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Making louvre panels for outside enclosure?

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Digizz

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I'm about to design and make an outside enclosure for an aquarium chiller unit (like an air con unit). It needs good airflow/cooling around the unit to operate properly but also needs protecting from the elements.

It's going to sit next to an outside wall, so I thought I'd design a 'lean-to' type structure with a sloping roof and louvre side panels for max airflow (a bit like a weather station design)

I'm not sure about the best construction method for making the louvre panels (and that doesn't take a huge amount of time to make).

Any thoughts?

paul.
 

MikeW

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Hi Paul,

The way I've made them is to frame the structure and then determine the size of the louver panels.

Cut the outer frame pieces keeping your chosen manner of joinery in mind (i.e., if you are using M&T joinery make sure to cut the rails longer for the tenons).

Determine what angle you want the slats. Mark out the angles on the stiles. Mark out the spacing making sure you are allowing for the thickness of the slats. Use a router to cut stopped dados along the angle layout lines using a bit corresponding to the slat thickness.

Determine the length of the slats. Cut the slats to length -1/16. Cut the slats to width minus 1/4 or so. Either round the outer slat edge by hand or router. Assemble frame. The reason I cut the slats -1/4 is because I rabbet the interior of the frame once assembled a hair less than 1/4", 3/4" wide and once the slats are in place screw a 1/4" by 3/4" strip around the frame covering where the slats slide in from the back. This allows one to replace broken slats in the future.

Paint frame (unless you are staining). Insert slats.
 

Adam

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MikeW":ri0b5fpx said:
Use a router to cut stopped dados along the angle layout lines using a bit corresponding to the slat thickness.
Alternatively, get a length of timber and cut little noggins, with an angle top and bottom, and use these as vertical spacers. At the top of each one, screw a cross batton on, to form your louvre. The angled top and bottom will ensure they are sloping, and cutting a batch of noggins on a chop saw (or table) saw will take only minutes. Don't forget the top and bottom noggins would need to have a square end, to ensure they fit snugly against the rest of the frame you are building.

Adam
 

devonwoody

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When I made my louvre door (for boiler ventilation in our kitchen) I found it helpful to place a former down one side of the louvres so ensuringing that there was a perfectly aligned vertical edge. (naturally the former is not permanent only clamped in place)
 

Steve Maskery

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Paul,
The best jig I've seen for routing louvres is Norms. Unfortunately I can't for the life of me remember how it works, but I remember thinking that's clever.
Plans are available from Brimarc, I believe, unless someone here has a Norm library of videos.

Cheers
Steve
 
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