Title:
Methods and Systems for Manufacture of a Rot-Resistant Shutter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rot-resistant window shutter and method of manufacture therefor, wherein the shutter is manufactured as a one-piece construction from a suitable cellular polyvinyl chloride substrate, and may be selectively structural and/or aesthetically manipulated without concern of degradation of structural integrity of the shutter, and thus without concern of jeopardizing the rot-resistivity thereof.



Inventors:
Buchwald, Kurt (Alpharetta, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/116189
Publication Date:
03/19/2009
Filing Date:
05/06/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
409/180, 409/182, 409/132
International Classes:
E04B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CADUGAN, ERICA E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mr. Kurt Buchwald (Alpharetta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A system for making a rot-resistant product comprising; a table; a motorized cutting element; a jig; and a rot-resistant material; whereby a pattern is formed on at least a forward surface of said rot-resistant material by said motorized cutting element and wherein said pattern is formed according to a configuration of said jig.

2. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 1, wherein said motorized cutting element comprises a router.

3. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 2, wherein said router comprises a guide in the shape of a disc disposed concentrically about an axis of rotation of said motorized cutting element.

4. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 3, wherein said guide comprises at least one rolling element operatively connected thereto for reducing a frictional force acting on said guide when said router is in operation.

5. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 3, wherein said jig comprises a plurality of adjustable members, forming an interior perimeter of said jig.

6. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 5, wherein an exterior side surface of said guide is maintained in contact with said interior perimeter during a time when said pattern in formed.

7. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 5, wherein said plurality of adjustable members comprise at least one of a plurality of tracks and a quick lock mechanism.

8. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 1, wherein said motorized cutting element comprises a milling machine.

9. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 1, wherein said motorized cutting element comprises a single blade comprising a plurality of sharp teeth disposed along a length thereof.

10. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 8, wherein said jig comprises a linear member disposed along an edge of said table along an axis generally perpendicular to a major axis of said motorized cutting element.

11. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 1, wherein said table comprises a material having surface having a low coefficient of friction.

12. The system for making a rot-resistant product of claim 1, wherein said jig comprises at least one of a linear member disposed along an edge of said table along an axis generally perpendicular to a major axis of said motorized cutting element and a plurality of adjustable members, forming an interior perimeter of said jig.

13. A method for making a rot-resistant product comprising the steps of: a. providing a rot-resistant workpiece; and b. contacting at least a forward surface of said rot-resistant workpiece with a rotary cutting element to form a rot-resistant product including at least one pattern in at least said forward surface.

14. The method for making a rot-resistant product of claim 13, wherein said rotary cutting element comprises a milling machine, and wherein said contacting step comprises passing said workpiece through said milling machine to form a linear pattern.

15. The method for making a rot-resistant product of claim 13, wherein said rotary cutting element comprises at least one single blade comprising a plurality of sharp teeth disposed along a length thereof.

16. The method for making a rot-resistant product of claim 13, wherein said rotary cutting element comprises a router.

17. The method for making a rot-resistant product of claim 13, further comprising the step of guiding at least one of said workpiece and said rotary cutting element using a jig system.

18. A method for making a rot-resistant product comprising the steps of: providing a rot-resistant workpiece; forming a plurality of patterns in at least a forward surface of said workpiece; and separating at least a portion of said workpiece, said portion including at least one pattern formed in said forward surface to form a rot-resistant product.

19. The method for making a rot-resistant product of claim 18, wherein the step of forming further includes contacting a rotary cutting element with at least a portion of said forward surface.

