Mr. £. W. PRIDDLE,

MINISTRY OF’&Y'jRKS

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WESTMINSTER. S.W.t

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I    Tel*- ABBEY *060, EXT. 203

en e ti an blinds


A practical manual on the manufacture, construction, care and maintainence of the Venetian blind

Copyright and all rights reserved, also subject to patent trademark and design rights for certain productions herein illustrated.

e net i an blinds

A survey of the foundation and development of the Venetian blind, its uses, advantages and applications together with the modern modus operandi of manufacture and selling, copiously illustrated.

A STANDARD TEXT BOOK FOR THE FURNISHING AND BLIND-MAKING TRADES

published by

THOMAS FRENCH & SONS LIMITED

MANCHESTER 15, ENGLAND

BRANCH FACTORY: SHARSTON ROAD, WYTHENSHAWE, MANCHESTER

Also at LONDON, BELFAST, NEW YORK CITY, FALL RIVER, MASS.

Price


10/6


PLATE I


7


tewe tel


ROGER FRENCH

MANAGING DIRECTOR

THOMAS FRENCH cs? SONS LIMITED



blinds

have enjoyed a revival in popularity during recent years and there has been a considerable improvement in their design and much development in their efficient manufacture.

There has also been a wider field of application and increased adaptation for both domestic and business establishments, particularly in the use of attractive colour harmonies.

Having realized for some time that a text book, or manual of up-to-date practice was overdue, we decided, as one of the oldest of established component manufacturers, to produce such a manual ourselves.

We also strived, in spite of increased costs of production, to ensure that the book is sold at a nominal price, within the reach of all likely to be interested.

This book is the result of two years of intensive work, and will, we hope, satisfy a long-felt, if unexpressed, need.

Further editions will be produced as and when required and comments and suggestions for its improvement will be welcomed.

THE R.C.A. BUILDING ROCKEFELLER CENT ER THE SEVENTY STOREY RADIO CITY OF NEW YORK, U.S.A., IS EQUIPPED ON ALL FLOORS WITH VENETIAN BLINDS.


The FAMOUS RAINBOW ROOM, A SOCIAL RENDEZVOUS ON THE TOP FLOOR OF THE R.C.A. BUILDING—KNOWN AS RADIO CITY ROCKEFELLER CENTER—NEW YORK, ENDORSES THE ADVANTAGES OF VENETIAN BLINDS



Persiennes”

This engraving was by Louis Philip Debit court before 1820. He chronicled Parisian life. Sot ice how unattractive were the tapes and hone crooked the slats hung. At this time, theFleur-de-lisVenetian ladder tapes ivere not invented.

E —

*

■\/> ■

tV;


In contrast to the opposite illustration, here is a modern example of the appropriate use of Venetian blind with the laths and ladder tape colours harmonising with the charming decorative scheme and furnishing'.

The Resuscitation of the enetian

N. N. JONES, PUBLICITY MANAGER THOMAS FRENCH &? SONS LIMITED


HE idea of the Venetian blind is as old as the sunlight filtering through the graceful leaves of the palm trees in tropic oases.

Nature taught the way to control the glare of the light without hindering cooling airs.

The early history of the Venetian Blind is somewhat conjectural.

Curtain reeds were used in ancient Egyptian homes and its earliest practical application has been attributed indirectly to a Persian slave trader who, so the story runs, during the time of Haroun-Al-Raschid made raids upon districts on the west coast of the Red Sea and was accustomed to fit up his quarters with something of this nature.

Slaves were supposed to pour water frequently upon the curtain reeds—in order that the evaporation by the hot winds would serve as a cooling medium for the chamber.

The early Venetians were great travellers and traders and it is possible that they brought this idea of a blind, from Persia, back to Venice.

It is said that a young Venetian slave set at liberty, went to France and there developed his former master’s idea, first for his own personal comfort and later as a means of livelihood.

The French name for Venetian blinds is “Les Persiennes.”

In 1761 St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia, U.S.A., was fitted with Venetian blinds.

The pioneer of the Venetian blind in America seems to have been an Englishman named John Webster of London who advertised his wares in 1767.

In 1787 Venetian blinds were illustrated in the historic painting by J. L. Gerome Ferris, “The visit of Paul Jones to the Constitutional Convention 1787.”

Other illustrations show Venetians at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, at the time of the signing of the Declaration of American Independence.

During the Victorian period, Venetian blinds were favoured in Great Britain, but the rather primitive design and operation together with lack of enterprise, encouraged the fading of interest in Venetian blinds.

In America the principle was adapted, with rare skill, to modern ideas of hygiene, and the Venetian blind enjoys immense popularity all over that continent.

The first modern building in America of the skyscraper type to install Venetian blinds as standard equipment was the famous R.C.A. building, Rockefeller Center, perhaps better known as “Radio City,” New York.

A necessity for domestic residences and apartments, it has also been universally adopted for business offices, administrative suites, factory windows, hospitals, clinics, hotels, restaurants, department stores, shops and clubs.

This renaissance of the Venetian by most practical people is a remarkable tribute to the outstanding advantages of the Venetian blind.

It is definitely forecast by those who watch trends and fashions in this country, that Venetians will become increasingly popular in Britain during the next few years.

It is right that we should profit by the experience of those who have so often led the way to better practices in the use of every-day appliances.

There are many reasons why the Venetian blind is without equal as a means of controlling light whilst ensuring adequate ventilation.

Amongst the many virtues of Venetian Blinds are :—

1.    Great durability. Venetian blinds will last a life-time.

2.    More efficient. By providing an almost infinite variation

of light, admitted or excluded, ranging from total darkness to full light within a room, whilst its interior and its occupants are totally unseen from without.

3.    More hygienic. Whilst allowing perfect ventilation and

absence of draughts, it is more sanitary in obviating the fluff associated with some textiles.

Being cleaned with a wipe in situ, the seasonal job of taking down, washing or dry cleaning and putting up again is avoided.

4.    Economical. Although costing a little more than other

blinds in initial outlay—its length of life— ease of cleaning—many years of constant service—rare intervals at which the tapes may need renewing—make Venetian blinds a very economical long distance proposition on a cost-per-annum basis.

an,l    In winning a position of technical supremacy, the Venetian

blind—as we shall show in this book loses nothing of charming effects ; decorative, practical and romantic treatments, or impressions of stately splendour.

By doing its duty well it does not sacrifice beauty.

Although to-day’s demands for Venetians in Britain may be small—there are evidences that it can be cultivated and developed into a rapidly growing and very profitable trade by the furnisher and blind maker with foresight.

Mow often an opportunity well taken has been a weapon of enormous advantage.

Now is the time to look ahead, to plan for the making and selling of Venetians and to be in the fore front of the progressive and enterprising firms who will blaze the trail to a very great and a decidedly remunerative industry.

Seldom has the Blind maker been presented with such an opportunity for the development of his trade. Here is an old and well-tried article, returning to popular favour.

Thousands of new houses have no permanent blinds at all.

Many more are equipped with holland or linen blinds which lack the advantages of Venetian blinds.

The market exists, it needs but to be cultivated.

The demonstration and proof of the outstanding qualities of Venetians, rests upon those who are alert in the trade.

The making of Venetians implies an efficient workroom, a knowledge of materials, appliances and processes. The selling of Venetians demands enthusiasm and thoughtful direction in the disposal of the products of the workroom.

Yet, both the making and the selling must keep in step and be planned in mutual co-operation, so that demand and supply will march in harmony.

This manual has been prepared to assist the furnisher and blind maker in both the making and the selling of Venetian blinds.

It deals with ideas and practical matters in a way expressly intended to encourage and develop the use of Venetian blinds in Great Britain. We expect it to prove useful to our friends Overseas.

We make the fullest acknowledgment to those who by their assistance and co-operation have helped to make this practical and useful volume what we hope it to be. For facilities afforded us in the collection of information and photographs, and for permission to reproduce herein genuine and authentic prints, we are particularly indebted to those to whom our thanks are sincerely accorded at the end of this book.

e n eti an hi i n


How to Sell them


Modern salesmanship applied to a modern product -V

lling Venetian Bli nds

ESPITE the fact that it may seem putting the cart before the horse, the selling of Venetian blinds demands close study. It is well thoroughly to examine ways and means of selling Venetians before planning to make them in a modern manner.

The most effective way to sell Venetians is by :

DEMONSTRATION

This demonstration begins at home, that is, in the shop or store of the Furnisher or Blind maker. The Furnisher should therefore begin by utilising Venetians in his own premises, as far as is practicable.

Make a survey of the premises. Find out which windows can best be used to fit Venetians. It may not be possible or convenient to fit Venetians to large display windows on the ground floor in every case.

But maybe there are other smaller window’s in the ground floor, and many on upper floors that can be fitted with Venetians to the end of convincing demonstrations.

Each wdndow’ thus fitted can have variations as to different sizes of laths, finishes and tapes, etc., to illustrate the adaptability of the system.

MODEL ROOMS.

Another field of demonstration is in the suites of model furnished rooms in which pleasing ensembles are displayed.

When such model rooms are refurnished—as must be the case at intervals—plan a Venetian blind scheme in colour harmonies that will emphasise the part Venetians can play in comfort and decorative effects.

The colours of the laths, and the tapes can fortify the general scheme. For instance—suggest a scheme of ivory and Post Office red. Ivory walls and red woodwork ; ivory carpets and red leather upholstery ; ivory laths and red tapes for Venetians.

I he opportunities for colour harmonies are enormous— showing that beauty is not sacrificed to duty w’hen Venetians are used.


THE SHOWROOM.

Still another and most effective demonstration will of course be in the showroom.

The showroom can be equipped with specimen Venetian blinds, each mounted individually on a window framework large enough to give the effect of an average sized blind—but small enough to enable the salesman to demonstrate the smooth operation and adjustment of the main working parts.

Such specimen windows offer fascinating scope for showing novel finishes of the laths ; vivid or blending colour harmonies or contrasts between the laths and the tapes ; two-tone effects and possibly attractive drapes of side curtains and pelmets.

Thus visual proof can be given, not only of the easy operation and adjustment—but that in doing its duty well the Venetian does not sacrifice the beauty of modern or period decorative schemes.


PRACTICAL PROOF.

Leading Furnishing Houses discovered that customers tound that it was difficult to select materials and fabrics in the glare of intense sunlight. To meet this problem they decided to equip the showrooms with Venetian blinds, which enabled the staff to control the amount of sunlight coming through windows on sunny summer days.

The result was most satisfactory, allowing the admission ot correct light without glare and not obstructing the free flow of air.

Such showroom displays can be altered at intervals—changing the colours and finishes of laths—changing the colours of tapes, showing how softly net drapes, or side curtains can enhance the severe lines of the blind ; and thinking up new ideas which will impress customers on visits at intervals.

USE OF ODD FLOOR SPACES.


