View Full Version : Hardware & wood for 50's-style window screens

Brian Kent
04-29-2010, 12:44 PM
I am making new window screens - no old ones to compare with. I was planning on easy aluminum frames with simple HD attachments. Then I looked more carefully at the attachment hardware and wondered if I should go for an original look.

The wood frame stucco home was built in 1955. The screens appear to be fastened by clip to a little nib in the top with an interesting attachment on the bottom. I am searching for the piece that goes on the screen frame to receive this levered hardware.

Does anyone know where to get something like this?

Second question - if I make wooden frames instead of aluminum, what kind of wood should I use. It does not freeze here. Fairly dry climate, and the wood will be primes and painted. I can get hardwoods cheap here from the odd cut-off pile.

Thanks in advance.


Rick Potter
04-30-2010, 2:26 AM

I have an old house with the nib at the bottom. It takes a simple loop that fits on the aluminum screen. You can get these at most big box stores, or a place that rescreens. The other clip I have never seen. My best guess is that it stretches screens to tighten them. I have seen screens that just had a top rail and a bottom rail...no sides. This might be for that type.

Unless this is a house you want to restore to original specs, AND you live in, my suggestion would be to make some new aluminum ones. The type with the square corners are much easier to make than the mitered ones.

Rick Potter

Neal Clayton
04-30-2010, 3:12 AM
ahh the good ole 50s. lots of attempts to build a better mousetrap with door/window hardware. some of it wasn't better, and just isn't made anymore. some of it works ok and is still available. flip a coin on your odds of finding that hardware still available somewhere.

if you build wooden ones, in your area of the country...

white oak
spanish cedar
douglas fir
or if you want better at whatever price, mahogany

in the south we use cypress and yellow pine if we can get old growth yellow pine, the pine is a similar tree to your fir.

generally closed/tight grained woods that paint well and resist rot/moisture naturally to an extent, softwood or hardwood doesn't matter all that much since there's no impact on a window from normal use to dent it.

either way, you use through tenons or bridle/lap joints to build them, and don't finish the edges. you tape off the edges when you finish the inside and outside and leave the edges bare. that's how you get wood windows to stay stable year round. any water that gets in can get out if the edges and ends of joints are bare. there is no sun exposure on the edges due to the jamb, obviously, so there's no deterioration from sun exposure.