Step 3: Lock the joints with dowels

Inserting dowel
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Drill ¼-inch-diameter holes through the stiles wherever there's a mortise-and-tenon joint. The holes should be ½ inch in from the inside edge of the stile so the bit passes through the tenons.

Apply glue to 11?2-inch-long dowels and tap them into the holes you drilled. Allow the glue to dry overnight before removing the clamps and sanding the dowels flush.

On the front face of the door, glue and nail frame molding inside the screen-opening perimeter with ¾-inch brads.
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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