Friday, September 24, 2010

Port Light Trim

Making the trim rings for the port lights was a fun job. A few design issues on how best to cover the plywood paneling with the trim ring was the only real snafu on this project, but once the bugs were figured out, they went together pretty quickly.

I had to do a little searching to find some 10" wide stock to make the trim ring or else I'd be faced with having to edge glue some boards together to get the width I wanted.

The first step was to make a template of the trim ring. I made the template out of some 1/2" Cherry scrap plywood.

I used the template to mark the stock, then rough cut the ring on my band saw.

I then screwed the rough trim ring to the template, and routed it to match the template with a flush trimming bit.

Since the trim ring is screwed to the plywood paneling, I had to hide the edge of the plywood by extending the inner form of the trim ring by 1/2". I cut some pieces to shape on the band saw, glued them to the trim ring, then used the router to cut them flush once the glue cured.

The next step was to round everything over with a 3/8 radius rounding bit

Before I had installed the plywood paneling I had glued a closed cell gasket to the port light frame to prevent sweating. Once the paneling was in place, the paneling compressed the gasket against the port light frame. Now that the trim ring is installed, the trim ring also compresses the gasket due to the 1/2" ring extension I glued to the inner form of the trim ring. I feel that condensation on the port light frames will be a non issue.

In this last picture you can see how I laminated the extension piece on to the trim ring to hide the plywood edge. The last piece of the port light window frame condensation issue will be pretty straight forward I think. I'll need to find a piece of rubber channel to fit over the 3/16" frame edge prior to me installing the glass. Once that last edge ( witch you can see in the last picture) is covered, I doubt very much I'll get any condensation on the window frame. I might get some sweating on the glass, but none on the frame. The last thing I want is staining on the wood from sweating metal. The trim ring will come off when Install the glass witch should be later this Winter. I like not having the glass in so I can hear the radio I have down in the shop.


  1. Thank for this article. I have been searching for something similar for quite a while now. I am putting a link to your site from my DIY Boats Blog.
    You can find it at Boat links.
    Thanks again.

  2. Hi - Thanks for this ''how to make portlight'' it will definitly be an help for making mine next winter. Right now, I'm working on 19 ft sailing cruiser.