Monday, July 8, 2013

The Screen Saga...

Sunday, and only one thing left on my week's list of chores: repairing the dreaded bedroom window screen.  Every day I wander past the frame kit, the screening, the tools...and keep right on going.

Though it was excruciatingly hot in the garage by early afternoon, I decided to just do it anyway, though I half hoped the hack saw might not work, giving me a reprieve until a trip to Lowe's on Monday to buy a new one.

I set up the sawhorse, got the tools, and made my first cut...

And the hack saw worked like a dream.  In fact, the easiest part of the whole deal was cutting the frame--the part I was sure would be the worst!

In less than ten minutes...

Next I assembled the pieces....
Well dang. This is too easy, I think...  

...thereby jinxing the project.

I follow the directions on the screening package: Cut screen material one inch larger than frame and pull taut as you run the splining tool in the groove. It's working really well, and I love the tool I got from the guy at Lowe's, and though by the time I get to the fourth side I have barely an overhang of screening to hang on to, I get it done and it's taut enough to bounce a quarter...and wow, why did I procrastinate on this project?

Now at this point it's about 107* in the garage, sweat is pouring down my face, but I'm so happy about having built the frame and screened it, I don't even care.  I pick the frame up off the floor and lean it against the wall...and frown.  Why isn't it straight?  I squint, I turn it upside down, I take it outside, up the steps, onto the deck and try to insert it into the window frame.

It has an hourglass shape.  The top and bottom fit the window, but the middle is concave.

I groan.  The long pieces of the frame are 58"; the metal has a bit of flexibility.  WTF?  Why did the instructions say to make sure the screening was taut?  Of course it would pull the metal inward.

I take the whole bloody thing apart, to no avail because I have already trimmed the screening and once it's taken out, it won't go back in.  I could have screamed in frustration.  Except the heat had sapped whatever energy I had left to shriek.

The end of Sunday's project.

So, this morning, bright and early before the Gates of Hell open for the day, I go back to Lowe's for more screening.  And I have a plan.

I buy a dowel, cut it to fit between the frame to hold the shape, then cut the screening larger than they said on the package so I have wiggle room...

Ta da.  Here it new screen.  (And is it any wonder the birds fly right into my windows?  What a reflection on a sunny afternoon...)

Though it took me two days, and much sweat and aggro, I'm really pleased.  The project is done and it wasn't that hard, though I'd really like to run into that window guy again--the one who gave me the tool that day at Lowe's.  I want to know how you can put the screen material into a long, flexible metal frame and not have it torque. 

Still, the dowel idea worked just fine...necessity being the mother of invention, after all.


  1. Hey all's well that ends well! Awesome job my friend.

  2. Thank you! Feels pretty awesome to have done it... ;D

  3. Good for you!! It's such a great that DIY thing ;-)

    1. Once it's done, it is great, it's getting to that point that's the hard part. ;D

      BTW: Glad you weren't swept away in the Toronto flooding! What a scary thing. Canada seems to be having a series of disastrous events of late, what with Calgary, Quebec and now Toronto. If it's true what they say--that things happen in threes--hopefully this will be the end of it for you guys.