Screen door and joinery

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Blog entry by Al posted 05-14-2009 08:37 PM 1328 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi again LJ’s. I recently constructed a screen door. I really enjoyed my first attempt at M&T joinery. The plans call for me to reinforce the joints with hardwood dowels. I am at a point where this is my next step but I’m not sure I want to do this unless it is necessary. I believe I did a good job with the glue coverage and clamping so I’m actually looking for reasons not to peg this door to death. (16 pegs) However, if I need to I will. A little guidance from you always gets me going in the right direction. Thanks for you expertise. Al

-- Al Meriden, Connecticut

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


10210 posts in 2543 days

#1 posted 05-14-2009 08:47 PM

Mortise and Tenon joints are very strong. That said, any door is going to take a lot of twisting and racking. A screen door is pretty much an empty frame and will probably be even more likely to have this happen.

The dowels will go a long way in making sure everything stays together.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

353 posts in 2460 days

#2 posted 05-14-2009 09:51 PM

Lew gives great advice! I think the extra effort will give you a nice look too. Nothing beats the hand-crafted look.

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View a1Jim's profile


113013 posts in 2365 days

#3 posted 05-15-2009 12:55 AM

If the choice is between dowels and M&T no contest go with M&T it might make it easier if you use loose tenons it cuts down on set up and I believe it’s stronger than intergral tenons.

-- Custom furniture

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 2793 days

#4 posted 05-15-2009 12:46 PM

I’d go with galvanized nails with your nail gun. Which are technically miniature steel dowels and much less hassle.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View marcb's profile


762 posts in 2461 days

#5 posted 05-15-2009 03:15 PM

I would peg at least the 4 corners, stiffing those up will limit the stress on the internal parts.

Where did you get the plans from? I’ve been thinking about building one myself.

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