Removing A Window & Replacing With Alcove Oak Shelving

In this video I remove a window, and make an oak shelving unit to fit inside the window opening alcove.

In this video I'll be replacing a window with a shelving unit.
We're in the process of having our kitchen renovated, and if you want to find out more about that, you can check out my recent home tour video where I talk about all the changes we're making to the bungalow, as well as some of the future woodworking project ideas too.
Anyway, in the kitchen there's a window in what was once an exterior wall, and it doesn't really serve any purpose, because on the other side of is this lean to, which is our utility room so it doesn't let any light in.  When we put our new kitchen in, almost the entire wall is going to be covered over by the new kitchen that we're going to have fitted, and rather than putting in some studwork, adding plasterboard and then getting it plastered, we decided instead to use the alcove to accommodate a shelving unit accessible via the utility room which we can use to store things like cat food and litter.  As you can see our utility room is being temporarily used to store stuff from the kitchen, including our new kitchen appliances, so that's why it's full of stuff and a bit of a mess.
First I measured up the opening to figure out what size to make the unit, and at this point I decided I would allow about 6-8mm tolerance, to make sure that the unit would fit inside the opening, because usually walls and window openings are not perfectly square or straight, and I can knew that I could always use packers to fill any gaps when fitting it later on.
For this build I'm going to be using some of these reclaimed shelves that came from an old library book case, I've had these in storage for a while, and I've used them in previous projects like these bedside tables, and these shoe and coat racks at my old home.  I don't have many of them left now, but I knew I would have enough to get this job done.
These shelves are made up of oak veneered MDF with a solid oak face trim.
And the first job was to remove the oak trim pieces.
I could then start ripping down the MDF pieces at the tablesaw to the depth I wanted my shelving unit to be, which was just a little bit less than the depth of the opening itself, and that's because I'm going to be adding a back panel to it later on.
I then cut the pieces to length at the mitre saw, and here you can see evidence of the biscuits that would have originally been used to align the solid oak trim to the MDF.
I could then start assembling the panels, and i'm using my plywood squares with a coupld of F clamps to help position everything and make sure that my corners are at 90 degrees.
The bottom and top panels got secure to the side panels with screws, and here I decided to drill a larger pilot hole than I would ordinarily because MDF end grain has a habit of splitting. Usually I'd countersink these holes, but it's not necessary here as none of these screws are going to be seen on the final piece.
Next I measured up the inside diameter so that I could start cutting some shelf panels to length at the mitre saw.
I decided to double up the thickness of these panels because I wanted my shelves to be big and chunky looking, as I felt like that would probably look better alongside the trim pieces that are going to be added later on.
I'm using regular PVA wood glue for this and making sure that the nicely finished faces of the veneer are oriented up and down, so the unfinished faces are the ones that get glued together as the wood glue will adhere much better to those.
I piled on some heavy weights, and clamped around the edges.
Once the glue had set, I did a bit of clean up to the short edges using a block plane just to make sure they were nice and flush.
And I did a quick dry fit to make sure they were the right size, and they looked good.
I wanted the spacings between each shelf to be equal so I asked google to help me with the maths. 
And then I marked up the shelves on centre.
Then I could start ripping down some of the solid oak pieces that I removed earlier which I can use to trim the MDF edges. I fixed the shelves in place with screws, and again no need to countersink.  Originally I had thought about rebating the shelves in to the side panels, but I decided that as this was just for the utility room, I didn't need to get too fancy with it, and also I needed to get the project done quickly.
You can see here that some of the pieces of oak broke and splintered as they were being removed which was a shame but I can still get enough out of this piece for what I need.
I'm going to mitre the corners of the trim so I first cut a 45 degree angle to one end of each piece of the oak, offered it up to where I wanted it and then made a pencil mark for length, and then a line to indicate the direction of the mitre just so that I don't cut it the wrong way.
I can then make the next cut just shy of that line just so that I can trim away more if needed until it's a perfect fit.
I used glue and brad nails to attach the trim, these nail holes will get filled later on and won't be that noticeable once finish gets applied later.
And I removed glue squeeze out with a damp cloth.
After trimming the short edges I could do the same for the long edges, and I like to do the short edges before the long edges because that way you can sometimes bend the longer pieces to fit perfectly, so you can get them under a bit of compression which helps to keep the mitre joints nice and tight.
I then looked around for any gaps, and added some F clamps just to close them up where necessary.
I used a block plane to ease over the outside edges of the face trim, being careful at the end to avoid splintering the wood.
Next I used some oak wood filler to fill all the nail holes.
To trim the shelves, I decided that the trim pieces needed to be thinner, otherwise there would be an ugly gap where the shelf trim met the small roundover on the trim pieces that I'd already added.
