How to Build a Folding Screen
Folding screens have been in use for thousands of years. Tombs in China dating from the Han dynasty in 200 BC have depictions of folding screens decorating their walls. The screens are heavy wooden structures with panels held together by leather thongs run through holes at the edges of the panels. Today's folding screens are very similar to those screens so long ago and serve essentially the same purpose; to serve as a room divider, provide privacy or or as a decorative accessory. You can pick up all the materials necessary to build your own screen at your local hardware store or at a construction salvage yard.
Gather 3 plantation-style shutters.If buying new shutters, purchase 3 of the same size. If you're buying salvaged shutters, trim them so that they are uniform in size.
Lay the 3 shutters across 2 sawhorses with the top edges aligned.Clamp them together in several places so that they will not move while you do any necessary repairs.
Examine the shutters and repair as necessary, using wood putty to fill in holes or cracks.Sand smooth and, if desired, apply the finish of your choice. Allow the finish to dry, periodically opening and shutting the louvers so they do not get fixed in 1 position.
Lay 2 shutters side-by-side, face-up, on a worktable.Measure down approximately 12 in. (30.5 cm) from the top right side of the 1st shutter and make a pencil mark. Measure the same distance from the bottom of the shutter and make another mark. These marks are where your hinges will be placed.
Align the middle hole of 1 hinge on the top mark, and use that as a guide to mark the other 2 holes of the hinge.Repeat on the bottom hinge and on the left side of the 2nd door.
Pre-drill screw holes with an electric drill, and fasten the hinges on the front of the 1st 2 shutters using a screwdriver or your electric drill fitted with a screwdriver bit.
Turn the shutters face down with the 2 already hinged together on your right side.Attach the hinges for these shutters exactly as you did before except that these go on the back so that the screen can fold properly.
Attach vinyl furniture glides on the left and right bottom edges of the 2 end panels to protect your floors.This is especially helpful if you are using your screen as a portable room divider or privacy screen.
- You can make a room divider uniquely suited to your décor by using wooden panels cut to size and painting or wallpapering as you wish.
- You can make your folding screen even more portable by installing small rubber casters to the bottom rather than furniture glides.
Video: The Simple Way to Make a Folding Screen | Home Made Simple | Oprah Winfrey Network
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