Category: Shoji Blog

The Bug-Screen Door Finished and Installed

The Bug-Screen Door Finished and Installed


Looks nice…but my cat doesn’t like it! I assume she will destroy the beautiful bronzed screen. May have to put in a thin clear acrylic in the lower parts.

I live in a California Style Bungalow and they look great in my home.

Next up for my house is a pair of narrow shoji to replace the French doors in my office.


This door is now available as a kit for $1500. This includes the jambs, finish, hinges, and the screen installed. I can do this for $150 less if you want to finish it your self. The price includes a crate. You pay whatever the shipping is via Pilot Freight. probably around $220-275 to the major cities airports. Home delivery probably about $50-60 more. I can ship this to NYC address for $250 and that is delivered and insured.


Building a Bug-screen Shoji

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.


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.


Portland Artist Anne Crumpacker has me build some shoji…sorta shoji

Anne does some some cool stuff!

11-Back side 10-screen

She had me build these screens to install her work in…literally!

This is made from Basswood. Some folks call it Linden. It has a lot of visual characteristics of Maple but not all the wildness. very lightweight and easy to work with. Looks real dull when in it’s raw state. But when the finish is applied it really has a beautiful warm tone.

I recently built a Basswood base for this piece. No pix of that. I’ll have to take some and update the blog.

Find Anne’s other cool work on her site at:

Media Screen Cover…sort of a Mini Shoji

I was ask to cover up the screen that drops down above the clients fireplace.
This is clear Douglas Fir with an acrylic insert to match the 2 sets of screens in their house.
Right now, I’m building 2 5′ x 6′ picture frames to match also.
The client, who is an excellent painter commissioned me to build these for the huge blank walls in his Great Room. he will be able to interchange his paintings in these frames according to whim.

The Big Picture Frames are Done

The Big Picture Frames are Done


My client now has one 5′ x 6′ frame on either side of his living/great room.

These are hung with the clips I show in the pix below…

We didn’t need the magnets at the bottom after all. They both hung flat against the wall.

Next, I ‘ll post some pix of the frames with the paintings inside of the frames.


01-P1030518       02-P1030520

Here is Steve and Heather’s daughter’s picture in the new frame.