louvred door tutorial

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Project by Greedo posted 01-16-2011 11:21 PM 14522 views 52 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
louvred door tutorial
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i had to make some louvred doors or “plant shutters” to close some sort of pantry, i had no idea how to make this so i searched in my books and on the net without finding what i needed.
there was Norms jig, but it looked too complex for just 1 project, and then there were other jigs that i found too simple and they were for making only 1 mortise at the time. and i needed to make 320 mortises…

here is the jig, made out of 12mm mdf using the tablesaw only! this is important because the tablesaw allows a repeatability in the accuracy.

it consists of 2 paralel stiles connected by angled pieces, to know the dimensions of each part i started by drawing the door stile with at least 3 mortises in sketchup. i wanted 8mm wide mortises, and the copying ring of my router is 19mm, so around the center of the mortise i drew a 19mm mortise. then it is a matter of connecting the outer left and right edges of these mortises with a vertical line, and then just prolonge the long edges of the mortises untill they reach the vertical line. and there you have the plan for your jig.
you can only make every other mortise, there is no room to make every mortise on the same jig
in my case the numbers are 8mm thick mortises, 42mm long angled at 30 degrees.

my jig makes 7 mortises, but once the tablesaw is set it is a matter of cutting out more parts, and it doesn’t take more effort to make it bigger.
i simply screw the jig on the stile with screws between the openings, since that is where another mortise will be. making the mortises is rapid, once they are made, i displace the jig 36 mm (the distance between 2 mortises) and i make those mortises. from then on you can just continue by aligning the last opening of the jig with the last mortise.
for the other stile you just flip the jig and do the same.

rounding the louvre slats on the router table:

i made the slats by gluing up large panels of pine, then cutting them in parts that just fit my planer, plane them and only then cut out the slats on the tablesaw. this way i had verry little loss.
the slats need to fit snugly, it must not be too hard to insert them, but must not fall out on their own either. this is verry important for later.
my mortises are 7mm deep, but the slats are cut to only enter them 5mm.

gluing up:

here comes the nightmare part! but it’s quite easy once you get the system.
step1, glue up all the stile and rail mortises and tenons, not the slats or their mortises!
step2, insert the rails and all the slats into one of the stiles.

now it may look impossible to simultaneously assemble 40 tenons in 1 stile.
but in step 3, you assemble the last stile untill it touches the slats.
step 4 turn over the door.
step5, one by one slightly pull each slat down into it’s mortise just by 1 or 2 mm to prevent it from dropping out it’s other mortise.

step6, push everything together with clamps and check the squareness.

and there you have it, some nice louvred doors!

hope this is usefull for someone!

21 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4643 days

#1 posted 01-16-2011 11:34 PM

Very informative, great info and thx for sharing! They look great!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4789 days

#2 posted 01-16-2011 11:55 PM

Very well thought out. A great blog to document the clever jig and work processes. Thanks for posting.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4570 days

#3 posted 01-16-2011 11:59 PM

great work Greedo
thank┬┤sfor sharing the info .-)

take care

View DocK16's profile


1200 posts in 5541 days

#4 posted 01-17-2011 12:32 AM

Yankee ingenuity. finished productl looks great

View MasterSergeant's profile


1441 posts in 4143 days

#5 posted 01-17-2011 01:07 AM

I am so impressed! Thanks for sharing!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 5254 days

#6 posted 01-17-2011 01:14 AM

Nice job!


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View falegniam's profile


335 posts in 4407 days

#7 posted 01-17-2011 06:28 AM

Nice work. Thanks for posting.

-- If you work you eat - If you don't work, you eat, drink, and sleep.

View ray vile's profile

ray vile

40 posts in 4147 days

#8 posted 01-17-2011 06:36 AM

Nice job! and very informative also, I was trying to come up with a jig to cut mortises for the louvers for a desk I was going to make. I didn’t get to make the desk but I will remember how you made that jig

-- RV

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5167 days

#9 posted 01-17-2011 08:09 AM

Thanks for sharing this!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4544 days

#10 posted 01-17-2011 12:28 PM

Very clever.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
I love your work shop it’s in balance (don’t know better word), and also your wonderful dog.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View GaryD's profile


623 posts in 4824 days

#11 posted 01-17-2011 04:11 PM

Thanks for the post really nicely done.

-- Gary, Little River,SC I've Learned that the Lord didn't do it all in one day and neither can I

View canadianwoodtick's profile


38 posts in 4392 days

#12 posted 01-17-2011 05:53 PM

Thank you for sharing, very well though out. GREG.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 4741 days

#13 posted 01-17-2011 07:03 PM

Great information

Good job on the doors


View gul's profile


400 posts in 4417 days

#14 posted 01-17-2011 08:09 PM

Thanks a lot for the post.Great work.

View anon's profile


417 posts in 4351 days

#15 posted 01-17-2011 08:56 PM

really great!
love the workshop dog :)

showing 1 through 15 of 21 comments

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