We wanted to add storm windows to our screen door so we could leave the main cabin door open in cool or hot weather and also lets us enjoy the feeling of the Twinkie being more open. Of course this avoids slamming the tight fitting cabin door when going in and out so much as well. Our friend Roadtoaster had already done this and I followed his trail and advice on the installation. I got this done about a year ago and thought I would post it here since another friend recently inquired as to what to buy and the layout.
Here's our layout:
Used acrylic sheet attached with 6 clips on the top and bottom sections respectively. I found the thin acrylic very flexible and it had a curvature in it from the store which I used to my advantage to fit the curvature of the screen door.
Here's what I bought:
- 12 clips from Lowes
- #8 - 1/2" long stainless steel sheet metal screws from Lowes
- One sheet of 0.093" thick acrylic 2' x 4' from Home Depot
The photo is showing a pack of the clips laying on top of the plastic. The photo is a bit confusing since both are laying on a table saw (you see the miter gauge slot in the photo).
The clips come with the machine thread screws which are #8 by 32NC threads. However I used #8 stainless steel self tapping sheet metal screws in lieu of the machine screws to avoid drilling and tapping 12 holes in thin aluminum sheet metal. The factory door frame is made using box sections so you only penetrate the front side of it when mounting the clips. This makes it hard to tap. Therefore the length of the sheet metal screws is also important so they don't bottom out on the back side.
I cut the acrylic sheet to size in the table saw. I radiused the top section's corners with a band saw fairly close and then sanded them to fit. By the way, I found a paint can that matched the top corner radius and used that as a guide to mark the cut. I sanded the radius of the top section and the sharp corners as well. The sanding is quite easy. Fair warning - you take a chance of cracking the acrylic sheet on the table saw and/or band saw since it is brittle by nature. I have learned this the hard way many times over the years.
Here are two plastic polishes I use. You may not need them but I dropped one panel and scratched it during the fitting process but was able to polish the scratch out. That is a positive of acrylic in that you can polish it and it doesn't yellow with age. By the way, I polish the window guards on the Airstream with the Plexus, it is really good stuff. I also use it on our cars, motorcycles, boats, and such. (Tip: buy it at Amazon, it is available at motorcycle shops but at a 50% premium.)
Hope this helps others avoid running to and fro hunting supplies and hardware like I did. The acrylic sheet I bought was from Home Depot because what Lowes had was too thin and I didn't want to make it out of the thicker material they also had due to the added weight to the light weight screen door. It gets enough abuse already!
Thanks to Roadtoaster for sharing the concept and his install with me at the Canopener in 2013. I like to replicate something that has been trialed and proven! He has a couple of other ideas that are in my work/modification plan as well but don't tell him cause he'll want high dollar bourbon in trade.