How To Make Shutters Like The Pros
Learning how to make shutters can be a daunting task that should be left to the professionals. However, there is always value in trying new things and plantation shutters can make a great addition to any home. One of the benefits of learning how to make shutters is that there are a variety of skills that must be acquired in order for them to look good. In addition to having a solid set of plans or blueprint explaining exactly how to make shutters, you should have the following skills.
- Rough Carpentry Skills – You will need to be able to cut, plane, drill, mortise, chisel, and fasten all types of wood. Shutters are an extremely complex project and should not be taken on as a first time DIY task.
- Painting and Staining Skills – Learning how to make shutters for even a medium sized project will require you know how to paint hundreds of small louvers and frames quickly and properly. If your painting or staining skills are lacking, painting shutters will be a very difficult task.
- Finish Carpentry Skills – In order to install your new shutters you’re going to need to be able to make very small adjustments in size, tweak hinges and rails, and fasten your shutters to the wall securely and inconspicuously.
How To Make Shutters – Cutting The Material
In order to waste as little material as possible with your cuts, be sure to have a cut list prepared before making your first cut according to your plan book. Measure your window openings within 1/32 of an inch to keep the gap between your shutter and the window frame as small as possible. Plantation shutters are made up of three components: Rails, Stiles, and Louvers.
Stiles – Stiles make up the outside vertical pieces of the shutter itself. These are what the louvers are fastened to which allows them to rotate freely.
Rails – The rails are the horizontal pieces that cap the top and bottom of the shutter. In particularly large shutters, there may even be a third rail in the middle of the shutter.
Louvers – The louvers are what make up the body of the shutter. They are what rotate up and down to open or close the shutter. Louvers must be drilled and fastened precisely to allow them move freely and block all light.
How To Make Shutters – Assembling The Pieces
After cutting all of the material on your cut list, you can begin assembling the plantation shutters into panels that will be inserted into the frames. There are no nails or screws used in the assembling process. Instead joints are tightly fitted together with glue and clamps, and louvers are attached to the pull rod with specifically designed staples. The louvers themselves are drilled into the stiles with dowels so that they are held in place, but can spin freely to open and close.
Once assembled into individual panels, you move into attaching them to the frames with hinges so that they can be opened and closed to reveal the window. Like everything when learning how to make shutters, adjusting the hinges and panels takes patience and practice. After you have assembled the panels and frames you will have a set of completed shutters. Depending on the style of frame you used, they may be fasted to the inside of the window opening, or attached directly to the outside. Use 3 inch screws to attach your frames directly to the studs that make up the window frame. Fill your holes with putty, and paint or stain to match the trim. Finally, caulk the edges of your shutter to conceal any blemishes or gaps which may have resulted from fitting it into the window.
Although the steps seem easy enough learning how to make shutters takes an incredible amount of patience and dedication.