Make a Cheap Custom Homemade Screen Door for Your Porch

Homemade Wood Screen Door

Zoom in to see layout of screen door

I built this cheap diy screen door in a couple of hours.  We couldn’t  find one at Home Depot to fit our front doorway, so I busted this out.  My girlfriend painted it BRIGHT RED. Total cost was about 30 bucks, so it ended up being a very cost-effective way to get some air circulating through the house in warmer months.

Here is what you need to do. Depending on the measurements of the door opening (especially if it’s an old house), it might be anywhere from 2’6″ – 3’6″ wide by 6’6″ – 7′ tall.  Grab 1×3 furring strips and lay them out in the dimensions of the actual door opening measurements.  Remember, you will be making two OPPOSING layers of wood, so the thickness will be more like 1 1/2″ thickness than 3/4″ thickness.

Then, on the opposite side of that roughly laid-out door, you position a second layer of 1×3 boards so they all hold together with screws and glue (this means you reverse the layout of the wood so it creates alternating lap joints).  See the illustration of lap joints.

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You can also zoom in on the door photo above to see how it was laid out.  The trick is in having TWO LAYERS sandwiched together with alternating corners all around.

alternating layers for screen door

layers alternate to form lap joints

Where the screen will go, you just roll out some window screen material from the hardware store flat, and sandwich it tightly between the two upper layers of the door frame.  DIY Cheap Wooden Red Screen Door The bottom wood panel is 1/8″ luan plywood, and is similarly sandwiched between the layers, too.

You might want to take some wood putty and fill up the screw holes, too.

Make sure to paint the screen door with house paint that’ll hold up to outside elements!

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Race Car Bed: Here is a Jeff Gordon Bed I Built

Nascar-flames-bed

Here is the finished product. I sent this to a customer down in San Francisco

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Here is the first painting step before I airbrushed the details onto this Jeff Gordon

A few years back, I was building beds in my spare time (HA!  what’s spare time?), and I had a customer ask me to build him a race car twin bed for his son, Talon.  He wanted a Jeff Gordon Nascar style bed–the one with the flames on the side, not the rainbow colored style.

 

Well, here are some of the only remaining photos I could find of it.

I based it off my original Earnhardt Jr. race car design, and just basically changed the paint job.  This one ended up being my favorite of the two.

It assembles in minutes, and I had to charge an extra $200 to ship it!

It weighed closed to 80 pounds and beds are very difficult for a one-man show to sell because of how large and unwieldy they can be.

Jeff Gordon Nascar race car bed

Here is the left side of a theme race car bed based on Jeff Gordon’s Nascar

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How to Build a Homemade Nascar-Themed Race Car Bed for Toddlers

photo of race car bed

I first primed each side of the bed with a white primer paint, then added a red water-based enamel paint as a base for the airbrushed details

Back in 2002, I built my oldest son, Matthew, a blue race car bed for his “big boy”  2 year birthday. I didn’t want to buy him one of those plastic Little Tikes beds–they have this mass-produced soulless look to them, in my opinion. I was pretty sure I could learn how to build a homemade racing themed bed for him with my own skills at woodworking and airbrush painting abilities.  Turns out,  the bed turned out great!

I bought the race car bed plans online, and, after I saw that my son enjoyed his cool new bed and showed it off to his friends, a neighbor suggested that I sell them online.

dale-jr-bed

Here, I’ve added some of the stripes, tires, and fleshed out where Dale Jr. would sit.

I thought, “Hey, that’s a great idea!”  and immediately whipped together my very first website.  It was a ghastly design–but hey, it was 2002, and it was not much worse than other websites at the time.  BTW, I built it in Frontpage.  UGH.

Anyway, so, after several days of manically checking my emails for ONE response, I finally got an interested buyer–who wanted me to make him a Earnhardt Nascar style car.

As you can see from the photo of my son’s race car bed, I would need to design something myself–and the customer also wanted me to build in a “trunk” toy chest at the head of the bed!

nascar bed photo

Here is the finished assembled car bed. Notice the toybox “trunk” in the back. I had a movie contact me to see if I could build them on–but they needed it built and shipped in one weekend! No way!

Well, the pictures you see are the result of my design–and I finished it off with a custom airbrushed paint job to resemble Dale Earnhardt’s real car.  I didn’t want it to look like one of those cheap plastic Chinese beds–plus, I made it out of 3/4″ cabinet grade plywood for a quality build.

I designed it so it could be assembled without any tools by the customer–it incorporated slide tabs that fit together snugly and can be assembled in under three minutes with two people, or about 5 minutes by one person.  Not too shabby!

I used a water-based enamel paint to paint it (after I primed it with Kilz), and then I airbrushed it to look like Dale Junior’s red car design.  I even cut out a stencil that read “Good Year” and made the tires look kind of real.  I didn’t really like the flat decal-based “paint jobs” of those mass-produced car bed designs.

I sold that car bed for approximately $900 ten years ago, plus about $200 extra to ship it.  Not bad for my first attempt–and I made several more before I decided that building beds by yourself is quite a lot of work for a side-job.  Here is a Jeff Gordon bed I built.

I’ve considered creating plans to sell online, but I’m not sure that there is a lot of demand for homemade race car beds anymore.  If you think there is, feel free to comment below.

 

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My Homemade CNC Router Table (part 6)

 

< Go back to Part 5 of How I am Building My DIY CNC Router

homemade cnc router tableI seem to only get any building done on Sunday nights lately.  Have a day job puts a real damper on my Making aspirations, but I try really hard to get something done each week.

This past Sunday, I added the z-axis to my diy CNC router project.  It certainly has that homemade quality to it.

I added smaller drawer slides to the vertical framing of what will be the holding plate for the router (or plasma cutter) that will eventually be fitted to the CNC.

diy cnc router table (1)All of the drawer slides that I’m using to move everything are kind of stiff, and I’m expecting to log in some hours entirely to the task of “tweaking” all of the axes in order to have as frictionless movement as possible.

If there is a lot of backlash and stickiness to the slides, it may severely affect the cuts and ability for the stepper motors to move things effectively.

threaded rod for 3-axis CNC plansI also rough-cut and drilled where the x-axis threaded rod will run along the middle of table top.  I’m finding that I’ll probably need to re-think my placement of the NEMA17 motors considering how they have only shaft-top placement for the mounting screws.

I’ve added a couple videos to my youtube channel.

Here are the two newest videos I’ve added to the channel.  You’ll see how sticky the slides are–especially for the z-axis–I think some of the wood may have warped a little.  I didn’t necessarily adhere to strict precision guidelines in its installation.  In fact, I stuck to my philosophy that “eyeballing” everything is pretty accurate, within feet.

Here is part 6 video of the DIY CNC experiment:

Here is part 7 of my Homemade CNC project:

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