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Doors & Windows

Replacing broken slats on louvered closet door

A few slats popped out of a louvered closet door after I feel into it.  The slats are in fine shape, not broken but I can't get them back in.  There are 2 slats that are attached at one end but wedged outside of their slots and the other 2 are completely popped out.  How can I replace these without breaking the slats?  For the two that are wedged, I tried using a hammer but they don't seem to budge.  The two that popped out fit easily into one end but I can't get them to fit into the other end.  I don't want to try and force them and have them break on me.  Any advice would be great.  Thanks
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Posted 2015-03-01T21:03:08+0000  by JGus66 JGus66
Fixing it is kind of tricky and without any guarantees. Traditionally louvered doors are constructed so that the slats can't fall out (or at least shouldn't).  What I might suggest is shortening the slats ever so slightly (1/16") so you can "pop" them back in.  Then use a little glue to keep them in place.  Ordinary white glue (e.g.,Elmer's) is fine.  Work it into the mortise with a toothpick or skewer.
Posted 2015-03-01T23:39:07+0000  by Adam444
Excellent and very common question JGus66!

And Adam has given you an excellent brief.

Shorten the slats very slightly as Adam suggests.

Then use a large wood clamp, but reverse the ends so they push out and use the "fine" adjustment to exert outward force on the frame.

This combination will allow you to slip the slats back into the slots.

I've seen a yard stick cut, routed to round the edges, sanded, primed, and painted to re-create broken slats.
Posted 2015-03-05T17:02:55+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
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