Learn more about the craftmanship and quality that goes into each and every one of our Kirtz shutters.

Kirtz Shutters at the 2010 Tulsa Home and Garden Show, BOOTH 841

Kirtz Shutters will be exhibiting at the Tulsa Home Show in Tulsa, OK.     At this show you can examine the premier quality of the Kirtz Shutter, and visit with Don Watson, our Tulsa representative at BOOTH 841.

In our booth will be displaying our NEW motorized shutter.     A perfect solution for any hard to reach window, TLC motorization is exclusively available on the Kirtz Shutter.

 SHOW DATES AND TIMES 

Thursday March 11th   5pm-9pm

Friday & Saturday March 12,13   10am-9pm

Sunday March 14  11am-6pm

Being Choosy with Window Treatments Matters

Does it matter where you buy your window treatments??  Absolutely, more than you may realize.   An article posted on MSN revealed many blinds sold at places like Ikea, Pottery Barn Kids, Target, ect. are being recalled due to child deaths and strangulation’s.

You can view the article here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32561933/ns/today-today_home_and_garden/

In my mind, this emphasizes the value of using a professional salesperson when you are choosing window treatments.

Most of us have a lot on our plate today, we don’t have the time to learn the ins and outs of every product we may want or need to purchase.  

Enter the experienced window covering industry professional.   

They provide such a critical service for consumers in terms of education and narrowing down products to options best suited for a homeowners needs. 

In addition to knowledge, they typically represent industry leading brands that base their reputation and existence on long term customer satisfaction.  This includes using manufacturers who make child safety a top concern in the construction of their products. 

Your window covering professional is a business person who likely lives in your community.  They aren’t a divison of a corporate conglomerate, they aren’t  a big box store with an ever changing staff, or a website with an automated customer service line.    

They provide in home service, offer quality products with stringent safety standards,  and  provide you customer service that can’t be beat,  Sounds pretty good, right?  …… Give us a call and decide for yourself!

For Oklahoma and Kansas, click here

For Nationwide Service, click here

Kirtz Shutter Craftsmanship; what a quality finish adds to your custom shutter

Without a quality finish on  a custom shutter, the value created by using a high quality wood, and rigorous construction standards would be minimized.   Let’s take a look at how Kirtz Shutters achieves a  quality finish on our custom shutters. 

Linear Priming (painted shutters only)

Components of our painted maple shutter are primed in lineal form.  By priming in lineal form we can ensure an even coating of primer, up to two mill thickness on each part of the shutter.  A high quality prime helps the shutter take finish coats well.

Wood Grading (painted and stained shutters)

Not all components make the final cut for a Kirtz Shutter.  All of our components are inspected before they reach the production line and undesirable sections of wood with flaws are marked as not suitable for a Kirtz Shutter.

Prep Work~ Where the Magic Happens

Even the best quality wood has some imperfections.   To get a smooth finish involves a high level of attention to detail during prep work.   Imperfections are fixed during 2 different stages of manufacturing.  

The Production Line — Filler is applied to the any noticeable flaws in the wood and sanded out smooth.  

Brown and Sand — Shutters enter this area after they are built, and before they enter the finish room.  High intensity spotlights shine down upon the shutters, highlighting any slight flaw that might show up in the final product.  These minor flaws are fixed with putty and sanding, and then the finish sanding begins. 

Finish sanding is done by hand, with very fine sandpaper.  Every inch of the Kirtz Shutter is finish sanded, including the top of the tilt rod, an area that few manufactures take the time to address.  After final inspection, they are ready for finish.

shutters are inspected for flaws under high intensity lights

shutters are inspected for flaws under hign intensity lights

 

any small flaws are fixed before finish is applied

any small flaws are fixed before finish is applied

During finish Kirtz Shutters are hung from a track system on cars that allow the shutter to rotate completely.  This makes sure, whether painted or stained, each shutter receives an even amount of paint/stain on all parts of the shutters resulting in a smooth, even finish from any angle.

plantation shutters in the paint finish room

plantation shutters in the paint finish room

Painted Shutters receive  two coats of  lacquer paint finish on top of the primer.  In between coats, shutters are quality inspected.  All our paint has UV inhibitors in it to help keep your custom shutters looking great, even in the most intense sun.

