Self-built raised panel shutters - complete
This was my first-ever attempt and doing rail-and-stile raised panel construction. There are certainly things I learned along the way (like route the coped cuts first, then the edges). For painted shutters though - I think it turned out great for the price of lumber. For vinyl shutters, they were close to $700 - due to special sizing. This is from a copy-paste of a forum I have with some friends. I'll put the dates in on top of each copy-paste.
This is the style that I was attempting to build:
MAY 08, 2012
On July 5, I bought the wood I needed to build the shutters for the lower level front of my house. Was going to start work the morning of July 6 - the day my wife's water broke. This wood has been stacked up waiting for me to get to it ever since. Now that grad-school is over, I am finally getting to it. Working in the garage is nicer than the basement with warm weather too.
So, here's a thread for progress. When I built the shutters for the second level, I just kinda did a faux rail and style - the panels were not actually inserted into groves in the frames. Just glued/stapled in place. Being that it's the second floor, it doesn't matter.
Since these will go where you can actually walk up to and see them, I'm doing them the right way.
Day 1 (no pictures).
Yesterday, I ripped down 1x4 "quality" boards into 1x3s. Menards doesn't carry 1x3 quality boards, only 1x3 "select" boards, which are more expensive. The main difference is select do not have any knots, but it doesn't matter since these will be sealed and painted. So yesterday I ripped down all of those and stacked them up.
Day 2 - routing begins.
Let me start by saying that a new router will be the next power tool I buy. The bastard kept wanting to self-adjust itself and ruined 1-1/4 of my 8' boards by not cutting uniform depth. I wrapped electrical tape around the depth adjustment to keep it from moving. These are the boards that will make the outside frame that the panels insert into. I got 6 of them done this morning, with 1-1/4 being wasted. Will need to buy some more wood now.
Here they are stacked up:
Here you can see the grove cut into the profile of the board, where the panel will insert.
Here is my DIY router table, without the fence. The router bits I'm using have bearings, so no fence is needed on this part.
Routed the rest of the wood I had on hand. Had a couple boards end up with bad spots, but should be usable. I need to build some kind of DIY featherboard to keep the long boards tight against the table.
Better picture of edge profile:
MAY 10, 2012
Days 3 & 4.
Cut all the outer frames to length, which involved a lumber run yesterday, along with ripping and routing the edge of the new boards. Here is the stack of supplies, except for the cross rail that goes in the middle of the two panels.
These will be the cross rails that go in the middle of the shutter, between the two panels. I don't want to cut them to size until I make a few practice cuts with the coping router bit, so I don't cut them too short.
MAY 11, 2012
After about 10 practice cuts for the coping cut, I started cutting the copes into the long frame boards.
Here is the outer frame fit together:
What the inside corners look like:
The profile of the joint - not cleaned up just loosely put in place:
The jig setup I had to create to make sure I get everything cut square here:
I'm having some minor tear-out problems on the back side when running the coping bit though, but I don't think there is much I can do about it. One-speed router + soft wood (pine) = not a lot of options. Even though I have a sacrificial backer board behind it [and that has helped] it's not perfect. That's ok, I'll fill in any tear-outs with some wood epoxy before I start priming and it shouldn't be noticeable.
MAY 14, 2012
Got the center cross pieces cut and shaped. These pictures are with a test-piece (****ty and knotted), but shows how they will all fit. I can now move on to cutting and shaping the panels. Hopefully, I'm gluing them up by the end of the week. Then comes the very tedious process of finishing.
MAY 15, 2012
Messed around with the first panel this morning.
Not thrilled with the result. The panel is protruding too far outside of the frame for my liking. The fix for this is to backcut the frame, then move the raised panel routing closer to the surface. This will inset the frame back a little more and reduce the amount the panel is raised. Some raised panel router bits will do the backcutting all in one pass with the face cut - but I'm not going to go buy a $110 bit. I'll either use a flush bit on the back side, or just hit it with a few passes with the power planer.
MAY 16, 2012
I cut new panels that were 3/16" smaller in both length and width. I then made 3 passes along the back edges with the planer set to 1/16. Then, raised the router bit from what I did yesterday and made a cut. I didn't take a picture of the panel alone, but here is a prototype shutter. One of these panels has a split in it and won't be used, and the center rail is a knotted piece of junk, so that won't be used either. But, you can see how it will go together.
The raised panel is proud 1/16". Just enough to still be a raised panel without sticking out too much.
You can see the back-cut along the edge here. I guess I could have made that a little narrower, but it isn't hurting anything.
So, now that I have all my dimensions and techniques down, I can go into production with the rest of the panels and knock them out in no time. There are quite a few steps:
1. Table saw the 8' 1x12 board to 10-9/16" wide
2. Cut the 8' board into panels that are 31-3/16" long using the sliding compound miter saw (sliding saw FTW)
3. Back cut the perimeter edge of the panel with the planer - 3 passes set to 1/16"
4. 2 passes through the router. The first is for rough shaping, the second is slower with a little more downward pressure to get a clean even profile.
