Friday, May 18, 2007

Open and Shut Cases

I am flying along getting ready for the house tour. Last night Pete and I put up the rear screen door. He did a great job of biscuit joining a piece to the bottom to make it fit. Here is the door from the inside:

OK, it's not well lit and the storm is very dirty. How about a view from outside:

We salvaged this door, along with 10 others from a bungalow in Cedar Rapids, that had a sunroom addition built in maybe the 50's. They built by putting wooden screen doors side by side and had batens between them to build a paneled wall. The owners must have switched storms and screens for summer and winter. You will see the varnish doesn't cover to the edges, and the bottom was covered by another piece of trim, then there's our 4 inches of additional material. I think I'll probably clean it all up and revarnish it after this weekend. My major problem is that NONE of the screens we have fit the turnbuckle locations in the door, of course I didn't discover this until after we added material at the bottom and had it in place. It's not that serious a problem, I just need to route a small channel along the sides so the catch will fit in and hold the screen in place.

I was bummed that I couldn't re-use my grandparents old door, but I did the next best thing and salvaged the self closing hinges and the latch. You can see the hinges above, and here is a close up of the latch:

Since the door had never been used as a door, I lined the latch up with the existing catch in the door jamb and installed. The picture above shows where the varnish stops and how batens covered the edges of each door.

Here is the new front storm door, again bad lighting from the inside:

And from the porch:

And nearly ready to install after getting a final coat of paint this morning is the brand spanking new screen built by my millwork expert, Mr. Miller:

At $90.00 the insert is more than 10 times the price of the door ($8.00).

As StuccoHouse remarked in a conversation this week, "There is nothing like the sound of a screen door."

Case (and door) closed.


StuccoHouse said...

Oooh...they look SO nice.

I wish I had a Mr. Miller near me....I still need to find someone to make a screen insert for my door. I'm thinking I also need to find a friend like Pete who can come over and biscuit join stuff for me.

Mike said...

Well here's what's sad:

Charlie (Mr. Miller) is in his late 60's. When Hawkeye Lumber closed last year he lost his local stock supplier. Now the major supplier he used from Des Moines (100 miles away) got bought by Jeld Wen and they closed the Des Moines yard. Nearest suppliers are Sioux Falls SD (6 hours) and Kansas City MO (5 hours) think they'll make a delivery to Charlie? He said he's seriously thinking about hanging it up because he can't get wood economically. There is one other skilled millwork person locally (a friend of mine also) but that's it. Warren (the other guy) and Charlie have a gentlemen's agreement that generally Warren will do doors and Charlie windows, so that each can be steady without being overloaded. Guess what will happen to schedules when Charlie retires?