20. The method for making a rot-resistant product of claim 18, wherein the step of forming further includes guiding at least one of said workpiece and a tool using a jig system.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE AND PRIORITY CLAIM TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

To the fullest extent permitted by law, the present non-provisional patent application claims priority to and the full benefit of non-provisional patent application entitled “Rot Resistant Window Shutter and Method of Manufacture Therefor”, filed on Mar. 17, 2005, having assigned Ser. No. 11/082,410, and provisional patent application entitled “Rot Resistant Window Shutter And Method Of Manufacture Therefor”, filed on Mar. 17, 2004, having assigned Ser. No. 60/554,019.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to construction and building components, and more specifically to a rot-resistant window shutter and methods and systems of manufacture therefor, wherein the present invention advantageously provides a shutter manufactured as a one-piece construction from cellular polyvinyl chloride, as opposed to conventional shutters typically manufactured from multiple pieces of wood or similar rot-susceptible substrates.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Conventional wooden window shutters are typically manufactured from multiple pieces of wood, wherein all the wood pieces are glued, nailed, or otherwise fastened, to each other to yield a fully assembled window shutter Unfortunately, such multi-piece construction wooden shutters must be utilized, as one-piece solid wood boards are much more susceptible to warping over prolonged periods of exposure to the elements of weather, and, in view of the typical dimensions of conventional shutters, must be cut to a size that tends to undesirably express the natural curvature or bow of the wood as derived from the natural columnar-shape of the tree from which the wood was cut. Accordingly, overly curved or warped solid wood boards tend to split or crack during traditional routering practices utilized to impart aesthetically pleasing designs over the surfaces thereof.

Moreover, the bond provided by the glues or nails often utilized to assemble such multi-piece construction wooden shutters often weakens or otherwise deteriorates, and, as such, results in the dilapidation of the multi-piece shutter, and/or the exposure of untreated, unsealed or unpainted wood pieces to rot-inducing moisture and similar weather elements. Moreover, the natural expansion and contraction of wood material in response to varying weather conditions tends to disrupt the structural integrity of glues between bonded wood pieces, or, if the wood pieces are secured together via nails, such expansion and contraction can disrupt the efficacy of the nail bond, creating gaps between the wood pieces that expose the nail to moisture, and thus cause rusting and structural degradation of the nail itself, in addition to rotting of exposed and untreated, unsealed or unpainted wood surfaces.

Additionally, wooden shutters generally require regular application of suitable exterior paints or sealers to protect the wood from rot, harsh weather elements, and/or insect infestation (i.e., termites, or the like), and to maintain an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Such regular maintenance practice, however, can prove burdensome, inconvenient, and expensive. As such, many homeowners, or the like, tend to forgo such regular upkeep, and thus, are soon faced with the burden and expense of replacing severely rotted or damaged wooden shutters.

Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a rot-resistant window shutter of one-piece construction, wherein the shutter is manufactured from cellular polyvinyl chloride, and may be selectively manufactured to any desired dimension without concern of undesirable warping or bending, or splitting or cracking of same during application of router equipment thereto and/or other machinery utilized to impart a desired structural and/or aesthetic quality to the shutter. There is a further need for such a rot-resistant window shutter that eliminates regular application of suitable exterior paints or sealers thereto.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such a device by providing a rot-resistant window shutter and methods and systems for manufacture thereof, wherein the shutter is manufactured as a one-piece article from a suitable polymer or composite materials, such as a cellular polyvinyl chloride substrate, and may be selectively structural and/or aesthetically manipulated without concern of degradation of structural integrity of the article, and thus without concern of jeopardizing the rot-resistivity thereof

According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention in its preferred form is a rot-resistant window shutter and methods and systems for manufacture thereof, comprising, in general, a solid piece of cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC) routered to impart a desired pattern that mimics the exterior aesthetics of conventional wood shutters

More specifically, the present invention is a rot-resistant window shutter, wherein the shutter is preferably manufactured from a solid extruded piece of cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC), such as, for exemplary purposes only, rigid (solid) cellular PVC, cellular foam PVC, and/or co-extrusions thereof, and wherein the shutter may be manufactured or extruded to any selected dimension without concern of warping, bending, bowing, cracking, splitting, or delamination of same. Preferably, guided routers oriented at selected intervals and/or angles are utilized to create a selected pattern over the forward surface of the shutter, wherein such patterns may include, without limitation, raised panels, louvers, cut-outs, cross-boards, chamfers, geometric shapes, and/or grooves that emulate or impart the shutter with the appearance of a multi-piece construction, and thus mimic the exterior aesthetics of conventional wood shutters. Preferably, the cellular PVC may be extruded with color dyes to impart the shutter with any selected color, or may be painted to achieve such color and/or a desired texture.