What takes the longest is going between all the different machines. Especially since I don't have the additional circuits wired in my garage yet and have to run a stupid extension cord from the mudroom circuit to avoid tripping the garage breaker. Running these in an assembly line fashion should eliminate all that hassle.
MAY 22, 2012
Finished the routing yesterday, cleaned up my mess. This was from routing the panels, I had cleaned up the pile of dust after the rail and stile cuts.
On to gluing! I needed some long pipe clamps. I did not want to pay for them. $9 for each pair of clamps, plus $10 more per pipe = I didn't want to. I devised using ratchet straps instead.
Here is one after clamp removal. Right now 2 are done, one is clamped and drying. There are 8 total.
Here's a video of sliding the panel into place. Good part is when I almost fall at about 30 seconds.
After all this gluing will be filling some splits and knot holes with 2 part epoxy. Then sanding the whole thing, spot priming, priming with oil based sealer, painting. Still seems like a long way to go.
MAY 25, 2012
The last shutter clamped and drying right now. At lunchtime, assembly phase should be complete.
Here is the stack of 7 assembled.
Wednesday, I picked up some wood filler to fix some cracks and fill in some ugly knots.
It is bondo, plain and simple. It's a soft putty with creme hardener. Smells just like bondo, works like bondo, dries like bondo, sands like bondo. At $12 for the Minwax, if you ever need a 2-part wood filler, just buy bondo.
Applied, but not yet sanded.
Now comes time to make more sawdust - this time with the sander.
JUNE 1, 2012
Last weekend I got them sanded down. Then I used latex wood filler to fill a couple more low spots, as well as the ends where the finger joints could be seen. Sanded that by hand with 150 grit.
Earlier this week, I did spot priming with Zinnser BIN - shellac based primer. It seals up any knots or sap stains or other issues that might otherwise bleed through. I hand sanded that with 150 also. Then, it was time to start the main priming using Zinsser Cover Stain - oil based primer.
I only got through the fronts of 3 of the 8 before I ran out. I only had about a 1/2 quart on-hand and wanted to see how far it went before I got more. I bought another gallon yesterday, but didn't feel like working on them last night. So, with the baptism next weekend priming will get pushed back until the evenings next week. MAYBE I'll get to paint late in the week, and with all optimism I can be putting them up next weekend, Sunday-ish.
Here you can see the 3 with the fronts primed, and the spot-primed rest of them stacked up in the background.
JUNE 19, 2012
Thoughout the last part of last week and the weekend, I finished priming them with Zinsser Cover Stain and put two coats of outdoor acrylic paint on them. They are now dry and ready for installation sometime this week or weekend. I wanted to do it last night, but during the day my pool decided to self destruct :o and our gazebo got taken out by the wind. :o
JUNE 20, 2012
Got half of them up this morning. It makes a huge difference, even more impact than the picture can show.
TODAY: COMPLETE (excuse the brown grass, we've had < 1" of rain all June).
Nifty. Like how you used the ratchet tie down straps to clamp in the long dimension. I have a set of pipe clamps I've used exactly one time in 30 yrs so you are ahead of the game already.
They look great, nice job!
After watching the video, I watched the one with the baby laughing at the paper being torn. What a cutie that little guy is! My grandson heard me laughing while I was watching it, so he sat down and watched it with me and was laughing too.
awesome,fine job there:thumbup:
You did well----
Now you're hooked---wood work will be in your blood forever.
How's the baby coming along? Toy chest next!
Looks great! nice work
Thanks for the comments. Yes, woodworking has already taken hold of me. Next project is to build some picture frames to frame what the kids got me for my first father's day (4 canvas panels of hand and foot prints). Toybox is not yet needed as the big box thing we got from Ikea, which I modified with hinges, is still working. However when they get a little bigger and have "his and her" different toys, I'm sure we'll need some more toy storage. I also saw an outdoor bar at the Great Escape for like $1200, which I thought, "I can build that for <$200 in materials" - so that might happen too. I'm anxious to use a biscuit joiner that I picked up and haven't got to use yet.
The kids are doing well, and turn one next week! Oh my, a year already. Things are so much easier than they were last summer. Twins born 7 weeks early were very demanding in the beginning, but we survived. Still, TIME is the hardest thing to come by, not materials or tools or learning - but time to put it all together.
Amazing! They came out great. Well done. I'm in the middle of a raised panel wainscoting project in our dining room. Hope it turns out as nicely as this.
Kids do take time away from the wood working----
Be glad----they are young for such a short time---Enjoy them---Mike---
My twins are now 10. It's survivable!
And you'll feel like you hit lottery when they go off formula and again when they're done with diapers!
Treasure them and write down the cute stuff to remember when the not so cute stuff ticks you off.
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