Frequently odd spaces, corners, vestibules, etc., can be used to advantage by placing winsome examples of Venetians where they wrill be seen by customers entering the shop, the landings, the showrooms, the lifts.

If placed at an angle the examples more readily catch the eye.

Good use of two examples, placed in V form—one angle of which attracts the eye as customers enter, the other angle greets them as they leave.

Specimen blinds should be placed at the entrances and exits of other Departments, Carpets, Bedding, China and Glassware, Furniture section, near lifts and at places where customers loiter or wait for a few moments waiting for change or when paying accounts.

The eye is the avenue for arousing interest. Use your examples as a flower uses colour to attract the bee.


FRESHNESS AND EFFICIENCY OF EXAMPLES.

This is of vital importance.

Wherever examples of Venetian Blinds are shown, they must be kept clean, smart and in perfect working order.

The laths must be kept dusted with a lath brush, and occasionally use a leather to keep colours fresh.

The tapes must be clean and where the atmosphere is smokeladen, instead of renewing them, they can be washed or dry-cleaned, ironed and made as good as new as occasion offers.

The working parts must be oiled and tested, the mechanism examined, the cords renewed if any traces of wear are visible.

It would be foolish to risk showing a broken lath, a squeaky pulley, a stop that will not work, a cord that frays, a hitch in mechanism that will not adjust the laths to level, or a tilting movement that does not work sweetly.

No salesman worth his salt should risk any hitch when he makes a demonstration.

Eternal vigilance is the price of growing sales. This cannot be too strongly emphasised.



PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS.

Customers can be classed into two main categories.

First.

Those who remember Venetians of their youth particularly of the Victoria era, and some of those Venetians survive in Bloomsbury and Bath and other rather old-fashioned precincts to-day.

Such prospects must be educated about the salient facts that Venetian blinds are really to-day becoming a vogue. They must be shown the many modern improvements, not only in the mechanical fittings and stream-line styles of Head Boards but the charm of new colour effects in laths and tapes.

Indicate how well Venetians can blend with period interiors, or modern furnishings. This, in addition to the already acknowledged advantages of the Venetian in matters of ventilation, of almost infinite shades of light admitted and the impossibility of those inside a room being seen from outside, whilst retaining full ventilation and light adjustment.

Health and privacy are the rewards of proper use of Venetians.

The younger generation, to whom the Venetian blind is something of a mystery, who leave Venetians out of their proneness to plan interiors on the Victorian styles, much modernised.

Here the common-sense facts will appeal—Utility ; Ecomony ; Health.

Arguments to suit their outlook must be formulated.

No other window blind lasts so long. No other blind ventilates a room so efficiently. No other blind controls the light so effectively nor gives so many variations of light strength. No other blind does all these things and protects the privacy of the occupants of a room so thoroughly.

Admitting all this, as they will when these points are demonstrated properly—then turn their attention to the long range economy of the Venetian, when compared with any other form of blind.

The value of decorative effects can be stressed, with the wide range of colour finishes of the laths and the choice of coloured tapes to give a background to the decorative scheme of furnishings.

Joyous use of colour will impress the younger generation and to be different, to be modern, and at the same time enjoy the maximum of utility, is something not to be lightly passed over.

This younger generation is perhaps the most fruitful field, for they may be setting up housekeeping for the first time—-or moving to a larger, better house, and want to do something really up-to-date.

They are usually more alive to the health value of free circulation of fresh air.

Three main factors can therefore, be elaborated.

UTILITY.    ECONOMY.    HEALTH.


UTILITY.

How to prove the utility angle of Venetian blinds.

A blind must both exclude light and permit free passage of fresh air.

No blind is more effective in doing both these things at the same time than Venetian.

No blind can allow so many variations or shades of light— from total darkness for sleep through so many gradations of light, to almost full daylight and yet protect the privacy desired from outside eyes.

In controlling fresh air, the laths can be set at an angle that will direct and deflect the current of air to exactly the most comfortable for any preference.

No other window blind can do this so admirably as Venetians.

HOW TO DEMONSTRATE THE UTILITY OF VENETIANS.

DEAL climatic conditions sometimes exist in fine weather. Strong sunlight and a summer breeze can help to reveal the Furnisher’s own window models to perfection.

A little manipulation of the model on such days tells the story effectively, using the sunshine and the breeze as assistants.

But—the right climate is not always kindly available.

Then why not reproduce these ideal conditions in the showrooms ?

IDEAL DEMONSTRATION UNIT.

Equipment comprises a nice model window, a powerful electric light with a sunshine colour bulb behind the model, and a good sized electric fan on the same side. Enclose the unit in a light casing of plywood or beaver board, suitably painted on the inside to reflect the maximum light.

Such a model can be switched on and by gentle movement of the lath angles, every sort of variation of both light and air can be demonstrated.

The customer can be invited to manipulate the settings to his or her own satisfaction. That pleases the prospect.

Another useful idea is to provide three of such demonstration units. Set one in the horizontal position and allow both light and air to travel into the room in horizontal lines.

Set No. 2 so as to direct the light and air towards the ceiling, giving subdued light and no draughts.

Set No. 3 to direct both light and air downwards towards the floor and then the contrasts between the three settings can be discussed.

On facing page 25 will be seen a sketch and a rough working sectional diagram, showing how a model unit, with artificial sunlight and cooling air, can be easily made to demonstrate light and air variations.


PORTABLE DEMONSTRATION MODELS.

It will be an advantage if such demonstration models be portable so that they can be moved from the showrooms perhaps to a display window or to some other part of the premises, in conjunction with other Furnishing displays.

Demonstration models might appear in the display windows, say once a month all the year round, utilising the value of repetition until people begin to accept the Venetian Blind as an integral part of almost any well-designed furnishing scheme.

The value of repetition cannot easily be over-estimated.

FREQUENT DISPLAYS.

A plan to make an impressive display once every four weeks say from March to August, will build up a steady flow of enquiries.

Such a display can introduce many different styles and colours or finishes and suggestions on how certain fabrics, furniture coverings, carpets, wall treatments and furniture will look when combined with tinted laths, coloured tapes and drapes.

It would be well to get out in advance a planned programme with the suggested colour schemes roughly introduced as a help to progress with the window dressing.

ENLISTING LOCAL INTEREST.

The Furnisher will find it a very helpful idea to secure photographs of recent installations in both private houses, offices or Public buildings and to have enlargements of such photographs used judiciously with his displays.

He should assemble letters or comments from well-known local people and if it is possible show them.

M .0.11 The local Medical Officer of Health for example, could be very helpful and might be invited to explain why he believes in Venetians for sick rooms, for hospitals—for health and hygiene.

The Architect. It must not be lost sight of that local Architects can and should be interested. They are the men who are planning new houses, new Public buildings and Institutions. Go all out to secure their interest. Demonstrate to them the advantages and utility of introducing Venetian blinds into their elevations.

Be ready to consult with the local Architect on ways and means of securing an efficient Venetian blind scheme.

Opposite page illustrates a combined residence, office and drafting room, designed by the owner-Architect.


An outstanding example of interiors, with Venetians designed by the architect for his oren use.


ECONOMY.

The economy of the Venetian is based upon its flawless functioning over long periods without attention, apart from dusting with a lath brush when the walls and furniture are being dusted.

As contrasted with the needs of fabric curtains requiring periodical taking down and removing of runner tapes for washing or dry cleaning, one must emphasise the fact that Venetians only need attention at extremely long intervals.

These intervals are only coincident with the wearing out of the tapes and cords. These tapes by their very nature last for years.

When the time for renewal does occur it is also the time for considering some change of colour scheme.

For instance, when new tapes are required a fresh colour scheme can be achieved by refinishing the laths and choosing some new matching or contrasting colour of tapes.

It is particularly interesting to note that a new two-colour tape is available, the inner web being made to correspond with the interior of the room, whilst the outer tape shows a uniform colour in keeping with the exterior of the house.

Apart, therefore, from rare occasions of re-taping and refinishing, the life of Venetians so surpasses all other types that the economy is obvious.

The fact that Venetian blinds cost a little more originally can be set against the long run of trouble-free service which the Venetian will give.

It is possible to give force to the economy argument when a salesman might be prepared with figures to quote—contrasting the life of fabric curtains and the periodical washings or dry cleanings and re-hanging—compared with Venetians over a term of years ; so arriving at a per annum basis which is favourable to the Venetians.

The economy of Venetians is illustrated on the opposite page where the workshops and the offices of a famous Machine Tool Company are completely equipped with YTnetian blinds.


The Workshops and Offices, Exterior and Interior of a famous Machine Tool Company equipped with Venetians


HEALTH.

The advantages of Venetians from a health point of view are impressive.

It is not easily possible, with well-fitting draw curtains or roller blinds, to secure adequate ventilation.

The more efficiently a fabric or blind material does its light excluding job, the more effectively it shuts out the circulation of air.

Fresh air Contrast this with the free ventilation permitted at all angles with a Venetian, whether the slats are horizontal or upwards to the ceiling, the flow of fresh air is unimpeded and directed to the most comfortable preferences.

The growing use of electric radiators with no means of carrying off the hot air, is in itself a plea for the use of the Venetian.

The growing tendency for central heating installations in modern homes and offices and public buildings, is a strong argument for the use of Venetians.

Windows can be opened to give the required air flow without causing draughts, where Venetians are fitted.

Venetians make possible the best of both worlds. That is to say, the comfort of modern internal heating and the freshness of constantly renewed atmospheres.

Venetians are as essential to modern hygiene as is the coiled spring mattress and the vacuum cleaner.

hoi Children It is particularly desirable that the rooms in which babies and young children play and sleep should have free ventilation.

The best way to achieve this in the nursery is with Venetians. See page 18.

Deep breaths of fresh air are essential to growing children and foresight in this direction will be rewarded by clean health bills, vigour and sturdiness in growing children.

The mother will be quick to recognise the health value of Venetians.

In a modern kitchen, Venetians are a real boon, permitting free circulation of air without glare.


I 'enetians in the modern Kitchen allow fresh air—without "fare.


DESIGNING.

Venetians can express art in its true sense. Perhaps the best definition of art is “Fitness for its purpose.”

It is well for a salesman to have happy suggestions for giving some design to the windows fitted with Venetians.

The general appearance of Venetian blinds is severe, straight and simple.

Excepting in ultra-modern interiors it is frequently desirable that some softening of line, some adequate decorative effects shall be given to the windows.

This can be achieved by planning neat pelmets in keeping with the interior ; by the use of narrow side curtains which match or blend with the upholstery, the carpet and the furniture; and excellent use can be made of the many lovely nets and laces which when draped and used artistically give a definite softening ot line, pleasing contours and an appearance of comfort which expresses the individuality of the Householder.

All these ideas develop interesting business for the Soft Furnishings Department.

Note can be taken of treatments designed by famous draping experts of which we give examples in this book.

