Plantation shutter louvers

Ok, so I've ready many articles on how to DIY some plantation shutters. I even bought New Yankee Workshop's Project 0602 on making them. The part that I can't get around is how to create many ellipsed louvers without buying a $900.00 JET 13 Molder\Shaper. Is there a cheaper alternative to create these consistently? Say with a tool in more the $300.00 range?
Thanks for the advise..
Chris
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One of several sets available from various manufacturers. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Do the slats *have* to be rounded? If not, you can save money (and time) in this way...
1. Rip off pieces from stock material of the thickness desired with the saw blade set at 45 degrees.
2. Cut 45 degree slots in the stiles of the louver frame. If the stock you used to make the slats in #1 was 3/4" your louver frame stiles need to be 1" wide.
If you don't like the sharp edges of the slats from #1, ease them slightly with a file or coarse sand paper.
And yes, I know that the slots are normally 60 degrees but my way looks and functions just as good or better. You wind up with a thicker shutter but it is easier to make, no special tools needed.
--

dadiOH
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If you're talking about this kind of shutters: http://tinyurl.com/2kqoup
I used the table saw. Rip the pieces for slats at the thickness for the thickest part. Then tilt the saw blade to the angle that will give you the edge thickness you want. Run the pieces through the saw again taking off the appropriate thickness. Sand the slight ridges down and there you have a slightly rounded slat.
I hope I explained that OK. This might help. http://tinyurl.com/339yye
Max
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Thanks very much for all the advise. I really like that kit on Amazon. I think I'll give that a shot....
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On Mar 30, 10:24pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Chris,
By plantation shutters, I assume that you mean the interior kind with the moveable louvers and control rod. If you're doing one window or one room, get the milling kit and have fun, but if you're doing an entire house, "listen" to me carefully:
I have looked at hundreds of plantation shutters over the past four years, and while I'll agree that the ellipticals look slightly better, the difference is almost negligable. Going from a 2.5" slate to a 3.5" is where the real difference is. Noone will notice the shape. I built a houseful of them, and it was a huge timesaver to purchase the louver stock pre-milled from Kestrel Manufacturing. They only offer flat, in basswood (paint grade) and Spanish Cedar (the softest of the hardwoods). I did 20 windows so there's no way I was going to mill 600 slats, and believe me, with the money I saved doing this myself, I could have bought a dozen $900 shapers and still been ahead (compared to $25/sqft. for custom hardwood). Kestrel also sells the control rod stock, but it's very expensive and it was easy to make it out of one of their slats on the table saw and with a 3/8" bullnose bit.
I bought S2S Spanish Cedar at a local yard for the rails, stiles and window framing. I used poplar for the paint grade. With some creative staining, I managed to match the Spanish Cedar finish to the existing ash windowsills.
Seriously, the elliptical slats are WAY overrated. Shutters completely transform the window, and the entire room, especially when they're stained. Once everything is assembled and installed, you yourself will not notice the difference unless you give them a close inspection and I assure you that no-one else will care at all.
Here's the link to Kestrel: http://www.diyshutters.com/shutterparts.htm
You have to call them and ask to be faxed the price list for the louvers and tilt rod. Pay attention to the quantity discounts. At 350' or so, it's the same price to order 500' and get the quantity break.
If you were a teenager, I'd threaten to ground you if you don't take my advice! Haha!
Best of luck, Tom
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I agree with Tom.
I made a set of plantation shutters for LOML's bathroom window. I used a small bullnose bit and just rounded the edges of the slats. Looks pretty good.
I did buy the Woodline set and plan on making a bunch more sets of shutters. I may or may not use the shutter bit and just round them over with the bullnose again.
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Hi Chris,
By plantation shutters, I assume that you mean the interior kind with the moveable louvers and control rod. If you're doing one window or one room, get the milling kit and have fun, but if you're doing an entire house, "listen" to me carefully:
I have looked at hundreds of plantation shutters over the past four years, and while I'll agree that the ellipticals look slightly better, the difference is almost negligable. Going from a 2.5" slate to a 3.5" is where the real difference is. Noone will notice the shape. I built a houseful of them, and it was a huge timesaver to purchase the louver stock pre-milled from Kestrel Manufacturing. They only offer flat, in basswood (paint grade) and Spanish Cedar (the softest of the hardwoods). I did 20 windows so there's no way I was going to mill 600 slats, and believe me, with the money I saved doing this myself, I could have bought a dozen $900 shapers and still been ahead (compared to $25/sqft. for custom hardwood). Kestrel also sells the control rod stock, but it's very expensive and it was easy to make it out of one of their slats on the table saw and with a 3/8" bullnose bit.
I bought S2S Spanish Cedar at a local yard for the rails, stiles and window framing. I used poplar for the paint grade. With some creative staining, I managed to match the Spanish Cedar finish to the existing ash windowsills.
Seriously, the elliptical slats are WAY overrated. Shutters completely transform the window, and the entire room, especially when they're stained. Once everything is assembled and installed, you yourself will not notice the difference unless you give them a close inspection and I assure you that no-one else will care at all.
Here's the link to Kestrel: http://www.diyshutters.com/shutterparts.htm
You have to call them and ask to be faxed the price list for the louvers and tilt rod. Pay attention to the quantity discounts. At 350' or so, it's the same price to order 500' and get the quantity break.
If you were a teenager, I'd threaten to ground you if you don't take my advice! Haha!
Best of luck, Tom
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