Cypress Screen Door w/ Mortise & Tenon Drawbore Joints, plus Sketchup Model

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Project by vrice posted 07-16-2012 01:24 AM 6033 views 11 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a patio screen door I just completed construction on. I used cypress from the same load I have used to make a morris chair and and end table. This thing is 1 1/8” thick and solid as a rock, with the drawbore joinery. I got the idea for this from This is the first time I have used drawbore joints. I was really impressed with the resulting tightness and fit of the joints. SOLID.
I used a roll of aluminum screen I’ve had laying around for years. It was a bit “bumpy” and was difficult to pull tight enough to remove the unevenness. I may well replace before I hang the door. Replacing the screen is quite simple. Just remove the molding, via the screws, remove the staples holding the screen and mount new screen.
As you can probably tell I have not applied finish yet. I plan on using the wiping varnish approach that I’ve used on the other cypress pieces I have done. But in this case I am debating whether to get more Spar Urethane or go with some Waterlox Original Marine Tung Oil Finish. According to what I have read this finish is much easier to renew than the Spar Urethane. Mainly you should only need to lightly sand and apply new coats. The Spar Urethane, I am led to believe, requires getting back down to the wood so the new coats will bound. I’d be most curious to hear any experience/opinions/advice on this topic.
I did find some excellent hinges for this thing at House of Antique Hardware.
I’m looking forward to getting this finished and hung.
You can find a Sketchup model here.

Finally got this thing finished and hung. I’ve added a couple of pics. One shows the setup I used for finishing this door. Got the germ for this idea from something I saw in one of Alan Little’s (Woodman) videos. Drilled a 3/8” hole in each end of the door and inserted a walnut dowel. Mounted a block, with a matching hole, on each dowel and clamped the blocks clamped to tables. With this door now spinning in this setup applying the finish was a snap.

-- Vic Rice

6 comments so far

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4053 days

#1 posted 07-16-2012 01:29 AM

Very nicely done, I have to maker one of these in the very near future. Made one before, the best part was attaching the screen

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View oldreddog's profile


165 posts in 3383 days

#2 posted 07-16-2012 02:01 AM

I need to build one ( hope as nice as yours) for my shop. Very nice job. Thanks for sharing.

-- oldreddog

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4722 days

#3 posted 07-16-2012 02:28 AM

Nice Cypress Door.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3740 days

#4 posted 07-17-2012 01:38 AM

I’m pretty sure that is the fanciest built screen door in captivity. Great job! The Spar is no fun to redo as it involves LOTS of sanding and sandpaper clogging.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View vrice's profile


101 posts in 3741 days

#5 posted 07-22-2012 09:17 PM

Thanks gfadvm. I finally decided to use the Spar Urethan since I had an almost new can of the stuff. Finish looks great. I just worry a bit about a painful renewal of the finish in the future. Oh well.

-- Vic Rice

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3740 days

#6 posted 07-23-2012 12:47 AM

I think if you stay ahead of the weathering (recoat before cracks/peeling start) you may be able to avoid stripping/refinishing.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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