Curtain rails for bay window.

Upstairs Bay window

We had some new windows fitted in the bay window of our house to replace the old wooden ones, the new ones are nice bright white triple glazed windows and very nice and make the room very quiet, but as the old curtain track was screwed to the wooden window frame we needed a new curtian pole.

Now quick look online showed universal poles for about £60 but these looked quite poor and required different brackets buying. Now I also found a site that would make pole with bending and brackets to suit but quick pricing showed this was going to be £300-400! This seemed expensive to me and I could make something better and cheaper.

As I already own a JD2 tube bender and 1″ former this sounded like a good base to make a pole,  I found a website called metals4u and these listed 5 meter length off 1″ aluminium tube for around £12.  But would it bend???  Checking some specs found that 6063 is a good workable spec and the tube from metals4u is 6063,  so some quick measurements were taken.

Measurement for bay window

Now because our bay window has return in the walls the hole in the wall is narrow compared to the bay window, so I designed the pole to mount the return on the walls and the centre mount is a ceiling bracket. I ran a 80mm offset from the window frame. A quick design in some CAD software called onshape looked good so I ordered 2x lengths of 25.4×1.6mm by 5000mm(1 spare incase it went wrong), 1x 22.2×1.6mm by 500mm and some 2mm flat plate.

Using OnShape CAD software

Once the order has arrived I started by carrying out a test 90deg bend, cleaning the tube and former and using a lot of lube on the former it seemed to bend very nicely (I also marked the tube so I could work out the loss round the bend)   with the measurements I proceeded to bend the other side and made the curtian pole I left the ends too long because it could cut these down later.

For the wall mounts I cut a 75mm hole in the 2mm plate and also a 22.4mm hole for form a donut or polo mint shape, then using a 75mm length of the 22.2mm tube I welded this onto the plate with the idea that the plate would screw to the wall and the rail would push into the smaller stubs, the problem I found is that was there not enough clearance and also the wall were not straight! While looking for curtains I found the perfect wall mounts and at £8 for 4 it was a no brainer to use these.

1″ Wall mounts

Now onto the centre mount the orignal idea was to cut some 2mm aluminium sheet and drill a 25.4 hole and then run that upto the ceiling with a 90deg bend and weld this to the tube see below

Old design

But, after some thinking I decided that the mount would need reinforcing around the screw holes and wouldn’t leave me any space to slot on the old mounts I changed to a steel centres mount. I brought some 12mmx3mm steel plate I clamped this into the vice with a ofcut of the 25.4 tube and proceeded to bend the plate round the tube to form a hook I then measured how far the curtains sat above the pole and added 10mm, with a 90deg bend added and 3x mounting holes I then painted it silver.

Middle mount

With everything ready it was now time for fitting, this was quite straight forward as everything was made to fit the windows. First I fitted the centre mount as the no up/down adjustment for this, with the pole now fitted into the centre mount I moved onto the wall mounts with it all mounted I removed the pole and put the curtains on and refitted the pole, job done now time for a beer

Fitting the pole.

It was a short lived beer as I done a good job the wife turns up with some curtains for the downstairs bay! As I managed to bend the tube with only using the first tube I still had a spare 5 meter length of tube, so we started again and bent this to match the lower bay, this one is slightly different in that the middle mount needs to be wall mount and because they £96 curtains were in the sale for £11 they didn’t have the larger drop left so I needed to mount the pole inline with the top edge of the window, a hi-tech drawing this time.

Hi-tech drawing this time.

This time as the load was being supported by the length I decided to triangulate the bracket but this all need to go up the wall. With the left over 12mm plate I made a new wall bracket that supported the pole and also the triangulation held the pole in place.

Lower bay pole bracket
  • All done – Total costing = £85
  • Metal inc delivery £46 – Metals4u
  • Wall mounts £8 – Amazon
  • Sheet steel £9 – Ebay
  • Curtain x2 £22 –

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