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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Guys

I need a lot of plantation shutters for my house and am considering making them (I reckon it's about 1/4 of cost of buying or better).

I have a decent table saw and router setup and have seen jigs from Rockler and ShutterCutter and even router bits to make your own slats.

The construction *seems* pretty straightforward. What concerns me is painting them (they need to be white). Seems like it's going to be a very long, tedious process if you don't have a spray gun (I don't have one and have no experience with one, so would be a bit concerned about using one (of course, I could practice), plus only have garage to work in unless it's sunny outside (some months from that happening, here in Chicago).

Anyone ever done this and painted them. If so, or if you haven't done it yourself, but have a suggestion would love to hear from you. I presume, the best thing is to paint before assembly.

If I invested in spray equipment, what would I need and what sort of $ am I looking at? (I hear the rental stuff at HD, etc. isn't that good).
 

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i did a huge plantation shutter job awhile back. i was in the same boat you're in. decided to purchase and finish myself. very glad i did because there was considerable areas that would have been difficult in the construction. i recommend you go look at some very closely and make the build/buy determination from that. i rattle can polyurethaned. yes it took time.
 

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mark_anderson_us said:
Hi Guys

I need a lot of plantation shutters for my house and am considering making them (I reckon it's about 1/4 of cost of buying or better).

I have a decent table saw and router setup and have seen jigs from Rockler and ShutterCutter and even router bits to make your own slats.

The construction *seems* pretty straightforward. What concerns me is painting them (they need to be white). Seems like it's going to be a very long, tedious process if you don't have a spray gun (I don't have one and have no experience with one, so would be a bit concerned about using one (of course, I could practice), plus only have garage to work in unless it's sunny outside (some months from that happening, here in Chicago).

Anyone ever done this and painted them. If so, or if you haven't done it yourself, but have a suggestion would love to hear from you. I presume, the best thing is to paint before assembly.

If I invested in spray equipment, what would I need and what sort of $ am I looking at? (I hear the rental stuff at HD, etc. isn't that good).
Mark, I did exactly what you are planning and I used the Rockler templates and bought the basswood locally. I have Donne 2 windows so far with good results and painted them with anHVLP gun. I had never tried spray painting either but I found out it isn't too hard. I haven't posted any pictures yet and don't know how but I will try this weekend.
A couple of things to make the job a little easier first you absolutely pre finish the parts before assembly. Rockler recommends pocket hole joinery and I followed that but on the next window I will try another route because with pocket holes you have to plug the holes and finish or refinish the back of the frame and it is hard (for me) to match. The whole thing is straight forward and not too difficult if you read the instructions included with the templates (or go on line to Rockler to download them). Rockler has an online program that provides all of the dimensions with input from you and I found them to be right on. It is a good project and might justify a few tools to make life easier. LOL

Enjoy the project
 

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Mark, I did exactly what you are planning and I used the Rockler templates and bought the basswood locally. I have Donne 2 windows so far with good results and painted them with anHVLP gun. I had never tried spray painting either but I found out it isn't too hard. I haven't posted any pictures yet and don't know how but I will try this weekend.
A couple of things to make the job a little easier first you absolutely pre finish the parts before assembly. Rockler recommends pocket hole joinery and I followed that but on the next window I will try another route because with pocket holes you have to plug the holes and finish or refinish the back of the frame and it is hard (for me) to match. The whole thing is straight forward and not too difficult if you read the instructions included with the templates (or go on line to Rockler to download them). Rockler has an online program that provides all of the dimensions with input from you and I found them to be right on. It is a good project and might justify a few tools to make life easier. LOL

Enjoy the project
Thanks KellerMK. Did you rent the gun or buy? If you bought, what sort of cost are we talking. Are you happy with the gun you bought/rented?

