DIY’er- a cheap way to make custom windows in the future site of “The Gold Pan”- by Brian Lee Carpentry

A few months ago studio owner Devin Moroney and I were talking about the vision for The Gold Pan, a recording studio and vinyl records store Devin, Brian Lee (me), and Matt Sands have in the works to open in Hillsboro, IL March 2018.  Devin was passionate about the community aspects of recording in a small town and wanted a place where people could watch up close as artists record and where artists would feel connected to the street as they worked. So, I had the daunting task of trying to create a large scale window that felt like it belonged to this historic spot, looked visually exciting, soundproof, and oh yeah, super cheap… So here’s what I came up with.


I love curves. Here I’m cutting out the curved shape from a single piece of MDF.


I traced and cut two of these, stacked them, separating them with a six inch piece of luan, which easily bent to match the curve.


Using used double hung windows that I got for free, I disassembled each one and let the odd sizes hang wild outside of the trim. Two more layers of the traced MDF trim, some spray foam and caulk and paint and this pretty crazy looking window is ready to install. Don’t drop it!



In the rough framing, the window sits above some beautiful room divider panels donated by local neon sign maker Jeff Dunn. The piece was in his family’s Law office for years in a nearby building.  The gap under the window was filled with glass from another free set of rotted sliding glass doors found on Hillsboro buy-sell-trade.

Next, cover with drywall, being very careful not to put screws through the glass behind the drywall and there it is! No basket ball in the studio!


The lights in the reflection were donated by local Rich Chamberlin who just walked in while I was working one day and said “I have some lights I’m going to give you.”


In the coming months, the renovation will be getting finished, Matt and I will be looking for record collections to buy while selling at The Refinery Vintage Goods, and Devin will be getting gear together and starting to take bookings at the studio.  We’re all pretty excited for this project to get into gear in March.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s