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Suggested wood choice for building a porch screen door ?

782 Views 19 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Knockonit
We have a screened porch that a previous owner had built. The structure and roof were done well but their choice for the screen door was a cheapo PVC thing with plastic spring hinges that can be found at the orange and blue big box stores. We want to replace this door with a screen door hung from barn door hardware so that we have more usable floor space inside the porch or outside on the deck. I can't find any place that stocks a door wide enough for this, so I'm going to build one. My problem at this point is figuring out which wood to use (that I can get).

It's going to be painted. I figured douglas fir would be a good choice, but I can't find anyone around that sells it (central Virginia). I need a wood that will hold up in hot sun, rain, humidity, and occaisional snow. Will clear pine hold up if primed and painted? Any other suggestions suited for outdoors that will sand and take paint easily?

Being hung as a barn door, I don't expect to worry about it sagging. I figure I will just use pocket hole joinery, plug the holes, sand, and paint. I'll also be installing a doggie door in a lower panel.
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My screen doors are Cypress.
I build them with Mortise and Tenons; the pair on the front porch are about 10-12 years old. 36” wide with an Astragal between ‘em.
They’re 1-1/2” thick rails and stiles, natural (shellac) and are hit by the Florida sun and rain.
The side porch is a single door, 1-3/8” thick built similarly.
The only maintenance they get are occasional pressure washing and screen replacements from animal damage.

WRT the screens, I routed a 1/8” groove around the rebate for the screens. I install the screen with a rubber spline and screen roller. The rebate is 3/4” wide and 1/4” deep. I make the trim and miter it into the rebates with 45’s, and pin with 7/8” finish nails—they’re easy to remove when necessary.
I cut the screens with a fresh box knife after the trim is installed—it makes for a perfectly clean look.
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