Louvers

Tedswoodworking Plans

Ted's Woodworking Plans

Get Instant Access

When building louvered shutters, there are two important things to keep in mind. First, you want all the louvers to be consistent and fit properly in the frame. And second, once all the pieces are made, you need an easy way to assemble them. This is where the two simple jigs I built come into play. So before you get started, you'll want to turn to page 25 and put these jigs together. It'll be time well spent.

MAKING THE LOUVERS. I built this project from the inside out and started by making the 12 identical louvers. The How-To box below shows you all the basics, so I'll just touch on the high points.

First, I picked out some straight-grained 3A"-thick stock and took it to the table saw. For these shutters, you'll rip it into oversized blanks

Louvm

Refer to page 25 for instructions on building assembly jig ftfOff; PfliffTprrt nrr aff-c.enitVii.ro» Width of iitijVe'-.

and then resaw the blanks into two halves. After planing these strips to final thickness P/V'), I cut the 12 louvers (A) to width and length.

ROUNDOVER. The thin louvers will look nicer with rounded edges. A roundover bit in the router table will make quick work of this detail.

HOLES AND MORE HOLES. After routing the roundovers, you have pieces that look like completed louvers. But to make them "operational" you need to drill two sets of holes in each louver. The off-center V32" holes in each end of the louvers will hold the steel pivot pins (detail 'a'). And a pair of pilot holes in one

NOTE: Drill %>" -dia holes for pivot pins in ends of louvers edge of each louver will make installing the connecting staples go a lot easier. These next two steps are where the simple drilling jig really pays for itself.

Once the holes were drilled, I placed the louvers into the assembly jig and then carefully tapped the steel pivot pins into place as shown in the drawing above.

Louver Pivot Drill Wood

Shape the Edges. Once the louvers are cut to size, you can take them to the router table. A Vs" roundover bit will put the traditional rounded edge on the louvers.

LiIWL'I fceWfrl drilling jrg

NOTE: Drill 'Ae

Drill Wife hotel ir) inds of fouler*

Louver Press

Pivot Pin Holes. Next, one by one the shaped louvers can be inserted into the drilling jig. First, at the drill press, you can drill the pivot pin holes in the ends

How-To: Louver Basics

Drill Wife hotel ir) inds of fouler*

NOTE: Drill 'Ae

LiIWL'I fceWfrl drilling jrg

Pivot Pin Holes. Next, one by one the shaped louvers can be inserted into the drilling jig. First, at the drill press, you can drill the pivot pin holes in the ends

Staple Pilot Holes. After drilling the holes for the pivot pins, I laid the jig and louver on the workbench and picked up a hand drill with a Vie" bit to complete the job.

Shape the Edges. Once the louvers are cut to size, you can take them to the router table. A Vs" roundover bit will put the traditional rounded edge on the louvers.

Router Louver Guide Template

NOTE: Frames joined with mortise and tenon

NOTE: Rabbet on back of rails provides space for louvers to close

NOTE: Frames joined with mortise and tenon

NOTE: Rabbet on back of rails provides space for louvers to close t

NOTE: Remove V12"-from rail edge prior to assembly t

NOTE: All frame pieces are Vg'-thick

NOTE: Remove V12"-from rail edge prior to assembly

At this point the louvers are resting in the assembly jig and just need a frame to hold them. A strong but lightweight mortise and tenon frame is what I chose (drawing above).

THE JOINERY. The construction of the frame is pretty straightforward, i began by cutting the stiles (B) and the mils (C.) to size from 5/s"-thick stock. Then I laid out the mortises on the stiies and drilled them out. 1 completed the mortises at the bench by squaring up the sides and ends wth a sharp chisel.

Cutting the tenons on the ends of the rails was a job for the dado blade on the table saw. The article on page 12 will give you a detailed look at this process.

"LOUVER FRIENDLY." After all of the tenons are cut and fitted, the join ery is complete. But the frame is not quite ready for assembly. A little more work is needed to make it "louver friendly."