Accordingly, a feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide a rot-resistant window shutter and methods and systems for manufacture thereof.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide a shutter manufactured as a one-piece article from cellular polyvinyl chloride, as opposed to conventional shutters typically manufactured from multiple pieces of wood or similar rot-susceptible substrates.

Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide a rot-resistant window shutter routered to impart a desired pattern that mimics the exterior aesthetics of conventional wood shutters.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a rot-resistant window shutter according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a rot-resistant window shutter according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a rot-resistant window shutter according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a manufacturing system for a shutter according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 4;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 4;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a manufacturing system according to an alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 13 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 12;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of the manufacturing system of FIG. 12;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a manufacturing system according to an alternate preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 17 is a plan view of a rot-resistant window shutter according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a shutter manufacturing system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 19 is a plan view of a thrust bearing of a shutter manufacturing system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND SELECTED ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS

In describing the preferred and selected alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-15, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-15, the present invention in a preferred embodiment is a rot-resistant window shutter 110 and method of manufacture therefor. Shutter 110 is preferably manufactured from a solid extruded piece of cellular polyvinyl chloride (PVC), such as, for exemplary purposes only, rigid (solid) cellular PVC, cellular foam PVC, and/or co-extrusions thereof, and may be manufactured or extruded to any selected dimension without concern of warping, bending or bowing of same. Additionally, the cellular PVC substrate utilized to manufacture shutter 110 may be extruded with color dyes blended therewith to impart shutter 110 with any selected color, thus eliminating the need for subsequent application of exterior paints and/or sealers for upkeep of shutter color and/or rot-resistivity. Alternatively, shutter 110 may be manufactured from other similar rot-resistant materials, such as from other polymers or copolymers, polymer composites, exterior MDF, wood composites, other sheet materials, and/or the like.

It is contemplated that shutter 110 may be extruded, routered, chamfered, embossed, cut, CNC routered, or otherwise structurally manipulated to include cross boards 150 integrally formed therewith. Alternatively, such cross boards may be selectively formed from additional pieces of cellular PVC and adhered to forward surface 120 of shutter 110 with suitable PVC glues or other bonding agents or mechanical fasteners resistant to rot and/or degradation. Preferably, the completed shutter 110 may be securely affixed to a selected building structure via screws, nails, brackets, bonding agents, or the like, without disrupting the rot-resistivity of shutter 110. Furthermore, it should be recognized that shutters 110 may be cut from a larger stock sheets, planks, or boards of cellular PVC, wherein such stock sheets, planks, or boards are pre-routered or pre-pattered via embossing, CNC routering, or the like, thereby enabling construction workers to cut a selected quantity of shutters 110 therefrom.

Now referring to FIG. 1, preferably, the method of manufacture of shutter 110 creates a selected pattern 130 over forward surface 120 of shutter 110, wherein patterns 130 may include, without limitation, raised panels, louvers, cut-outs, cross-boards, chamfers, geometric shapes, and/or grooves that emulate or impart shutter 110 with the appearance of a multi-piece construction, and thus mimic the exterior aesthetics of conventional wood shutters. Grooves 131 preferably impart shutter 110 with the appearance of multiple boards 121, 123, 125, and 127. A predetermined number of grooves 131 are preferably created simultaneously in forward surface 120 by the travel of a single blade 1500, as shown in FIG. 15, relative to forward surface 120. Blade 1500 is preferably provided with a plurality of teeth disposed intervally along a length thereof corresponding in number and location to the predetermined number of grooves 131. Alternatively, however, grooves 131 may be formed simultaneously by the passage of a plurality of routers 410, as shown in FIG. 4, across forward surface 120 using v-shaped cutting bits. According to another alternative method, grooves 131 may be formed serially by a single router 410. Cut-out 133 is preferably formed by router 410 including a plunge-cutting and side-cutting bit, but may optionally be formed by a saw, such as a jig saw, a band saw, or other conventional saw, such as a wood-working. Chamfers 135 are preferably formed by router 410 including a v-shaped bit. Alternatively, chamfers 135 may be formed using a saw, such as a table saw, a router table, a circular saw, a radial-arm saw, or other conventional cutting means.

