Shutters (Design Recommendations)

Decorating my daughter's room for her 16th birthday (surprise) -- plan to make shutters for the window. Looking for recommendations on a couple of design details: (1) Crown Staples vs. Brass Eyelets to secrue the tilt rod to the louvers, (2) Metal vs. Plastic pins to secure the louvers to the stiles, (3)Use of tensioning mechanism vs. self-balanced louvers -- i.e. If I do not using a tensioning mechanism will I likely have problems controlling the position of the louvers?
Any recommendations on these 3 details from others who have some experience making shutters would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you! Kelly ...
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I used staples (I guess you could call them crown staples) manually pushed into each shutter louver edge and along the adjusting rod. I used small wooden dowel for pivots and depended on the self balancing/friction to hold the louvers in place. Worked great for me. Set of 4 is now over 10 years old and are 6 feet long and 18 inches wide. Didn't have any real woodworking tools at the time so I used brick molding from the lumber yard for the stiles.and standard 1by lumber for the rails. IIRC making the louvers was a real PITA using jigs with a borrowed 4 inch jointer and a belt sander to round over the edges. Mike in Arkansas
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I've made more shutters than I care to remember:
http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost/shutters.html http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost/Shutters/shutters.html
I used staples. I hadn't thought of brass eyelets but don't see why they wouldn't work. I imagine it'd be slower than staples but if you're only doing one window's worth it probably doesn't matter. I did a house full so speed was an issue. Once you've built a jig for shooting the staples it goes really fast. I used plastic pins because I couldn't find metal onces. I would have used metal ones if I'd found them because I always prefer to use quality components in anything I build. The pin has to have a shoulder so you don't get wood rubbing on wood, although I suppose you could use a straight metal rod with a washer for a pin. It'd be a real pain to keep the washer from falling off when assembling the shutter though. It's already a bit of a hectic process.
No doubt about it - use some type of tensioning system. Over time the louvers WILL loosen up and fall shut under their own weight. What I did was drill a hole just a hair larger than the diameter of a BB to meet up with the pin hole on one central louver. Drill it on the hinge side so it's hidden. Drop a BB into the hole so it'll bear on the end of the pin. Drop a spring from a cheap pen into the hole (I bought a box of pens for a few dollars). The diameter of these springs it perfect for pushing on a BB. Then drop another BB into the hole on the other side of the spring. Now grind a small flat on the tip of a wood screw to bear on the BB (just a quick touch on a grinder) and screw it into the hole. When the louvers loosen up just give the screw a turn. The screw pushes on the BB which pushes on the spring which pushes on the BB which bears against the louver pin. Simple, eh? :-) Actually, I thought about it after the fact and don't really think you need the spring in there. Just one BB and a screw should be fine. The spring is probably completely collapsed when you get the right tension so it's not adding anything but complication and a lot of excess pen parts lying around.
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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Scott and Mike ..
Thanks very much for your insights -- very helpful.
Scott discovered your website from a search of "Google" a week or so ago. I've printed a hard copy for reference -- and have read through it several times. Thank you!
Kind regards, Kelly ..
http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /
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