Friday, August 3, 2012

Wood Window Screens

Finally, finally, finally we are finished with the sidelight window screens.  Who would think this would be such a challenging project?  Of course I have found that when trying to do things "as they were done in the past," one can find oneself in one pickle after another.  The first pickle on this particular project was when I got home from picking up my screens from Coppa Woodworking, I found that the front door screen was three inches too short!  My husband couldn't believe I didn't bring a tape measure along to measure them before driving them all the way home, but it just didn't occur to me that they could be wrong.  And all of this is happening in July, so we are sweating it (literally) because with no screens on the front door and sidelights and three cats to keep inside, it can get pretty hot.  So the front door screen is stored in the garage until I could get back up to San Pedro, most likely when I order screens for the windows in the dining room.

That left the sidelight screens to install, so we got right after it, planing them down for an exact fit...
Lots of sanding and then putting on the screen hanging hardware from Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage.  Those cute little new-old-stock hangers that I was so excited about hang from the trim above the screen and on the top of the screen ...  unless, like us, you have a reveal on your trim above the screen, in which case they don't hang at all.  So after pondering this latest problem and with my husband giving me the "why didn't you think of this before you ordered this hardware" look, I came up with the plan to put a small piece of moulding in along the top of the screen below the pesky reveal on the trim and to attach the screen hanger there.  I painted the moulding to match the screen so visually it will all blend and called it good enough.

Then after much priming and painting and more painting, I tackled putting the screening on.  I wanted to use the copper/bronze screening to be period appropriate and was looking forward to finally seeing it after it having been sitting in a box since it got delivered.  Well, it is pretty stuff!
But not so fun to work with, maybe gloves would have been a good idea.  Anyway, I did get it all stretched out pretty flat and stapled on, but I find this screening tends to break pretty easy where stapled and I'm wondering how it will hold up to my cats, especially to little Morticia the little black kitty that likes to climb screens.  So before I do any more screening with the copper screen, we will test these out to see if they are cat-compatible.
And just to show that something as simple as a wood screen can be fraught with difficulties, we found that the screen frames were put together with long screws, which when trying to attach the hanging hardware, happened to be right in the way of the hanging hardware screws.  Ugh.  So my husband had to take out the top screws on the screen frames and use wooden dowels instead - and then finally, I was able to attach the hanging hardware.
So up the screens go with the hook and eye latches installed at the bottom.  Whew, two screens down, 14 more to go : - )

Oh and I also got new house numbers in the Charles Rennie Mackintosh style font from The Craftsman Home Connection.  They call them Glasgow and they are copper.
My husband added spacers so the numbers have a nice stand off of about 3/4" so when the light hits them, they cast a pretty shadow.  Fun!  He used a 3/16" brass tube that he cut with a pipe cutter into little 3/4" lengths.  Then we strung the little spacers on a wire and I painted them the same color as the porch post (sage green).  Next we used a thin nail that was long enough to go through the house numbers, the spacer and into the porch post.  Now all the porch needs is some fresh paint and some flagstones on the flat surfaces, and I need to finish my mosaic to go on the stair risers.  Maybe next weekend I can start on all of that : - )