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80 yr. old wooden screen door, screen replacement

80 yr. old wooden screen door, screen replacement

Old 10-19-04, 11:56 AM
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80 yr. old wooden screen door, screen replacement

I've taken the screws, which I'm assuming hold the front and back of the frame together, out of my 80 yr old wooden screen door, but I think the paint is still holding it together. Does anyone know how these wooden screen doors were put together? I don't want to force anything that shouldn't be forced.
Old 10-20-04, 05:00 AM
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Location: Arlington, WA
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Welcome to DoItYourself.com and the Door and Window forum.

The challenge is to figure out how the screen is held in place. If it's not splined in, then there is possibly a perimeter retainer around it. I DOUBT that you have to tear the entire frame apart just to replace the screen. (But then, I can't SEE it, so that is just a guess on my part!!)
Old 10-20-04, 06:19 AM
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Hello Tshat: From my experiences seeing several of these great old doors pass through my ornamental and architectural salvage yards I have to say that many of these old screen doors are masterpieces of fine craftsmanship. Once stripped of all the layer upon layer of old paint, one often finds unbelievably precise mortise and tenon joinery with absolutley no typical nail or screw mechanical fastenings ... works of art!! Unfortunatley decades of exposure to weather, or in your case, layers of paint often make repairs and refinshing a big headache. I may be wrong, but because of; a) the age and longevity of the door, and b) the screws you found and removed, it *sounds* to me that your door was mass produced or commercially made in a factory or mill ... not hand crafted, which was still very popular in that era; and I believe that you should be able to disassemble it by just removing the screws. That paint probably is the culprit; and you might be able to break it's tough bond along the joint with a razor knife or untility blade, but another more serious problem may be from prior repairs where someone may have carelessly, without thinking or caring, glued, caulked, epoxied, super glued etc etc you name it the pieces together. It may never come apart without some damage. Many beautiful old and vintage doors and other building components are rendered useless by bad haphazard careless repairs. Take your time and be carefull. Good luck! Czar
Old 10-27-04, 12:23 PM
Screen King
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Old Screen Door

Dear Tshat;

I have fixed a lot of old wooden screen doors and screen porches, although I don't think I've done one that's eighty years old yet. That's quite a find you have there !

Usually these doors have a pocket milled into them and the screen cloth, often steel or copper screening, is stapled in place in the pocket. Wooden strips are then nailed in place with finishing nails to conceal all the stapling on the edges.

Salvage Czar was right on about the epoxy and other odd repair materials that you might find in an old door. Over time previous owners may have done all sorts of strange things to repair the door.

Pull out all the wooden strips to reveal the old screening and then pull out the old cloth, making sure you get rid of all old staples, screws and nails that are in the way. Then have your local glass shop make an aluminum screen frame to fit in the pocket. Fasten it in place with screws. This will allow you to enjoy the door and have a screen that wont be hard to repair in the future when the dog jumps throught it!

Hope this helps

Adrian Dunevein

Last edited by twelvepole; 10-31-04 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Posted website link in signature
Old 10-30-04, 11:12 AM
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Will give it a go!

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm pretty sure it's not splined in, but I'm going to see what I can do with a utility knife, and I'll let you know how it goes. It might have one of those metal corner pieces that's holding it in.

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