When the louvers are in the closed position, you want them to lay tightly against one another. To allow this to happen, the top and bottom rails need a couple simple modifications. The box below shows how to do this.

First, I routed a short, shallow slot into the front of both the top and bottom rail. This slot forms a pocket for the con hoi bar to slide into when the louvers are in the closed-up or dosed-down position. And a saw kerf cut through the center of the slot provides clearance for the connecting staples on the back of the control bar.

Finally, cut a rabbet in the back of each rail to allow the louvers to close into the frame and then trim V32" off the rail for clearance.

PIVOT PIN HOLES After the pivot pin holes are drilled in the stiles, the frame will be ready to accept the louvers, You want to do this as accurately as possible so that the louvers will be evenly spaced and won't bind in the frame. Just follow the process shown in the box on the opposite page.

How-To: Modifying the Rails

Control Bar Slots. A sharp, V2" straight bit in the router table makes cutting a clean stopped slot in the rails an easy job

A Simple Rabbet. Finally, the dado blade will quickly cut a rabbet in the back of each rail that allows the louvers to lay flat.

Control Bar Slots. A sharp, V2" straight bit in the router table makes cutting a clean stopped slot in the rails an easy job

A Saw Kerf. Now, at the table saw, make a centered '/y'-deep cut through the slot to provide clearance for the staple,

A Simple Rabbet. Finally, the dado blade will quickly cut a rabbet in the back of each rail that allows the louvers to lay flat.

Cupboard Designs Louver

ond stile. One M^r clamp at each end will pull □ the joints tight. A temporary clamp through the middle will help push the pivot pins into the stiles.

THE CONTROL BAR Adding the control bar to the shutter is the final step. Start by cutting the control bar (D) to size and then shaping the edges. Now drill pilot holes for the staples (detail 'b'), to match the louver spacing. Here again, it's best to prefinish the control bar.

To continue, I picked up a tack hammer and a pair of needle nose pliers and carefully inserted staples into the control bar. With the

FINISH. Now before you begin the assembly, you might consider a short detour. I realized that once the shutter was assembled, it would be a real pain to apply the stain and finish and do a decent job of it. So it's best to hold off on the assembly until after you do at least some of the finishing on the louvers and the frame. (You can dry clamp the frame to do the finish sanding.) This interrupts the flow of the project a bit, but it will sure ly save on some time and frustration in the long run.

THE ASSEMBLY. At this point you can begin the assembly. With the louvers set in the assembly jig, just carefully fit one stile over the pivot pins. Add glue to the joints and then assemble the rails and the sec th Litter in the assembly jig, lay the control bar on the louvers and get it properly lined up. Then loop a loose staple through the staple in the control bar and gently tap it into the pilot holes (detail 'a'). When all the staples are inserted, you can lift the shutter out and give it a try. ES

Using the handy assembly jig, you can easily turn the loose parts into an attractive, functional shutter.

cowmo; bar

UiC tack .hsmrriti' tu Jfltff j [jp/ei

NOTE: Control bar added after frame and louvers are assembled duvOle point staple

END VIEW

Assembly-- jig steadies louvers while control bar is added

Louvnr

CONTnQt. BAR

note: Qrill We' pilot hüfuj forfr?PriM

Control bar has "Vs" radius on all top edges

NOTE: JrlJCrr irtapJ^j 111 control L-iir before mtüf.ning rn Jûi/I'pit

BOTTOM VIEW

How-Tot Adding the Pivot Pin Holes

NOTE: Use assembly jig to lay out location of louver pins

NOTE: Center divot pin r,l?ll"! tjiiiwireri mirKT

NOTE: Use marked stHe to lay out second stile

Drilling the Holes. Once you've marked the position of the holes, a fence damped to the drill press table will allow you to drill them accurately.

Layout. Accurate layout of the pivot pin holes is important. Transfer the louver spacing from the assembly jig to the stiles and then center the holes between the marks.

The Face Hold Inside

Cutting the Grooves. The grooves that hold the splines are simply cut in a single pass across the table saw. Just take care to hold the inside face of each piece against the fence.

