 2x4s, 48 inches long, for frame rails (B)
  • Two 2x4s, 16 inches long, for window stiles (C)
  • Two 2x4s, 45 inches long, for window rails (D)

From three sheets of 1/4-inch birch plywood cut:

  • One frame top skin, 3-1/2 x48 inches (E)
  • Two frame side skins, 3-1/2x72-1/4 inches (F)
  • Two window rail skins, 3-1/2x36 inches (G)
  • Two window stile skins, 3-1/2x15-1/2 inches (H)
  • Two panel skins, 48-1/2x72-1/4 inches (I)

Other Components:

  • No. 8x2-1/2 inch deck screws
  • Two 1-inch pipe flanges
  • Two pieces 1-inch galvanized pipe, 40 inches long, threaded on both ends
  • Wood glue
  • 4d finishing nails
  • Two 1-inch galvanized 90-degree pipe elbows
  • Wood putty
  • Interior acrylic primer
  • Paint

1. Assemble frame stiles (A) and rails (B) with 2-1/2-inch deck screws. Position window stiles (C) between window rails (D) as shown in the diagram, and attach with screws. Position the assembled window frame within the wall frame, and screw it into place.

2. Attach the 1-inch pipe flanges to the underside of the lower window rail, centering one under each window stile. Drill two 1-1/8-inch-diameter holes in the lower frame rails as shown in the diagram. Insert the pipes through the holes and tighten them into the flanges to give the wall rigidity.

3. Attach top and side frame skins (E and F) to the frame with glue and 4d finishing nails. Install the window rail skins (G) next, then the window stile skins (H).

4. With the measuring tape and pencil, mark the window opening on the panel skins (I), then use a jigsaw to cut about 1/4 inch inside the lines. Apply a thin bead of wood glue to one side of the frame assembly, position one panel skin squarely on the frame, and nail the skin to the frame. Flip the frame over and attach the other skin the same way.

5. Using the router with flush-mount bit, trim the skin panels flush with the surface of the window frame skins. Carefully square the corners with a handsaw.

6. Use a pipe wrench to assemble the pipe feet from tees, 1-inch pipe, and elbows as shown in the diagram. Then thread the feet onto the pipe extending from the lower frame rail.

7. Fill nail holes with putty, sand the surfaces smooth, and paint the divider wall with one coat of acrylic primer and two coats of paint in the desired color, letting dry between coats.

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