Yeah, I don't think I'd use pocket holes either. I'd have thought glued up mortise and tenons would suffice. My first half dozen shutters (and maybe all of them) will be for first floor and will be split top and bottom (single panel with fixed rail in middle and independent top and bottom operation), so the panel will always be closed and subjected to little stress. Bottom louvres will typically be closed (for privacy) and top slats open for light. Given this, I don't see the need for anything better than M&T joint.

I've yet to find a shutter kit/program that supports split panels. I presume I could just model it as two small panels with a thin rail on the bottom of the top "shutter" and a thin rail on the top of the bottom "shutter". Alternatively, I guess I could just leave whatever gap I need in the middle. I'm probably going to use 2.5" louvres, so I may be able to get away with putting the fixed rail in the middle in place of one louvres. Will need to mock one up and see.

Agreed about an excuse to buy tools ;)

Regards

Mark
 

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mark_anderson_us said:
Thanks KellerMK. Did you rent the gun or buy? If you bought, what sort of cost are we talking. Are you happy with the gun you bought/rented?

Yeah, I don't think I'd use pocket holes either. I'd have thought glued up mortise and tenons would suffice. My first half dozen shutters (and maybe all of them) will be for first floor and will be split top and bottom (single panel with fixed rail in middle and independent top and bottom operation), so the panel will always be closed and subjected to little stress. Bottom louvres will typically be closed (for privacy) and top slats open for light. Given this, I don't see the need for anything better than M&T joint.

I've yet to find a shutter kit/program that supports split panels. I presume I could just model it as two small panels with a thin rail on the bottom of the top "shutter" and a thin rail on the top of the bottom "shutter". Alternatively, I guess I could just leave whatever gap I need in the middle. I'm probably going to use 2.5" louvres, so I may be able to get away with putting the fixed rail in the middle in place of one louvres. Will need to mock one up and see.

Agreed about an excuse to buy tools ;)

Regards

Mark
Mark, I bought an Earlex 5500 system and I think it was about $350.00 but b4 that I bought a small finish gun at Home Depot and painted one set of shutters. I only have a pancake compressor and kept running out of pressure and took too much time but it did work. The real advantage with the HVLP is most of the paint lands on the project and sticks! FYI the Rockler program supports the split shutters and that is what I did, I also hinged them to be able to fan fold them. I other words there are 4 panels across a 6' window.. As for the joinery keep in mind that you have to align ind hold in place all of the blades while you assemble the panel as well as keep it square at the same time. I assembled the left style, and 3 rails leaving the other style open to align the blades so I only had to worry with 1 style. Another thing I fount the blade stock in 10' lengths at a local lumber yard for a very reasonable price, I didn't want to try make them and Rockler is expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
FYI the Rockler program supports the split shutters
Hi KellerMK, I looked on the Rockler site again and I don't see any split shutter support. I want to split top and bottom for independent operation, so there would normally be a fixed rail in the middle. I guess that's called "tier on tier"

Like this:



That said, just saw this, which is an interesting approach: they seem to operate independently, with no midrail.


So I guess my question is, does the Rockler software do tier on tier? Do you get somethign different that what's on the web?

I saw another jig for about 1/3 price of rockler. It only does one size per kit (e.g. 2.5") , but that's all I need. http://shuttercutter.corecommerce.c...h-louvers-with-Self-Centering-Drill-Bits.html

There's a video on their home page

Regards

Mark
 

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mark_anderson_us said:
Hi KellerMK, I looked on the Rockler site again and I don't see any split shutter support. I want to split top and bottom for independent operation, so there would normally be a fixed rail in the middle. I guess that's called "tier on tier"

Like this:

That said, just saw this, which is an interesting approach: they seem to operate independently, with no midrail.

So I guess my question is, does the Rockler software do tier on tier? Do you get somethign different that what's on the web?