Stained Shutters are sprayed with your stain color, typically a custom mix done just for you.  Each shutter receives two coats of stain.  In between coats, the shutters are taken down off the track, hand wiped and lightly sanded    This step is the differential between standard finish and a truly furniture quality finish.    Without it the shutter color would appear a bit opaque, what some people call “muddy” .  To finish up, we put two coats of clear finish on the shutters to protect the wood and bring up the beauty of the grain.   We use a 20 sheen, which gives a nice luster to the wood and provides the finish with depth.  

After finishing is complete, Kirtz Shutters sit overnight to let the finish have time to cure.  Depending on the time of the year, painted finishes are given extra curing time in a cool room.

While each area of our factory plays a key role in making the Kirtz Shutter a bench quality product,  the finish department plays a critical role in making the work of all the other departments really shine.

Kirtz Shutter Craftmanship; assembling a quality custom shutter

The assembly department is responsible for turning lengths of components into a plantation shutter.

First, all parts are cut to length according to the exact specifications for your custom shutter.  After parts are cut, they are placed onto a cart with job sheets that details each opening in the order.

At Kirtz we take a few extra steps during assembly before the panel comes together to make sure that your shutter is built to the highest of quality standards.

Each tilt rod is given personal attention.  We shape the top of the tilt rod in a machine we designed to give the rounded top that is unique to a Kirtz Shutter.  Then, the top of each rod is sanded smooth so it has the same quality finished look as other parts of our shutters.

tilt-rod-shaping

After shaping it is sanded smooth

After shaping it is sanded smooth

Before the shutter is put together, each louver end is burnished with a sander.  Again, this extra step allows the ends of the louvers to accept the painted finish better, and eliminates the rough ends you would typically find with louvers that are cut, but not sanded.

Burnishing louver ends

Burnishing louver ends

Next, the louvers and tilt rod are fed through a machine that attaches them together with staples and puts pins in the end of each louver, and your shutter panel is ready to be put together.

Joinery of a Kirtz Shutter

At Kirtz we use dowels to join the stiles and rails of each shutter together.   Wood glue is put into each hole that will be receiving a dowel.  Then we use dowels that are slightly larger than the hole they are inserted into.   This requires the use of a hydraulic clamp to put the stiles and rails together.  After the shutter has been clamped together, small pin nails are applied to the backside of the shutter through the dowels, giving it an extra dose of reinforcement.

This method has been used by Kirtz for many years, and we confidently stand behind the joinery of a Kirtz Shutter for a lifetime.

The shutter comes together on the clamp table and is pin nailed for extra strength

The shutter comes together on the clamp table and is pin nailed for extra strength

Framing

Just like a door hangs in a frame, many times your  hardwood shutter will be in a frame.  We have several framing options at Kirtz to accommodate a variety of decors and types of windows.    After your shutters have been assembled, the frames that surround them are built.

At Kirtz we customize many of our frames so that they fit around window cranks and lever locks.  By doing these notches in the factory when possible, the notch receives a finish coat of paint instead of touch up in the field.

For more information on notches, see my post about plantation shutters in casement windows.

This completes your shutter assembly, next stop finish department!

Kirtz Shutter Craftmanship; Making the parts makes the difference for your custom shutters

Hardwood shutters by Kirtz start at our factory as raw lumber.  We typically buy direct from the best lumber mills across the country, with a great deal of our lumber coming from the Northern US.

A load of lumber for Kirtz Shutter, before sorting

A load of lumber for Kirtz Shutter, before sorting

Lumber goes through the following process to become parts for your plantation shutters.

All lumber is tested upon arrival for proper dryness.  Using lumber that has been wet, or is not properly kiln dried could result in warping.  Obviously, this would be bad news for a shutter, so each load is tested immediately upon arrival to be sure that it meets the criteria for furniture quality use.

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