Easy-to-Make Dog Screen
Using stock lumber and screening purchased from your local hardware store, you can easily make your own pet screen. You'll be able to see your dogs through the screen, but it will keep them from getting into the room.
- Tape measure
- 8 pieces 1/2-inch-thick-by-3-inch-wide clear-pine boards
- Medium-grade sandpaper
- Oil-based paint
- Carpenter's square
- Wood glue
- Wood joiners
- Bronze screening
- Wire cutters
- Staple gun
- Drill and countersink drill bit
- 3/4-inch flathead wood screws
- Phillips head screwdriver
- E-Z glide strips
Measure the inside of the doorframe; just slightly less than that measurement will be the width of your frame. The frame should fit snugly, so measure carefully. The frame should be tall enough to keep dogs from jumping over, but not so tall that it's a chore to move the screen aside or store it away. Cut the first four pieces of wood as follows: Two pieces to equal the width of the doorframe, and two to equal the height you want the frame to be.
Set a widthwise board in a miterbox, and cut the board at a 45-degree angle; after making the first cut, repeat at the other end, but not until you've readjusted the miter box to cut 45 degrees in the opposite direction, which will ensure that the angles at each end are mirror images of each other. Repeat with the second widthwise board. Repeat the process with the two boards that will be vertical sides of the screen.
Cut four more pieces of clear-pine board, which will be the back of the frame, in this manner: Two boards to equal the width of the screen; and two boards to equal the height of the screen, subtracting 5 inches from each. Subtract 5 inches from the vertical boards because you want them to fit inside the widthwise, horizontal boards; since the wood is actually 2 1/2 inches wide, not 3 inches wide, you subtract 5 inches from the measurement. Don't use the miterbox for these boards.
Sand each board, and paint them with an oil-based paint. Let the boards dry overnight.
Using a carpenter's square, align the four mitered boards to form the outline of your screen, either a square or rectangular shape. Join the four corners with wood glue, then fasten the corners at the joints with wood joiners, which are like long staples with sharp tacks in them. Press them into the wood, then hammer them in place.
Measure and cut the screening to dimensions slightly smaller than the now-joined frame. Lay the screen over the inside of the frame, and secure it temporarily with pushpins, which will keep the screen taut. Staple the screen into place with a staple gun.
Lay the straight-cut wood over the horizontal and vertical lengths that have already been joined. Then, using a countersink drill bit, drill pilot holes in the back side of the frame at intervals of several inches, being sure to drill holes near the ends of the second set of boards. Screw 3/4-inch flathead wood screws into the boards; flathead screws will be flush with the surface of the frame.
As a final step, add E-Z Glide strips to the bottom and sides of the frame. They will help the gate stay in place without damaging the millwork around the entryway.