Step 2: Clamp the door frame

Clamping
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Use 4-foot-long pipe or bar clamps to draw the parts together horizontally. To prevent bowing, put some clamps on the front face and some on the back face of the door.

Working quickly before the glue sets, check the door for square by measuring diagonally from corner to corner in both directions. Loosen the clamps, rack the frame until the measurements are equal, then reclamp. Wipe off excess glue with a damp rag.

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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