So I got the thicknesser out and planed off about 3mm from the thickness.
I then needed to match the roundover on to the edges that I'd cut at the tablesaw, and I didn't have a small roundover bit that matched the radius of the one that was used originally so I did it with a block plane instead, and it's actually pretty easy to get it looking good.  Here's the original round over and here's the one I did with the block plane.
The shelf trim could then be marked up and cut to length and fitted in the same way.
I had a few burn marks on the edges of the oak from where I made the cuts at the tablesaw, so to get rid of those I used my carbide scraper which takes very fine shavings.
And after a bit of sanding they disappeared.
So the next job was to remove the window, and I'd never done anything like this before so please don't laugh at my efforts!
First I removed the top window which simply unscrewed from the frame.
And then I removed the beading which was holding the glazed panel in place on the bottom window.
I removed any of the nails that were poking out using some pincers.
And the panel did not want to come out so I tried to score around the edges to cut through the putty.
And then eventually it came loose.
Then I could remove the frame
I could then access the screws holding the window frame in to the wall, but they did not want to come out - and most of the heads broke off the screws as I was trying to get them out.
So I fitted a metal cutting blade to my multi tool and I used that to cut through the screws.  And that worked pretty well but it took a while but it came out eventually.
On the kitchen side of the wall, I needed to get rid of the protuding edge of the window sill, so I used a chisel for that.
And then I could offer up the shelving unit to see if it would fit.
It seemed pretty good, but when I looked around the back side, it looked pretty tight down the bottom.
But with a bit of help from the mallet and a block of wood, it went in there nicely.
I found some salvaged ply wood that looked like it would do the job nicely so I cut it to size using my track saw.
And one side was painted, but it was in rough shape so I sanded it all smooth using some 120 grit, and then added a new top coat of white emulsion.
Next I needed to add finish to the unit, and blend in all the bear wood with the existing finish.  The old finish on the oak had quite an amber colour tone to it, and that meant that it would have been an oil based finish that was used originally.  After doing some experimentation on some scraps of the oak to try and match the finish, the best solution I found was to use some of this shellac french polish.  First I did some light handsanding at 120 grit just to smooth over any of the areas where I had added filler earlier and also to cut through the existing finish.  I then hoovered away all the dust.  One of the things I really liek about shellac as a finish is that it adheres to pretty much any other finish, so I could use this on the bear wood areas as well as the areas that already had finish on them.  I applied it with a brush, and shellac dries really quickly so it's important to not over work it, you basically just need to apply it, get it even with the brush and then not touch it again, and move on.  The shellac also added colour to the filler which helped it to blend in with the oak really nicely as you can see here.
Then I could add the back panel, first i made some marks on the wall to indicate where the shelves were so I knew were to add my screws.
And then I could secure it in place with screws.
And for the final touch ups, I mixed up some cement to patch up the areas of the wall that were damaged by removing the window.  And then I masked off the edges of the unit and applied a bead of decorators caulk to fill the gaps between the wall and the trim.
That's it finished, and you might be wondering why I chose to use oak when it's surrounded by dark hardwoods like on the doors, skirting and architrave etc.  I know it looks out of place right now, but we're going to be completely decorating this room eventually, we'll be getting rid of the hideous turqouise walls and painting all that dark hardwood white.  It is a bit of a shame to paint over hardwood, it's not something I like doing, but in our situation the whole house is full of either dark red hardwood like mahogany or more frequently pine that's been stained dark red, and the easiest way to help clean up the look of all that and to make the rooms feel less dated is with painting.
I wish I could show some pictures of how the room will look when it's finished, but the utility room is one of the lowest priorities right now, at the moment we're concentrating on renovating the kitchen and front porch and then it'll be the bathroom after that. 
I've been getting a lot of questions recently about whether I'll be covering the house renovations on my channel - and I will be filming most of the house related woodworking related projects like this one for the channel, but in terms of non woodworking house projects, I'm not going to film those in detail because I don't really have the time to film and edit them in addition to the woodworking videos and also I think my channel would suffer if I were to start showing non woodworking stuff here, because not everyone wants to see that stuff, and that means that the YouTube algorithm tends to stop promoting new videos after a video performs badly, i.e. gets less views than normal, and I don't want my channel to lose momentum.  And I can't really start another YouTube channel either, because again, I just don't have the time unfortunately, although I really wish I could.  But what I will do is continue to post Patreon exclusive videos showing the renovations and progress, and I may include some timelapse footage of the works we're doing and that kind of stuff.  If you're interested in that stuff, there's a link to my Patreon page in the description box below.
I hope you enjoyed the project,