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Thread: How to build frames for wooden storm & screen door inserts

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    How to build frames for wooden storm & screen door inserts

    I have finished a wooden storm door out of 1 1/8" cedar. Looks great so far.

    Now I am wondering about how to build the frames that will hold a window and another frame for the screen. They would be approximately 26" wide by 35" high.
    My first thought on the window frame is a simple dado/groove on all four sides and mitered corners. Maybe seating the glass in the dado with a bead of caulk. Seems straight forward and easy.
    The frame for the screen seems more challenging. I'm thinking it needs to be a two-part frame. One part would be a simple square (in cross section) that the screen would be stapled to. An L-shaped (or rabbeted) second section would cover the stapled face of section #1 and wrap around it so there would not be a seam where the two sections are sandwiched together.
    Hope this clear. Now the question is does it seem like a good approach?
    Any thoughts or experience would be much appreciated.
    Ron
    P.S. Found some cool hardware, screen insert cam fasteners, here
    http://www.kilianhardware.com/phelscscreen1.html

  2. #2
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    Hi Ron

    What I do for screen is make a frame as you mentioned aad then trim out with screen mold after the screen is stapled on. Screen doors catch heck, so I don't think it makes too much sense doing something that is too hard to undo in a couple of years or so. One thing I do that may help you is use bowed boards for my screen frames. They are assembled with the bows out, so that it keeps the screen tight, kind of a spring if you will. You have to have a jig to keep it straight and square when you staple the screen on, but you should anyway really.

    I don't make storm windows with captive glass if that is what you were talking about, again for maintainance reasons. I do a rabbit and use 1/4" quarter round pinned on with a micro pinner so it is easy to get off when the glass gets broken.

    I make my frames with a rabbit that hooks over the opening in the door so that they still look good but dont have to be so tight that they can not be changed with the seasons easily.

    Every one has a different way, hope I helped more than confused you.......

    Larry
    Last edited by Larry Edgerton; 03-30-2011 at 7:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Larry,
    Very helpful.
    I will definitely take your advice and go with the easily repairable rabbet and 1/4-round approach for the glass.
    Might even make my own screen mold.
    Thanks again,
    Ron

  4. #4
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    I am not sure if you got my message on the Tersa knives? It was quite long as I am windbag at times. I'll just put it on this post. The Name of the company is Global Tool & Supply out of Oregon Or Washington State. They have absolutely the best prices. You want genuine Tersa knives.

    Watch for clones. All of the ones on Ebay are clones, and not worth a crap. They are made in Germany instead of Switzerland, packaged the same way, but the steel is junk. I use M42 grade and find it is worth the little extra.

    You will need to know your knife length in mm to order.

    Later, Larry

  5. #5
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    Ditto what Larry said for making the screen and storms repairable. THey will get broken, damaged, lost, etc, its the nature of their being. I've used those cam fasteners, and they work but you need to mill the holes pretty accurately for it all to go well. We do the rabbit just like in the drawings on that site, I think we made the kerfs with a 2MM slot cutter, which is exactly the same as 5/64" but easier to find because it is the standard kerf for a variety of weather gaskets. It may also make sense to put a small gasket in the rabbit base, like one from Conservation technologies, who also happens to sell the top bearing 2MM slot cutters that make putting those kerfs in very easy. Here is a link if you have trouble finding the slot cutters.

    http://www.conservationtechnology.co...omponents.html

    One thing I did different on the last set of screens was to put a kerf into the bottom of the screen rabbit to accommodate that rubber screen holder stuff they use in aluminum screen storms, this was done IIR after assembly with a PC310 router and a little plunge /swoop to get it started and a bushing guide, thought with a little fore thought it could be done prior to assembly. I think it requires an 1/8" kerf so a standard TS blade would work. This allowed me to tension the screens much easier than I had ever done with staples, its easier to repair going forward, no staples to pull out, and its pretty secure when finished though I certainly still used screen mold and 18ga brads. Speaking of which this is one nice place to use all stainless fasteners, because having tannin bleed running down the front of n otherwise handsome storm door is not that attractive. DAMHIK

  6. #6
    When I built our screen doors I put a rabbit all the way around the opening. Then I too the aluminum channel you buy to make window screens where the screen is held in a groove of the al. with rubber chord and made screens that fit the opening. The rabbit is deep enough so the al. channel fits flush and is held in by small turnable wooden brackets. You could do the same with panes of glass or perhaps lexan. When the screen gets wrecked(like when the dog gets scared by thunder and runs right through the screen) you simply make a new one .

  7. #7
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    I use Conservation Technology's products and will vouch for them. I have always been happy with whatever they delivered.

    Larry

  8. #8
    Rabbet on the inside edge of where the screen will sit in the door, mating rabbet on the outer edge of the screen frame, groove around the perimeter with tablesaw, then use rubber spline material in the grooves to hold the screening to the frame. Pop the frame into the door, the 2 rabbets essentially make a 1/2lap, and then a couple of small brass screws to hold it all in place. Makes for a nice tight screen, easily repairable/replaceable.

    from the outside.jpg

    my "Chippendale" screen door


    Phil

  9. #9
    You can cut a 1/8" wide x 3/16" deep groove around your screen openings with a router and insert the screen with spline material just like they do in aluminum frames. I did that for a screen door I made and it has worked for 10 years.
    Lee Schierer - McKean, PA

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Philly, PA
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    thanks everyone for the valuable suggestions.
    Looks like I will be setting the frames with rabbets, stretching the screening with spline material in groves, and holding both the screen and the glass in place with an easily removable molding.
    Ron

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