NOTE: Corner posts and louvers are joined with splines

Building Woodworkers Tool Cabinets

TOP VIEW

NOTE: Refer to page 16 for article on building iouvered shutters

Louvered shutters can be opened and closed to control lighting

NOTE: Shutter tower requires four identical louvered shutters

Corner posts stand proud of shutter frames

Comer posts ore rut fftfbi ■WMWcit rtotk

Cutting the Grooves. The grooves that hold the splines are simply cut in a single pass across the table saw. Just take care to hold the inside face of each piece against the fence.

Cutting Splines. Making small splines to fit the grooves is a two-step process Start with saw cuts in the edge of a workpiece Ripping off these edges will leave you with properly sized splines.

TOP VIEW

How To: Grooves and Splines

C ofnêfi POST

shutter tower

NOTE: Refer to page 16 for article on building iouvered shutters

Comer posts ore rut fftfbi ■WMWcit rtotk

Construction boxes below will give you some help. The 3/4"-square corner posts stand proud of the shutter stiles (detail 'a'). So when cutting the grooves, hold the back of the shutter stiles and the inside faces of the corner posts against the fence.

SPLINES Once all the grooves are cut, you'll need to make 8 hardwood splines sized to fit them. This is just a two-step process, as shown in the right-hand drawing below.

ASSEMBLE THE TOWER. With the splines keeping all the pieces aligned, the assembly goes pretty smoothly, I didn't try to glue up ail four sides at once. Start by gluing and clamping all four of the corner posts onto two of the shutters. Then glue the two remaining shutters in between to complete the tower Check the tower for square and make sure everything is flush at the top and bottom.

Normally, a Iouvered shutter is used to keep the bright light out of a room. But the Iouvered shutters of this cleverly designed lamp are meant to let the light into the room.

Tliis attractive cherry lamp looks and functions like no other lamp. The Iouvered shutters allow complete control of both the intensity of the light and its direction. You can easily create any mood that suits you — from soft light to bright, direct light or reflected

I think vou'll agree, it's a pretty unique project and when put to use, it's sure to draw attention.

SHUTTERS AND POSTS. 1 began by making four Iouvered shutters (A) like the ones shown above. The article on page 16 will take you through the process. Now if you take a look at the drawing at right, you'll see that the shutters are joined to square corner posts with splines to form the lamp tower.

So with the four shutters standing by, I cut the four corner posts (B) to size from W-thick stock. Next the !/s"-deep grooves that will hold the splines can be cut in the shutter stiles and the corner posts. The

BflttAvoocf spfinn

Louvered shutters can be opened and closed to control lighting

NOTE: Shutter tower requires four identical louvered shutters

Corner posts stand proud of shutter frames

NOTE: Corner posts and louvers are joined with splines

The Staircase Killer Fire Poker

END VIEW

flip L'iíyes to jjef finished uplines

END VIEW

flip L'iíyes to jjef finished uplines

Woodsmith 111 Flip Top

TOP l'ANEt.

Osar yjotój

Cleats are glued — and screwed to top panel

Once the shutter tower is assembled, you can begin work on enclosing it with a top and a base. Then it's just a matter of adding the lights.

THE TOP. Take a look at the drawing at right and you'll see how the top is assembled. First, 1 glued up the top panel (C) from :>/i" stock and then cut it to size. Next a wide chamfer is cut around the bottom edge to create a transition between the top and the tower (detail 'a').

EASY ACCESS I wanted the top panel to be fastened solidly to the tower, but also easily removable for access to the wiring inside. The exploded drawing above and detail V show how to resolve this problem. First 1 added two chamfered cleats (D) that hold threaded inserts to the underside of the top. Knurled brass knobs installed

Kntíf¡ítd t>rs5S frrinti ttwilÜZ/!\ WÍS floWi W!> J in rtet in pli lí.1

w ¿.o threaded inisrl

END VIEW

SECTION

UIEW

BOTTOM PANEL. The lower drawing at left shows the details of the base. You can begin by making a bottom panel (E) identical to the top panel. As you see, it's also fastened to the tower for easy removal (detail 'b'}.