A ready pencil, some samples of materials, a few deft drapings and the salesman can evolve a scheme to win the approval of clients.

QUOTATIONS.

A salesman is frequently called upon to give some idea of the cost of Venetian Blinds.

Whilst it is unwise to give a price until some exact data as to measurements and cost of materials and the cost of fixing have been assembled ; yet it is often possible to give a rough idea of the price which will act as a guide to the customer and frequently secures the order without the formality of submitting a firm estimate. On page 34 we give specimen formulae.

QUOTATIONS —continued

It is therefore possible to establish some standard guide chart which fixes the cost of a Venetian blind at per square foot and therefore allows the selling prices to be arrived at.

We append hereto two sample formulas :

A,    indicating the approximate prices per square foot for two qualities of product, and

B,    approximate cost of re-taping and re-finishing laths.

It will be useful if a salesman gets these two charts worked out upon his own cost system showing his own costs in cipher and his charge prices plain.

PRICES PER SQUARE FOOT

QUALITY

FINISH

PRICES

PER SQ. FT. ‘FIXING

CHARGE

COST SELLING

STANDARD

PAINT

X/P 1/6

ENAMEL

R/O 2/-

c/-

BEST

STAIN and VARNISH

S/J 1/9

ENAMEL

C/D 2/3

•Per blind, minimum io blinds, within 5 miles of showrooms

(Above are suggested prices as a guide, and not actualBlind-makers will have their own standard cost and selling prices).

RE-TAPING AND RE-FINISHING LATHS

TWO-TAPE

BLINDS

THREE-TAPE

BLINDS

Supplying new, first-grade tape and re-painting laths in a standard colour

XP/D

DC/F

Supplying new, first-grade tape and re-enamelling laths in a standard colour

DO/X

PD/Z

PER BLIND. Up to 7 ft. drop. Above 7 ft. drop F/S per foot additional.


LADDER TAPE UTILITY.

In all displays both showroom and window, a strong feature should be made of showing the various ladder tapes in different colours. Pointers regarding the strength and utility of the tapes could be given by little ribbons running to a neat card with particulars thereon.

Special showcards can explain the advantages of the famous “Fleur-de-lis” quality ladder tapes, woven by the Firma-Weave process, for not only are these special tapes used by every Blind Manufacturer but they are universally recognised as the world’s finest ladder tapes.

The selling of Venetian blinds is a challenge to modern salesmanship, and it will be possible to demonstrate the supremacy of Venetians as to light adjustment, as to fresh air circulation, as to health, as to privacy ; as to beauty in harmonious colour schemes and as to durable “utility.”


Measuring, Fixing, Estimating for a Simple Type of Blind

With Four Diagrams


Measuring and Fixing Form Measuring Diagram Special Ready Reckoner List of Materials Form Costing sheet example

Measuring> Fixing, Estimating for a simple type of Blind

A1


ACCURATE

MEASURES

ESSENTIAL


LTHOUGH the job of measuring and fixing is by no means difficult, yet even a slight error may involve the furnisher in considerable expense, as Venetian blinds cost more than— and cannot be so easily altered in width as—a blind of holland or linen. Only skilled and experienced men, therefore, should be asked to measure.

In order to prevent any essential point being overlooked, it is wise to adopt a standard “Measuring and Fixing” form, similar to that shown in Diagram C, page 39.

FIXING

POINTS


FIRM

ANCHORAGE


METAL

WINDOW

FRAMES


In measuring, the first essential is to find a suitable fixing point for the angle bracket to which is screwed the head rail. This point should be on the window woodwork if possible, and must provide a really firm anchorage. The angle brackets not only carry the whole weight of the blind but also take the strain of daily operation of the blind, with much careless pulling, jerking and tugging of three different cords—tilting the laths, operating the Beaumont action, and raising and lowering the blind.

In addition to normal usage, some people frequently release the cord suddenly and allow the laths to drop down by gravity, thus placing further heavy strain on the head rail and its supporting brackets. A firm anchorage, therefore, is highly important if the blind is to give long, trouble-free service. If the woodwork does not seem strong enough to resist all these strains, a hole may be bored through the woodwork and the wall plugged with wood to carry the angle brackets.

In the case of all metal windows and frames, it may be necessary to have the metal frames at top bored and tapped with threads to take substantial metal screws with which to fix brackets that are to support the head rails. Alternatively, some method of boring and plugging the recess wall must be decided upon. A section dealing with fixing for metal windows comes later.

“MEASURING AND FIXING’’ FORM FOR VENETIAN

BLINDS

CUSTOMER’S NAME ADDRESS TO MEASURE ON No. OF BLINDS

TO

JOB No.

DATE

BE FIXED ON

WINDOW MEASUREMENTS

BLIND MEASUREMENTS

1_

Blind

No.

Room

Nett size of

opening

Nett

margin

round

glass

Head

rail

to

floor

Sill

to

floor

Head

rail

Top

and

bottom

laths

Main

laths

Drop

W. D.

W.

D.

W.

D.

NOTES RE FIXING: Special brackets Positions

The symbols “IT" and " D" refer to “width" and "depth"

Blinds should be fixed as near the glass as is practicable, but should always have sufficient clearance to avoid touching the woodwork as the laths are raised and lowered. Some blind-makers allow | in. at each side of the blind, but with some narrow casements—especially those of the metal type—this is on the generous side.

CLEARANCE


WIDTH AND DROP


MEASURING

POINTS


It is becoming more usual to indicate the margin available for clearance purposes, as described in the next paragraph.

While the angle brackets should be fixed as near as possible to each end of the head rail, yet occasionally these brackets may have to be fixed so that they support the head rail 6 in. (or in extreme cases 12 in.) from the end of the head rail. In such cases a note to this effect may be helpful when assembling the head rail.

The chief measurement is the window opening, i.e. (1) The actual width of sash or casement, including whatever margin of wood or metal surrounds the glass. Note the actual width of this margin, so that in making up, an allowance can be made for clearance purposes. (2) The drop, from top of the head rail to sill or lowest point to be reached by the bottom lath when it hangs perfectly horizontal.

This form C might include a column to show the number of tapes to draw attention to the need for three or more tapes if necessary. See page 39.

SIMPLE GUIDE TO MEASURING. REFER TO DIAGRAM D.

For installing Venetians inside window casing.

1.    Measure width inside of frame F or G.

2.    Measure length from inside top of casing to sill C or D.

For installing Venetians outside window casing.

3.    Measure width between points where brackets are to be placed E. Allow 2 inches on each side for overlap on casing and to secure a footing for bracket.

4.    Measure length from top of casing where brackets are to be placed, to sill or slightly below sill, whichever is preferred by client, A or B.

Allow at least 2£ inches above bottom of the head casing for brackets and head member of Venetian blind.

5.    Record measure from sill to floor.


D. Inside top of casing, near front, to sill.


F.    Width inside of frame inner.

G.    Width inside of frame outer.

H.    Sill to floor.

BAY

WINDOWS


ROOMS

NAMED


HEAD TO FLOOR

SILL TO FLOOR


FLAT RATE


In bay windows the head rail and laths may have to be mitred at one or both ends. Here the only additional measurement is a note of the angle of the woodwork, preferably in the form of a template cut from stiff paper or cardboard.

Reverting now to diagram C, page 39. This is divided into two main sections, window measurements and blind measurements, one giving a practical check on the other.

An experienced man may prefer to fill in the window measurements only and complete the form later ; alternatively, the blind measurements part may be completed by the blind-maker, just before he begins to assemble the order.

Each Venetian blind should have its own individual number for each job, and this number is inserted in the first column. The number should be stencilled on the head rail as the job is completed, or may be indicated by a tie-on label, so as to facilitate the job of identifying the completed blinds when the man goes to fix.

For convenience it is advisable to specify the room—€.g. lounge, dining room, best bedroom and so on. Then follows the nett size of opening, and the margin round the glass, details of which have already been given.

The size from head rail to floor is necessary in calculating how much cord will be allowed for operating the Beaumont action and swivel rollers. Although not always essential, it may be useful to keep a record of the size from sill to floor.

The blind measurement section gives the actual sizes for making-up and assembly, the most important being the drop, and width and depth of the laths and head rail.

In estimating for private house work it is usual to charge a flat rate per square foot, taking everything under 15 sq. ft. at that area. Diagram E has been specially prepared to save time in area calculation, as it gives the number of square feet in any blind, at intervals of 3 in. in the width and 3 in. in the length, from 3ft.X5ft. to bft.Xqft. With this diagram at hand, estimating becomes quite a simple matter for foreman, works manager, soft furnishing buyer, or blind salesman.

READY RECKONER SHOWING NUMBER OF SQUARE FEET WITH DIMENSIONS AT 3 in. INTERVALS.

Designed for use in estimating, and for general use in the showrooms by salesmen.

Example: Blind size. 7' 6" X 5' 3*    39I square feet.

3'

3'3*

36"

3'9'

4'

4'3'

4'6'

4'9"

5'

5'3"

5'6'

5'9"

6'

6'3'

6'6'

6'9'

5'

0"

15

181

17*

18*

20

21*

22*

23*

25

26*

27*

28}

30

31*

32*

33*

5'

3"

15*

17

18*

19*

21

22*

23*

25

26*

27*

29*

30*

31*

32.8

34

35*

5'

6"

16*

18

19*

20*

22

23*

24*

26

27*

29

30*

31*

33

34*

35*

37

5'

9"

171

18*

20

21*

23

24*

26

27*

28*

30*

31*

33

34*

36

37*

38*

6'

0"

18

191

21

22*

24

251

27

281

30

31*

33

34*

36

37*

39

40*

3"

18*

20i

22

23*

25

26*

28

29*

31*

32*

341

35

37*

39

40*

42*

6"

191

21

22*

24*

26

27*

29*

31

32*

34

35*

37*

39

40*

42*

44

6'

9”

20i

22

23*

25*

27

28*

30*

32

33*

35*

37

38*

40*

42*

44

45 A

V

0"

21

22f

24*

26*

28

29*

31*

33*

35

36*

38*

40*

42

43*

45*

47*

r

3"

21 i

23|

25*

27*

29

30*

32*

34*

36*

38

40

41*

43*

45*

47

49

V

IS"

22i

24i

26*

25

30

32

33*

35*

37*

39*

43

45

47

48*

50*

r

9"

23i

25>

27

29

31

33

35

36*

38*

40*

42*

44*

46 i

48*

50*

52*

8'

0"

24

26

28

30

32

34

36

38

40

42

44

46

48

50

52

54

8'

3"

24*

26*

29

31

33

35

37

39*

41*

43*

45*

47*

49*

51*

53*

55*

8'

6"

251

27*

29*

32

34

36

38*

40*

42*

44*

46*

49

51

53

55*

57*

8'

9"

261

28*

30*

32*

35

37*

39*

41*

43*

46

48

50*

52*

54*

57

59

9'

0"

27

29*

31*

33*

36

38*

40*

42*

45

47*

491

51*

54

56*

58*

60*

9'

3"

27*

30

32*

34*

37

39*

41*

44

46*

48*

51

53*

55*

57*

60

62*

9'

8"

28*

30J

33*

35*

38

40*

42*

45

47J

50

52*

54*

57

59*

61*

64

9'

9"

29*

31*

34

36*

39

41*

44

46*

48*

51*

53*

56

58*

61

63*

65*

HEAD LIGHT EXCLUDED


SPECIAL

SHAPES


FIXING

COSTS


ACCURATE

COSTING


Sometimes the only suitable fixing point is on the architrave or wall or window head, leaving a space of anything from 6 in. to 12 in. or even more between glass and blind. In such cases the head rail must be fixed high enough to prevent rays of light passing over the top of the blind ; similarly the bottom rail should reach a point well below the sill, so that no light will pass below the bottom rail. The laths, of course, in such cases must overlap the window by 2 in. or more, as otherwise light may pass in at the sides of the blind.

