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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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Default Louver Air Return Grille

Hello!

First post here. Just reading over the site this morning and I've seen lots of interesting stuff. Looking to get some feedback from you guys on what would be the easiest and most cost effective route to take.

I have the standard white, metal cold air return vent at the end of my hallway. My filter is 20x25. I was thinking about replacing it with a more decorative grille - preferably wood.

Here are my questions:

Looking online, a wooden grille is upwards of $200+ for just a basic design. I really don't want to pay that much.

1) How difficult is it to make a louver grille this size? Is it more cost effective? I've not done a ton of woodwork, but I know how to use all the saws. Over time I've swiped my dad's saws so I have access to several saws and know pretty much how to operate them all. I looked at a louver router template kit and it was $50. I'd prefer not to pay that for a one time use.

2) Looks like custom wooden shutters are cheaper than the vents. Is this a viable option? Any ideas of a good maker that is fairly inexpensive? I saw where I could get a 20x25 ish shutter at US Shutters for about $50. Anyone ever used them? This this is a reasonable idea?

Any other ideas?

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 03:24 PM
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Hi Brandonx

Rockler hae a new jig out just for that type of job, yes it's 50.oo bucks but it can be used for many other jobs not just one BUT you can make you own easy if you want to with your router and some plastic/MDF stock..but sometimes it's easy-er just to buy one off the rack you can use just about anything for shutters, you can buy the shutter stock from HD in the vital blind dept. for a song. they don't need to be the 1/4" thick type..the norm..


Rockler Shutter System, Build Your Own Shutters

1-1/4'' Fixed Louver Template Set for Shutter System - Rockler Woodworking Tools

==

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcurrey View Post
Hello!

First post here. Just reading over the site this morning and I've seen lots of interesting stuff. Looking to get some feedback from you guys on what would be the easiest and most cost effective route to take.

I have the standard white, metal cold air return vent at the end of my hallway. My filter is 20x25. I was thinking about replacing it with a more decorative grille - preferably wood.

Here are my questions:

Looking online, a wooden grille is upwards of $200+ for just a basic design. I really don't want to pay that much.

1) How difficult is it to make a louver grille this size? Is it more cost effective? I've not done a ton of woodwork, but I know how to use all the saws. Over time I've swiped my dad's saws so I have access to several saws and know pretty much how to operate them all. I looked at a louver router template kit and it was $50. I'd prefer not to pay that for a one time use.

2) Looks like custom wooden shutters are cheaper than the vents. Is this a viable option? Any ideas of a good maker that is fairly inexpensive? I saw where I could get a 20x25 ish shutter at US Shutters for about $50. Anyone ever used them? This this is a reasonable idea?

Any other ideas?

Thanks!!



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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 10:00 PM
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I think it would be cheaper to tape 10 dollar bills together and make a nice curtain for the window

I love the look of the shutters but big money to do the entire house if you buy all of the wood and louvers and hardware

Galatians 5:13
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco View Post
I think it would be cheaper to tape 10 dollar bills together and make a nice curtain for the window

I love the look of the shutters but big money to do the entire house if you buy all of the wood and louvers and hardware
He just wants to cover the air return for ac/heater.

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 12:23 AM
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Hi Brandon,
You say you know how to use all kinds of saws and you have several saws. You mentioned looking at the Rockler Template.
Do you have a router if you had a template? If you do have a router and bushings or collars make your own template. Make 1 pattern and shift it across the template material equally spacing as you go, cut, shift cut, shift. Then use the template to cut the mortises for the louvers.
If you don't have a router but have a table saw you can cut groves in a work piece to accept the louvers. Make a box joint type jig but make it on an angle. Cut your slots for the louvers then add strips to each side of the work piece to capture the louvers. then build the rest of the frame.
Keep your jigs because when you show your friends the grill you made they will want some made too.

Mike

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 10:36 AM
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Hi Brandon

You should also see the way Bob R. of the RWS makes them, the KISS way..with his neat miter sled ..I think you can see it on the routerworkshop.net but you must be a member.
look for #1411 .. ( RWS~1411 Window Shutters)

http://www.routerforums.com/general-...ndar-here.html
Why sign up? : Routerworkshop.net

You may say but I don't have the miter sled, no big deal you can make your own easy like I did it can be used for many router jobs.

I should say they have been making Window Shutter for a very long time, some with hand tools some with the table saw,it's just a way to keep the weather out or left the air come in the opening and when the doors close, it's a easy job on the table saw, just put the slots in place with the help of the miter and then rip the lumber into two parts and you both of the parts for the shutter frame (styles) make a top on bottom rails and you have it done, the router is just newer and quicker and easy-er way of doing the same job and cleaner the norm..


Hope this helps in your quest

1411. Window Shutter
Router Workshop: Series 1400

"
Shutters are used in many places in our homes. They can be closet or cabinet doors. They can be used instead of drapery for window covering or on the outside of the house for decoration of windows. A shutter consists of a framework with wooden louvers applied at an angle. We have chosen to make fixed louver shutters that open by swinging the shutter on hinges. In episode #1411 Bob and Rick show you how to make angle louvers for a shutter with the router and a mitre gauge on the Router Workshop"
===



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"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"

Marc Sommerfeld Tools ,Videos
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT-n...RWaEpMA/videos

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Last edited by bobj3; 01-26-2012 at 06:48 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 12:36 PM
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Hi Brandon; I admit to being a mite confused. Are you talking about the standard 4"x12" wall (or floor) mounted cold air returns, or something much larger?
The oak 4"x12" grate style grills are a stock item at larger lumber yard and/or heating supply outlets.
Larger ones run around $.50 to $.70 per sq. inch.
Covers for Your Wall, Ceiling or Cabinetry
$200 for a vent is pretty pricey.
My hardwood floor subcont. used to replace the old ones as a matter of course while doing a floor install.
Mind you, if you want the challenge...
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