THE SKIRT. The final task is assembling the mitered skirt that the bottom panel rests on. You can begin by cutting the four skirt pieces (F) to width and rough length from 3A" stock. Then miter the ends to form a square frame sized to sit proud of the bottom panel (detail h').

Next, while the blade of the saw was still at 45°, I cut spline grooves in the mitered faces (detail 'a'). The splines will reinforce the joints and make the the assembly go easier.

Before leaving the saw, 1 cut grooves to hold tabletop fasteners (detail 'b'). These hold the bottom panel to the skirt tightly while allowing it to expand and contract.

With the joinery completed, I moved from the table saw to the band saw. Here I cut the arch profile into the skirt pieces.

GLUEUP. Now the skirt can be glued up and fastened to the bottom panel. And after adding base assembly to the tower, the lamp is ready for some light.

through the top rails of the shutters will hold the top firmly in place.

BUILD A BASE. With the top completed, the simple base is next. It serves to give the lamp a steady footing and also provides a good place to hide some of the wiring components you'll add later.

Mitered skirt pieces joined with splines

Bottom pane! is identical to top panel

BOTTOM PANEl m

Groove holds tabletop — fasteners

SKIRT HEŒ

Simple arch profile J cut on band saw.

Metal tabletop fasteners fasten skirt to bottom panel

Rh woodscrew

SIDE sncnoN VIEW

iiifitjf taWtkçp fjitener

3/rrftr

Wood smith adding

Light

With the assembly complete, it was time to make the lamp light up. And this turned out to be easy.

CHOOSING LIGHTS. When deciding how to add light to the lamp, there are a couple considerations. First, in the enclosed space of the lamp tower, heat buildup can be a problem. So small, low-wattage lights are the way to go. A second consideration is how many lights are needed? I settled on two — one at the top and one at the bottom.

THE LIGHTS. Fortunately, I found a simple lighting system that fit the requirements and was really easy to install. The small xenon Pockit» light kit that I purchased comes complete with two 20-watt, self-contained lights and a transformer with an attached wiring block.

INSTALLATION. To allow adequate ventilation, I mounted the tranformer and the wiring block to the bottom of the base panel. Then you can surface mount one light in the center of the top panel and the second in the center of the bottom panel over a 3/4"-dia. wiring hole.

WIRE CHASE. Finally I added a wire chase (G) to one corner of the lamp. To make this piece, start with an 3/4"-thick oversized blank and cut a 5/«"-square rabbet into one edge. Then rip this edge off to create the

W-square wire chase, (detail 'a'). It's glued into one corner of the lamp over a second wiring hole.

Once all the pieces are in place, plug the lights into the wiring block and give the lamp a try.

Woodsmith Louvered Lamp

Louvered Shutters for your windows

] put the louvered shutters that I built to a pretty unique use, but you can use the same techniques to build them for a more conventional purpose. With a few simple design changes, you can build louvered shutters custom-sized to fit the windows in your home.

If you're interested In building louvered shutters for use in your home, go to the WoodsmitH website to find construction and installation information.

WDxkmttfa I

ON-LINE EXTRAS

TKa nsftititöbr

■ ■ Lower light centered in bottom panel over wiring hole

Transformer

2i.aw view

WIRE

CHASE

- uppw light centered under top panel

NOTE: Lights are surface mounted

Wire chase contains cord from upper light

HO fi: 1töre cftaur ■ > l-'.'T tmm b^L'Ji'ÜMf

Mortise Jig

Shallow Mortise Jig

One of my favorite features on the tool cabinet are the false tenons that accent the sides (right photo). They really draw your attention and give the cabinet a "hand-crafted" look.

But I didn't want to knock myself out cutting all these mortises by hand. Routing them seemed like the best way to go. And for this job, I built the simple mortise jig that you see in the drawing below.

The jig is designed to be used with the dado cleanout bit shown on page 10. Since this bit will cut flush to the template, the guide opening is sized to the mortise.