I saw another jig for about 1/3 price of rockler. It only does one size per kit (e.g. 2.5") , but that's all I need. http://shuttercutter.corecommerce.com/Jigs/Jigs-for-2-1-2-3-1-2-and-4-1-2-inch-louvers-with-Self-Centering-Drill-Bits.html

There's a video on their home page

Regards

Mark
Good evening Mark,
Maybe I misunderstood what you mean when you said you want to split in the center. I put a rail in the center of the panels so we can open the top half or the bottom half independently, we normally keep the bottom closed for privacy and the top open for the light. I put them in the kitchen and made a big difference in the light in the room. I'm looking forward to doing two more windows then I will decide if I want to keep going. One of my sons wants to get started doing them for his house so it looks like I'm in the business for awhile. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good evening Mark,
Maybe I misunderstood what you mean when you said you want to split in the center. I put a rail in the center of the panels so we can open the top half or the bottom half independently, we normally keep the bottom closed for privacy and the top open for the light. I put them in the kitchen and made a big difference in the light in the room. I'm looking forward to doing two more windows then I will decide if I want to keep going. One of my sons wants to get started doing them for his house so it looks like I'm in the business for awhile. LOL
HI KellerMK

That's exactly what I want to do. So the Rockler software can produce plans for this style?

I went here and didn't see an option

http://shutters.rockler.com/louver.cfc?method=start

Regards

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If your shutters are tall enough, the Rockler program will through in a mid rail.
Otherwise, you have to tell the program you want one.
These mid rails were auto generated due to their height (84").
Thanks Bladerunner. I'm still a little puzzled. Do you get different software with the jig. The online version won;t allow height > 80 and there's nothing to include middle rail.

Regards

Mark
 

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Thanks Bladerunner. I'm still a little puzzled. Do you get different software with the jig. The online version won;t allow height > 80 and there's nothing to include middle rail.

Regards

Mark
Mark, I'll take a look at the program and see if it has changed. In the meantime would you edit and re-size that pic which is causing all of the post to be so wide.
Joe
 

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My faulty memory. Here's what you need to know and also exceed the software 80" limitation by extrapolation.

Shutter Measuring and Mounting Guide.pdf (Rockler page)

Shutter Design Options


A Middle Rail is recommended for shutters over 48" in height.

Remove 2 Louvers from the shutter and replace with a 4"
wide rail with 5/16" rabbets. (and mousehole at the bottom of
the mid rail)


Hopefully this will help you, but if not let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My faulty memory. Here's what you need to know and also exceed the software 80" limitation by extrapolation.

Shutter Measuring and Mounting Guide.pdf (Rockler page)

Shutter Design Options


A Middle Rail is recommended for shutters over 48" in height.

Remove 2 Louvers from the shutter and replace with a 4"
wide rail with 5/16" rabbets. (and mousehole at the bottom of
the mid rail)


Hopefully this will help you, but if not let me know.
Brilliant. I presume those dimension change based on louver width.
 

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Just my two cents as far as spray equipment. I didn't have any experience with them and didn't have a lot of money to spend. I found the Graco HV2900 on ebay reconditioned for $39. It worked pretty good for me on the trim I was painting. Except if I left it in the sun during the summer it would stop working after an hour or so continuous use. I'd put it in the shade and it would start working again after a cool down period. It left I nice coat of paint on the wood but was limited in that if there was a small crack in the board, it wouldn't fill it in like painting with a brush unless you did a few coats. But if you're on a budget it's definitely not a bad option for that type of painting. I never tried it with stains or finishes.
 

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Just my two cents as far as spray equipment. I didn't have any experience with them and didn't have a lot of money to spend. I found the Graco HV2900 on ebay reconditioned for $39. It worked pretty good for me on the trim I was painting. Except if I left it in the sun during the summer it would stop working after an hour or so continuous use. I'd put it in the shade and it would start working again after a cool down period. It left I nice coat of paint on the wood but was limited in that if there was a small crack in the board, it wouldn't fill it in like painting with a brush unless you did a few coats. But if you're on a budget it's definitely not a bad option for that type of painting. I never tried it with stains or finishes.
Thanks for info. A lot of people gave good reviews of the HF sprayer, which is under $100 after 20% off coupon. I'm gonna give that a go first
 
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