Fitting wooden venetian blinds

Hi,
Has anybody fitted wooden slat venetian blinds as a DIY job? I mean fitting them INSIDE the window recess, which involves cutting the slats to fit.
I've costed this and buying the next longest length I need from Argos and cutting down to size, works out at almost half the price of getting the professionals in.
I'm worried about getting a clean cut through the slats without splintering. Maybe clamp them together and cut with a power mitre saw? I don't have a cross pull mitre saw, but this job could justify the Performance Pro one I've been looking at in B&Q - and I'd still save money!
Thanks,
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A. wrote:

Yep. Me and the b/f did this for a window in his place. The ends are hidden by the recess, we tried clamping but that failed totally, so we did it by me holding a bunch of slats against the edge of something ( L shaped, so the other edge of the slats are against something upright) then a hacksaw carefully to take the end off. Repeat both sides to keep things equidistant once hung, do it carefully and don't allow any of the slats to shift in your/your helper's hands, and it'll be fine. Quick going-over with fine sandpaper to take off any rough bits on the edge of the slats, then look at doing similar with the hanging part of it.
Just one word of warning - make sure the hanging mech can be trimmed down to size - take a tape measure and double check. Some of them put the adjusting bit further toward the side, which means you can't trim far enough to fit in the recess.
If you were trimming and fitting outside a recess then I'd say it'd be worth trimming each slat individually and sanding to a nice finish, but in a recess you just don't see the ends (specially if you get it nice and accurate with just a couple of mm clearance between slat and wall).
If you get it wrong and some trim to more than a mm shorter than others you WILL notice it, so it pays to do it carefully!
Velvet
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On 16 Feb 2004 05:47:27 -0800, piste snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (A.) wrote:

I've done that, just make sure you get the clamps extremely close to the cutting edge. I wrapped the strip I wanted to cut in tape, then clamped it. I've also used the same method with a hacksaw, whichever way you do it it's not a 100% perfet finish on the edge but in the window recess you can't tell unless you know where to look! ..
SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
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Yes, I've done this quite succesfully. It's a pain, but in my case the price differential between 'nice lady SWMBO had round to quote for make and fit' and 'go to IKEA, buy blinds, trim to fit' had a factor of about 5 times in in price. (I've a spare one of each of the two sizes I used up in the loft against the day when the dog totals one, as opposed to the breaking of a few slats the damned mutt's already done...)
Trimming the *drop* was easy enough following the instructions provided, though tying-off the ends of the strings is a job for which slimmer fingers than mine would've been helpful. Trimming the *width*, which you ask about, I did by - (very) carefully squaring up the slats to be cut, then clamping them quite aggressively at both ends - mounting the clamped slats in the jaws of the workmate, not tightening the jaws of that too massively (since it's the clamps at either end which are doing the main holding job) - cutting through slowly with a fine-tooth handsaw - I have a 20pt-per-inch tenon saw which I use for jobs like this, bought 20? years ago at the then-hard-to-afford price of 11quid down from 22 in a Liquidation Sale; for comparison I also used a fine-pitch Japanese pullsaw recently bought from Axminster, which worked just as well (but the tenon's the one I'm most used to) - then (yawn) repeat the process at the other side of the blind - if you want the end result to be symmetrical you have to do twice the cutting, yawn! - finally cut through the metal frame which holds the mech of the blind with a hacksaw (I only needed to trim about 2cm from each end, so could push the frame out of the way of the blade while trimming the slats; if I were cutting more away I'd've cut the frame first to make room for the wood-cutting blade)
Even with the cheapie quality of the IKEA blinds, the slats cut neatly without any splintering. I'd definitely *not* want to use any powered saw for this job, though: the slats are splinter-prone, and with a finetooth handsaw you can control the cut much more finely than some jack-of-all-trades powertool made rather for cutting 2-by-4s for framing than for sthg closer to cabinetry work! (I'm sure you'll find another job for which the cross-cut mitre saw is the essential purchase ;-) Key to success in both splinter-avoiding and keeping the cutline regular is the firm clamping. You really don't want to be trying to hold the slats together by hand and holding the blind across your knee ;-) And obviously there's a limit to how much you can trim down by before interfering with the blind mechanism...
HTH - Stefek
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piste snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (A.) wrote:

Wouldn't it just be a bit easier to order them to the right width? There's a site, American blind that has more than cheap prices. They even beat Penny's 50% off sale by a huge margin.
--
Jim Polaski
"The measure of a man is what he will do
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I asked at Roseby's about made to measure blinds. I was quoted over 130. I went to Ikea and bought an aluminium one for 12.50. A right bastard to cut down to size though - the slats where easy (Ikea has a tool for the job) but the metal supports at the top and bottom just wouldn't cut cleanly.
--
john

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