I like northern Michigan too, especially in the summer time! I must have
been about 12 when my dad fixed our patio door so it wouldn't close like
that anymore (with a standard "air pressure stabilizer"--I'm not sure of the
right terminology). I am reliving the relief as I sit here (how many loud
"WHAK's" do you need to hear?) We were instructed to close it gently, but
you know how other kids are. Good luck with your door!
The pine screen door on the house I grew up in is over 100 years old far
as I know. My brother still lives in the house and the screen door is
exactly as it was when I was born 63 years ago. It always made the
"whack" you speak of, the result of a long spring closer. If the wood
is not getting wet and not in the sun, about any wood will last forever.
I could take a picture of it if you like, it is a rather nice, old
fashion screen door.
The door was green but I noticed my brother painted it white, probably
20 - 30 years ago...
Pine is an excellent wood for weather as well, much better than oak. It
is less durable though, so it should "wear" quite nicely:-)
I'd suggest sturdy building methods if you want it to "whack" and last.
Half lap joints or deep tongue mortise joints would be my choice. I
think this one has mortise and tenon joints if I had to guess.
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Pine is not Pine you might say.
If it was SYP or some old growth type pine that is a very different
animal than the "white" pine you will get a Lowes or HD, likely
Ponderosa on the west coast. Much softer and knottier. You can upgrade
into Eastern Slope (of the Sierra) Lodgepole (ESL) and you'll have
smaller knots and a little more hardness but lots of the fast growth
Pine today won't stand up like what our grand dads could get.
I live in N.C. and I can tell you that you don't
want a SYP screen door. I have seen it tried and
it won't work for very long.
Douglas Fir remains the king of screen doors in
After many years of screwing around with screen
doors, my next one is probably gonna be a nice
Wood is fine but fiberglass is the finest material
for exterior doors.
It don't rot,twist,warp,bow or lose it's finish
in a very brief period of time.
I haven't seen a fiberglass screen door, but i would
jump all over that if available.
Lots of people seem to look down on Pine but it is one of my favorite
woods. I have never had a chance to work with SYP but have always
heard it is nice stuff. I agree an exterior thin frame hanging from
one side on hinges of any wood is going to have challenges. I suppose
White Oak (as someone else mentioned (my absolute favorite wood) ) or
maybe Mahogany would hold up better in the elements.
Eastern white pine is the traditional window frame/door material. Ages
ago, it wasn't hard at all to find it in large sizes essentially clear;
now it is still available but pricey and a very sizable fraction goes to
the commercial window people such as Andersen et al. and is never on the
SYP is a mixed bag; as someone else noted, early growth in it is
probably the most notably different in characteristics from most of what
one obtains today as any wood I know. Most now is produced on managed
tracts and grows at a much faster rate than did the specimens from the
virgin pine woods. Consequently, it tended to have a much more closely
spaced growth rings and so the amount of soft wood between the harder
rings was much reduced. It works easily enough when fresh but the
resins tend to really harden and it is much harder and less amenable to
handwork if old. It tends to produce splinters if grain is not parallel
to edges similar to fir. A splinter that starts is almost impossible to
prevent from continuing to separate.
It would need to be some sort of
frame surrounded by glass.
I suspect with all that slamming,
glass might not be a good choice.
I have seen a composite door made by
"Screen Tight" but they are kinda ugly.
I just noticed that they also sell a
solid wood door.
and a pressure treated model.
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