Fig. E: Brush off the edges of the MDF before painting.
Fig. F: Center the case to leave enough solid space for
the hinges. Fig. G: Hinges can sit near the edge of the
sash, but not over the edge. Fig. H: Leg placement is
2. Build the case.
Establish which side of the window you want to be
the tabletop. Now flip it over, top side down. Measure
and cut the 1"× 4" pine boards to create a framework
of 4 sides that meet the wooden sash of the window,
sitting just outside the edge of the glass. It’s best
to use a miter box for straight cuts, or if you’re real
fancy, a table saw. Sand the edges clear of splinters.
Set this framework on top of the MDF sheet to
determine the size of the case bottom, by tracing
the framework’s perimeter. Cut the MDF to size
With the framework in place on the MDF board,
glue the sides by dabbing some wood glue inside
the edges of the end pieces. Place together and let
dry (Figure B).
Drill leads for the screws at a spot ½" from each
corner edge, and no more than 1" deep — it’s best
to tape off the drill bit to serve as a guide. Screw
the sides of the case together with drywall screws
(Figure C). Paint the inside and outside of the
casing framework, or not.
Paint the top of the case bottom (Figure D). Once
dry, place it facedown on top of the case framework,
and secure with drywall screws. Space the screws
arbitrary, but if the legs extend at an angle, then 2" from
the edge of the case is good. Fig. I: Rotate your curios
frequently. You’ll be amazed how important they look
when placed behind glass!
by marking spots about 5" apart across each edge
of the MDF, and drill leads. Once secured, paint the
visible side edges of the MDF board (Figure E).
3. Final assembly.
Place the window top side down, and center the
case on top of it, bottom side up (Figure F). Place
the hinges 3" from the corners of the case, and
mark their screw holes with a pencil (Figure G).
Drill very short leads (no more than half the length
of the screws), and screw the hinges into place.
Position the leg mounting plates about 2" from
the edges of each corner of the case (Figure H).
Mark the screw holes with a pencil, and secure
into place with ½" screws. Attach the legs to the
Flip the construction over, and fill it with your
personal collections of provocative junk (Figure I).
Little strips of index cards typewritten with
expository info would be an excellent touch.
Matt Maranian is a designer and best-selling author who lives
in Brattleboro, Vt.