Asked on Jun 25, 2016

How can I resize a screen door?

by Melanie
I got a very old screen door. It is made of 2x4's and put together with tongue and groove. How can I get it apart w/o tearing it up!
Old screen door
  10 answers
  • William William on Jun 25, 2016
    Is it nailed or glued together?
  • Betsy Wilson Betsy Wilson on Jun 26, 2016
    It is not an easy redo. What size are you trying to make it? That makes a big difference.
    • Melanie Melanie on Jun 26, 2016
      It's 30" and trying to go to 24". The problem is getting it apart!
  • 9530106 9530106 on Jun 26, 2016
    Use a saws-all to cut through the tongue and groove on one side, then you can trim your boards to length. You will have to reattach with brads and glue, etc. but at least you would only have to cut through one side of the t &g.
  • Donpaulin Donpaulin on Jun 26, 2016
    I would not try to cut at the joint, but 3 7/8" in with a circular saw. Then by putting a clamp on to assist, you likely can slowly 'wiggle/pry' that small piece out.
  • William William on Jun 26, 2016
    I would use a rubber mallet or hammer and wood block and gently hit the stile on the right to open a gap along all the rails. In the photo there is a gap on the bottom rail. Once you have a gap at all the rails, use a hand saw to cut thru the tongues. Cut off the amount you need off the rails to narrow the door. To put it together, predrill holes in the tongues still in the stile. Nail 16 Penny nails in to the holes leaving about 1/2" showing. Cut the heads off the nails. Lay the door on a flat surface and line everything up. Put some yellow wood glue or Gorilla glue on the stile where the rails will meet. Use long clamps and slowly clamp the stile to the rail forcing the nails to bite into the rails as dowels and support. Let the glue dry for a few hours.
    • See 1 previous
    • Melanie Melanie on Jun 26, 2016
      I took 3 nails out to get the gap in the bottom. There aren't any nails in the others to remove. I have hit with a hammer and they just don't move!
  • William William on Jun 26, 2016
    There must be something holding hem together. If there were nails in the bottom rail, there must be nails in the others. Try using a magnet around the area to locate nails or staples. Even a few strong fridge magnets would work.
    • See 1 previous
    • William William on Jun 27, 2016
      If you can't find the nails, I would say to use a hand saw and carefully cut where the rails and stile meet creating you own groove. Once you got it started cut all the way thru.
  • TipTopHouse TipTopHouse on Jun 26, 2016
    why would you want to take it apart. Simply cut each side down the same to get to the size your looking to achieve. Also the door is in pretty poor shape, It may be better to simply build a new door.
  • Betsy Wilson Betsy Wilson on Jun 28, 2016
    Carefully try to pry the corners apart. Not easy. Then you can cut it down and put it back together
  • Melanie Melanie on Jun 28, 2016
    I think I can get the top and bottom, its the middle pieces that aren't coming loose at all!
  • Deb K Deb K on Oct 05, 2023

    Hi Melanie, I would us a rubber mallet to bang the pieces apart, you can use a brad nailer to put it back together.