How to make wooden window screens

dustynightAugust 8, 2007

I have a home built in 1915 that came with missing storm windows and window screens. Some of the windows have a small raised piece of wood attached to the strip of wood that keeps the inside casement window in place. I was told by a lumber store that the strip was used as a track for wooden window screens, which means the window screen would fit right next to the window sill.

Does anyone know more about this AND/OR would have info as to how I can make my own window screens?

If I make my own, 1) how or where should they fit in the window and 2) should it be a full or half window screen?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Are your windows sliding sash type? Do they slide up/down, or do they pivot open/close, using a hinge mechanism? I have made many replacement screens for our windows, double hung sash type. The screens are full, they extend from the sill up to the header, or top of the window frame.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They are the wooden double hung windows.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 12:17AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you email me at, I can send you back a .pdf with storm window instructions.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2007 at 10:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the info and the website. I see where the instructions also can be used to make screens.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2007 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have big windows.we had storms and screens made for all our restored windows.Ours are only covering bottom half of window.You sit screen on and it over laps at the lip on window.It has 2 pins you pull out and they snap in a hole on window trim.Holds them snug.You have to open from inside.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 7:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Screen making file was accidentally deleted. Sorry. Don't have it to email any longer.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here are some instructions that I collected over the last few years. I never used them as I had mine made but they may be helpful



Once you take your measurements for the overall size of the screen frame, cut the frame pieces to length. I'd use 3/4" wide X 1/2" thick stock. Then cut a 1/4" wide by 5/16" deep groove (rabbit) on the inside edge on a router table. Assemble the frame with glue and finish nails. Then measure the inside, including the rabbit groove. Cut your screen material so that the edges fit inside the rabbit joint. Then cut some 1/4" thick 1/4 round molding to fit the inside of the frame and attach it with small brad nails. This will sandwich the screen material in the frame. Then just mask the screen, paint the frames, and hang them. This is a very simple screen, nothing fancy. When I was a kid my Grandfather made replacement screens like this whenever one would break


To make your own wood screens isn't too difficult but you do need some basic carpentry skills, or like a lot of us you will learn them as you go. First problem is obtaining the correct thickness materials for the frames so they match the existing and/or give you the correct look. The existing screens are probably close to 7/8 to 1 inch thick. The most common stock available at a reasonable cost is only 3/4 inch thick. The extra thickness makes it easier to join together and big difference in the overall strength of the frame. Then you have the widths of the pieces. The sides and top are probably 1-3/4 to 2 inches wide. The bottom that is cut at an angle to match the sill is probably around 3-1/2 to 4 inches wide. To get the matching materials it will cost more, and if don't have access to a table saw will need to have it cut to size. You can make the frame out of 3/4 inch thick stock but I found they were too flimsy on my larger double hung windows.

I was taught to make them using a lay out table made out of 1/2 to 3/4 inch plywood that is braced on the bottom with 2 x 4's to keep the top true & flat. This is important. Your table/bench must be a flat surface otherwise your frames will not come out flat. The lay out table is a bit larger than the largest frame to be made. I place the table on saw horses. To join the four corners together I now use the BeadLOCK loose tenon joinery system. It's very strong and you don't need the tools or skills required to do traditional tenon joinery. All you need is a good hand drill and drill bit. The instructions are easy to follow. On the lay out table I screw down two boards in an "L" that are at a true 90 degree. Those are the two boards you clamp the screen bottom and one side to. If those two are square the other two will follow.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 1915 cottage with outward opening casement windows. There are aluminum storm windows on the outside of these casements. I'll need to remove the storms in order to open the windows but there are no screens for the inside of these windows. There are narrow vertical pieces of wood on both sides of each interior window frame that appear to be tracks for screens and possible storms. I don't know if these were to accommodate a single screen per window or a two piece screen. Does anyone know what type of screens would have been used, how I can make them, or where I can buy them? Thank you. Nana

    Bookmark   March 31, 2009 at 3:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nanascottage -- you'd need roller screens. They're attached at the top on the inside and you pull them down, along the tracks that you see, and then fasten at the bottom. I think the biggest maker is Pella. I have a bunch of old ones in my house (it's nice to find a fellow casement owner!); let me know if you want me to e-mail you some pictures.

However, I don't think they're so great, and I'm always looking for another way. They don't seem very bug-tight, and the pulling mechanisms and tracks and fastening never seem to work very smoothly, although that could just be because they haven't been repaired in 80 years. I've even considered rehinging my windows to open inward so that I can hang normal exterior screens! I've also heard of people installing inward-opening casement screens, so they would be like the opposite of your windows.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 11:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

my house has what appears to be the original screens. Our windows are about 7' tall, double-hung. The screen is the same size as the bottom pane of the window. These windows have a pretty bead running the full length of the window on one side, and only the bottom half on the other side. To install, I align the screen with the bead on the top, and then slide it down, catching the second bead on the way. Then the screen can be lifted up and down so I can adjust the window.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 8:28PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Told we had a slate roof--turns out...'s asbestos. We bought our lovely, grand 1910...
Strip flooring with unusual cross section
(Cross posted from Flooring forum) I'm renovating a...
Foundation problem?
Hi all, this is a 1950s cape and every winter when...
Are colored appliances going to come back?
I hope so. I have a stainless steel stove (front only)...
Anyone know what this is?????
Does anyone on the forum know what this is? Found it...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™