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Tilt Rod Louver Conections

Posted by Shutter Medic ® on 12/5/2013

One issue owners sometimes experience is that a shutter staple will become loose and fall out of a louver or tilt rod.  The most common cause of Shutter Stapleloose shutter staples is the normal drying process of wood and its resulting shrinkage.  This can result in the wood pulling away for the shutter staple causing enlargement of the staple holes.  Most manufacturers use kiln dried lumber in the construction of wood plantation shutters.  If the moisture content of the lumber used was higher than normal, this could exasperate the problem.  When replacing a missing shutter staple it generally requires the use of some glue to help the shutter stay in place.  A glue that adheres to both wood and metal is necessary such as SuperGlue Gel.  The Gel type is necessary to fill any voids in the shutter staple hole.  The original formula of SuperGlue is too thin to accomplish this.

Another method of attaching louvers to a tilt rod is a metal spline (figured right).  Patented in 1956 by G.L. Sherwood, this method lends itself quite well to rapid assembly.  It does, however, have some definite drawbacks. The First is that the metal hoops have a tendency to open up.  This is caused by excess force applied to the connection.  This results in the louver staple slipping out of the hoop and becoming unattached from the tilt rod.  Placing the shutter staple back underneath the loop and closing the loop easily corrects this problem.  However, metal fatigue can occur on the hoop if this task is performed more than two or three times on the same hoop. This can result in the hoop breaking off.  If this occurs, the only remedy is to replace the damaged tilt rod with a tilt rod replacement kit.   The third figure shows a hoop that has experienced metal fatigue and failed.Damaged Metal Shutter Spline

Over the years, a number of different companies have attempted to improve the louver / tilt rod connection.  In recent times, this has generallyPlantation Shutter Metal Tilt Rod Spline involved some type of plastic or vinyl assembly. In most cases, companies will produce a unique connection to differentiate themselves from the competition, or to address the requirements of patent infringement.  This type of connection is naturally marketed as an improvement over the traditional shutter staple by the salesperson.  The major problem with these types of connections is not how they function, but availability in future years.  Because these connections are generally unique to each company, you can imagine the situation you would find yourself in when replacement is necessary and the company is no longer in business or has stopped making them.  To make matters worse, vinyl or plastic shutters never seem to have any type or marks that would indicate who manufactured the shutter.  So if you inherited the shutters with the purchase of your home you would have no idea who to even call to get the part.  Shutter Medic ® receives calls on a daily basis with customers in this exact situation.

In conclusion, when purchasing shutters we suggest a plantation shutter that utilizes the traditional shutter staple connection.  If you do have any problems down the road with the staple it is easily repaired.