Due allowances must be made for any exceptional circumstance ; for instance, where a blind is wider than it is long, an addition of 2d. per sq. ft. is made by some blind-makers.

Other makers charge so much per ft. extra in the drop. Additional acorns, using a No. 4 cord for the swivel actions in place of No. 3, and special colours in webbing or ladder tape, all appear mere details but in total mount up to a sum not insignificant enough to be omitted from the estimate.

Fixing costs vary, but on an average the allowance is 15 minutes per blind ; to this must be added travelling time and fares.

During the early days of a furnisher’s experience in blindmaking it is advisable for the same man to measure and to fix. This ensures some measure of consistency in the job, as (a) measured and (b) fixed.

Later on, when the furnisher has a staff of experienced men and is handling a bigger volume of work, the measuring and fixing methods will become standardised, so that any man can fix the blinds for which other men have measured.

When it comes to keenly competitive work, however, the only safe basis is to cost the job accurately, using the List of Materials—see diagram F, page 45—and its accompanying costing sheet G, page 47.

This will give the nett cost, if filled in accurately, to which must be added fixing time, overheads, and profit. It is doubtful, however, if any furnisher is justified in cutting costs, solely with a view to reducing the price at which he can tender for work of a Government or Municipal or Industrial type.

DIAGRAM F.

LIST OF MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR VENETIAN BLIND ORDER

No. 123

No. of Blinds 8. LATH SIZE 2fx£. FINISH, Standard No. 3

TAPE “D” SIZE Duck. COLOUR.

BLIND SIZES : Finished. (Widths first). One blind: 3' o"Xs' 0"

Three blinds: 3' o"x6' 0”

Four blinds: 6' o"X9' 0"

HEAD RAILS. TOP and BOTTOM LATHS.

1X3' 2" = 3' 2" 1x3' 0” = 3' 0"

3x3' 2" - 9' 6" 3x3' 0" = 9' 0"

4x6' 2" = 24' 8" 37' 4" 4x6' 0" = 24' 0" 36' 0"

MAIN LATHS.

1 blind 5' 0" drop — 27 lathsxi : 3 ft. wide = 81' 0"

3    blinds 6' 0" „ — 33 „ X3 : 3 ft. „ = 297' 0"

4    blinds 9' 0" „ — 54 „ X4: 6 ft. „ = 1,224' °" 1,602'0"

“FLEUR-DE-LIS” “FLEUR-DE-LIS”

tape webbing

One two-tape blind 2X5 = 10' 0" 8 blinds — say 8 yds. Three „ „ 2x6 = 36' 0"

Four three-tape „ 3X9 = 108' 0"

Allow for waste : 16' 0" 170' 0"

“FLEUR-DE-LIS”

BLIND CORD : No. 6. (4 times drop, and once width, for 2-tape)

(6 ,, ,, }) »» »» ,» 3taPe) 1 blind 5' 0" drop X4 plus 3' width = 23' 0"

3    blinds 6' 0" „ X4 „ 6' „ = 75' 0"

4    blinds 9' 0" ,, x6 „ 6' „ - 168' 0” 266' 0

SWIVEL CORDS : 8 blinds: 16 yds.

PULLEYS : (4 for each 2-tape : 6 for each 3-tape). total 4 2-tape = 4x4 = 16 4 3-tape = 4x6 = 24. = 40

ROLLERS : (2 for each 2-tape : 3 for each 3-tape).

4X2 tape = 8: 4X3-tape = 12. 20

ROSETTES : (Same number as pulleys) 40

BEAUMONT ACTIONS : 2-cord. 4. 3-cord. 4. = 8

DRIVING EYES 8 SCREW EYES 16. ACORNS 8.

CLEAT HOOKS ANGLE BRACKETS : No. 16. Size 3X4

EXTRAS.

Large contracts almost invariably involve certain maintenance tor which no additional invoices are accepted. By cutting costs the furnisher is immediately increasing the risk of additional maintenance ; and if that maintenance has to be undertaken at a time which his men should be fixing blinds elsewhere, then there will be extremely little, if indeed any, profit on the contract work.

LARGE

CONTRACTS

BEWARE


MAINTAIN

QUALITY


Again, furnishers are sometimes urged to reduce the quality of the accessories, such as blind cord and ladder tape. This can only mean renovating the blinds at a date much earlier than would have been necessary with standard qualities, which reflects upon the furnisher’s prestige if it does not involve him in further maintenance which must be executed at his own expense.

If contract work can be obtained at a reasonable price, good and well ; the furnisher should accept such work, and do it to the best of his ability.

Further; educate the general public to a greater appreciation of Venetian blinds and their immense practical advantages, so that they are ready to pay a proper price for good work well done.

The furnisher who adopts a progressive policy, utilising modern methods in salesmanship and demonstrations, will soon find much profitable work. He can maintain a just standard of prices, fair to all parties.

COSTING SHEET.    VENETIAN BLIND ORDER No.

SPECIFICATION

QUANTITY

PRICE

UNIT

£ s- d.

TOP LATH

BOTTOM LATH

HEAD RAIL

MAIN LATHS

“FLEUR-DE-LIS” LADDER TAPE

“FLEUR-DE-LIS”

WEBBING

“FLEUR-DE-LIS” BLIND CORD : No. 6

“FLEUR-DE-LIS” BLIND CORD : No. 3

PULLEYS

ROLLERS

ROSETTES

BEAUMONT ACTION :

2- cord

3- cord

DRIVING EYES

SCREW EYES

ACORNS

CLEAT HOOKS

ANGLE BRACKETS

COST OF FINISHING

COST OF FIXING

EXTRAS

£

ow to Assem Me

a simple type of Venetian blind


Preparing Head Rails and Laths

Finishing the Laths

Adding Tapes and Accessories

Making and Assembly of a Simple Venetian

APID and accurate making and assembly is facilitated by using a “List of Materials” for each Venetian blind order, a typical example being shown in Diagram F, page 45.

First comes the making of head rails. If there are several of exactly the same width, then these can all be cut before removing the jig for another size. In Diagram F, for instance, the jig would be set for all the 3 ft. 2 in. head rails before changing to cut the ones at 6 ft. 2 ins. The usual back to front measure is from if ins. to 2§ ins. according to space, and 1 in. to i| in. thick.

TOP AND BOTTOM LATHS


MAIN LATHS


HOLES


Now take the top and bottom laths. Set the jig for 3 ft., and cut four top and four bottom laths before changing to cut those at 6 ft. wide. Place all the 3 ft. sizes in one rack or stand, along with corresponding top and bottom laths and head rails. Similarly, keep the other top and bottom laths along with their respective head rails. Usual back to front measure is from if ins. to 2g ins. according to space, and f ins. thick.

The making of the main laths come next. Four blinds require 3 ft. wide laths, one with 27 laths and the other three with 33 laths. (Size “D” tape has 2 in. between straps, requiring 6 laths per foot drop, less three laths for the spaces occupied by head rail, top lath, and bottom lath. A blind with 5 ft. drop would therefore have 5 times 6 (5 ft. drop X 6 laths per ft.), or 30 laths, less 3, nett 27 laths). Thus are cut 126 laths at 3 ft. When cut, by hand or machine, these 126 should be placed alongside their head rails and top and bottom laths and tied together, while the other laths, 6 ft. wide, are cut and made ready. Usual back to front measure is from if ins. to 2g ins. and J in. thick.

Cutting of holes. Holes for cords are punched in each main lath, using one of the machines described on page 55, unless, of course, this part of the wrork should be sent to a saw-mill or other w7ood-working firm equipped with plant suitable for this operation.

In two-tape blinds the centre of each hole is usually about 5 in. from the end of each lath ; in a three-tape blind, there is an additional hole exactly in the centre of each lath. The exact position of the hole, however, varies with conditions as a very narrow blind may have the holes only 3 in. from each end of the lath, whereas a much wider blind might make this distance 7I in. or—in extreme cases even 11 in.

HEAD RAIL Top side


Showing positions of pulley wheels, tilting rollers and Beaumont . check action.


HEAD RAIL Under side

Showing bevelled slots for tilting rollers, under side of pulley slots and check cord hole. The 2 tilt rollers and check action are ready for fitting.

\


S3


CIRCULAR SAW

k'or cutting the lengths of timber for head rails, tilt lath, main laths and bottom lath to exact sise by means of the movable jig shown on right.


HOLES


HEAD RAILS


ROLLERS

PULLEYS

HOLES

SMOOTH


The size and shape of lath hole has varied from time to time during the long history of blind-making ; the shape may be oval or round, square or oblong, or even triangular. Neither shape nor size, however, is of any consequence whatever, always provided that the hole is big enough to allow the cord to pass through freely, and to allow full tilt, but not big enough to weaken the lath in any way, nor should the hole admit any light which the lath is designed to exclude. Standardise your holes and cords if you can.

FITTINGS FOR HEAD RAIL.

Spaces are cut in the head rails for pulleys and swivel rollers. In small workshops these spaces are often bored out by a cabinet maker using a brace-and-bit, the edges being squared-up afterwards in the usual way by chisel. This method was adopted in cutting spaces for the head rail shown in photograph on page 53.

A moritising machine, however, makes the spaces much cleaner and saves a considerable amount of time. Again, these spaces might be cut at a saw-mill ; and in executing contract work this is the only practical method pending the installation of a moritising machine in the furnisher’s own workshop.

Head rail spaces for the rollers are bevelled on the underside of the head rail. See photograph on page 55. The position of these roller spaces is not of any great importance, but for ease of operating the swivel rollers it is advantageous if the righting-hand (facing) rollers be kept towards the right-hand end of the head rail, as shown in photographs on page 53.