As best illustrated in FIG. 2, shutter 110 with a louvered appearance includes louvers 140. Louvers 140 are preferably formed in forward surface 120 by at least one router 410 preferably oriented at a selected angle relative to forward surface 120 of shutter 110 (i.e., forty-five degree angle, or any other selected angle), whereupon the passage of the router(s) 410 over forward surface 120, at predetermined intervals, preferably yields a plurality of deep, angled grooves 141 that approximately mimic a plurality of conventional louvers over forward surface 120 of shutter 110.

As best illustrated in FIG. 3, routered pattern 130, such as routered grooves 131 and/or louvers 140 preferably extends into shutter 110 from forward surface 120 with sufficient depth D to impart the appearance of a multi-piece construction to shutter 110. Grooves 131 are preferably v-shaped, although alternative shapes, as may be selected by one of ordinary skill in the art, are within the scope of the invention.

Now referring to FIG. 4, each of one or more routers 410 is preferably set up for a particular function for forming respective ones of router patterns 130, such as making grooves 131, cut-outs 133, chamfers 135, or raised panels 137, shown in FIG. 9. Each router 410 includes guide 412 attached to a bottom face of base plate 414 encircling bit or tool 416. Router 410 is preferably guided by jig system 460 thereby ensuring that the desired pattern 130 is formed. In the case of forming raised panels 137, jig system 460 preferably comprises table 420, fixed rail 431, adjustable rail 433, fixed style 441, adjustable style 443, top insert 451, and bottom insert 453. In use, jig system 460 is preferably assembled according to desired design parameters for raised panel 137, such as rail width, top style width, bottom style width, overall size, and shape. Fixed rail 431 and fixed style 441 preferably form a starting point for the assembly and are preferably disposed at a right angle. Adjustable rail 433 preferably rides in track 421 disposed in table 420 and is preferably disposed parallel to fixed style 441. Adjustable rail 431 is preferably adjustable in a direction perpendicular to fixed rail 431 to change a distance between adjustable rail 433 and fixed rail 431 to accommodate shutters 110 of varying width. Adjustable rail 433 preferably includes a locking mechanism 435, such as threaded fastener 435a, lever fastener 435b, or other conventional means for selectively providing a clamping force, to selectively lock and release adjustable rail 433 in a fixed position with respect to table 420 and shutter 110. Adjustable style 443 preferably rides in track 423 disposed in table 420, and is preferably disposed parallel to fixed rail 431. Adjustable style 443 is preferably adjustable in a direction perpendicular to fixed style 441 to change a distance between adjustable style 443 and fixed style 441 to accommodate shutters 110 of varying length. Adjustable style 443 preferably includes a locking mechanism 445, such as a threaded fastener, a lever fastener, or other conventional means for selectively providing a clamping force, to selectively lock and release adjustable style 443 in a fixed position with respect to table 420 and shutter 110. Adjustable style 443 is preferably selected from a plurality of adjustable styles, such that the length L of adjustable style 443 matches the width of shutter 110.