The easiest way to create an accurate opening is to piece the template together, as shown in the drawing below When you glue the pieces together, you can leave an opening the exact length and width of the mortises. A cleat fastened to the template spaces the mortise at the correct distance from the edge of the cabinet sides.

To use the jig, just clamp it in place with the opening over the position of the mortise (detail 'a'). After routing the mortises, I left the jig in place while I used a sharp chisel to square the corners. G3

The false tenons hide the screws in the cabinet sides and also add a nice detail

NOTE: Opening in template is exact size of mortise

Mcfrtisirii) tempkne

NOTE: Template n made freuv Vj'-thick mante

Template is pieced together to create guide opening

QiiiSftiiUe

How-To: Make Chamfered False Tenons

The challenge to making the chamfered false tenons for the tool cabinet lies in their small size. Once they're cut to their final %" length, there's just not much to hold on to when trying to chamfer the ends. The solution is to chamfer first, then cut them to length.

I started with a blank of wood sized to fit the mortises and long enough to make all 16 tenons. At the router table, I chamfered all four edges of both ends (Fig. 1). Then I took the blank to the table saw. Here I set up the fence with a stop block in front of the blade (Fig. 2) to gauge the length and cut each end off of the blank. Now repeat the process until all 16 tenons are completed.

Chamfer all* four edçm 'jf both end\

'y^fttif) block clamped to fence "sizes' ESiltlrtiX

Auxiliary fencx

Btanii cut ;0 nfr mm tiiii

Next a hand drill at the bench will quickly handle the pilot holes for the staplesT

Louver Drilling Jig

When building louvered shutters, consistency is a key. All the louvers should be well aligned in the frame for smooth operation. And this drilling jig will help with that task.

As you can see in the drawing below, all it takes are a few scraps of hard maple. The height of the uprights matches the 2" width of the louver. The centered grooves are sized to hold the louver snug (detail 'a'). And the uprights are mounted on the base to tightly capture the louver between them.

Now you want to drill the guide holes accurately. The 1/i6n guide holes for the staple are centered in the base 5A6" apart. The guide holes in the uprights for drilling the pivot pin holes are offset toward the base, as shown below.

With the louver held firmly, drilling the two sets of holes accurately is a snap (right photos}. Bl

M First come the pivot pin holes at the drill press. Tape on the bit is your depth stop.

Next a hand drill at the bench will quickly handle the pilot holes for the staplesT

NOTE: Pivot pin guide holes are offset to bottom of uprights

END VIEW

Groove cut to match thickness r»r (ni

Mdf Assembly Tools

-dia. staple pilot holes

NOTE: Base and uprights are -thick hardwood t*Sx 1W Fh v/ut)dSzfCW

NOTE: Pivot pin guide holes are offset to bottom of uprights

-dia. staple pilot holes

END VIEW

Groove cut to match thickness r»r (ni

NOTE: Base and uprights are -thick hardwood

NOTE: a.i L1 Inuver holders art MDF

Mdf Assembly Tools

Slots cut with blade on table saw

Router Louver Jig

Shutter Assembly Jig

I think you'll find that building this shutter assembly jig is well worth the effort. It makes what could be an awkward job go really smoothly.

Start by cutting an MDF base. Its width should match the inside dimension of the shutter frame. Next you'll add a pair of louver holders to the base. These two pieces are the key parts of the jig. The slots in the holders will determine the spacing of the louvers, so they need to be cut accurately.

NOTE: a.i L1 Inuver holders art MDF

To do this, I cut the two louver holders to size then carefully laid out the position of the slots. After installing a VV dado blade on the table saw, clamp the two pieces together with their ends aligned. Now, using the miter gauge, just cut to the layout lines.

After attaching the louver holders, I added a pair of hardboard cleats. The cleats trap the louvers in the jig and support the shutter frame during the glueup. E9

Vt hardboard cleats trap in jig

Slots cut with blade on table saw

A

I L|

LI ■ {;■ I

—»J

Louvci holder

SIDE VIEW

Louvci holder

A This easy-to-build assembly jig will help with several steps in the building process. First use it to mark the position of the pivot pin holes in the stiles. Later, it will make the assembly a breeze.

