Ivy Hollow - screen door, part 7

by brae  

Continuing work on the screen door.  My base wall with siding gives me a wall 3/8" thick, so I need to pad the interior wall further. Being that this is an angled wall, it's not as simple as it would have been on a straight wall. I have some ideas on disguising the added wall thickness modification, but more on that to come later when I glue the structure together.

I painted the frame Woodland Green to match the doors, and the threshold is stained using Bittersweet Chocolate mixed with Staining Medium by Americana. I'll do more for the threshold once I get the porch and interior floor completed, but I wanted some color on it while finishing the doors.

I installed working Pennsylvania strap hinges by Olde Mountain Miniatures for the screen door.

I replaced the nails from the package with tiny threaded brads by Classics.

The hinges might be a bit heavy for a screen door, but the more modern ones just didn't look right for shape or finish. Perhaps these were reused from a broken down shed in the area. The hinges have brass pins, which I touched up with black paint once installed.

For the handles, I used window pulls by Classics, making sure to install them higher than the door knob of the solid door. Though they started as gunmetal, I painted them flat black with a satin finish. The front one has the tiny brads, but I faked the nails on the interior with glue and paint. My door wasn't thick enough to have back-to-back nails.

I tried to research the history of screen door hardware, but I ran into a lot of sites selling refurbished or reproduction hardware without much commentary on what was used when. The most interesting pieces were the antique spring-loaded hinges in some beautiful designs. I'm going with what I remember from my childhood farm memories - a spring and hook latch. :]

The hook latch and eyelets come from The Ironworks.

Bill sent me length of thin spring awhile back, and I put it in the bits-n-bobs box for a time such as this. I opted not to install this so that opening the screen door will actually pull the spring for two reasons. The spring is likely to stretch out of shape over time, but more to the point, the spring has a tension force greater than the strength of tiny eyelets and some glue. boioioioing!

So, we fake it! I'm actually doing a mix of a typical screen door spring and storm door stop chain. This is probably more modern, but it will add visual interest overall. I cut down the spring and used an X-Acto blade to force the end rings open to make eyelets at each end. I threaded one spring end onto one of the laser cut eyelets.

I made another eyelet at the end of a length of thin black wire, determined where the chain would connect to the door frame, drilled a hole and inserted the wire through. The length gives some added durability just in case the chain gets pulled too hard. I cut a channel for the wire and taped it in place.

The chain hooks into this eyelet as well as one end ring of the spring.

I glued the eyelet into the screen door, being careful not to drill through to the front side.

I love the way it looks, just visible through the screen. :] It will be more prominent when the solid door is open.

And, finally the hook and latch. This also has a handmade eyelet on the door with the laser cut hook and eye. This is not easy to hook, mainly for having to use tweezers to do so, but even a hook latch hanging loose adds some realism.

I'm leaving off the solid door hardware until I'm ready to install the door. So, that was my productive weekend. :D

13 comments

Comment from: ann [Visitor]
I grew up with a green screen door on the front door of the old farmhouse porch that was not much different than than this one. What memories. And another one at the back door that was even more rickety and dad in the 30 years that we lived there, never fixed either door. I love you door and the authentic hardware that you managed to find. Bravo.
08/27/19 @ 01:07
Comment from: Anna [Visitor]
Such fabulous finish of the screen door. I saw the wee pics on Instagram earlier, but so much better to see it in proper detail and read how you got there on the 'big girl' computer. I would love to get my hands on the hook latch sheet, but can't find them on the website. Hopefully they are just temporarily out of stock. Anna
08/27/19 @ 11:37
Comment from: Debora L. [Visitor]
It’s fabulous. I love the hook and eye too,
08/27/19 @ 13:28
Comment from: Jodi [Visitor]
It's so much fun to see you incorporate all of the details we'd expect in real life! If only you could replicate a squeak when you opened the screen door!
08/27/19 @ 13:39
Comment from: The grandmommy [Visitor]  
I really like the way the eyelet works. For me the spring is what sets it off! For some reason I love to hear the sound of a screen door slamming. I can hear it each time I look at yours. :-)
08/27/19 @ 18:52
Comment from: Sheila Lester [Visitor]
I love how it looks. Genius with the spring and chain.
08/27/19 @ 19:29
Comment from: Gayle Taylor [Visitor]
It looks like the swearing paid off. :D You did a beautiful job!
08/27/19 @ 22:05
Comment from: Bill [Visitor]
Your build and photography are so good that I can't tell how tiny that spring is... and I supplied it! Of course, with your usual skill, you altered it to fit your vision. Well done. The whole project is brilliant.
08/28/19 @ 02:35
Comment from: marilyn [Visitor]  
Oooh I bet that screen door nips your ankle every time you go through it with that spring! Such lovely detailed work - just feeds my mini bones.
08/28/19 @ 13:36
Comment from: Chris M. [Visitor]
I am impressed and inspired with your attention to detail. The door is a masterpiece. All the extra little touches you added enhance the realism. I appreciate the massive amount of time spent on each component to make it just perfect.
09/08/19 @ 14:35
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you all so much for the encouragement! :>>

It really brought back childhood memories for me, as well. :yes:

You may need to send Ironworks an email. They sent me additional hook sets after I contacted them since I was running low.

I should put in some railroad sound chips - occasional creak-thwack of the door, a horse neighing, a train whistle.... :yes:
09/09/19 @ 13:23
Comment from: Michelle [Visitor]
This is amazing! We have a coach & carriage museum where I live but never thought of making a mini one. The old coaches are definitely small. I can’t wait to see it!
09/10/19 @ 18:30
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you! :>>

We were amazed at the variation in size and the apparent sturdiness of the heavy load wagons - like the ones carrying coal and logged trees.
09/17/19 @ 00:47


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