Jeff Greef Woodworking
Resources for Installing ShuttersTo order shutters online, check out:
Blindsgalore | American Blind and Wallpaper | Clamps | Drill Bits | Hand Drills | Hand Planes | Hand Saws | Measuring Tools | Miter Gauges | Table Saws | Circular Saws
Some manufacturers make wood shutters in standard sizes in 1" increments in width. To use these, you get two, four or six shutters to fit in each window with a total width that is wider than needed, then cut them down in width as described below. Or, you can custom order your shutters in either wood or vinyl to the exact width you need. These cost more but are easier to install. You canít cut down vinyl shutters so you must either order them to the exact width required to fit inside your window frame, or mount them within a special frame that mounts on the face of the interior moldings around the window. These frames are provided by the manufacturer. Such frames are also available for wood shutters if you want to mount those on the interior moldings rather than inside the window frame.
Decide how many shutters you want in each window and how you want them configured. You may decide to use two sets of shutters on each window, one above and one below. Cafe style, as shown here, has shutters in only the lower half. On smaller windows one set of shutters can cover the entire window.
MOUNTING WOOD SHUTTERS INSIDE THE WINDOW FRAME
Shutters look best when the clearances around them are uniform, and the edges are carefully aligned. This can be tricky if your window jamb is no longer square. The solution is to cut the shutters themselves to match the jamb. Place two uncut shutters in the jamb as in photo 1 with shims below them, then tape them parallel to the jamb. If the gap at the bottom is tapered, mark the bottom of each shutter with a line parallel to the window sill. Carefully measure the width of the jamb opening both top and bottom. If these two measures are unequal, this means you must taper the vertical edges of some shutters to align to the jamb. Carefully determine how much you must take off each vertical edge of each shutter so that you take the same amount off each for uniformity. Account for the clearances dictated by your hinges. Err on the side of leaving the shutters a bit too wide, you can trim them later but you can't make them wider once cut.
Rip your shutters to width on the table saw as in photo 2. You can cut these edges with a circular saw or handsaw, or reduce them with a sharp handplane as well. To taper these edges, use a handplane starting the cut in the middle pointing toward the end you want smaller. You can also taper them with 60 grit sandpaper and a sanding block if you donít need to taper them much.
For table saws, click here.
For circular saws, click here.
For hand saws, click here.
For hand planes, click here.
Cut the tops of the shutters to length with a miter gauge at the table saw as in photo 3. Again, a circular saw or handsaw will do just fine. If you need to make angle cuts on the bottom (or top) of the shutters, use the miter gauge set at the correct angle. Make a test cut on wide scrap to ensure that you have the miter gauge set at the right angle. Sand the cut edges with 80 grit sandpaper and a sanding block to remove saw marks, then use 120 grit to smooth the edges.
For miter gauges, click here.
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