Building movable louvered shutters is a project I've wanted to tackle for quite a while. It would not only involve some new and interesting woodworking challenges, but the end result would be something really functional. And for me it was a great learning experience. I found that there's more to building louvered shutters than I had imagined.
AIL THE PARTS. The construction of movable louvered shutters is pretty standard. The "anatomy" drawing at left tells the story. The heart of the shutters is the louvers. On my shutters these are just 2"-wide slats of wood — rounded along the edges. Metal pins inserted in the ends of the louvers allow them to pivot easily in the simple mortise and tenon frame The louvers are spaced so that in the closed position they overlap like a row of fallen dominoes.
But now how do you get the louvers to move together? Well, this is simple, but rather clever. As you can see, a control bar is loosely fastened to the louvers with staples. When the control bar is moved, all of the louvers follow along.
Another trick that I came across was how to keep the weight of the control bar from making the shutters "self-closing." The pivot pins in the ends of the louvers are positioned Vs" off-center across the width of the louver. This is enough to counter-balance the control bar
Now this might sound like a lot of work, but that's not the case. With the help of a couple simple jigs and a little patience, you'll have working shutters in no time.
NOTE: Rabbets in rails allow louvers to close completely
Steel pins allow louvers to pivot in frame 1
NOTE: All louvers are identical
Stiles and rails are joined with mortise and tenon
Control bar and louvers are connected with staples
Slot in rails provides clearance so louvers close completely
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Drill pilot holes for connecting staples
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