Joinery ? for rebuilding screens - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 06-25-2008, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Joinery ? for rebuilding screens

Hello, I am trying to rebuild several of my porch screens on an old house. The screens are 84" x 20" frames and are jointed with mortise and tenon. The bottom of the screens are rotted.The entire bottom rail & the bottom mortise of the stiles(vertical 84" pieces) are no good. (My apologies if I am using the terminology incorrectly.) Since I cannot just replace the bottom rail as there is no good bottom mortise joint to work with, my thought was to cut off the bottom stile mortises and just add a new board to the bottom of the stiles with dowels, glue or maybe pocket holes. Would this be too weak a joint? The bottom rail is 1-1/4"x5" and the stiles are 3.5"x1-1/4". My concern is that since the bottom rail would no longer be "sandwiched", that is would not be strong enough? My only other option seems to be to rebuild the entire screen(s). Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks
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post #2 of 23 Old 06-25-2008, 11:01 AM
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You could just do your bottom rail like this joint, but picture it upside down:
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post #3 of 23 Old 06-25-2008, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for responding:) That is what the bottom joint(s) currently looks like, except both the mortise and tenon are rotted pretty thoroughly. I am trying to come up with a solution to repair the current screens and avoid having to build 6 new ones from scratch. There is not enough solid wood left on the mortises of the long pieces to repair this style joint, so I am trying to find a way to cut the mortises off & just attach the bottom rail to those cut off points, if that makes any sense?
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post #4 of 23 Old 06-26-2008, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimeM View Post
(My apologies if I am using the terminology incorrectly.)

Your terminology is correct, no problem.

Since I cannot just replace the bottom rail as there is no good bottom mortise joint to work with, my thought was to cut off the bottom stile mortises and just add a new board to the bottom of the stiles with dowels, glue or maybe pocket holes. Would this be too weak a joint? The bottom rail is 1-1/4"x5" and the stiles are 3.5"x1-1/4". My concern is that since the bottom rail would no longer be "sandwiched", that is would not be strong enough? My only other option seems to be to rebuild the entire screen(s). Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks
Yes, you COULD do it that way, and yes, it would lack strength. But it may work, since the screens are not necessarily subject to torque, movement, or tension. I'm assuming they are mounted, then left in place.

Essentially, you want to cut some length off of the stiles and replace the lost length with new wood.
Several other options: 1) the illustration which cabinetman submitted is called a slip joint. It is one variation of a mortise & tenon joint. You could make a similar joint, except with the boards end to end as needed in your case. I do this whenever I need a long narrow rail in a length I cannot purchase. Or when I do a bent laminate curve for a front edge of a shelf or counter, and I need to extend the front edge along the straight section of the shelf. I match the grain on the face and join them end to end with a slip joint.(or perhaps it has a different name when used end to end?) 2)You could make a half-lap joint, which could be glued and clamped tightly. That would provide a pretty strong joint. 3)If you wanted, you could get one of those router bits that cuts finger joints and use that to join them with.


So I think one question you might ask yourself is, how strong does it NEED to be to do its job?
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post #5 of 23 Old 06-26-2008, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mark, that was really helpful. The screens are on hinges so that they can open and close, so they will be subject to some movement, but not as much as a door would. Just to recap, so I'm sure I got it, what you are suggesting will result in 2 joints per corner of the frame, am I correct? The first joint between the stile and its extension & the second joint between the extension and the new rail? I will plan to go ahead with that method unless you tell me I have misunderstood. Thanks again
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post #6 of 23 Old 06-26-2008, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry, one more question on this. Is there a particular grade/species of lumber you would recommend for this use? It needs to be 1-1/4" thick by 5-1/4" thanks
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post #7 of 23 Old 06-26-2008, 01:01 PM
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Can you use a wider board on the bottom rail, or would that destroy the look?

Gerry
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post #8 of 23 Old 06-26-2008, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry KIERNAN View Post
Can you use a wider board on the bottom rail, or would that destroy the look?

Gerry
It is a possibility, & I guess if I had to in order to make it more sound I might go that way, but it will probably look disproportioned. why, what would you suggest?
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post #9 of 23 Old 06-27-2008, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimeM View Post
It is a possibility, & I guess if I had to in order to make it more sound I might go that way, but it will probably look disproportioned. why, what would you suggest?
I was going to suggest that you cut off the ends of the stiles and re-tenon them. You could then mortice a wider board and install the stiles into it. However, if that looks clunky, and it might, I had another thought. You could possibly install gussets into the corners, and either attach them with dowels, biscuits, or M+T. If the gussets were scallopped out to a curved inner surface they might not look half bad. You would probably want to put the gussets in all four corners of each screen to keep the symetry.
If the gussets by themselves do not appear to be strong enough you could also attach reinforcing gussets out of light plywood directly over the whole joints, using screws and glue.

