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DIY Wood Window Screen Frame

May 10, 2016 by Scott - Saws on Skates

Hey there friends! Spring is in the air… I’m ready to open my windows and let some of that fresh air in. The trouble is I need a new wood window screen for my bathroom. Do you have broken or missing wood window screen? No worries, because today I’m going to show you how to make a DIY wood window screen frame, so you can let some fresh air into your home!

diy wood window completed

For your convenience this post contains affiliate links to products or tools I used to complete this project. Click here to visit my site policies.

Last year I took on a big project, the restoration of my bathroom window. Oh, if you’re not familiar with my little 1850’s broken back saltbox house, you can read more about it here. The bathroom window was completely removed, the frame was completely rebuilt and the window was reinstalled. The issue is the new frame was a slightly different size than the original, so my old wood window screen no longer fit. Check out the old window frame… it was in bad shape and this is all that was left of it!

bathroom window sticks sos

I built the wood window screens for the rest of the house, so I knew this was an easy project. Although there is a twist to this project. We’ll use a tool that we haven’t used yet on Saws on Skates yet. We’ll use a plate joiner. The plate joiner cuts a half moon shaped slot like this…

diy wood window slot cut

The slot is filled with glue, a biscuit is inserted and joins the two pieces of wood together.

diy wood window biscuit installed

Then we’ll use a router equipped with a fence and a straight cutting bit to cut a dado, or groove to accept the spline that will hold the screen in place.

diy wood window router bit

These wood window screen frames are easy to make and perfect for those of us with antique style homes. Let’s get building, so we can let the fresh air in and keep those pesky bugs out!

DIY Wood Window Screen Frame Plan

Printed Plan
Click here to download a pdf of the DIY Wood Window Screen Frame plan

1×3 -12′
1×4 – 2′
#10 Plate Joiner Biscuits
#20 Plate Joiner Biscuits
Elmer’s Wood Glue Max, Interior/Exterior

Tape measure
Miter saw
Plate joiner
Router with fence
1/8″ straight router bit
Kreg Multi-Mark
Purdy Cub Paint Brush

Note: Adjust dimensions to fit your window.

diy wood window dimensions

Step 1. Cut the Stiles. Cut 2 pieces of 1×3 to 48″.

Step 2. Cut the Rails. Cut 2 pieces of 1×3 and 1 piece of 1×4 to 22-3/4″.

Step 3. Cut the Biscuit Joints. Layout the pieces. Use the Kreg Multi-Mark to locate the centers of the rails.

diy wood window screen locate rail centers

Transfer those marks to the stiles and label each joint. I set the plate joiner for #10 biscuits for the 1×3 joints and #20 for the 1×4 joints and cut the joints.

diy wood window transfer marks to stiles

Step 4. Assemble the Frame. Layout the pieces and test fit biscuits in all of the joints. Recut any joints if necessary. Apply glue to all of the joints, insert biscuits, clamp and check for square.

diy wood window frame clamped

Step 5. Layout Dado for the Spline. Using the Kreg Multi-Mark measure 3/8″ from the inside edge of the frame and make a mark. Then measure 1/8″ from that mark – this is the area where the dado will be cut for the spline. These marks will establish the corners, so we’ll know where to end the cut.

diy wood window dado location

Step 6. Cut the Dado. Using the Kreg Multi-Mark set the bit depth to 1/4″.

diy wood window setting depth of bit

Using the layout lines drawn in Step 5 set the router fence, so it will cut within the layout lines. My recommendation is to start with the sides and top first as they are the same width. Starting in the corner, plunge the router bit into the layout line and work towards the opposite corner. Stop the router when you get to the mark on the opposite corner, remove the router, reposition on the next side and repeat for the remaining sides. For the bottom, adjust the fence to the proper depth and finish cutting the dado.

diy wood window cutting dado

An easy way to remove the sawdust from the dado is with a shop vac.

diy wood window cleaning dado

Step 7. Paint or Stain the Frame. I enjoy painting, but my carpal tunnel wrist feels otherwise. I love the lightweight Purdy Cub Paint Brush because it’s much easier on my wrist than a full size brush, it’s easy to control and gives a quality finish.

diy wood window painting frame

Step 8. Install the Screen. Click here for my How to Replace a Window Screen tutorial.

diy how to make a wood window screen final

Before you go…

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And please work safely. EVERY TIME!

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