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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Based on some simple mortise and tenon joints, I'd like to see if I can make a very simple wooden screen door. I don't have a lot of tools. I have chisels, table saw (stacked dato blade), miter saws (2), and some other minor hand tools. I also have some pipe clamps and saw horses. What would I need to complete this project? Again, simple. Basic wooden frame, with a cross-brace in the middle, and a screen. Screen can be two-piece, or full length. That part, I can do, but advice is always welcome.
 

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With the stacked dado blade available

you might consider using half lap joints. With careful setup and a liberal application of glue, that is an incredibly strong joint and not terrible to look at either.

Ed
 

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I know you've said you know how to do the screens already, but here is a simple idea if you are interested. I live in an old house, and the porch screen door has a simple screen attachment. The screens lay flat over the face of the door and are tacked in place by a thin wooden strip, which has a beaded face and surrounds the opening. Not fancy, but functional. Also, if you have kids, a wire mesh can be added to the lower half - unless of course you enjoy replacing the screen :icon_smile:
 

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It sounds like you have the necessary equipment to accomplish your project. You mght also consider using dowels at the corners to add strength instead of mortise and tenon, but either way, you should end up with a fairly solid door.

Gerry
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all

Gentlemen,
Thank you all for the tips. That's exactly what I was looking for to get this project started.

Daveb, yes, the screen suggestion helps as well. I was thinking of something similar, but with 1/4 round.
 

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I was just reflecting on an episode of the

New Yankee Workshop that featured the fabrication of a screen door and Norm had a unique method for stretching and fastening the screen. In his case, he was building 2 doors. When he was ready to attach the screen he layed them end to end on the floor and securely attached (staples) the far ends. He then raised the far end of one door creating a gap between the 2 and inserted a plywood shim. When he layed the other door back down, it pulled thescreen taught on both doors. He finished securing the screen on both doors and cut away the excess. If you are only doing one door, you could probably use a piece of 2x4 clampd in place to mimic the second door.

Ed
 

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I built a screen door for the front of my home about 3 years ago. I couldn't find a "stock" 40" wide door, so I decided to build one.

I used Maple for the frame. It was a simple frame with one cross bar, and three verticals below the horizontal bar. You can kinda see it in this picture...



I used dowels at all the joints. I thought it would be easier and faster that M&T's, which it was, but they didn't line up as well as I had hoped. For screen, I just laid it across the space and used a piece of trim strip to fasten it. We don't have kids, so nobody is pushing on it.

I think within the next 2-3 years, I'll be replacing the door with one that has Mortise and Tenon joints, as well as using a better screen fastening technique. I have also thought about using copper screen since the screens on the laundry room are copper.
 

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Lower Half of door

I would absolutely use wire mesh on the lower half of the door. With or without kids, people tend to kick this portion of the door and enough kicks will eventually break through any screen no matter how strong.


JC
http://www.bwire.com/
 

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I've also been kicking around the idea of making my own set of screen doors.

In my addition I've put in French doors going out back and all of the screen doors I found in the box stores are sliders or just one side opens. I want to be able to open both screens up. Kind of defeats the purpose of two working doors when a guy adds a single working screen to it.
 

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Making your own screen door

Making your own screen door is a great home project. Depending on how in depth you want to make it and what you want it to look like, this project can be done in 1 day. I made my own screen door years ago, and while weathered, it is still in perfect shape. I replaced the screens one time just to freshen things up a bit, but the door was easily made from a wood frame and some wire mesh.

JC

http://www.bwire.com/
 
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