Does anyone have a source for oval-shaped louvers like the kind seen
on plantation shutters? We are planning to put this type of shutter on
all of our windows rather than curtains. It will cost about seven grand
to buy the shutters from a retailer. In taking a close look at them,
they seem to be pretty simple.
I think I build do them for much less and produce equal or better
quality and get the added benefit of personal satisfaction. The only
problem I can see is milling the graceful oval-shaped louvers. I know I
could use flat louvers with rounded edges, but I think the oval ones are
more elegant. I suppose I could make this into a pretext to buy a
molding machine, but it seems like there would be plenty of suppliers
for this kind of thing. Can anyone offer some advice on how to proceed?
Thanks for the help!
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I am about halfway finished with doing the entire house in shutters. I
used the instructions in the link posted by Woodarama as a starting
point but my process ending up being different. I did copy his
technique and jigs for drilling the slats, and stapling the tilt rods.
I bought my louvres from
http://www.diyshutters.com (more on this later)
but they only sell the flat style and only offer Basswood and Spanish
Cedar. It's roughly $1.00 per linear foot in volume (500 ft).
Having built and installed several sets of these, I can tell you that
I don't think the oval profile adds that much to the appearance. From
10 feet away, I don't think anyone could tell the difference. On the
other hand, 3.5" vs. 2.5" makes a BIG difference!
If you are set on the oval profile, my guess is that you're going to
pay more than $3.00 per linear foot becasue of the extensive millwork
required. I got a quote from my local hardwood supplier for the FLAT
3.5" louvres in poplar (they have millwork capabilities) and they
wanted about $2.25 per linear foot. There's ALOT more millwork involved
in the oval profile. The higher price is significant because the louvre
stock is a big part of the cost, but it's still a huge savings over
paying someone else. For a special project where I need to use oak to
match an existing fixture, I'll suck it up and pay the $2.25.
You might go to a Shutter store and ask who their supplier is.
Depending on the size of your house, you're probably looking at 500 -
1000 linear feet of louvre stock. That number was large enough to
interest my local guys so maybe a manufacturer would sell direct to
you. Even if they're out of state, it's worth paying the shipping if
the price is right.
This was my first ever woodlworking project so that tells you it's not
that hard to make these. The one's I've done so far are all stained,
which is very forgiving because the natural wood hides flaws. My goal
was to at least match the quality of what our builder would have put
in, and I've exceeded that although mine are not perfect.
It's a very satisfying project and saves a lot of money. I believe my
materials cost is 20 - 25% of the installed quotes that I got. I'm very
partial to the natural wood look, and putting these up on large window
completely transforms the room.
With one exception, all of my remaing shutters will be painted, which
is really going to put my routing and joinery skill to the test.
More on Kestrel/DIY Shutters -
I can't find the link on their site for the raw louvre and tilt rod
stock. I placed an order just a few months ago so I know they still
sell them. Call them and they'll fax you a pricelist. They're very nice
to work with and although they quote something like six weeks delivery,
both of my orders arrived in just over two weeks.
Good luck and feel free to ping me with any questions. Also, please let
us know if you find another good louvre supplier anywhere in the
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