Homemade Screen Door: (Sunshine In, Flies Out)

Introduction: Homemade Screen Door: (Sunshine In, Flies Out)

About: Arduino and Othermill enthusiast.

Every time I open my kitchen door to let the (rare)  San Francisco sun into my kitchen, along come ten million flies.  Enough, I said!  :)

There are commercial screen doors like this one that keeps flies from coming inside.  But I had a dowel left over from a previous beer holder project so when I saw the screen at Home Depot for $6.99 I decided to make this screen myself.

I’m super excited about my new door screen - it’s just in time for San Francisco’s warm October days!

And..... I made it at SF Techshop!

Screen (Home Depot or a store like that will have a variety of types and sizes)
Dowel (Doesn't matter what diameter, but mine was 1/2".  Make sure it's long enough to fit the width of your door frame.)

Glue Gun
Staple Gun
Box Cutter (or another blade)
Circular Saw (or a hand saw)
Ruler and Pencil


Step 1: Cut the Dowel to Length

1. Measure the width of your door
2. Measure that distance on your dowel, mark it with a pencil
3. On the circular saw, before the blade is on, line up the blade on the outside of the pencil marking. You should cut on the outside to compensate for the width of the blade.
4. Cut the wood

Step 2: The Screen

I bought this screen at Home Depot for $6.99.  They have lots of options in terms of height and width, so go in with the measurements you require so you can buy the right one.

Step 3: Temporary Attachment With Staple

First step was to temporarily attach the net to the dowel, so that I had a way to stabilize while I cut the screen down to the correct size and super glued the screen permanently to the dowel.

Techshop has some staple guns available (or maybe they're called something else....?), so I put three stapes in (one the end and in the middle, to just stabilize the net.  The staples do not go deep enough into the wood to be a permanent attachment, however, it did the trick to hold it in place.

(Note:  It's hit or miss when you see what staples they have available.  I just happened to find ones that fit in a leftover bin.  But to be safe, bring your own.)

Step 4: Glue Glue Glue

Glue the screen to the wood.

(In case you're wondering, the glue stays hot for a while so don't be stupid like me and touch it right away.)

(There happened to be glue still in the glue gun, but don't always count on it being there. Any craft store will have refills of glue)

Step 5: Cut the Screen to Size

I knew my door's dimensions were 31.5" x 79", so I measured that out on the screen.

At first I was trying to use 90 degree tools to make sure I cut the screen at the correct angle and along a straight line. 

Techshop has several hand tools that help you find a 90 degree angle, so I started using that as a guide.

However, the cool thing about this fiberglass netting is that it's in a grid, and once you start cutting down you basically can just keep your blade in the same column and go all the way down.  So I was able to make a straight line for 79" without any guide.  Just a little mental focus!

Step 6: This Is the Screen Hanging in My Fire Escape Door

Wedge the dowel into your door frame.  I used a little piece of aluminum foil to make the fit more snug.  Sugru would be a more permanent option.  

In the first picture you can see the finished product hanging in the door frame.  It's (obviously) hard to see the screen itself.....

Today I have the door open to let the sun in and there are no flies in my kitchen.  My dog is very happy with this project.  Mission accomplished!!!!

And, I made it at San Francisco Techshop!!!!!!

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