Building a Bug-screen Shoji

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 | 0 comments

When the flies started invading my house, I decided to take action!

I built a shoji of Western Red Alder, (Alnus Rubra) which is my favorite wood. I finished it with a Urethane varnish, also called polyurethane, as it offers a better resistance to heat, solvents and abrasions than any other varnish.

Finishing the wood is a major problem for woodworkers. They can do perfect work with the design, assembly and sanding…then mess it all up applying a finish. I ‘ve tried them all. I’ve bought an expensive spray gun and loads of materials to run therough it with varying success.

On this project I opted for a brush as traditionally that’s how varnish is applied. And, all in all it was successful. But next time I’ll spray it…or better yet, have the finisher I use regularly; spray it in his spray booth. BTW- I use STAN HANSON CUSTOM FINISHING right here in Portland. These guys are great and always are helpful to me.

Here is what the door looks like with no screen 01-P1030671

The Koshi-ita panel is traditional. Here it also functions as it would in Japan with a paper in it…the panel protects the bottom edge of the door and the roof overhang protects the upper part. it also keeps people from putting a foot or knee through the screen.

I bought my bronzed screen at my favorite Hardware store here in Portland; WINK’S HARDWARE. It’s not cheap; about $6.00 a running foot for 30″ wide screen. I could have used black too but the bronze is about the same color as the wood, so I went with that.

04-P1030668 05-P1030667

This is really hard to cut and have the piece be square. The kumiko is only 3/8″ x 3/8″.

I stapled it into the kumiko with 5/16″ staples and put on the other kumiko grid which I screwed on with tiny screws. This is so it can be replaced easily. I considered a storm window too but that was getting complicated and I needed a screen door quickly.

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And here’s what it looks like. I have made some jambs that will be surface mounted on the exterior casing. This screen will be hinged. Need to figure out how to make it close it’s-self without slamming.

03-P1030673 Can’t really see the bronze screen in this photo. Hopefully I’ll get it installed by tomorrow and post a pic of that.

I will be selling these in this kumiko design and in the traditional horizontal rectangle design in standard sizes. 30″, 32″ 34″ 36″ by 80″ tall.

They will be of Alder with a sprayed on Poly-Varnish. Will have the typical koshi-ita panel at door bottom

cost for 30″ and 32″ x 80″ door only: Unfinished $950

cost for 32″, 34″ and 36″ screen door is $1040

I can do these in clear Fir for $120 extra.

add $30 for finish and $150 for a crate if shipped. Shipping is extra.