A year ago I built myself two wooden screen doors to replace some rickety old metal ones on my house. After a year of the kids pushing on the screen to get out and our crashing into the door with our arms full of who knows what, the cheap metal screen on the main door had begun to part company with the door. Part of the problem was my skimping on fasteners the first time around. I had merely stapled the screen all the way around, and then added a couple battens around the outside when the screening started to pull away from the staples.
This weekend I bought some pet screen, which is pretty resistant to tearing and puncturing in my experience. I removed the old screen and all the old staples. Unlike a lot of wooden screen doors, this door is not rabbeted or grooved on the inside, so the screen had to be attached to the back of the door. I folded the screen under all the way around, and stapled it to death.
The final touch was extra battens all the way around. They are merely nailed on, and they won’t actually do much to hold the screen on, but they will prevent the edges from getting damaged.
I ripped the battens off the edges of some 3/4″ pine scrap I had lying around. It was nearly as quick to do it with my Disston 12 rip saw as it would have been to rig up my band saw fence, since I would have had to stop to plane down the edge before each cut. It’s easier to plane down the edge (which will become the face) of a wider board, and then rip the planed edge off, than it would be to try to plane down thin battens.
The battens also make the door a little heavier. It wasn’t heavy to begin with, being made from 3/4″ pine. But the battens add just enough weight that our 8-week old kitten can’t push the door open anymore.
We’ll see how long this lasts…