Bevel slat shutters

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johnnyb

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I thought I'd post about how I went about making some fixed slat external shutters. Now the leigh fmt has an attachment that makes angled mortices to suit tenons made on the same jig. I have an fmt but the jig isn't available in the uk and is quite pricey for a few shutters. So that left me to ponder a good way to make these using what I had(this is always the fun part)
After a bit of pondering I settled on 1 3/4 inch square frame with 1/4 inch slats. The idea was to use a dado set at 1/4 to make evenly spaced cuts at 45 degrees both left and right to form a pair. Some thought had to go in to the spacing of the slats so they left a decent gap top and bottom and also the position of the first cut. I Could use a removable spacer gauge on the mitre gauge to achieve even spacing after making the first cut. I did occur to me that I'd have no trouble with the first side but I'd have trouble getting the second side perfectly matched as it involved re making the wooden mitre fence/removable spacer in the exact same spacing but on the opposite side. The first sides were perfect but making the opposite side proved hard. As it was seemingly impossible to reproduce this spacing(what happened was any tiny discrepancy resulted in large issues due to error accumulation. I decided to measure using calipers initially then every three slats stop and take a look what was happening and compare it with its opposite side. If it was getting in front I'd tap it to close the distance and vice versa. It involved slightly loosening the mitre gauge screws tap tap. Do three more. Check. This method got me perfect on the ends slats and within a mm or 2 on the mid slats. Phew. The position of the first cut I established using a few test boards longer than the shutter then by putting a sized slat in the groove it was possible to establish a spacing and a start position so the top and bottom gaps were nice and even. Ps can anyone identify the wood?
 

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Whilst making these it struck me that those 45 degree housings are shocking for splinters and therefore need rounding but also this needed doing before assembly as after the shutters were in the way! Also a small round over would compromise the tenon flush shoulders and introduce a round. It became obvious I needed to make the rails thinner to leave the round not on the shoulders. And this is why shutters all have this narrower rail effect....who knew?
I also put a stub mortice inside the slats to stop them ever dropping out. This was achieved by angling the mortice chisel in the morticer at 45 then making the stub narrow enough that the mortices would overlap(basically just under half an inch) so simply by turning the stile around a centralised stub was achieved. I cut the frame mortice and tenons next at the close of play assembling the frames. Next it's all 40 slats to rip.
 

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Thanks Jonny, I have some to make soon but hadn’t started to think how!
Timber, Iroko? And yes I know they’re nothing like each other but it reminded me of Cedar as well.
Not easy to describe what you’ve done sometimes I know but I couldn’t follow the paragraph ending in "who knew". After cutting the grooves for the slats are you saying that you wanted to round the edges of the cuts?
I liked the small mortices at an angle, I think I would have tried to make them without and come unstuck- literally!
 
The main problem was/is im making this stuff up as I go! So my original intention was to have a frame the same thickness all around. But as it became clear the edges were very sharp and had to be rounded it meant the rails needed to be thinner so the tenon shoulders didn't interfere with the round. The frame is literally that it has no purpose other than to give it structure so those narrower rails don't really matter in fact they make it look appropriate!
The wood looks a bit like the dark teak used on some 50/60s furniture. Not the light orange stuff.
The tricky job is undoubtedly spacing the left and right slats identically.
 
To do that you have to ponder something that allows micro adjustment of the distance between the 1/4 inch spacer(which must be removable for the first cut!) And the cut line(I had over size holes and a hammer on the mitre fence)
 
Here's the micro adjustable mitre fence arrangement and a close up of the timber with a bit of linseed on it.
 

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This afternoon I started making the slats. 40 altogether. I didn't have any more of the unidentified hardwood so I choose to make them in redwood and paint them. The slats were just over 60mm so I started with a 3 inch deal(9 inch wide) and about 2.3m tall. I divided it up to give lighter chunks and planed then edged and thicknessed all ways ending up at 63mm thick. I then ripped them into 10mm slats. When doing this I much prefer to rip off the open end so to speak. So the (dusty) procedure is to line the wood so the fence the wood and sswblade are just touching. Remove the wood then move the fence over 13mm(10mm finished plus 3mm kerf) then repeat fence over 13mm. Finally thickness both sides and reset.
Next they were thicknessed twice to a very tight fit(they need sanding) another technique to eliminate snipe here is to feed end to end one after the other. It can be done solo but is a frantic! Next was the chamfer so I made a 90 fence and broke through with a rather great 45 cutter with 4 carbide cutters. Using the power feed on fast. Next are the stub tenons.
 

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Finally finished these this morning. I assembled the frames and took measurements using 2 sticks. I chopped them all to identical lengths and formed the little tenons using a dado in stacks of 5. The next hardest bit is assembling them all as its a bit fiddly....not impossible you just need to gradually get all the tenons in the holes I found gradually squeezing a pair of sash cramps worked really well then going along all 20 then squeezing more repeat
I'll probably not glue the slats and maybe finish using osmo uv or similar.
 

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Finished the first ones with sprayed osmo uv oil. I thought it was a bit muddy as a finish tbh. And I had to wipe the teak down with thinners or it remained tacky ad infinitum. It does spray ok though. But I like these as they look a bit more modern than most joinery. I particularly like the 2 woods.
 

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