In use, shutter 110 is preferably placed on table 420 with a side edge adjacent and abutting fixed rail 431 and a top edge adjacent and abutting fixed style 441. Adjustable style 443, having a length equal to a width of shutter 110, is then preferably installed on table 420 in track 423. Adjustable rail 433 is then preferably adjusted to a position along track 421 adjacent to and abutting another side edge of shutter 110 and preferably tightened in track 421 such that adjustable rail 433 is temporarily fixed in position with respect to table 420 and shutter 110. Adjustable style 443 is then preferably adjusted to a position along track 423 adjacent to and abutting a bottom edge of shutter 110 and preferably tightened in track 423 such that adjustable style 443 is temporarily fixed in location with respect to table 420 and shutter 110. Top insert 451 is the preferably selected according to a desired pattern, and is preferably placed adjacent fixed style 441. Bottom insert 453 is then preferably selected according to the desired pattern, and is preferably placed adjacent adjustable style 443. Router 410 is then preferably used to create pattern 130 on forward surface 120 of shutter 110, and is preferably guided in the forming by guide 412. A bottom surface of guide 412 preferably rides on forward surface 120 and slides freely thereon, with only a small amount of frictional resistance. A side surface of guide 412 is preferably equidistant from a center of bit or tool 416 and preferably abuts the rails and styles of jig system 460, thereby preferably preventing router 410 and bit or tool 416 thereof from removing material within a predetermined distance of an edge of shutter 110. Router 410 is preferably operated in a manner such that a side surface of guide 412 is constantly in contact with at least one style or rail of jig system 460 such that a constant offset is maintained between pattern 130 created by bit or tool 416 and an interior perimeter of jig system 460.

Now referring to FIG. 7, track 423 preferably comprises member 720 made of aluminum, or other suitable material, having a c-shaped cross section, and is preferably disposed, by fixed fasteners 721, such as, screws, bolts, pins, clips, adhesives or other conventional fastening means, on table 420 or in channel 710 therein with open portion 723 of the c-shape profile exposed. T-shaped connector 731 is preferably fixedly disposed on adjustable style 443 such that handle 741 is accessible to a top surface 443a of adjustable style 443. Track 423 is preferably configured to receive head 731a of t-shaped connector 731 slidably engaged therewith, such that when a force is applied to t-shaped connector 731 by operation of handle 741, portions 733 of head 731a preferably engage portions 725 of track 423 adjacent open portion 723; thereby, preferably creating sufficient friction to prevent relative motion between track 423 and t-shaped connector 731 and adjustable style 443.

Now referring to FIG. 8, router 810 is preferably a conventional woodworking router with a plunging feature and preferably includes guide 812, formed of a low friction material, such as CORIAN or a plastic, attached to bottom face 814a of base plate 814 by conventional fasteners 811. Guide 812 is preferably formed as a ring, preferably having an outer diameter of 4.25 inches and an inner diameter larger than a width of bit or tool 816. Furthermore, guide 812 preferably has a thickness of approximately 1.5 inches, sufficient to ensure that base plate 814 is clear of obstructions while router 810 is in use. Guide 812 may, optionally, be formed of multiple layers of the same or different materials, and each layer may optionally be formed of a material having characteristics desirable for that layer, such as rigidity, resilience to scratches or wear, low coefficient of friction, among others. Bit or tool 816 is preferably configured to form at least a portion of pattern 137 in forward surface 120 and may preferably be a conventional woodworking router bit or tool.

Router 850 is likewise preferably a conventional woodworking router with a plunging feature and preferably includes guide 852, formed of a low friction material, such as CORIAN or a plastic, attached to bottom face 854a of base plate 854 by conventional fasteners 851. Guide 852 is preferably formed as a ring, preferably having an outer diameter of 4.75 inches and an inner diameter larger than a width of tool or bit 456. Furthermore, guide 852 preferably has a thickness of approximately 1.5 inches, sufficient to ensure that base plate 854 is clear of obstructions while router 850 is in use. Guide 852 may, optionally, be formed of multiple layers of the same or different materials, and each layer may optionally be formed of a material having characteristics desirable for that layer, such as rigidity, resilience to scratches or wear, and low coefficient of friction, among others. Bit or tool 856 is preferably configured to form at least a portion of pattern 137 in forward surface 120 and may preferably be a conventional woodworking router bit or tool.