Pulley space position, on the other hand, is fixed by the position of the cord holes in the main laths. It is highly important for smooth operation and minimum wear on cords and tapes that the cord, as it leaves the pulley, must drop exactly vertical as it enters the lath holes. For this reason the roller spaces are not fixed until the exact position of the pulley is decided.

Holes must be bored in the top lath for the operating cords (as they pass through from pulleys to main laths), and also a hole in the head rail for the cord operating the Beaumont action. All holes through which cords pass should have the edges smoothly rounded-off so as to eliminate wear as far as possible. A rat-tailed file or a reamer fixed into a chuck of a small lath serves. Main, top, and bottom laths, and head rails, are now ready for finishing.

Finishing

EQUIPMENT

During his first few months as a maker of Venetian blinds the Furnisher will find it more economical, probably, to have this finishing work executed by a local painter or decorator.

As the business grows in volume and profit, however, the Furnisher may install his own finishing plant, the main items being a spraying gun and equipment, and racks for holding and turning the laths, as well as a stock of paints, varnishes, and primers of fillers.

A thorough sandpapering ot all surfaces and ends, and rounding edges of laths is essential before painting.

It is possible, of course, to paint the laths by hand, a monotonous process not always satisfactory, and extremely slow compared to the more modern method of spraying.

Until the Furnisher or blind maker can purchase and keep employed his own spraying equipment, therefore, it is more satisfactory and much quicker to have this work undertaken by an outside concern.

VARIED TREATMENT OF WOOD

Certain woods will require a priming coat, but with harder and well-seasoned timber it is usual to apply one coat of paint as a filler, followed by a second coat, and finished by one coat of varnish. The cheaper type of blind is often given two coats only.

Blinds which have to be coloured and varnished are given a coat of primer-stain, and then one coat of good quality varnish.

A French polish effect is obtained by using primer-stain and French polish, the latter being toned to whatever degree of brilliance or dullness may be required.

When Venetian blinds are made of teak for export to tropical countries it is usual to give the wood a special preparation for extracting the oil before applying colouring or finishing paint of any kind. (See Section Fourteen, on Woods).

GET GOOD ADVICE

In choosing stains and paints and varnishes, the Furnisher or blind maker is advised to consult a reliable firm of paint manufacturers, as much depends upon the type of wood and the conditions under which the blind will be used, while individual brands of paint vary according to the manufacturer’s standard of quality.

A primitive umy of hand-painting the laths one at a time.


Modern method of mach ine -painting is described in a later section.

The spray gun is of standard type, and its use can be mastered by any worker of average intelligence in a few days, the main requirement being perfect cleanliness when changing the contents of the gun. A simple round-about with loose rods for hanging freshly painted laths is shown on page 58.

An ingenious type of lath rack is available, fitting over a back or tank, each lath supported individually, and with a neat device for reversing the laths and enabling the operator to spray the other side without touching a single lath or pausing in the act of spraying for more than a moment or two.

After the paint or varnish has become thoroughly hard, the laths are sorted into sizes, and then the correct number for each blind placed in a separate rack, with the appropriate top lath, bottom lath, and head rail.


A simple Spray Gun being used to paint laths on a bench.

Spray painting is elaborated in a later section.


SIMPLE TYPE OF PAINTING ROUND-ABOUT

.-I simple round-about with loose rods for hanging laths after painting.


SIMPLE TYPE OF DRYING RACKS

Overhead rack» to which laths arc transferred from round-about for

drying.


Assembling a Simple Type Venetian Blind

Items necessary for assembling a simple two-tape Venetian blind are as follows:

HEAD RAIL. With 4 pulley wheels, 2 swivel rollers, 1 Beaumont check action fitting with hole for check cord.

ANGLE BRACKETS. To support Head Rail. Two.

TOP TILT LATH. With 2 holes for the pull cords and 2 screw eyes at one end to fasten the tilting cord.

WEBBING. For hanging the top lath over the swivel rollers in head rail ; nails for fastening webbing to top lath.

BOTTOM LATH. Bored 2 holes to take bottom end of pull cords.

MAIN LATHS. To required number punched with holes for pull cords.

LADDER TAPE. Two lengths of “Fleur-de-lis” ladder tape and nails to fasten ladder tapes to top lath and bottom lath.

CORDS. Length of pull cord, approximately 5 times the full depth of blind.

Length of tilting cord, approximately i| times the full length of blind.

Length of cord for Beaumont check action and an acorn for ornamental finish.

ROSETTES. Four rosettes for giving cord holes a neat finish, two for top lath and two for bottom lath.

CLEAT HOOK. DRIVING EYES. SCREW EYES.

Assembly

BEGIN AT TOP


WEBBING


SCREW EYES AND CORDS


The head rail is assembled first, the pulleys being fixed and the swivel rollers placed in position. The top lath is then attached by two (in a two-tape blind) or by three (in a three-tape blind) pieces of No. 88 webbing (see page 61).

The length of webbing varies according to conditions, but as a rule is between 20 in. and 36 in. for each blind. This web is secured to the under-side of the top lath, taken up and through the head rail, passed over the swivel roller, down through the head rail again, and then fastened to the under-side of the top lath. The raw edges of the web should be turned in to prevent any fraying being visible.

Ornamental-headed nails are sometimes used to conceal the joins at this point.

Two screw eyes are fastened to the right-hand end (facing) of the top lath, one eye in the front edge and another in the rear edge. A length of blind cord No. 3 is heavy enough— is passed through one eye and the end knotted so that it cannot slip through. The other end is allowed to hang down for about 3 ft. and then led up, passed through the second eye, and knotted, see page 61. This cord tilts the laths by exerting a leverage on the top lath. The cord, therefore, must come within easy reach of anyone standing on the floor level. With a high window, the cord may have to be longer than a yard, but with a low window the cord may be considerably shorter.

BEAUMONT ACTION FITTING.

Only one further item is required to complete the head rail and top lath assembly, viz : the Beaumont check action.

This is usually mounted towards the left-hand (facing) end of the head rail, being screwed to the top in a position that allows the cords to pass through very easily. An additional and separate cord is provided to operate this Beaumont action ; it is secured to a projection in the moving part of the action. On pulling the cord, this moving part swings over, thus allowing the stops to operate by gravity and so the pull cords are held firmly at whatever point required. The Beaumont action cord, therefore, must be long enough to be reached by anyone standing on the floor.

ASSEMBLY OF A SIMPLE TWO-TAPE VENETIAN BLIND

rAi

HEAD RAIL. FRONT VIEW. Elevation.

HEAD RAIL. TOP VIE W showing position of pulleys—Beaumont check action ; Swivel rollers and pull cords

HEAD RAIL. UNDER VIEW

I OP I I LI LA I H, showing webbing straps which pass over snivel rollers of Head Rail.

I OP 1 IL I LATH. UNDER SIDE showing hone webbing straps are fastened to lath. Also two SC rev. eves to take tilting cord.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY. HEAD RAIL. TOP TILT LATH & BOTTOM LATH

All complete with webbing and ladder tapes ready for insertion of the main laths, the pul! cords and check cord.


Fixing Ladder Tapes

CORRECT

SPACE

INTERVALS


FIXING

LADDER

TAPES


The next step in assembly is to attach the ladder tapes. These are fastened to the top lath, the front web of each tape coming over the front edge, and the rear web of the tape being brought over the rear edge, the two raw edges being neatly turned in and fastened on the upper side of the top lath. See diagram page 61.

An important item here is that the top lath must keep the same space interval as all other laths in the blind. Now, using size “D” ladder tape, there is a space of exactly 2 in. between the cross-tapes, so that the laths will hang at intervals of 2 in. Thus a space of 2 in. should be maintained between the top lath and the first of the main laths immediately below the top lath. (There will also be a space of 2 in. between the top lath and the head rail, of course).

In fixing the ladder tape to the top lath, therefore, arrange first that there will be a cross tape ready to support the lath immediately below, at a distance of exactly 2 in. This means cutting away one of the cross-tapes above, so that the webs of the ladder tape can be separated, one being taken behind and the other in front of the top lath, to meet and be fastened on top, as already described. Having fixed one tape in this way, the other is similarly treated, so that the first main lath (immediately below the top lath) will hang perfectly parallel with the top lath.

Note. Ladder tape is hung with the centre herringbone pointing upwards.

The length of each tape corresponds with the drop plus any allowance for waste which may have to be made in levelling the laths and in fastening the tapes to (1) the top lath and (2) the bottom lath. Assuming that a Venetian blind has a drop of 5 ft., this being the overall measurement from the top of the head rail to the underside of the bottom lath. The head rail is 1 in. deep, and then comes a space of 2 in. before the ladder tape is attached, a total of 3 in. ; but most, if not all, of this will be taken up in levelling the cross-tapes and a further amount must be allowed for going round the bottom lath and making a neat finish on the under-side. Therefore, the tapes could be cut at about 5 ft. 3 in. as the minimum, although some blind makers allow 5 ft. 6 in. on such cases.

A'l'TACH TAPES TO

BOTTOM LATH


Having attached two 5 ft. 3 in. lengths of “Fleur-de-lis” ladder tape to the top lath, attach the lower ends to the bottom lath, making a hole through the ladder tape ends, as well as through the bottom lath itself, ready for the cords.


Inserting the main laths to rest upon cross straps of ladder tape




Cross tapes of •“Fleur-de-lis" ladder tape.



Inserting Laths and Cords

HANG TO INSERT LATHS


CORDS


LEVEL OFF


FINISH


Now hang the head rail, with top lath and bottom lath in position, on hooks or on a pair of angle brackets mounted on the workshop wall for this purpose. Insert the laths, as indicated in photograph on page 63.

Thread a length of No. 6 blind cord through the right-hand end of the bottom lath (where the tape is secured and where holes have been bored in preparation for this operation) and lead this cord up and through the holes in the laths, passing alternately to right and left of the cross-tapes which are staggered to make this easy (see diagram on page 65) and to ensure a perfect hang for both tape and laths. On reaching the top lath, continue the cord through a hole in the top lath ; then pass the cord over the pulley (in the head rail) directly above.

Lead the cord along the head rail to one of the double pulleys at the left-hand side. Drop the cord over this pulley, and allow it to hang down to a point where it can be reached conveniently by hand.

Now cord the other side in exactly the same way, bringing the cord over a single pulley and then over one of the double pulleys, dropping it down to a height within easy reach of the hand. Knot the cords together at the end. See page 65.

If one of these cords is pulled more than the other, the blind will not pull straight nor hang straight. So see that the bottom lath hangs perfectly horizontal. Now tie the cords together at several points, so that they hang as one and pull evenly, thus keeping the bottom lath (and, therefore, all the others as well) always horizontal. See pages 63 and 66.

It is possible to use one single pulley farthest away from Beaumont check action, and one double pulley close to check action and obtain good results.

The assembly is completed by a cord to operate the Beaumont action. This should come to within a few feet of the floor and finish with an acorn. Rosettes are added to give a neat finish to the tapes where they fasten to the top and bottom laths.

