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I'm re-screening my solar screens. I have found that a very small one is easy but larger ones present some challenges (not surprisingly).

I don't want the screen to be too loose and sag. However, if I try and make sure it is taut, it tends to warp the frame inward.

Can someone suggest a technique that will minimize this? I have thought of making some sort of jig, but all the screens are different sizes and I would rather not have to build a jig for each screen.

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3 Answers 3

If you're building custom frames, take a scrap piece of the frame, cut it to the inside width of your frame, use it as a temporary support... like a cross bar... if you do not have extra material, or you're re-screening old frames, maybe a thin piece of wood will work for your temporary cross bar?

Also, I like to use a T-square, it helps keep the frame from sliding everywhere... (if you don't have a fancy work bench, with a raised lip, or "jigs"...) So yeah, install your screen, then remove the temporary support cross bar, and voila! No bowing!

Took me a while to figure this trick out, I'm a perfectionist, and the bow was driving me crazy... finally I got this idea, and worked like a charm.

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I found it helpful to just simply grab the center of the frame and bow out the center. That way, when you screen your mesh in, it will suck in but only enough, avoiding the hourglass shape in your screen. When you're done, check your center measurement making sure you have the same measurement as the width of your screen.

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I clamped two of four sides (left side and bottom, for example) to a workbench while I was doing them. Then I worked on the side that was away from the two clamped down sides.

It's not so much about getting it taut as it is about getting it even...

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I like the clamp idea. When I have to do several of the same size, I build a simple frame on a piece of plywood to hold the screen frame square. Just a few pieces of scrap thin on three sides, with the "pull" end open at the end of the plywood base so I can bend the screen material over the edge of the frame to tension the screen a bit. Works really good if you have a helper to hold the screen or roll in the tubing stops. –  shirlock homes Aug 19 '11 at 11:14
In a pinch this can be done with two people. My wife and I replaced about 2 dozen screens with new material. Having 2 extra hands to keep the fabric/material taught and even was almost required on the larger ones. –  BrownRedHawk Mar 18 at 19:21

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