Phifer Spline .125 x 25-feet
Pros: durable product, flexible spline easy to use, 25-foot length, installation instructions on bag
Cons: spline roller needs to be separately purchased
Now I had no excuse. I told a friend that a critter had clawed a giant hole in the screen of my sliding glass door. The next day he handed me a roll of fiberglass screen, a roller tool, and said, “Now you just need the spline. I want to see a photo of the finished screen door.” That is how I came to purchase Phifer Spline (.125 x 25-feet).
Spline is the flexible piping that fits inside the groove of a screen in order to hold the screen within the frame. This particular Phifer spline is a small diameter at .125. Each plastic bag contains 25-feet of spline. An actual-size image of the spline is pictured at the bottom front corner of the bag so that if you have a piece of spline you need to match, you can hold the end of the spline to the image to see if they are an exact match. The back of the bag includes 5-step instructions for how to use the spline to rescreen a window frame.
Procrastination was a thing of the past. With a roll of fiberglass screen in my hand, and a spline roller tool grasped in nervous fingers … I had no choice. I bought Phifer spline so that I could do the project. First I examined the existing spline holding the screen within the door. There are a lot of different diameter spline sizes, so make sure you either know the size or bring a sample of the old spline with you to a hardware store.
Never having rescreened an entire door before, I watched a YouTube video of the process. Once I had the visual steps in my head, I felt confident to tackle the project. Perhaps I was a bit overconfident when it came to removing the latch pull from the side of the door. That latch would not come undone! I consulted the internet and followed the minimal instructions I located. After what seemed like forever, the latch finally came apart in my hand. Still not sure exactly how it disassembled itself.
I removed the old spline from the aluminum frame groove, and pulled out the old screen with the picturesque hole in it. I used an all-purpose cleaner to wipe the door frame clean. I set the door frame on a large work table (groove side up), and used masking tape to adhere the frame to the table so that it would not shift. I unrolled the fiberglass screen over the frame, allowing a few inches of overlap. I taped the screen to the frame sides and cut the screen piece from the roll.
Inserting the flexible spline into the groove to anchor the screen in place was easy. I started at the bottom right side edge. I placed the spline over the groove, and used the plastic spline roller (which looks like a rotary cutter) to press the spline into the groove. I gently rounded the spline around each corner, continuing to press the spline into the groove. When I neared my starting point, I measured out the spline the rest of the groove length and used a pair of scissors to cut the spline. Then I used the roller to press the remaining bit of spline into the groove. I took a flat-head screwdriver to gently press the spline into each corner. Carefully, I used a utility knife to cut the excess screen from the frame. I made sure not to damage the screen I had just installed.
Again, the most difficult part of this project was the pesky latch pull handle. I could not reassemble it. I spent an hour fussing with the latch before giving in and phoning my neighbor to see if the husband-wife team could figure out how to reattach it to the sliding door frame. It took a bit of maneuvering, but the latch pull is in place.
The Phifer spline was easy to use. The spline was flexible enough to easily round the corners in the window frame. The 25-foot length was plenty long enough for the screen door project with some left over. And, yes, I emailed a photo of the finished door to my friend. Project completed!
Enjoy the day,
Copyright 2015 Dawn L. Stewart
Spline Roller: Fiberglass Screen Kit: Replacement Screen:
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