Common Shutter Repars

by Bohdan

Because they are constantly adjusted to regulate light and provide privacy, interior wooden shutters are chronic candidates for surgery—but the surgery is generally minor. For example, the job of refastening a loose louver to the rod that sets the tilt of the louvers can be done without removing the shutter from its hinges. The U-shaped pin that holds the louver to the rod has worked loose and fallen off, a thicker replacement pin, available from hardware stores, can be driven into the old pinholes.

Repairing a sagging shutter is almost as simple. Take the shutter from its hinges, unscrew the hinge plate, and plug the screw holes with wood filler or a match-stick, then screw the hinge plate back into place. The only special tool you may need for repairs is a set of bar clamps—clamps that adjust for length by sliding along a steel bar or piece of pipe—if you must reglue loose joints.

Shutters can, of course, be improved as well as repaired. To give shutters additional support and prevent them from sagging, professionals fasten thin rubber bumpers to the bottom of each panel, so that the window stool as well as the hinges supports the closed shutters. Use white bumpers to avoid smudging the stool. Exterior wooden shutters are simpler in every way: they rarely have movable louvers and generally are nailed to the exterior walls to serve a purely decorative function. If a hinged exterior shutter sags, fill the screw holes of the hinges as you would on an interior shutter; if it does not close securely, install a hook-and-catch lock on the shutter and stool.

Anatomy of an interior shutter. Each panel of this two-tiered set of shutters consists of a glued frame and a set of movable louvers; other types have fixed louvers. In each tier, the panels are hinged to each other; the panel at the edge of the window is also hinged to a hanging strip that is attached to the window jamb. Pegs fitted into holes in the shutter frame support movable louvers; compression springs in two peg holes (inset) hold the louvers at the angle set by a tilt rod, which is attached to all the louvers by a set of U-shaped pins.

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