Hinges and ideas for shutters

Hi all,
My sister has asked me to make up some (internal) shutters for a couple of her windows. They are intended to cut down on dust (by getting rid of the curtains - my niece is allergic) and also hopefully block some noise from the road. I was hoping to tap your collective wisdom for ideas/warnings over possible pitfalls.
Each shutter has to have three quite narrow hinged sections and I'm looking for advice on where to get appropriate hinges (and what they are called) and also on the best choice of material for the shutters.
I'd originally planned to try to make each section up to resemble a panelled door but she would prefer a completely smooth appearance. So I think the options for materials are either solid sheets of MDF or plywood or to make up a frame of softwood and skin it with e.g. hardboard. Any strong opinions or alternative ideas? My feeling is that the solid sheets will be heavier and may thus be better for sound insulation?
The hinges between the frame and the first section will need to be Parliament hinges so that the shutters will clear the trim around the window. (Ideally the hinges between the second and third sections will also be Parliament hinges so that when folded the third section can sit between the first and second sections_.
Maybe I can manage some ascii art to try to make what I mean clearer...
Shutters closed: (Shutter panel 1 = *** Shutter panel 2 = @@@ Shutter panel 3 = ###)
|======================window=============== wall | ____________________ |||***************||@@@@@@@@@@@@@ ########### \_||| || ~~o~~ || ~~ 3 ~~ 2 1 Parl. Parl. Normal Hinge Hinge Hinge
Shutters open:
|======================window=============== wall | ____________________ || \_|| |@@@@@@@@@@@@@ | | 3 =o ~1 2 ~ ########### | | | |****************|
I am a bit worried that the parliament hinges would need to be fastened into the edges of the shutters. I suspect that MDF is not strong enough for this to be a good idea. Would plywood be any better? Alternatively is it possible to buy parliament hinges with a built in right angle on one or both leaves so that they could be screwed to the face of the shutters rather than the edge. Does anyone know what such hinges would be called/where to get them?
Any design suggestions/improvements would be very welcome!
Thanks for your help,
David
--
Reply_to may be munged if my newsreader behaves. I read
mail sent to microlaserpro at lycos dot com.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you are making something as an answer to an allergy, I would avoid MDF. There is a slight risk of vapours from the resin causing a reaction in a sensitive person. My personal choice would be foamed PVC, which is available from plastics merchants in 8ft x 4ft sheets, in a variety of thicknesses and colours (also thereby avoiding the possibility of paint fumes). Something around 10-12mm thick would be lightweight and give you enough to attach hinges to. It can be worked with hand woodworking tools, but use power tools with caution - they can melt rather than cut the plastic.

That is true, if you also seal all the air gaps around the edges. Otherwise the noise will simply go around the shutters. However, I'm not sure that you would get a noticable effect, unless you made the shutters quite heavy.
The alternatives, depending on budget, would be to go contiental and fit the shutters outside the window, or to fit a roller shutter, also outside the window. The latter can be hand or electrically operated from inside. I would choose the type used in sunny countries, where there are thin slots between each slat. When the shutter is just closed, the slots still allow some light through, but give privacy from outside. By continuing further, the slots progressively close off, from the bottom, until the shutter blacks out the room completely.
Colin Bignell
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm not familiar with this stuff. How well it take screws/other fixings? I don't think my niece is sensitive to formaldehyde/urea, just dust, but I suppose it can't hurt to be too careful. Isn't the foamed PVC expanded with a similarly toxic/sensitising chemical?

We will be trying to make a quite good seal (although doubtless imperfect).

Unfortunately, even if the budget permitted it (which it doesn't!), it is not possible to alter the outside appearance of the house in any way. Shame, I've used that type of blind in Germany and really liked them.
Thanks for the suggestions,
David

--
Replace nospame with yahoo to reply
Unsolicited commercial email will incur a $100 processing fee
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
my surname here>.uk.com> wrote: ...

It is similar to a lightweight wood.

I'm not sure what is used. However, it is a closed cell foam, so the foaming agent stays trapped inside the PVC. I've used the stuff to line medical clean rooms for years without any problems.
Colin Bignell
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Micklem wrote:

Hmm. Don't curtains tend to collect dust, rather than make it? Can't she use a non-dusty curtain material?

What sort of sindows are they?

Sounds nice...

Um.

I'd prefer "proper" timber, but I suppose MDF could do the job, painted up to disguise it... if you use "heavier" material, it will also be less likely to jiggle with wind or vibration, which could be a problem. If you do use redwood or whatnot, take care of warping!

Trim? Architrave?

Not sure why - I'dve thought this would make them unwieldy.
How big is the window? How deep is the reveal?
be snipped-for-privacy@thai.com! Shop all amazing products and get our special offers!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, but that is the problem: the curtains collect the dust, making it hard to remove with routine hoovering. The dust mites feast on it and um, shit profusely. Then whenever the curtains are moved they shower the room with allergenic dust/dust-mite-shit. At least that is the theory.

Tall sash windows.

I thought so too :-(

Yeah well, no accounting for taste. The panels will be quite narrow, so she may be right.

Yes, architrave. Sorry.

I don't think this will be any more unwieldy than the alternative which is (for want of a better word) a concertina-like arrangement. I figured that the way I was planning it, the shutter would fold very easily but when open would be more rigid. This isn't a big issue though - it could be hinged the other way and will be if I can't find appropriate hinges.

Roughly 2m high x 1m across. The reveal is 4.5cm. Each window (there are two) will have a single three-section shutter. This is because there is only _available_ wall space on one side of each window. Quite a narrow space too.
Thanks for the suggestions,
David
--
Replace nospame with yahoo to reply
Unsolicited commercial email will incur a $100 processing fee
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Micklem wrote:

You might want to consider a rebate on each piece at each hinged joint to make them more light tight I cant see the need for parliament hinges though if you hinge off the architrave.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"David Micklem" wrote | My sister has asked me to make up some (internal) shutters for a | couple of her windows. They are intended to cut down on dust | (by getting rid of the curtains - my niece is allergic) and | also hopefully block some noise from the road.
Draught-proof existing windows, secondary glazing and roller blind.
This will have the advantage it will cut the noise all the time, not just when the shutters are closed at night.
Owain
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Whatever happened to Venetian blinds?
--
Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
David Micklem wrote:

Hm, would it help to attach the shutter to the wall, rather than to the window? Perhaps to a screwed-on batten? If there's only a small space at the side of the window, could you hang a shutter off the perpendicular wall, I wonder, so the whole window is covered... might not look so nice when the window is covered, though.
be snipped-for-privacy@thai.com! Shop all amazing products and get our special offers!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.