Weekend Project through tenon

Nantucket Bench

Mortises on the table saw? Why not This easy-to-build bench gives you the perfect opportunity to try it.

The bench in the photo below is a simple, country classic. I'm guessing it might look kind of familiar. Because this basic style has been used for ages. Two ends, a seat, and a few connecting pieces — that's really about all there is to it.

What first catches your eye are the gracefully-shaped end panels that form the legs and the "through-tenons" of the stretcher. This joinery gives the bench the look of a piece that took some extra time and experience to build.

In the past, hand tools would have been used for this task. But there's an easier way to achieve the same results with a lot less work.

Believe it or not, you're going to use the table saw to cut the mortises. As you can see in the drawing at right, the mortises start out as notches cut into the edges of the three separate boards that make up the end panels. When the boards are assembled, the notches align to form the through mortises.

NOTE: Notches cut in end panels before assembly create mortises

4Vi-1

NOTE: Notches cut in end panels before assembly create mortises

Dado Cutting Saw Bench

V/s"-deep notches are cut with dado biade on the table saw

Final shape of bench end panel is cut with jig saw or band saw.

V/s"-deep notches are cut with dado biade on the table saw

Bench end panels begin as three boards making the

Ends

NOTE: Shape of bench end panels can be laid out using a compass and straight edge

Final shape of bench end panel is cut with jig saw or band saw.

Bench end panels begin as three boards

NOTE: Shape of bench end panels can be laid out using a compass and straight edge

NOTE: Bench end panels are glued up from V-thick stock

The first step is to cut the three boards that form each bench end blank to size from 1" stock. You want to make certain the width of the center board is accurate. This will ensure that you end up with the correct spacing between the two mortises.

CUT THE NOTCHES Once the boards are cut to size, you can begin work on cutting the notches that create the mortises. The box below gives you the inside track. But before you get started, take a little time to mark the bottom of each board. When I cut the notches, I made sure to hold the bottom edge of each piece tightly against the rip fence. This way the notches line up to form perfectly-sized mortises.

GLUE UP. Once the notches are cut, you can glue the boards together to form the end panel blanks. 1 used a simple trick to keep the notches aligned during assembly. Just take some scraps of hardwood and cut "keys" sized to fit the assembled mortises. When they're inserted during the giueup, they'll keep the notches perfectly aligned while the clamps are tightened down.

NOTE: Bench end panels are glued up from V-thick stock

A little wax on the keys will keep them from sticking in the mortises.

CUT TO SHAPE. When the glue is dry, the end panels can be cut to shape. The shape of the completed bench ends is just a combination of radiused curves connected by straight lines. A compass and a straightedge are all you need for the layout and detail 'a' will provide all the dimensions.

After completing the layout of the end panels, cut them to shape with a band saw or jig saw. A little sanding will smooth the edges.

How-To: Making Mortises with the Table Saw

Cutting Wide Dados Table Saw

Cutting the Notches. The table saw, with a 3A"-wide dado blade installed, will make cutting the notches that form the mortises an easy job With the hp fence as a stop, just sneak up on the height

Assembling the End Blanks. The trick to assembling the end blanks is keeping the notches aligned Waxed keys inserted before the clamps are tightened down will solve the problem.

Cutting the Notches. The table saw, with a 3A"-wide dado blade installed, will make cutting the notches that form the mortises an easy job With the hp fence as a stop, just sneak up on the height

Assembling the End Blanks. The trick to assembling the end blanks is keeping the notches aligned Waxed keys inserted before the clamps are tightened down will solve the problem.

Shutter Louvered Router Bit

BENCH END PANEL

NOTE: Tenons are chamfered on ail four faces

TOP VIEW

Stretcher boards are glued together after tenons are cut

Mai. 'I Wkitti QI martlU!

STREICHE»

NOTE: Stretcher is made from V-thick stock

Notches that create tenons are cut on table saw

BENCH END (A) PANEL

FriON* SECTION view

Benirf! pfléf

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

Get My Free Ebook


Responses

Post a comment