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Plantation Shutters

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Project by dannorocks posted 03-06-2015 07:40 AM 2523 views 5 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well I’m new the the forum here, but not so new to wood working. My wife and I bought a new house and she wanted plantation shutters. After we got a quote from a local shop I decided to take on the task with the help from Rockler. Using their 3 1/2” hidden control arm kit, hardware and lumber I made out quite well and am very happy with the finished product. So far I’ve made 14 for our house and have six left that I’ll make. I have a few eyebrow shaped transom windows that I’m going to wait and think of how I’ll make them or just leave them alone. I used the same stain our cabinets were stained with (Sherwin Williams wiping stain) to match and used Minwax Oil Based Satin Polyurethane to finish. I took small picture frame eye hooks and open the eye’s up and put them in the spot where I’d drill the louver pins to hang the slats, rails etc… to dry after wiping on stain or poly. Used 1/2” dowels to assemble using Titebond III wood glue. I also had to build a frame around each window to to have a hang strip for the shutters, I could have made an internal one that looks frameless, but my wife wanted the moulding wrapped around the window that is the same as the paint grade moulding that is below the window sill.

Hope you all enjoy them, as you’ll see I made a few without a middle rail, and others with a middle rail. It was quite a learning process but I’ve come to learn if you put your mind to it and take your time the end result can be quite rewarding (my wife is quite pleased!).





9 comments so far

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

60 posts in 1273 days


#1 posted 03-06-2015 12:01 PM

Hello and welcome to LJ!
Your shutters turned out beautifully! I have wondered how well the Rockler shutter jig works, as I’ve considered doing the same thing in my home, but I’ve been hesitant not knowing much about how it all works. Do you have any tips or even a video of the process? Again, your shutters look great!

Kelly

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

771 posts in 2896 days


#2 posted 03-06-2015 01:04 PM

Nicely done, and just remember, for every dollar saved that could have gone to a shutter vendor, now it can go to a tool selling vendor :) Win Win

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23175 posts in 2331 days


#3 posted 03-06-2015 02:01 PM

This brings back old memories. We use to run plantation shutter molding for businesses all over the southeast. They would cut, assemble, finish, and install them for homes all over. Yours turned out beautifully.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Todd's profile

Todd

39 posts in 1774 days


#4 posted 03-06-2015 05:13 PM

Something I always wanted to do, but a lot of work. Nice job.

-- Todd, Ontario, CA

View dannorocks's profile

dannorocks

54 posts in 643 days


#5 posted 03-06-2015 07:49 PM



Hello and welcome to LJ!
Your shutters turned out beautifully! I have wondered how well the Rockler shutter jig works, as I ve considered doing the same thing in my home, but I ve been hesitant not knowing much about how it all works. Do you have any tips or even a video of the process? Again, your shutters look great!

Kelly

- Kelly

I don’t have any videos sorry. But I believe there is a guy who did some you tube videos.

My best suggestion to get started is looking at Rockler’s website and look at the measuring guide so you can plan from there how you will build the framing that you hang the shutter on and get the measurements for the width and height of your shutter. I also used their design wizard- enter the size you want to build and it will give you a detailed cut list. The jig also comes with instructions that are pretty helpful too.

It takes me roughly 8 hours to do all the basic cutting, router table rabbiting, sanding, and apply one coat of stain and poly. Then the next morning I’ll sand and put on a second coat and then later in the evening I’ll sand with steel wool and put the third final coat of poly on. Third day I’ll drill all the holes for assembly (I like drilling the louver holes last so they don’t get filled up with poly and the pins fit better in my experience) and let the glue set and may touch up a little more poly if needed. Then i’ll wait another day to put the shutter up in the window using mortised butt hinges and magnetic catches.

So most the work can be done in a weekend but I took the time to glue them with dowels. If I had painted them or used a sprayer it definitely would have taken less time because i hand rubbed all the finishes (one stain, 3 poly). One helpful tip would be to label your rail and stiles before assembly; which way is front and top and bottom. The rabbited rails have to face a certain direction and if your putting a middle rail in it also is rabbited in a a way it needs to face the correct direction as well as the louver slats have a rabbited edge for the hidden control arm. So take your time laying out all the parts for assembly so they are facing the right direction before squeezing out the glue! That was the hard part for me, put one piece in backwards and realize it after i just got done wiping glue and had to take the whole thing apart to flip around just one louver to get the rabbited edge to face the right way.

Anyway, thanks for all the nice comments everyone!

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

712 posts in 3294 days


#6 posted 03-06-2015 10:44 PM

Great job…I’m sure you saved yourself a bundle and they certainly fit in with your decor. I noticed that you didn’t include a central bar that connects all the louvers togehter…so how do you open and close them? Or do you usually leave them in one position?

Anyway they look great!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

712 posts in 3294 days


#7 posted 03-06-2015 10:50 PM

Great job…I’m sure you saved yourself a bundle and they certainly fit in with your decor. I noticed that you didn’t include a central bar that connects all the louvers togehter…so how do you open and close them? Or do you usually leave them in one position?

Anyway they look great!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View dannorocks's profile

dannorocks

54 posts in 643 days


#8 posted 03-07-2015 10:52 AM



Great job…I m sure you saved yourself a bundle and they certainly fit in with your decor. I noticed that you didn t include a central bar that connects all the louvers togehter…so how do you open and close them? Or do you usually leave them in one position?

Anyway they look great!

- Mathew Nedeljko

These shutters all have a control arm that is positioned on the backside of the shutter near the window, by the hinges. You can’t see it because it’s literally hidden! Hidden control arm is the actual name for it. The louvers on the backside have a small 3/16” rabbit that allows clearance for the control arm between the louver and the stile. I had spray panted them black to blend in too.

View dannorocks's profile

dannorocks

54 posts in 643 days


#9 posted 03-07-2015 04:12 PM

Here’s a picture of a shutter I made with the hidden control arm visible; near the edge of the window / towards where the hinges are.

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