CORDING


DIAGRAM

for

PULL CORDS

of

A SIMPLE

TWO-TAPE

VENETIAN

AMOVE DIAGRAM ILLUSTRATES INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN UNDER “CORDS” ON PAGE 64.

One cord is threaded from . I to (.' over pulleys and through Beaumont Action. Another cord is threaded from 11 to ('. likewise.

Tie knots in cords at A and 11 under bottom lath to prevent cord slipping up through holes in lath. When you have adjusted lengths of cords at C to give a perfectly level lift to laths—knot the two ends together permanently.

Another method uses one continuous cord. When cord from A reaches C, do not cut it. hut turn it back up in a loop Jrom C, back over left pulley, through Beaumont, over single pulley dmcn to B. Adjust to hold laths level and knot at C.


FINISHED TWO-TAPE SIMPLE TYPE VENETIAN BLIND

FINISHED TWO-TAPE SIMPLE TYPE VENETIAN BLIND

With the laths tilted to direct light and air upwards.

With the laths tilted to direct light and air downwards.

vanced types, American


Venetian blinds


A survey of current American designs with comments on Head Rails, Tilt Rails, Tilting actions, Automatic Stops, Bottom Rails, Channel Guides, Tapes and Cords

Survey of Current American Designs

A DETAILED review of leading Venetian blinds made by American manufacturers reveals that 75% use only wood laths, and 10% offer either wood or metal laths.

As a rule the wood is either basswood or cedar, but some manufacturers offer both varieties, and one gives pine as an alternative to cedar.

There is a design with laths of fabric in a metal framework ; another has wooden laths decorated by a special process which reproduces the effect of china, linen, wood grain, and other novel finishes to correspond with the mural treatment or window hangings or furniture coverings.

One manufacturer has been successful with redwood heavily impregnated by a cellulose and bakelite composition ; this gives a close, fine finish which takes paint very well indeed and which claims exceptional freedom from warping, splitting and cracking.

Lath sizes vary from i| in. for domestic purposes to 2% in. for industrial and commercial purposes. Some manufacturers restrict their output to a single size while others make several grades and qualities ranging every eighth of an inch from 11 in. to 2§ in. In some cases the cord holes are carefully routed, a process which claims to eliminate the rough edge (and subsequent wear of blind cord) sometimes left by punching machines if not skilfully used.

One design eliminates cord holes altogether, the laths having an extension or “lug” at the ends which fit into channel guides constituting an integral part of the complete design.

Brass eyelettes are used by one manufacturer to reduce wear on the blind cords. Wooden laths are normally J in. thick.

t

FINISHES.

The finish varies, paint, enamel, cellulose, but as the appearance of Venetian blinds as well as their longevity depends so much on good quality paint and suitable primer, finish has been given much careful attention by almost every manufacturer.

In one case the original finish is guaranteed for three years. It is quite usual to find the specification including “First-grade primer and three coats first-grade lacquer,” “Special enamel, heat processed,” “Four coats synthetic enamel,” and “Lacquer finish, applied by spray and machine,” lacquer costing twice as much as ordinary paint.

In another case the laths are treated with a special “baking” process which is stated to resist flaking and cracking almost indefinitely. See Sections SIXTEEN and SEVENTEEN.

MECHANISM.

Worm-driven tilting mechanism has become almost universal, although in a few cases the spring friction device may still be had as an alternative, usually because it lowers the cost.

A refinement in tilting mechanisms is the adjustment introduced by one manufacturer, enabling the householder to alter the tension, if he so wishes, at which the tilting cord operates.

Worm gears may be mounted at one side or the other, in front of (i.e., projecting from) the blind or lying invisible in the head rail. As a rule the tilting cords are placed at one side and the raising and lowering cords at the opposite side, although one exception is the design allowing both cords to be placed at the left, or at the right. Thus the householder may raise the blind with one hand and tilt the laths with his other hand.

The worm wheel is usually constructed from high-grade steel, and the bronze steel shaft runs in bronze bearings. In one case the operation is so light as to merit the description “jack power” drive. In the fricton spring type of tilting mechanism, a specially-designed spring, augmented by steel washer, presses against the right-hand end of the tilting bar, an arrangement which functions quite satisfactorily in an inexpensive small blind.

The manufacturer who produces this type, however, also supplies the more usual worm and gear tilting as an alternative.

FINISHES


TILTING

DEVICES


TILTING

DEVICES


AUTOMATIC

STOPS


HEAD RAILS AND TILT RAILS


The tilting device usually operates by means of a neat bead chain led over a small pulley and hanging down to a point where it can be reached easily by anyone in the room. In the ultra-economical blind, however, a braided cord sometimes substitutes for this metal bead chain.

The automatic stop device has also become universal. In the de-luxe type of installation this operates via a reel integral with the window guides or window casing, although if necessary it may be mounted at a more distant point in order to give remote control. This latter is one which has proved of great practical advantage in fitting blinds to windows of big stores, restaurants and showrooms.

As a rule however, the automatic stop fits snugly into the head rail, taking up little space and giving no trouble at all in operation. It is, of course, one of the earliest known devices associated with Venetian blinds.

One design employs a new position, however, this being on the right-hand face of the head rail. This brings the raising and lowering cords away from the laths and balances the tilting device mounted opposite, on the left. The tilting chain and the raising and lowering cords, therefore are suspended from similar points and give an effect of symmetry.

Another design has the automatic stop in the head-rail, or mounted on its face, whichever may be preferable for individual installations. The pulleys in one automatic stop are self-lubricating. Another type employs roller bearings.

Much patient and detailed research has resulted in improvements to the tilt rail and head rail. Between these two, in past years, there has frequently appeared an unsightly gap. It has been overcome by one designer, who uses metal for the tilt rail and head rail, thus making it possible to keep all lath spaces strictly even throughout the entire blind. The tilt rail makes contact with the head rail in exactly the same way as each of the other laths does with the lath directly above. This makes a much neater effect and must be admitted as a distinct improvement on previous practice.

Another design has the head rail constructed with a concave edge into which the tilt rail recedes, making a perfectly lighttight joint between tilt rail and head rail.


Example of American I 'enelian with drapery head providing a cornice for curtains. Heavy bottom lath to steady blind; automatic cord stop on right; wormgear tilting with bead-chain operation on left.    —by National.

r


cur*


CORD

WEAR

SAVING


SNAP-1N BRACKETS


READY-MADE HEAD RAIDS


FACIAS

AND

DRAPERY

HEADS


An ingenious clip has been introduced by one designer ; this fits over the end of the tilt rail and strengthens it at a point where previously it proved weak and liable to split.

Wear on blind cords has been much reduced by specially-shaped slots in the tilt and head rails, so designed as to allow the cord to pass freely, without any risk of binding or undue chafing, no matter in what position the laths happen to be placed when the raising cords are pulled.

Biggest of all improvements in the head rail—at least, from the maintenance angle—is the provision of “snap in” brackets which allow' the blinds to be removed or replaced without the use of any tools.

The all-metal head rail appears to be gaining in popularity, although one enterprising manufacturer is now* supplying ready-made head rails of basswood, completely equipped with a metal action of proved efficiency and finished to any colour corresponding with the laths. Made from well-seasoned wood and measuring 2§ in.X2| in., this basswood head rail has the mechanism entirely concealed, including the metal brackets supplied for fixing the head rail.

Metal heads are made usually from 20 gauge steel, rustproof finished and practically everlasting. Such heads may be used with a metal or wood tilt rail, and with metal or w*ood laths. The head may be screened by an extra deep front which acts as a facia or pelmet.

In such cases it may have additional projection so that between the facia and the Venetian blind there may be fitted a rod curtain rail carrying window hangings. These facia boards can be obtained with a return, and also with special brackets for simplifying the fixing of blinds and curtains. Complete equipment of this type includes a “drapery box” or “drapery head” measuring anything from 3 in. to 6 in. in depth, and with a clearance of z\ in. for drapery purposes. It may be mounted on the wall and at a point where it projects beyond the sides of the Venetian blind ; it may also be mounted between the window jambs. One pair of brackets, as a rule, is sufficient to support (1) the Venetian blind, (2) the curtains or window hangings, and (3) the drapery box.


enetians

I meric



St t tion of Drapery l lead of the full length l cut tin tt shown on page 71, with rod for curtains tho’i'/i in position.


Section of Fascia Head indicating tin concotH’ hollow in top to allon: tilt lath to tilt upnards to full extent without friction.



Section of ordinary Head Had, indicating    Section of Bottom Rail vtr\ stui

t otum e hollow in under side of Head Rail for    giving perfect closure at hottom -.then

perfect light seal u'hen tilt lath is up,    tilted.

Much detail improvement has also taken place in general design and operation of Venetian blinds. Rollers and pulleys are more robust, of better design, more silent in operation, and likely to give a lifetime of trouble-free service.

ROLLERS

AND

PULLEYS


CENTRE

BRACKETS


CHANNEL

GUIDES


HOLD-DOWN

BRACKETS


A centre bracket is usually provided with all blinds over 4 ft. wide. This bracket holds the head rail firmly in position and prevents any slight distortion which might not be noticeable but which, in time, adversely affects the wear of cords and tape and the entire mechanism as well. Similar brackets are used to support Tilt Rail from centre of Head Rail, with a swivel action.

Channel guides and hold-down or sill brackets are provided in many cases, either as a standard equipment or as alternatives. These hold the blind firmly, always providing adequate ventilation and perfect silence in windy weather, an obvious boon in countries which suffer heat waves and in the tropics and sub-tropics.

Reference has been made to one design with built-in guides.

This has all mechanism completely enclosed, each lath being equipped at its end with a projection or “lug” which enters the channel and guides the lath up or down, always keeping it vertical yet allowing it to pivot in response to operation of the tilting cords.

In another type the channel is made of brass and is recessed in the plaster or wood casing around the window, a brass clip being attached to the end of each lath.

A third design employs a brass rod for guiding the lath, engaging with master laths arranged at intervals depending on the blind size and how much support it requires.

Yet another design utilises aluminium guides and brass lath clips (equipped with fibre washers) secured to every fifth lath, these clips being lacquered to correspond with the lath colour.

For illustrations of Channel Guides, see Accessories, SECTION SIX. page 89.

Hold-down or sill brackets are always advantageous, as they not only prevent the blind moving with every gust of wind, but also discourage intrusion by animals or people from outside, a useful point in ground floor rooms and those rooms sharing a sun balcony or loggia.



TILT RAIL HANGING BRACKET. Self-locking, yet permits quick removal of entire blind mm Head Rail.

AUTOMATIC CORD STOP—Heavy duty self-locking—adjustable to anysensitivity” by a slight turn of an adjusting screw.



TILT DEVICE, tconngear endbead-chain operated ; permanently lubricated. and easy, swift operation.

