Interior Screen Door

In order to keep our cat off the kitchen counter and dining table I made a couple of interior doors which let the air move through the house, but keep the critter in check.


So I inset the screen by cutting a channel. Used 3 inch wood screws counterbored to depth to join the corners.  Made a jig to mark the screw hole locations.


The tricky bit was where the doorknob goes and how to transition. I did not have a dado blade, so I made do with repeated cuts instead.  I just marked the boards and put a mark on the table saw for where to stop, then adjusted the fence in between cuts.


The screw plugs were painted on a strip of packing tape to hold them still.


Very happy with the results.

Sliding Door Thermal Barrier

With the backdrop of the global research scientists getting their research ship stuck in unexpectedly thick ice and the rescue icebreaker also getting likewise stuck in ice and having to be rescued by helicopter ( ); Our really cold winter and an old air-leaky single pane glass sliding door prompted me to make a PVC frame with plastic to keep the cold out.

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The 3/4″ inside diameter schedule 40 PVC pipes and fittings provided a moisture resistant frame to tape the 3 mil plastic to with packing tape.  I used four elbows and two tees.  The perimeter has window/door single sided sticky weather stripping and some triangular packing foam in the corners.  The long verticals are too flexible and needed some compression to keep it sealed, so I added two shower curtain compression rods (one spring, and one twist) I had sitting around to keep the sides pressed tight.  Next year, I could splice in more PVC to replace the compression rods?  That is if we don’t replace the door with a double pane more efficient one before then.  But the cold breeze coming through is stopped, the temperature is not as cold behind the curtains and the condensation is really reduced.  No more frost and ice on the inside of the door and in the tracks.  I know it looks a little un-decorative, but we needed a warmer solution than just the window film on the aluminum frame.

DIY window blind string reels

We were looking for the old fashioned window blind string holders in the stores and online and could not find them so I improvised with a film canister and a popcicle stick.


They are child and cat resistant blind strings.  They keep the cords from hanging down low where little hands or paws can get to them.  I don’t know why we could not find any, but the point is moot now anyway.  Problem solved.

Furnace Filter Mod

My Old furnace had a filter mat that you can literally see through.  With my families’ allergies, I needed to do something about the primary filter in the furnace but I did not have the cash to get a new furnace just yet- so…My plan was to replace the mat filter with several standard cartridge filters to give me finer filter options and add a little more area since the finer filters I was going to use cause more pressure drop.  Here is what I designed- a rack system to accommodate 3 cartridge filters and I ended up using 3M 1000 microparticle filters.  It was not too bad using plastic square C-channels, pop rivets, double-sided sticky foam tape, some bailing wire to prevent excessive deflection on one unsupported filter, some acrylic sheet, thick foam weather sealing and a couple pieces of generic sheetmetal pre-holed L-angle.  Here is the old filter basket.


Here is the new frame held in with double sticky foam tape and backed-up with pop rivets.

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Then with the filters installed.

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And with the clear sealing door down and closed.


It has worked now for several years with a noticeable difference in removing pollen and dust in the house and has eased much allergy symptoms.  Caution should be exercised not to overload a furnace blower motor by decreasing filter area or increasing pressure drop across the filters beyond a particular motor’s limits (ability to run cool by sufficiently pumping air).   Not recommended for the inexperienced.  This blower had excess capacity.