Don't know if any of these ideas will work in your situation, but if so you could save a lot of work.

Gerry

Last edited by Gerry KIERNAN; 06-27-2008 at 10:44 AM.
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post #10 of 23 Old 06-28-2008, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Gerry, that definitely gives me a few different ideas to try. I'm not very familiar with gussets though. I know what the metal gusset plates that hold trusses together are, but not much else. Are the ones you would suggest something I would buy or make out of plywood? Are they metal or wood? I tried to find some more info on the net, but didn't have much luck. If you know any helpful links, that would be cool
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post #11 of 23 Old 06-29-2008, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimeM View Post
Thanks Gerry, that definitely gives me a few different ideas to try. I'm not very familiar with gussets though. I know what the metal gusset plates that hold trusses together are, but not much else. Are the ones you would suggest something I would buy or make out of plywood? Are they metal or wood? I tried to find some more info on the net, but didn't have much luck. If you know any helpful links, that would be cool
Hi Jaime

The gussets to go inside the corners would be made out of wood, the same thickness as the screen frame. I would suggest six inches per side, and roughly triangular in shape. This could be varied by cutting a curve into the long side to improve appearance. The gussets to be attached to the surface of the frames would be best made of plywood, perhaps 1/4 or 3/8 inch thick. Cut these gussets to fit the corners. Again I would suggest six inches per side, plus the width of the frame. These would also be roughly triangular, but you could trim the ends off square. These could be attached with screws and waterproof glue. If you install the inside gussets, as well as the overlapping gussets the frame should be very strong.

All the gussets could be made from any scraps of wood you have around. I lack the skills to draw these up for you, which would make it very easy to understand, but perhaps someone else can throw together a quick sketch to show you what I mean.

Gerry
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-29-2008, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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, it took me a minute, but now I can picture exactly what you are describing and it makes alot of sense. Thanks again for your time and help. I really appreciate it
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post #13 of 23 Old 06-30-2008, 12:07 PM
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You're welcome Jaime. Hope it works out okay.

Gerry
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post #14 of 23 Old 07-01-2008, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimeM View Post
Just to recap, so I'm sure I got it, what you are suggesting will result in 2 joints per corner of the frame, am I correct? The first joint between the stile and its extension & the second joint between the extension and the new rail? I will plan to go ahead with that method unless you tell me I have misunderstood. Thanks again
JaimeM,
Yes, that was how I understood it, as you described it. I haven't been online for a few days and I see you are on the trail of gussets. If it works with the look, it certainly would be a strong way to make them. Especially since they will be swinging. Good suggestion, Gerry.
As for wood species, I generally match what's existing, whenever possible.
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post #15 of 23 Old 07-06-2008, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ughh, after further consideration, we have decided that the gussets would be too much of a style change for the room. So I am revisiting some of the earlier suggestions. The current screens look like this
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post #16 of 23 Old 07-06-2008, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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on the learning curve with posting images.

Hope this works. So, the current screens like this(sorry image didn't take in last post):Picture 1Name:  Current Screen.JPG
Views: 411
Size:  12.8 KB

From some of the earlier suggestions in this thread, I am planning on going ahead with this design: Picture 2 Name:  Plan for replacing screen.JPG
Views: 430
Size:  18.3 KB

It seems like even though it is a little more work, it would be stronger than this alternative quick and easy fix: Picture3 Name:  Quick easy.JPG
Views: 385
Size:  18.5 KB I worry that the bottom board(5"width) would cup over time without end support. Am I gaining strength by taking the extra time to do it like the plan design(Picture2) vs. the quick/easy design(Picture3)? I apologize if I am being redundant/repetitive and I appreciate everyones time in responding and answering my questions:)
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post #17 of 23 Old 07-08-2008, 04:47 AM
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I think you'll be ok with the plan. Yes, you will gain strength over the other method. Just make sure your slip joints fit fairly well and you clamp them snugly after gluing. I have kept them lined up straight by clamping 2 blocks lengthwise along the sides of the stiles (using wax paper to keep them from getting glued to the stiles) then clamping the joint. This way the stiles stay straight at the joint.
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post #18 of 23 Old 07-08-2008, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks I really appreciate the help. Now I am off to build...
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post #19 of 23 Old 12-30-2011, 04:56 PM
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extending a door rail like this one.

cabinetman, could you please repost the picture. I too am looking at extending the length of a stile but on a cafe door.
Quote:
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You could just do your bottom rail like this joint, but picture it upside down:
.









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post #20 of 23 Old 12-31-2011, 12:05 PM
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cabinetman, could you please repost the picture. I too am looking at extending the length of a stile but on a cafe door.
I don't know what happened to the image. But I think it was one showing cutting off the stiles, and half lapping extended stiles, and M&T (or with dowels) the new rail to the extended stiles. You could make the lap length whatever you want.






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