How to Create a Cedar Privacy Screen

Create a Cedar Privacy Screen: Whether you have a small garden in the city or a sprawling country estate, there’s nothing like relaxing in your own backyard. When the weather’s nice, it’s the perfect place to shed that cooped-up feeling without leaving the house. Sometimes, though, your personal wide-open spaces can be a little too open. You need to define this area without limiting it. You need a privacy screen.

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Our screen is essentially a small fence with large mesh panels that provide a sense of intimacy but are open enough to allow viewing. We made it from red cedar, good wood for outdoor projects that is available at home centers and lumber yards. To get the most out of your lumber, buy 1 x 6 stock for post faces, rails, caps, and end strips, 1 x 8 stock for lattice slats and post sides and 2 x 8 stock for post caps.

Making The Lattice

First, cross-cut the 1 x 8 stock to length for the vertical and horizontal lattice members. Clamp each set of blanks into the stock with the ends flush, and mark the locations of the half-lap joints on the stock edges.

Use a dado blade to cut 3⁄16-in.-deep notches on the half-lap joint marks [1]. Make two passes to complete each mark. Next, rip the mesh slate from the wide stock [2].

To assemble the mesh panel, first, install horizontal slats with 3-in. space between each. Spread glue into the vertical slat marks and into the mating marks on the horizontal slats. Set the joints firmly, and drive a 3⁄4-in. No. 4 brass screw at each intersection [3]. Install the remaining vertical slats in the same manner.

Rip and cross the top and bottom rails to size, and fasten them to each side of the lattice with 6d galvanized finishing nails [4]. Cut the vertical end strips to size, and nail them to the ends of the top and bottom rails. Attach the end strips of the last vertical lattice with screws placed between the horizontal slats [5].

Rip and cross-cut the blanks for the mesh panel cap. Next, tilt your table saw blade to 12 degrees and cut the top vines. Smooth the cut surfaces with 120-grit sandpaper and use galvanized finishing nails to fasten the cap to the top rails and end strips [6].

How to Create a Cedar Privacy Screen

The Posts

Rip the post faces and sides and cut to the finished size. Although it is not necessary to use fasteners other than nails, post assembly is easier if you use joining plates to help position the parts.

Place the fence on the worktable and cut plate joint slots in the post faces [7]. Next, cut corresponding slots in the edges of the sides of the post. Install the connecting plates in the faces. Since the plates are only positioning aids, it is not necessary to use glue. Place the side pieces on one face, add the opposite face, and secure with 6d galvanized finishing nails. Be careful not to drive nails into the connecting plates [8].

Cut 2 x 8 stock into 7 1⁄4-in. Make a square for the post caps, and set up the table saw to make an angled cut on the caps. Start by clamping the long guide to the fence of the table saw. Tilt the saw blade to 12 degrees and raise it so that the top of the blade is 2 3⁄4 inches above the table. Adjust the fence so that it is 7⁄8 inches from the blade on the table. Clamp one edge of the cap block to a 2 x 6 x 12-in. Support Board. Activate the saw and cut one of the angled faces [9]. When the blade enters the backer board, turn the saw off, wait for the blade to stop, and remove the assembly.

Then do the rest of the cuts in the same way. If using a raised fence, backer board and clamps seems too complicated, simply shape the cap bevels with a hand plane. It may take longer, but it is a more comfortable procedure.

Insert a 3⁄8-in.-radius, quarter-round bit into your router table, and shape the bottom edges of the post caps. Sand the caps and nail them to the post tops [10]. Then, use the same bit to round one edge of the 1⁄2 x 1 1⁄2-in. Stock for cap molding. Cut the molding pieces to length with a miter saw, and nail under the post caps [11].

Assembly And Finishing

Drill screw holes into the side strips of the mesh panel, mount the panel to one of the posts and secure it with screws [12]. Repeat the procedure for each lattice/post joint. If you are making more than one screen section, separate the parts into separate nets/post subassemblies for ease of transport.

Cut pressure-treated 4 x 4s to 6 feet. Slide one of these lengthwise pieces into the bottom end of each post to span 30 to 36 inches. Note that the post cavity is 1⁄4 inch wider than the 4 x 4 to facilitate installation. Drive two screws into the 4 x 4 through the post to temporarily hold it in place. After installing the screen you can remove the screws to adjust the relative heights of the posts.

Set all nail holes, then prime the screen with a standard exterior-grade primer. Fill all nail holes with glazing compound or painter’s tape, then apply a coat of 100 percent acrylic top coat.

What does a privacy screen mean?

A computer privacy screen, sometimes called a privacy filter, is a thin piece of plastic that’s placed over your monitor or display panel in order to prevent wandering eyes from absorbing confidential information

Why do people use privacy screens?

Privacy screen filters exist first and foremost to protect your privacy. They prevent people from seeing what’s on your screen so you can worry less about the people around you when getting work done at the local coffee shop. You never know who could be looking at your screen and taking note of your information

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