Friday, October 21, 2011

Mosquitoes: No access!

How do you keep the pesky critters out?  Lotte on s/v Lunde shows us how she builds custom-framed screens for Lunde's hatches:
The mosquito net is finished. Below is instruction in pictures and text.  If anything is unclear, just ask.

You start, of course, taking aim. Here I would like to make a mosquito net with the target size 480 x 480 mm (external dimensions), but the method can easily be used to make a rectangular net too.

Slats of the correct length will be posted on a reusable base (here a blunt old tabletop), adapted in size. It is advantageous to let the base be slightly larger than the dimensions of the finished nets. Here is used forty slats 21 x 5 mm, depending on frame size and personal taste, you can use many other dimensions and wood types.
The joints are kept in position using double sided tape. Be careful not to use too much tape!
When slats are fixated on the base, put the net over and firmly attach to the base with a staple gun. It may be advantageous to have a helper to do this, because the net must be kept tight to get even and neat result. Here is spent brudetyl [Ed. ?], which is very dense, but you can also buy outright mosquito net.
Put a strip of glue in the middle of the slats around the frame and place a similar set of slats on top of it so that they are staggered in the corners. The trick is to use enough glue so that the slats are covered, but not so much that a whole bunch runs out. It will be impossible to remove from the net.
To fix the slats so they stay lined up, drive a little brad through the slats and into the plate. Here is used a total of eight brads (one at each end of each slat). Do not get too close to the corners, so you avoid splitting. Heads of the brads (use pliers or a cutter) are cut off and pounded in until they are flush with the slats.
Place a small piece of plastic (eg cut out of an old plastic bag) over the corners, so the glue does not ooze when the slats are put under compression .
Clamp the slats. To get an even pressure, pieces of wood are placed over the slats under the clamps.
Let the glue harden.
When the glue has hardened, cut the net off of the frame and staples. Then lift the frame gently off of the headless brads. Use, for example, a putty knife and push it under the corners, which are still held firmly by the double sided tape.
Cut off the excess net (and any glue) with a sharp utility knife.
Fill the corners and the holes left by the brads. Sand and paint. It is possible to hang the frame by pulling a length of fine wire through the netting right in a corner, but be careful not to damage the netting. In this way, both sides can be painted simultaneously. Alternatively of course you could just paint one side at a time.
A voilá!
The mosquito net is finished and ready to keep the little blood-sucking and extremely rude intruders away. The frame can be mounted as desired, eg hinges and fasteners, or more permanently with screws. We needed a method that makes the screen easy to remove, so we can get to open and close the front door.  The solution was another small home-made project that I will share with you soon.
I think that the idea of fastening the netting to the construction base instead of the slats is crucial.  Otherwise, the slats would bow inwards, due to the tension.

[Editor's note: Apologies for my poor editing of Google Translate's translation from the original Danish.]

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