TILT RAIL construction, showing deep slots allowing full tilt and raising or lowering of blind, without friction on cords.

Such brackets may be used with or without channel guides, and are provided by some manufacturers who do not include channel guides in their normal specification. These brackets are inexpensive, easy to fix, and can be recommended in all cases where a more rigid side support —as provided by channel guides—is not really necessary. They are quite unobtrusive, and in certain cases the bottom rail is recessed or otherwise designed to facilitate fitting.

HOLD-DOWN

BRACKETS


BOTTOM

RAILS


The bottom rail varies in thickness, depending on individual design, a heavy, thick rail being advisable for large blinds and those with a compound lift. Shapes differ, too, as many designers have tackled the problem of light-seal at sill level.

In one case the bottom rail makes such close contact with the sill as to enable its manufacturers to claim that it eliminates any draughts from entering at this point.

The need for a well-designed bottom rail becomes obvious when one realises that it must assist in lowering the blind by gravity and in steadying the blind when it is being raised, maintaining—or helping to maintain all the laths in an exactly horizontal position and ensuring that they fall or rise without any unevenness in their spacings.

The lower face of the bottom rail may be recessed to accommodate cord-holders and in some instances a carefully-calculated channel is cut in the rail to reduce chafing of the cords.

Some designers have introduced metal tips which facilitate fixing the cord, along with special brackets fastened on to the bottom rail into which the metal-tipped cords can be inserted easily and rapidly, and from which the cords can be withdrawn just as easily and quickly.

This enables the cords to be released, and the laths removed, very easily for cleaning and repair purposes.

TAPE

ATTACHMENTS


Methods of attaching the tapes have also been improved, many designers using a snap-on clip, and others a lever type, which allow the tape to be released in a moment or two.

See Accessories page 90.


METAI. KASC1A CORNERS, lu rtinfurc, fascitis, cadminum plated before painting t>>

obviate rusting.

METAL LATHS, of fine spring steel, electro-galvanized against rust, before painting. Sest in small space and offer many advantages.


Seat finish to tilt cords—showing coupling to bead-chain, and finial tassel or bumper.


A modern American Beauty Parlour with windows and cubicles fitted with specially-designed Venetians


eneti an

njt


A


ccessones


Descriptive List of Advanced Blindmaking Accessories. Other items of interest will be found in the Glossary at the end of this book

Venetian blind Accessories

HEAD RAILS. STANDARD SIZES IN BASSWOOD.

rxir


X 2


1"


X 2§


1"


X. 2


5"


These are standardized by sawmills and manufacturers specialising in Basswood head rails, and are suitable for using with the undernoted sizes in tilt laths, bottom rails, and main laths, made from basswood or other timbers.

TILT LATHS

3" V i 3" t XI4

rx2"

fx 2l"

RnTTHM RATI Q

r'xzr

For Single Pull

lJ"X2|"

For Double and

Compound Pulls

MAIN LATHS

s"Xlf"

i"X2"

1"

6 X2b

MAIN LATHS : WOOD.

Usually | in. in thickness, and 2$ in., 2 in. or if in. widths, in various qualities of Port Orford cedar and basswood. Priced per i,ooo ft. run, according to specified lengths.

There is a slight reduction per i,ooo ft. for 5,000, 10,000 and 25,000 ft. quantities.

An extra charge is sometimes added per 1,000 ft. for packing.

One sawmill packs all cedar laths in cartons of 50, each carton plainly marked with width and length. This protects the laths in transport and when in storage.

All exposed edges should be well rounded and sand-papered.

MAIN LATHS : METAL.

Standard width 2 in.

STANDARD SIZES OF MAIN LATHS—WITH THE ACCOMPANYING AVERAGE SIZES OF HEAD RAILS, TILT LATHS AND BOTTOM

RAILS USED

WITH THEM.

MAIN LATH

HEAD RAIL

TILT LATH

BOTTOM RAIL

ii"x|"

I i"xf"

i|"X|" single pull 1|"xf" double pull

2" Xf"

2 X ij

2” Xf"

2|"X|" single pull 2f"x i J" double pull

2 !"xj''

2i"xir

?3" v 3"*

^8 A 4

2I" xj" single pull 2f"Xif" double pull

Note : *()ne design specifies l" for this lath

TILT LATH CORD SLOTS.

The standard size for cord slots is ij"x TV' for standard-size laths 2|"x J". The cord slots must be clean cut, and all rough edges smoothed over and sandpapered.

TILTING DEVICES.

Simple rocking with two-cord attachment.

Worm Gearing. The worm is usually constructed from solid brass or high-grade steel, and operates on a segment with pinions cut in the periphery. Originally designed tor 2g in. head rails but now available in most other sizes, the average giving a if in. drop from underside of head rail to centre of tilt lath ; other sizes are made for use with main laths from if in. to 2§ in. wide. Made in steel, solid brass, and cadium plated steel. The pulley wheel is sometimes nickel plated to prevent soiling of the pulley cord. For examples see page 83.

The device is marketed in a complete unit, including worm, segment and cord pulley, all mounted on metal plate ready to screw to head rail. One design is equipped with a patent “swinging cord slip eliminator” which allows tilting of the blind from any angle, and can be used with woven cord or bead chain operation.

Friction Tilting. An inexpensive mechanism can be built up with (1) tilt rail bracket of TV in. steel with circular hole ff in. diam. and if in. drop, (2) a tension spring of high-grade steel and (3) a § in. steel washer, measuring £f in. inside, of in. thickness.

TASSELS.

Acorns or bumpers. Neatly shaped finials for attaching to pull-end of check cord and in certain cases to tilt cords.


TILTING CHAINS, CORDS, AND COUPLINGS, Etc. Tilting Chains or “Bead”

Chains. Made in nickel plated or brass finish standard size approx, j f in. diam. Prices per ft. run.

Tilting Cords. “Fleur-de-lis” j brand, in a wide range of colours and ] sizes to suit all types of tilting mechanisms.

“Couplings” to connect cords and chains.

“Coupling” to join cords end to end, eliminating any need for tassels J or acorns.

Cord Equalizer. For linking cords and assisting in obtaining a straight pull, raising laths equally and horizontally. Made of metal with all edges rounded and smoothed to j prevent any risk of damage to curtains j or net.

Swivel Rollers. For slots in head rail, from which the tilt lath is

TILT LATH BRACKETS.

These are made from ^ in. metal, with standardised positions for attaching the tilt lath, in solid brass, cadium-plated steel, brass-plated steel, and plain steel, in the following types

(a)    Round hole, }jj in. diam., centre of hole to top of flange measuring if in.

(b)    “T”-shaped slot, to facilitate removal of tilt lath yet holds it firmly in position. Available for use with either right or left-hand fixing.

(c)    “T”-shaped slot with locking arm which prevents the lath from being jolted accidentally from position but allows it to turn perfectly freely.

“Pin End” Tilt Rail Clip. A metal clip which screws to the end of the tilt lath and provides a metal pin or projection which fits into the tilt lath bracket. Makes a stronger job than driving pins into end wood, as it avoids risk of splitting and chipping.

SWIVEL ROLLER or PIRN BOBBIN


Fits into Head Rail and over which passes webbing to support the Tilt Lath.


WORM GEARING TILTING UNIT—by Yardley

ANOTHER WORM GEAR TILTING UNIT Operated by bead chain with rubber tassels or bumpers shmvtng metal end for tilt lath—by Burlington.

TILT LATH BRACKETS

—by Columbia

PIN END CLIP

CORD

EQUALISER

—by Yardley


For Tilt Rail—by Colombia

BLIND CORD

Fleur-de-lis”—by French



PIN END TILT LATH BRACKET

TYPES OP' TASSELS for finishing pull-ends of    With locking lever—for housing Tilt

Check Cords and Tilt Cords.    Lath Ends—by G.S.M., Co.

HEAD RAIL BRACKETS.


Made in solid brass, cadium plated steel, brass plated steel, and plain steel, usually of yV in. metal, and in the following types :—

(a)    Universal : may be fixed right or left-hand, and in almost any position. For head rails 2-| in., 2 in. and if in.

(b)    “Demountable,” allowing removal and replacement of blind without use of tools.

For head rails 2§ in. and 2 in., see page 85.

A guard, trigger, or hook is used to retain the blind in position, the brackets being screwed permanently to the window’-woodwork. Operation of the guard or trigger releases the blind which may then be taken dowm for cleaning or maintenance attention.

The demountable type has become almost universal in all good class work.

HEAD RAIL EXTENSION BRACKET.

Designed to give a projection, and for attachment to metal casements or in positions wrhere the walls are exceptionally thick. It is made for use with a 2§ in. head rail.

FACIA, DRAPERY-HEAD or VALANCE BRACKETS.

These are intended to facilitate the attachment of wooden or metal “valances” to the head rail. They are screwed or held to the head rail by springs, and the upper flange usually is equipped with metal stops to prevent any interference with mechanism in the head rail. See page 85.

HOLD DOWN OR SILL BRACKETS.

Various types are obtainable, for use w’ith or without channel guides.

One useful design, however, covers almost every need, except for highly specialised jobs. This is made of steel and can be obtained in various finishes, with flanges and screw^-holes so designed as to enable it to be fixed to sill or jambs, right or left-hand, w'ith a specially-designed slot which holds the pin securely no matter at W’hat angle it may be lying. Various types are show’n on page 85.

DEMOUNTABLE HEAD RAIL BRACKET Permits easy removal of blind without tools by pulling spring fitted vertical pin—by Yardley.




UNIVERSAL HEAD RAIL BRACKET—by Yardley

FACIA, DRAPERY HEAD or VALANCE BRACKETS—fry Burlington.


JAMB    FACE    SILL

Three more types of Hold-down or Sill Brackets

HOW HOLD-DOWN BRACKET OPERATES

With pin end clip on end of bottom lath—by Yardley

AUTOMATIC STOPS.

Many different types are on the market, with or without pulley attachments. A division between the dogs is desirable, as this helps to prevent twisting of the cords. Simplest is the Beaumont Action.

At times the stop cannot be recessed in the head rail. For such cases a special design is made without pulleys.

It may be necessary to keep the cords as far away from the laths as possible. One design has the pulley mounted at an angle for this purpose. The pulley is cadium plated, or of lignum vitae, or with ball-bearings.

Another special design has a locking device at the pin end. This secures the tilt lath firmly, but releases it in a moment, without any tools being used. For examples see page 87.

PULLEYS.

For fitting to the head rail:

Lignum vitae, solid brass, and steel pulleys are available in diameters f in. and £ in. ; and in. long.

Wood and wood oil-impregnated pulleys are also available in diameters £ in. and § in. and | in., in various lengths from \ in.

A rust-proof roller bearing pulley, 4 in. diam. and | in. long is used for cases where exceptionally light operation is necessary.