In use, router 810 is preferably placed on forward surface 120 of shutter 110 with side surface 813 of guide 812 adjacent at least on rail or style of jig system 460. Router 810 is then preferably turned on, whereby bit or tool 816 reaches an operating rotational speed. Bit or tool 816 is then preferably plunged such that bit or tool 816 cuts at least a portion of pattern 130 into forward surface 120 of shutter 110. Router 810 is then preferably moved around the interior perimeter of jig system 460, while maintaining edge 813 of guide 812 adjacent at least one rail or style of jig system 460. Router 810 is preferably turned off and removed from forward surface 120 after completing a complete circuit around the interior perimeter of jig system 460. If necessary, router 850 may then optionally be placed on forward surface 120 with side surface 853 of guide 852 adjacent at least one rail or style of jig system 460. Router 850 is then preferably operated in a manner similar to router 810 described above, such that at least a portion of patter 130 is formed in forward surface 120 of shutter 110, preferably completely around a circuit of the interior perimeter of jig system 460.

Now referring to FIG. 11, side surface 813 of guide 812 is shown disposed adjacent cross-bar 1110. Cross-bar 1110 preferably works in conjunction with jig system 460 to divide forward surface 120 into upper region 1101 and lower region 1103, whereby a pattern 130, such as raised-panels 137, can be formed in the forward surface 120 of each of upper region 1101 and lower region 1103. Likewise, top insert 451 is preferably used in conjunction with jig system 460 to form a desired pattern 130 in forward surface 120. In user cross-bar 1110 preferably provides two additional surfaces of the interior perimeter of jig system 460, adjacent to which side surface 813 is disposed during a circuit around the interior perimeter. Top insert 451 preferably replaces an interior edge of fixed style 431 as a portion of the interior perimeter of jig system 460.

Now referring to FIG. 12, milling machine 1200 preferably includes feed table 1210. Feed table 1210 preferably provides a stable platform 1212 on which a sheet of material, such as shutter 100 can be placed for milling Feed table 1210 preferably includes a top surface 1210a having a low coefficient of friction to ensure smooth feed of shutter 110, such as a waxed medium density fiberboard (MDF). Feed table 1210 further includes at least one side rail 1214 disposed along a first edge thereof Side rail 1214 preferably provides a surface against which shutter 110 can be disposed to ensure straight feed into milling machine 1200 and is preferably made of aluminum, or other suitable substantially rigid and durable material.

Now referring to FIG. 13, milling machine 1200 preferably further includes a plurality of rotary cutting elements 1220. Each rotary cutting element 1220 preferably includes a plurality of blades or sharpened portions 1222 disposed along a length thereof. Rotary cutting element 1220 is preferably rotated at a sufficient rate, and with sufficient torque to cut into shutter 110 when rotary cutting element 1220 contacts a surface of shutter 110. Milling machine 1200 preferably includes an automatic feed drive or similar structure to propel shutter 110 through milling machine 1200 when shutter 110 is fed into mouth 1216. The automatic feed drive preferably controllably feeds a sheet through milling machine 1200 at a constant rate and in a constant direction, the direction preferably being parallel to side rail 1214. Milling machine 1200 preferably includes an adjustment mechanism such as a mechanical, electric, pneumatic, hydraulic, or other drive system for adjusting a vertical distance between an axis of rotation of rotary cutting elements 1220 and top surface 1210a, thereby enabling adjustment of the depth of cut made in forward surface 120.

In use, shutter 110, or any other sheet material, is preferably placed on top surface 1210a adjacent side rail 1214. Shutter 110 is preferably fed into mouth 1216 where it is preferably engaged by the automatic feed drive, and propelled through milling machine 1200. As shutter 100 passes through milling machine 1200, blades 1222 preferably cut patterns 130, such as grooves 131 into forward surface 120.

