shutters for house - what wood?


Getting ready to build shutters for my house, but don't know what kind of wood to use. Lowes sells wooden shutters on special order only that are made of western red cedar. That sounds durable, but isn't cedar going to have an open grain and knots that will show through the paint? I can buy WRC for 1/3 the cost of Lowes, so making my own interests me. I just want to make sure they will look nice, not be twisted, etc.. before I tackle this.
Thanks guys.
Bob
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bob wrote:

My parents have had painted cedar shutters on their house for more than 15 years, and they still look great. I don't remember exactly how they were painted, but it wasn't anything too special - definitely nothing more than a primer coat and then the color coat. Good luck, Andy
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Andy wrote:

Folks around here are using cypress when they want them to last. I would think if you are building them yourself you could save enough money to make the extras $$ worthwhile to purchase some weather resistant wood.
Stay away from today's western red. It isn't you dad's western red by any means. Look at the growth rings - you will be surprised, and worse, when you see that the wood is around 20-25% moisture content (read: wet) you won't want to make anything out of it.
Robert
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Ditto on the moisture content. I built a fence so it didn't matter that much, but just having the wood in the shop for a week or two raised the humidity in there so much it was palpable. Mutt.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Two thoughts on the "what wood?" question:
A recent New Yankee Workshop project was "Plantation Shutters." If I read the "blurb" on the NYW web site correctly, Norm made his out of bass and poplar. I know that poplar takes a coat of paint very well. If properly primed and painted, they should last. No "grain" or knots to speak of, either.
Or you might consider sinker cypress, the stuff that's been at the bottom of the pond for a century or more. Once you REALLY get it dry, it ought to take paint well. The thing about sinker cypress (I've made many Adirondack Chairs and matching tables) is that it's virtually rot and insect proof. What's going to rot away did so decades ago at the bottom of that pond. It won't warp, either.
Jim Stuyck
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"Jim Stuyck" wrote in message

"Plantation Shutters" typically go on the _inside_ of the windows, and they're almost always painted with an enamel, so poplar is almost a given in this day and age.
I pretty sure the OP was asking about exterior shutters.
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Yeah, on both points: The photo of Norm with his plantation shutters clearly show him inside the room, and the guy's request was for outdoors.
Jim Stuyck
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I'm in the process of building shutters for my own house and I'm making them from select grade fir. After asking around at some of the local millwork houses I got the same opinion from all of them. I even found two who were making custom shutters out of fir. They all recommended that I use select grade fir, but said that they had to be kept well primed and painted, and said "they should last at least 30 years" if I kept them painted. They also suggested that I protect the top edge with a small U channel made of aluminum flashing to further prolong their life, so I'm planning to do this as well. After looking closely at the old shutters on my house (about 50 yrs old) I discovered that they were also made of fir and this is what finally convinced me to go with it.
I've now got about 50% of the shutters built for the front of my house with the remaining 50% all cut and awaiting assembly (they are raised panel style). If this all goes well (and the wife is happy with them) I'm planning to build more for the back of the house next year. Cedar or redwood would likely be a better choice, but select grade is very difficult to find and very expensive. I've got $480 worth of fir invested in my project so far (22 shutters) and I was told that making them from cedar or redwood would cost roughly 3-4 times as much.
--
Charley


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I agree with others that suggest cypress, although I wouldn't bother with the costly sunken cypress.
Dave
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