Making Louvered Doors and Shutters
Folding closet doors that extend into narrow hallways are a nuisance. I’m only an amateur furniture maker, but something that rattles and bangs when you open it does not seem right. I’ve made a few louvered cupboard doors with a plunge router, but found a few holes a bit ragged as the bit started or ended the cut.
If you are fortunate enough to own a mortise maker, there is an easier way to make louvered doors and shutters. A mortise maker (a Festool Domino in this case) leaves clean and accurate slots.
By tracing and cutting out an accurate outline of the base in plywood, the mortise maker can be easily dropped in and held in place over a small box in a bench vise. A plywood template of the tool base can be attached to a box at the louver angle. Placing the box in a vise allows the stile to be shifted along and clamped to make the holes.
The box dimensions are set to the door stile size. After the first hole is cut, the vise is slackened off and the stile slides along to the next cut. A small index pin can be lowered into the previous hole to keep the spacing constant. The opposite stile is cut by flipping the base template over. If the louvers are made to the same dimensions as the Dominoes, they are easily tapped into the slots with no play or ragged holes.
Festool tenon maker and template, The stile is slid along parallel to the vise with a stop index pin in the previous hole to keep the spacing.
Sliding louver doors made with Festool router bit sized louvers. Clear fir.