FIG. 14 illustrates the detail of blade portions 1410 of single blade 1400, preferably including sharpened leading edge 1415 and relief portion 1420. As is readily understood by one skilled in the art, the profile of single blade 1400 is configured to give shutter 100 the appearance of being constructed of three boards with a beading in between each of the boards. The profile of rotary cutting element 1220 may, however, optionally be configured according to any preferred design, such as single blade 1500 for creating v-shaped grooves 131, giving shutter 110 the appearance of multi-piece construction. As will be understood by those ordinarily skilled in the art, single blade 1400 may alternatively be formed as a multi-piece blade having a plurality of adjustable, removable, interchangeable, and/or reconfigurable sections and/or components, whereby selected patterns may be formed via selective configuration of such a multi-piece blade.

FIG. 16 illustrates diamond cut-out jig 1610 and concave diamond cut-out jig 1640 for forming cut-outs 133 and router 1670 for use with cut-out jigs 1610, 1640. Preferably, router 1670 includes plunge and side-cutting bit 1680 and guide collet 1690. Guide collet 1690 preferably provides only a small offset, such as 0.125 inches and is formed of a durable, low-friction material.

In use, cut-out jig 1610 or 1640 is preferably placed in a desired position on forward surface 120 and clamped in place. Router 1670 is then preferably placed on forward surface 120 with guide collet 1690 disposed adjacent at least one surface 1620, 1650 of the interior perimeter of jig 1610, 1640 and turned on, causing bit 1680 to rotate. Bit 1680 is then preferably plunged into forward surface 120 and completely through shutter 110. Router 1670 is then preferably made to complete a circuit of the interior perimeter of jig 1610, 1640 while maintaining guide collet 1690 adjacent surface 1620, 1650.

Now referring to FIG. 17, shutter 100 is shown with two raised panels 137, preferably formed using routers 810 and 850, table 420, and jig system 460.

FIG. 18 illustrates shock prevention system 1800 preferably including bracelet 1810 and ground wire 1820. Shock prevention system 1800 is preferably used to prevent a build-up of static electric charge due to the interaction of the router bit and the material of the shutter which could cause painful electric shocks to an operator of the router while forming patterns in the shutter material.

FIG. 19 illustrates thrust bearing 1900 which may optionally be used with a router for forming patterns 130 in shutters 100. Thrust bearing 1900 preferably includes a plurality of ball bearings 1910 operatively engaged with housing 1920. A sufficient number of ball bearings 1910 are preferably included such that ball bearings 1910 provide a stable and flat surface on which the router may rest. Preferably, thrust bearing 1900 is included in guides 412, 812, 852, for example, disposed in a recess on the bottom surfaces thereof Thrust bearing 1900 preferably further reduces any friction between forward surface 120 and guides 412, 812, 852, and aids in smooth operation of routers 410, 810, 850, thereby creating smooth formation of patterns 130 eliminating burning, melting, charring, chipping, burring, or other undesirable effect in shutter 110.

Although the foregoing description of systems and methods for manufacture of rot-resistant shutters, or the like, has been made with reference to manual systems, the same or analogous methodology may be employed in a CNC manufacturing system. As will be understood by those skilled in the art, rot-resistant shutter 110, or the like, may be formed using a CNC router. For example, one or more computer program(s) may be used to design the completed shutter, to define tool selection and tool path instructions, and to generate code useable by a CNC router to create the designed shutter from a unitary slab or sheet of material. A blank may then be placed in the CNC router and one or more completed shutter may be formed therefrom via operation of the CNC router according to the generated code instructions. In order to produce optimum results, a ratio of spindle speed of the router (including manually or jig guided routers) to feed rate should be selected such that burning and/or melting of the material (caused by excessively high spindle speed to feed rate ratios) and poor cut quality (caused by excessively low spindle speed to feed rate rations) are avoided Additionally, arcing the router bit or tool, i.e. angle or moving insertion of the tool into the material is preferred over vertical or static plunging due to a cleaner resulting cut.

Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.