Is it a good idea to use pressure treated stock to make screen frames
to be used on covered porch? The frames are to be painted with
exterior house paint. I'm wondering if warping will be a problem.
Also, I'm wondering how wide the fame material should be. I will be
using stock that i will mill down to 3/4" thick.
I wouldn't, especially if I was going to mill it down. Not sure the
actual chemical they pressure treat with goes very far beneath the
surface. Plus, what I've seen of pressure treated lumber is very
wet. Probably has a high moisture content and might likely warp/bow/
twist as it dries. I would use a clear pine or something, prime it
with oil base paint and topcoat with a good latex. I would guess 1
1/2 to 2 1/2 inch width for the frames depending on how large they are
on average. For normal sized like 36 x 60 I would use 1 1/2 with one
rail halfway between the upper and lower rails. BTW there is a proper
way to make the rails and stiles but I don't recall offhand which way
it is. Either the upper and lower rails fit between the two verticle
stiles OR they go above and below the vertical stiles. I think its
the former but not sure.
In the old days (before storm/screen aluminum windows and thermo pane) it
was common to make screen frames and storm windows from fir. The oils in the
fir make it last well if it has a good layer of paint over it. Fir is quite
reasonably priced, although not cheap, and available from many lumberyards,
although sadly not from the BORGS. It comes in most of the common lumber
dimensions (2 by ___ and 1 by ____). I recently needed 6 some quarter and
ended up with 1 inch thick finished stair treads, which provided some nice
straight grain wide boards, and all that was required was to rip the round
nose off one edge A few phone calls to the smaller specialty lumber sources
in your area should find all you need.
I would not use presurre treated wood for this, I would use cedar,
cypress or oak.
Prime and paint.
I have section on outdoor wood uses on my web site under outdoor
My wife built some flyscreens out of pressure treated slats
that had been sitting in my closed-in store for several years,
and were straight. No problems there, they haven't warpend in a
couple of years and they aren't even painted (but they're not
really exposed either, since they have the whole verandah in
front of them).
But, like the others said: I wouldn't use pressure treated
straight from the lumber yard/treatment plant. That'll most
likely end up as propeller blades. In the end it'll work out
cheaper to use more expensive material.
firstname dot lastname at gmail fullstop com
From what I understand the new PT material is much safer to use and be
around/less toxic. You do need to use APC rated fasteners with the "new" PT
lumber as the typical hardware will prematurely corrode.
PT will warp as it dries out. You can buy Kiln Dried PT but you ill
most likely have to search for it as better lumber yards. Additionally,
paint does not usually adhere well to wet PT lumber. Kiln dried helps in
this respect also.
There's no benefit. Pressure treated wood is resistant to mold,
fungus, and insects and can be left in contact with moisture for
extended periods of time (20 years in a foundation).
Your screens are in open air and sunlight, and will get wet/dry
with the seasons. Paint or stain will protect against sunlight
and wet/dry cycles, but pressure treatment does nothing
You could use KDAT (Kiln Dried After Treatment) pressure treated but I
much prefer Clear All Heart Vertical Grain Western Red Cedar.
Thos.J.Watson - Cabinetmaker
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