Garage Door Bug Screen Progress

I woke up on Sunday to a misty, yucky day. It was only in the 60s so it was tolerable to be in the garage and try to wrap up the problem screen.

I had left off Saturday night not wanting to piss off the entire neighborhood with hammering grommets into the binding (for the twist locks). I have a die that will set the holes for the grommets (or eyelets), but you have to use it on something soft (like rubber). Standing in my garage, I realized I had the perfect solution. On my driveway is a large and VERY HEAVY plastic mat that I used to park my snowmobile on. It was literally the only thing that was salvageable from the garage fire (the snowmobile was quite literally toast). I've been reluctant to part ways with it...and I knew it would be perfect to use that as my backing...if I could only get a small piece cut off of it.

I called my BFF, who will tell me if what I'm about to do is a very bad idea. Here's the essence of that conversation:

  • Me: I need to know if I have a good or bad idea.
  • Captain Halfass: It's bad. 
  • Me: (Ignoring the last comment) Can I cut that rubber mat with a circular saw?
  • Captain Halfass: I don't see why not...
  • Me: Will it start on fire?
  • Captain Halfass: It'll probably get hot and melt a little but you should be okay.
  • Billy Badass (wife of Captain Halfass): Words I can't understand in the background
  • Me: What'd she say?
  • Captain Halfass: She said it probably wouldn't be much different than cutting that plastic edging with the chainsaw (that's another story, we're going to leave that there but in this context, although it was unsafe what was done, it did ultimately work).
  • Me: Ok boss, I'll let you know if I lose any appendages.
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I propped the mat up with some 2x4s and whipped out the Skil saw. About 12 inches in, I could smell the burning rubber. I had planned to make one nice cut along one of the short ends, essentially just shortening the length by a few inches. But, given my recent history with fire, I decided to stop there and just cut out a little notch to get what I needed.

I set the grommets along the top edge first. I had installed the twist locks on the top frame of the garage on Saturday, so I brought it over and snapped it into place. 

There are a couple of the locks that are just a scootch off where I can't get them on, so I will probably need to move those. But, it was good enough to get it hung and mark where I wanted the grommets to go on the sides.

After marking the positions on the sides, I set those grommets in place and then hung it again. This time, I didn't drill anything until I could set everything in place where I wanted them. I employed a two-drill operation for this part. One drill with the drill bit to drill the pilot holes, another drill with the bit for the twist locks so I could mark, drill, install, and attach as I went. This made sure I was spot on with the placement as well as the tension. 

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Next up was the apparatus to roll this thing up and down. I set it up (I'll explain how when I'm completely done), rigged the rope, and then tried to pull it. Another fail.

Based on my nonexistent background in engineering, I determined that the issue was that the bottom consisted of 4 separate dowel rods fed into the pocket. Because it's not a continuous piece, the assembly doesn't want to roll and just goes all cattywampus.

A trip to Home Depot and I'm back with 2 pieces of 1/2" PVC pipe with a coupler. I cut the pieces down to size and will couple them together in the middle. I also picked up some snaps (surface to cloth) and plan to snap the bottom of the assembly to the PVC. However, that also meant that I would need to apply more binding to the bottom because that dainty blanket binding I used was not going to cut the mustard. It's time for bed. I'll finish it up later...cross your fingers that this baby rolls!

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