New guy - how to build a privacy screen? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-12-2012, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Default New guy - how to build a privacy screen?

Hi,

While I have been reading the posts for several years, this is my first question.

I would like some advice on building an outdoor privacy screen.
I had constructed a privacy screen using commercially available lattice several years ago. Unfortunately, it is too flimsy to withstand the wind and winter here in Canada.

My desire is to build a more substantial screen; I want horizontal and vertical pieces similar to what is shown here. My dimensions are somewhat different.


Overall size is approximately 7 feet long by 4 feet high.
I wondered about using 2x dimensional lumber route out dados to build the grid and then rip the lumber to appropriate width. I am thinking of creating 2x2 open squares with the wood x square.
1. I am crazy?
2. Is my idea structurally sound?
3. Will a jig of some sort will be necessary to assemble the screen?
4. Is my 2 x 2 opening size appropriate?
5. How should I fasten the pieces together? Glue? Screws? Ring shank nails?
6. How to fasten the screen to the surrounding frame?
I would appreciate your comments.
Thanks, Paul
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File Type: pdf privacy screen picture.pdf (80.2 KB, 254 views)
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 08:05 AM
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Where in Canada do u live I live in milton ont I would use 2" lumber x1/2" thick for the lattice grove the top bottom and sides .u may have to put a centre bar across the hororizen to support against the wind if you want some more info send me your # via email off fourm to [email protected] . good luck in your endever
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 08:42 AM
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Hi -

I had similar problems with a screen that I built in Mississauga several years ago. Here's what I would do next time:
* beef up lattice to 1"
* do NOT use mechanical fasteners (screws, nails) if possible - at least minimize them. Over time the moisture will rust the nail or screw and/or the wood will shrink and split. Use non-rusting deck screws and pre-drill.
* build screen first - getting it as square and true as possible - then sink sona tubes below frost line and use a saddle connector to mount posts. This will let you fiddle the fit of the posts to your pre-assembled screen. Carport saddles can work as well - but not as robust as a concrete footing
* lap the joints in the screen - a jig is great for this - on your table saw (with a sled) or radial arm or router table. A box-joint-like jig would be easy to make - don't worry about the precision as you would for cabinet work.
* use a decent outdoor glue to assemble screen (I think Gorilla has an outdoor glue)
* finish it off with a decent solid stain - no paint.

I have an old store-bought arbor in our new yard in St Catharines - it's pretty hefty but was factory assembled using staples and nails. It is still standing but all the staples and nails are rusting away as it falls apart.

Good luck.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 11:15 AM
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Paul, for the screen to be durable I would suggest making your lattice from 3/4 x 1" material using half lap joints. No fasteners just polyurethane glue. For the frame route a 3/4" groove in 2 x 4"'s and cut spacers to fill in the gaps between slats. Once you paint it with a good oil based paint it should stand up for many years.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 11:50 AM
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Fasteners...hot dipped galvanized casing nails will not corrode. I use them exclusively, on exterior cedar. In our wet West Coast climate the wood will crap out looong before the nails will.
Dadoing...unnecessary in most cases in that every time you create a 'recess', it's just one more place for moisture to collect and contribute to wood rot conditions. This is especially true of the bottom rail!!! A channel is a guarantee of early failure. Place the bottom cross member on the front or back of the verticals.
Also, you want to increase the front to back depth as this is what blocks the visual access from an angle; the deeper the screen, the more privacy you achieve.




If you really want more privacy consider these:
- smaller dimension material (1"'X1") spaced at 1" both vertically and horizontally.
-use 3 layers stagger the front and back layers relative to each other . ie middle members nom. 1x2s with 1 1/2" gaps...front 1x2s with 1 1/2" gaps...set the back members parallel to the front ones but lined up in the gaps.
It'll have a very 'oriental' quality. Beautiful shadow detail comes with this technique.
I highly recommend staining or painting your material before assembly!
You'll achieve much better weather protection and it'll take you a fraction of the time.
Just lay out the material side by side and roll it on with a 2" roller...flip 90deg and do the next faces.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 03:42 PM
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Dan, when the gaps are filled with spacers and polyurethane glue then sealed with an oil paint there is no place for the water to infiltrate.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 06:39 PM
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I don't disagree, Mike, but privacy screens are not load bearing (normally) and that's a lot of extra trouble to go to for no specific gain. As I say, prepainting the stock before assembly sort of accomplishes the same thing in sealing out moisture...as long as you don't machine it after it's painted! My other point was that by doing 1/2 laps and/or dadoes it effectively reduces the front to back depth. In most cases that's counter productive in reducing the through visibility from an angle; the point of a privacy screen.
I've got exactly that problem now, trying to cut down the sightline to our hottub from the neighbors' yards. I may even go to 4 layers of 1" material, staggered. Needless to say, a mockup before I commit to that much time and material...
Cheers,
-Dan
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2012, 07:56 PM
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I understand your points Dan. I was going by the illustration and having all those glue joints will add to the ridgidity and hopefully the durability. Making and gluing the spacers in place seems like a lot of extra work but it is the easy way to get a solid appearing surface, same as building a Morris chair. I think wider slats would be a good thing; smaller openings are more effective for privacy but it alters the appearance. Staggered boards offer a lot more privacy but also cost more and don't look as nice.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2012, 02:53 AM
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Very strange...I was looking for picture examples of the design concept but unable to find any/one(?). I know they're out there because a) I've built them and b) I see them on high end landscape projects, especially in the West side of Vancouver. Now I see this as a challenge!!!
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