Plantation Shutters

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Blog entry by Grumpy posted 03-31-2008 03:10 AM 18632 reads 9 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Plantation shutters are very popular down under at the moment, at least on the east coast of Australia.
My wife and I recently renovated the bathroom, yes girls she did help with the wall cladding, plastering and tiling. We had a window that looked a bit out of place, a bit ordinary, and we say some plantation shutters in an apartment when we were on holidays in Queensland.
You know what woodies are like, I can make them I said. Well that is what happened.
After scouting around nobody seemed to know how to make them, especially the pivoting and the controlling mechanism. The rest was pretty straight forward except the shutters were a little tricky.
I used google sketchup to design the project and that was very helpful.
We had installed a new jarrah vanity so we wanted to match the plantation shutters to the vanity. Jarrah is a very hard but beautiful timber so I decided to use a softer material. My supplier Adrian at Trend timbers had some 6”X2” Australian cedar which was ideal for the job. Nice to cut and sand with a nice grain.
I used beadlock loose tenons, two to each joint. They aligned very well and required minimal adjustment with the belt sander after glueup with tightbond III. I used tightbond III because the shutters will be exposed to moist air.
I used double ended shelf supports for the shutter pivots. They have a spacer in the middle which is perfect for allowing side clearance. mind you I had a great deal of trouble finding someone who sold these little suckers which was hard to believe at the time.
To adjust the tension on the mechanism to open and shut the louvers I just used a threaded screw in plug on the outside of the middle louvre. A screw simply pushes up against the pivot and makes the louvre harder or easier to turn. I used a second plug at the other end to prevent the louvre from being pushed against the side frame. boy that was long winded.
The louvres are 90mmX18mm (3.5”X3/4”). They are tapered from the centre at 4 degrees down to 6mm (1/4”) at the end. I used the table saw to cut the angles with the blage set at 4 deg and used a long wedge (also cut on the TS as a support when cutting the other side of the louvre.
I used a cedar rod for the controlling mechanism with screw in eyelets. i made a small jig on the bandsaw to drill a hole on the edge of the louvre in the same place on each louvre using a spacer.
I made another small jig to centre the pivots in the louvres, you can imagine what would happen if the wher out of line.
I had a little difficulty with staining the wood to get the jarrah colour. It was too dark originally, but after a wipe down with a terps dampened cloth the colour lightened up perfectly. lucky me.
APhotobucketnyway, here is the finished product.
Thanks for looking

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

25 comments so far

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 3964 days

#1 posted 03-31-2008 03:27 AM

Very nice, Grumpy!!! The wood looks beautiful too. Nice job on the finish!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4370 days

#2 posted 03-31-2008 03:34 AM

Grumpy. A great job and a nice detailed post.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4023 posts in 4033 days

#3 posted 03-31-2008 03:37 AM

Nice project and excellent color match to the jarrah. I have often thought about using those double-ended supports as a box lid pivot, but never got around to it. This maybe a serendipitous re-acquaintance with that idea. Thanks for the post, Tony.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3743 days

#4 posted 03-31-2008 03:46 AM

Hi Grumpy

Great looking shutters and bath room. You guys did a beautiful job on them. You are one lucky man Grumpy! A wife that does cladding, plastering and tiling. A Lumberjock dream girl! Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3844 days

#5 posted 03-31-2008 10:45 AM

Very nice. It came out great. Thanks for the detailed step-by-step of your process.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4130 days

#6 posted 03-31-2008 12:55 PM

a great job!!!
looks complicated.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3932 days

#7 posted 03-31-2008 01:33 PM

that’s a nifty neat throne room, Grump. I really like your solutions to building the louvers. great blog.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View toyguy's profile


1645 posts in 3807 days

#8 posted 03-31-2008 02:34 PM

My wife and I looked at those style of louvers for the family room, but ruled them out due to cost. At the time I was wondering about building some but just couldn’t come up with a design I could live with…... You apparently did… Nice job, and a good blog, very informative.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View pappyjohn's profile


138 posts in 3683 days

#9 posted 03-31-2008 03:44 PM

Grumpy,, Great looking shutters, love the color you chose. Now that’s the way shutters should be hung, on the inside. I still can’t figure why people want shutters on the outside, simply decorative. Our bathroom window faces the backyard and about 80 ft away is the trees of our woods. Still can’t break the Misses on not having to shut the Curtains when she go’s the potty. Hopefully I’ll sell her on the Idea of some shutters..let ya know latter…..your brother in woodworking John

-- Your Brother in WoodWorking John, Pittsburgh , PA.

View Sir_Robert's profile


51 posts in 3721 days

#10 posted 04-01-2008 01:33 AM

An Ode To Grumpy by Sir Robert Charles Enderle

Whilst I was cleaning my gutters
Grumpy built plantation shutters.
He used some strange wood called jarrah.
I used to date a lass named Farrah.
Our love affair ended in calamity.
‘cause I used plain old pine on her vanity.

-- Sir Robert

View Sir_Robert's profile


51 posts in 3721 days

#11 posted 04-01-2008 01:37 AM

Great job on the shutters, Grumpy!
By the way, Farrah got fat and dumpy.

(I promise all of my fellow Jocks, no more lousy verse!)

-- Sir Robert

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3821 days

#12 posted 04-01-2008 01:41 AM

Reply to Sir Bob
Now Sir Knight of the US
Who I am sure God will bless
The shutters are cedar, made to look like jarrah
I remember a girl named Farrah she was one of Charlie’s angles
If she was the one I feel for you son of a gun.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3958 days

#13 posted 04-01-2008 01:41 AM

I just want to mirror what everyone else has said. Great job.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3821 days

#14 posted 04-01-2008 01:44 AM

Thanks for looking Jocks. Good to hear from you.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4269 days

#15 posted 04-02-2008 12:25 PM

Great job, & thanks

You gave me an idea on what to do with a bi-fold door to our deck, at our cabin. We have blinds on them now, &

have to take them down when we use the door.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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