Once again, we had gorgeous weather yesterday, and I was determined that I wanted to get an outdoor project done…or at least get a good start on one. The project I had in mind was installing two screen doors on the front doors.
So let me back up a bit.
We have one of those houses that has two front doors. When we bought the house it looked like this…
I hated the two front doors, and planned almost immediately to turn the side door (which goes into my office) into a window.
Then one day, on one of my regular driving routes around town, I noticed an old house (probably 100 years old) with a similar door configuration, and it had matching screen doors on the doors. It was the most charming thing ever, and every time I drive by I crane my neck just to get a view of it.
I finally called the real estate agent (the house is vacant and for sale) and asked if I could just go up to the house and take pictures.
After a days-long search for these exact screen doors (online and around town at places like ReStore) with no luck at all, I finally decided that I would make some similar to these. But to save time, I would start with two pre-made screen doors from Home Depot or Lowe’s. So a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a couple of these when I was at Home Depot.
And of course, both screen doors were just slightly too wide for my doorways. So yesterday I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather, and get outside to cut down my doors and get them installed.
I started with the 32-inch door that goes into my office. I measured and marked my cut line on the door.
As I’ve mentioned, I don’t have a table saw. Yet. So I had to use my circular saw.
Now I don’t know if you’ve ever used a circular saw to trim off a tiny bit like this, but it’s not easy. Since there’s no wood on one side to hold the saw straight, and keep the blade at a perfect 90-degree angle, the saw keeps wanting to tilt. And of course, that’s what happened. Also, with some types of wood, when you’re cutting with the grain of the wood, the blade wants to follow the grain. So try as I might to keep perfectly on my cut line, the saw kept pulling and wanting to follow the grain.
Plus, about half way through, my blade stopped turning altogether.
So I stopped, tightened my blade, and tried again. But for some reason, my blade kept stopping. So I had to move at a snail’s pace in order to keep the blade going. Let’s just say that by this time, my attitude was heading south in a quick way.
To add to my frustration, the trimmed door didn’t fit.
So I measured and marked another 1/4 inch, and started to saw that little bit off. Well, again, my saw wasn’t acting right. So while I was concentrating on the back end of the saw, trying to figure out what was keeping the blade from turning, I got completely off course, and did this…
At that point, I was just mad. So in my fit, I chucked that circular saw across the front porch, marched inside and flung myself on my bed to have a good ‘ole pouting session that would rival that of any teenaged girl.
Matt came in and talked me down from the ledge, and encouraged me to go outside and finish the cut with my jigsaw. I finally did that, and it worked just fine, but I have no idea how I’m going to salvage this door with that big gash cut into the side like that. If I trim off any more, it’ll be too small for the doorway.
I’m tempted to just toss this door, use the other 36-inch door somewhere else (I can’t return it because I’ve already opened it), and just make my own doors from scratch for the front. With a Kreg Jig, the actual construction would be simple — definitely a heck of a lot easier than trying to trim off 1/4-inch from the side with a circular saw that isn’t working properly.
So that’s where I left my project yesterday. And there you have it — proof that not all of my projects go smoothly. But I’ll regroup, come up with a plan, and I will have my cute little vintage-inspired screen doors by the spring!
And hopefully I’ll even have a table saw by then, too.