Overview

Diagram: screen door
Illustrations: Gregory Nemec
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Wood screen door kits aren't difficult to assemble, will save you a few bucks over buying a completed door, and provide a very practical, period complement to your home. The kit contains everything you need for the door itself: mortised-and-tenoned rails and stiles, screen-frame inserts and trim, and decorative brackets. The kit does not include glue, screening, spline, hinges, and latchsets—some of which may be available from the same company that sells the kit.
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    Tools List

    • bar clamps
      Pipe or bar clamps,
      for assembling door; you’ll need six, each longer than door is wide
    • roller spline
      Spline roller,
      to install rubber spline that holds screen taut
    • utility knife
      Utility knife,
      for trimming excess screen
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • Drill bit
      1/4-inch-diameter drill bit,
      for boring dowel holes
    • spade bit
      9/16-inch spade bit,
      for drilling latchset spindle hole
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Phillips-head screwdriver
    • chisel
      Sharp chisel,
      to trim tenons, if necessary, to fit into mortises
    • hand plane
      Hand plane,
      to trim door to fit opening
    • hammer
      Hammer

    Shopping List

    1. SCREEN DOOR KIT

    comes in standard widths - 32, 34, and 36 inches - but custom sizes are also available



    2. HINGES

    three spring-loaded, surface-mounted types



    3. LATCHSET

    surface-mounted type made for screen doors



    4. WOOD SHIMS

    to hold door in the opening while installing hardware



    5. EXTERIOR-GRADE WOOD GLUE

    6. FIBERGLASS INSECT SCREEN

    piece 36 inches by 7 feet is enough for most doors



    7. RUBBER SPLINE

    8. SANDPAPER

    120-grit to sand dowels flush; finer grits to prepare door for finishing



    9. 3/4-INCH-LONG BRADS

    for attaching the frame molding



    10. EXTERIOR-GRADE PAINT, STAIN, AND/OR VARNISH

    polyurethane or marine spar varnish