Shutters for arch window

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Project by TheMyth posted 05-14-2018 06:18 PM 1466 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Did these plantation shutters for an Arch window. This window is south facing and was letting in too much heat, stopping heating to the other rooms during the winter, and keeping the AC working too much during the summer. The bottom 9 louvers have a control arm to allow moving all of them at once, and the remaining louvers can be moved independently to a different degree based on the arched end inclination.

I started by making a frame for it by tracing the contour onto a 1/4 hardwood sheet, and then used it to build a bending form using 3 MDF sheets laminated together.

I then built the two shutter door frames by joining a few 6in boards at angle to follow roughly the arc of the frame, using pocket hole screws, traced the arc using the frame as template and cutting on the band saw.

I dry fitted the door frames (using loose tenons) and situated the center of each louver, then proceeded to cut to length and/or tracing and cutting the arch for each louvers.

This is a dry fitting of one of the door with the finished louvers.

I used shutter louver pins from Rockler to attach the louvers, they have a small 1/16in shouler that I had to remove for the arched part, and also had to re-cut the louvers to take that shoulder into account. Below is a dry fit with all the louvers, except for Left #11 which wasn’t cut to length yet, but couldn’t wait to see it assembled :)

The top louvers for each door are missing as they are to be glued, as even with a pin, the arched end don’t allow for any movements (even the 2nd row is not moving much).

For the finishing, I sprayed them with high gloss white paint with a HVLP gun.

9 comments so far

View ohwoodeye's profile


2775 posts in 4610 days

#1 posted 05-14-2018 08:22 PM

They look really, really nice but I’m trying to figure out why they all couldn’t move if you extended the control arm and moved it closer to the inside so it captured every louver.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View TheMyth's profile


8 posts in 2530 days

#2 posted 05-14-2018 08:45 PM

Thanks for your comment, the problem was not to get access to every louvers with the control arm as like you say you can offset it and attach every one of them. But the range of motion of the top louvers are very limited because of the tip of the curved side hits the back of the frame, some faster than others, and would also limit the range of the ones below. Perhaps a different shape of louvers and/or offsetting them to the back a little would have give them a better range, but my wife was more than happy with the current configuration so I did not search for a better solution. see this video: 0:30 to 1:30 has a good visual explanation of the problem.

View AandCstyle's profile


3306 posts in 3714 days

#3 posted 05-14-2018 09:32 PM

Myth, they look great and I know they were not easy. Well done!

-- Art

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10889 posts in 3866 days

#4 posted 05-15-2018 01:16 AM

A challenging build. They look good and I would hardly worry if the top few don’t move as you described.
Nice work!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View awsum55's profile


1285 posts in 1965 days

#5 posted 05-15-2018 06:28 AM

That came out nice. Is that a fake fireplace? It looks like it has an insert, but how could it be real if there is no chimney? Confused…

-- "The Answer Is Blowin'n In The Wind" John D, OP, KS

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4324 days

#6 posted 05-15-2018 11:39 AM

This is a beautiful pair of shutters.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View TheMyth's profile


8 posts in 2530 days

#7 posted 05-15-2018 12:08 PM

That came out nice. Is that a fake fireplace? It looks like it has an insert, but how could it be real if there is no chimney? Confused…

- awsum55

It’s a natural gas fireplace, and the exhaust is getting out horizontally right behind it.

View Tooch's profile


2018 posts in 3333 days

#8 posted 05-15-2018 01:53 PM

wow thats a terrific job on keeping tight tolerances throughout the arch. Very nicely executed design!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Calmudgeon's profile


691 posts in 2884 days

#9 posted 05-18-2018 01:00 PM

A beautiful solution to a very practical issue.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

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