PULLEY with bracket.

A useful auxiliary to stock has the bracket specially strengthened to take heavy strains.

CENTRE SUPPORTS.

Head Rail. Used in case of blinds wider than 4 ft., to prevent sagging and distortion. Many designs can also serve as a useful, all-round roof-fixing bracket. See page 87.

Tilt Rail. Used to support tilt laths, and designed for 2| in., 2 in. and if in. laths. See page 87.



An Automatic Stop —by Kirsch


Another type of Automatic Stop—by Kirsch

Still another Automatic Stop —by S.V.B., Co.




Left.

CENTRE SUPPORTS FOR HEAD RAIL U shape for projection up to 2".

L shape for projection up to 4

—by Kirsch.



Pulley Wheel for slotting into Head Rail.



Left.

TILT RAIL CENTRE SUPPORT

Simple pattern for attaching to head railwhich supports tilt rail by hook and clip lug—by Western.

Right.

TILT RAIL CENTRE SUPPORT

A type used for wide blinds, attached to head rail, and supporting tilt rail to prevent sagging—by Yardley.


To obviate the Venetian blind swaying to and from the window, side guides are fitted. These are made of brass rod, or in some cases just a taut wire ; others are of channel-shaped aluminium, brass, and steel, sometimes lined with rubber to eliminate any risk of noise in windy weather.

The simplest type of guide employs a T3S in. brass rod on which operate brass rings on the bottom rail and on every seventh lath. See page 89. For lath end clips, see illustration below.

With channel section guides, the laths are equipped with special projections or clips which may be lacquered to correspond with the lath colour. A fibre washer eliminates rattle.

Guides may be finished to correspond with metal-work or wood-work. In one case the installation is a comparatively elaborate matter, being recessed in the plaster-work and forming an integral part of the window frame.

In another, the blinds cannot be supplied without channel guides which are thus an integral part of the design.

The advantage of a permanent type of channel guides is obvious, as this eliminates any movement of the guides and prevents binding.

Where channel guides are installed on the window casing and project therefrom, a special side channel bracket may be had in brass or cadium finish, of § in. metal, 2^ in. long, for T3B in. screws.

A steel, cadium-plated channel guide can be obtained in | in. square section, T3W in. slot, any length from 16 ft. to 21 ft.

This has been specially produced to use with lath clips, see page 89.


LATH END CLIPS

These fix to ends of laths, where rods or wires are used as guides—by Western.

See fitting, top left, page 89.


CHANNEL GUIDES. Examples

Right.

CHANNEL

GUIDE

SECTION

Showing a channel guide clip for fastening to end of laths— rubber padded, to give silent operation —in brass. Channel i" X i", suitable for face on inside casing —by Yardley.


Brass rod with metal rings clipped to ends of tilt and bottom rails, and to every seventh main lath.



Right.

EXTENSION GUIDE CLIP for ends of laths— with adjustable pin for adapting guide to uneven-

tiocc rtf #/imn .nv \ rttrA/.m'




CHANNEL SUPPORT BRACKET

for inside casing—by Yardley.




CHANNEL SUPPORT BRACKET

for outside casing—by Yardley.


ANOTHER TYPE OF CHANNEL GUIDE PRACTICE

—by Burlington.


TAPE “LEVER” CLIPS.


A narrow piece of metal which pivots on its fastening screw and so allows the tape to be removed rapidly from bottom rail and tilt rail. Also called TAPE and CORD RELEASE.

The Ladder tapes are supplied ready-hemmed for immediate assembly. See illustration.


The Cord Release is by simply pulling out a pin as shown.

LATH CLIP FIXING TOOL.

A simple, economical and efficient “setting tool” for punching holes in laths and inserting metal eyelets, facilitating the attachment of lath clips for operating in channel guides. It is supplied with the correct dies and rivets.

METAL FITTINGS IN COMPLETE SETS.

Various accessory firms supply complete sets of metal parts, all ready to assemble. A typical assembly is :—

METAL FITTINGS

For 2§" laths.

1 Worm gear tilt

if" drop

1 Automatic stop

if" drop

2 pulleys, lignum vitae

J" diam. f" long

2 Head rail brackets

Universal type

1 Cord equaliser

2 Tassels, n.p. with rubber rings

Brackets may be attached either inside or outside of casingHead rail of the blind slips into brackets and locks itselj there. Instantly removable by finger pressure on retaining guard. This shores inside fixing.


Automatic Stop.

The new Automatic Stop which holds the slats at any height without the necessity of fastening the lifting cord.


CHIEF ACCESSORIES ASSEMBLED INTO POSITION

Here is an example of the Accessory Fittings of a two-tape Venetian blind, giving a clear indication of the position and use of many accessories similar to those described in the foregoing pages.    Example by Colombia Mills.

Tsai-tape I enetians with Draped Pelmet and side curtains hi suit room.


Example oj an American Reception Office tci/li Trumtanu

I eneliuns





e rn


m e t (il



Metal construction and operation of Single Pull and Compound Lift


Moslem Metal Construction

HEAD MEMBER. A metal housing in which is mounted all the mechanism for raising and lowering, and for tilting the laths.

The front part, if” deep, forms a flat vertical rail, fitting closely into the window framework, protecting the mechanism from dust and rendering it quite invisible from any part of the room. The upper edge of this front rail fits closely against the soffit or window woodwork.

The base of the housing carries («) the tilting mechanism (b) the automatic cord locking device, and (c) the pulleys over which pass the blind cords. This base is drilled for screws holding the tilting mechanism and slotted for the ladder tapes, while circular holes are cut for the cords. The head member fits into two specially shaped brackets which are screwed to the window woodwork.

TILTING MECHANISM. This often utilises a spiral irreversible worm gearing, with one cylinder for each tape in the blind. The spiral gearing, comprising a worm and worm wheel, operates the left-hand end of a stout steel shaft running along the head member, and on which are mounted these cylinders.

The worm is operated by a pulley over which passes a metal tilt cord hanging down, the ends being finished with an acorn. The irreversible gearing ensures that it operates one way only. That is, unless and until the tilt cord is pulled, the laths are held perfectly stationary. This gives a wide variety of openings, from fully closed in one direction, to fully closed in the other direction.

AUTOMATIC CORD LOCK. This is mounted integral with the cord pulley, and has a locking dog for each cord, these dogs acting quite independently of each other. The cords pass through an opening in the underside of the head member, pass the dogs, and then go over the pulley, through openings in the rollers, downwards and out via a hole in the base of the head member, and then through the lath openings to the bottom rail.

AUTOMATIC STOF REMOVABLE


CHANNEL GUIDES BETWEEN JAMBS

CHANNEL GUIDES FOR FACE OF WALL

I,ADDER TAPE j AND LATHS '

are removable

HEAD CROSS SECTION OF TILTING GEARS


CUT-AWAY VIEW OF SI LENT TILTING GEAR


ADJUSTABLE N TILTING FRICTION SHOE

■ DIAMETER STEEL PULLEY

ALL ENCLOSED HEAD RAIL AND THE NEAT WAY IN WHICH THE LATHS NEST WHEN PULLED UP. HOOK FOR HOLD DOWN TO SILL.

THE “PELLA” SYSTEM OF ALL METAL VENETIAN BLIND PRACTICE

Conceals all mechanism within a neat enclosed head piece.    —by Rolscreen Company

BOTTOM RAIL. This is of sturdy construction, to give weight and steadiness, and to facilitate lowering. The bottom rail provides an anchorage for tapes and—in two tape blinds—for cords as well. See illustrations on this page, A and B.


In three tape blinds the cords are secured to the rollers, and pulleys are used in the bottom rail as well as in the head member. The bottom rail has snap-on clips to hold the tapes. This gives a neat appearance, and may lead to economy in ladder tape as the clip can conceal a join and so permit the use of lengths of

tape that otherwise might be discarded as too short. The cord ends fit into a slide, the ends being fitted with metal tips. See B.

A pin is inserted at each end of the bottom rail ; this pin projects | in. from the end and fits into a hold-down bracket screwed into the woodwork in such a position as to keep the blind steady and silent when the window is open on a stormy day : or, indeed, at any time when perfect silence is required, as—for example—in the bedroom of a light sleeper.


LATHS. The metal lath is frequently shaped to direct air and light in an upward direction. The blind is so designed as to give an overlap when the laths are closed. Metal laths nest in a smaller space and give better control of both light and ventilation than wooden laths.

LADDER WEB. The front and rear sides of the ladder web are each threaded through a projection part of the roller and secured by clips, or sewing. Each side of the tape is then brought down through its respective slot in the head member to the bottom rail where the tape is turned over and secured on the lower edge of the bottom rail as shown above at A.

BLIND CORD. The size is either No. 6 or heavier.

TILTING ROLLERS.

The tilting rollers are generally built up from four different parts, viz : Two ends and an inner and outer cylinder or sleeve. The right-hand end of each tilting roller includes a pulley over which passes the blind cord for the farther position.' The left-hand end has no pulley.

Both ends have a circular opening near the top through w'hich passes the steel shaft. Both ends also have an oblong opening (lower down), through which pass one or more of the blind cords, depending on which position a particular end happens to be.

Both cords pass through the right-hand end of the right-hand roller in a two-tape blind. One cord only passes through the left-hand end of the right-hand roller ; one cord only passes through the right-hand end of the left-hand roller. No cord passes through the left-hand end of the left-hand roller.

In all cases, however, the ends have all these openings and are interchangeable, apart from the pulleys. These ends carry a flange at right angles which screws down to the base of the head member. The position of the rollers (and therefore of the tapes), is controlled by the points at which these ends are fastened to the head member. When shaft, rollers, and ends are all correctly assembled and placed in their approximate positions in the head member base, the roller assembly can be moved along the shaft to whatever point may be necessary, there to be fixed by screws inserted from the underside of the head member base.

Two pinions (assuming a two-tape blind) free to slide along the shaft (prior to assembly), fit into slots in the inner sleeve of each roller. The ladder tape is secured to projections on the outer sleeve.

The shaft carries two notched wheels or pinions, one pinion for each roller. These pinions project through a slot in the inner sleeve, and one tooth engages with a small square opening in the outer sleeve. (This opening is between the two projections to which the ladder tape is secured). On revolving the shaft, then, the rollers are carried round too, and they— in turn—move the tapes and thus tilt the laths.

Tilting Rollers continued

The worm gearing comprises the pulley wheel, guide for chain operating, worm on shaft, and worm wheel, all neatly mounted on a special bracket the base of which screws to the head member base exactly as in the case of the roller ends. This gear assembly is secured to the shaft by a screw passing through a circular distance piece, after which it goes through to the shaft and into the distance piece again.

The head rail mechanism occupies a space of approximately 12 in. (varying with individual designs) and this may be taken as the minimum width for a fully-operating blind. Certain examples (Kirsch) can be made as narrow as 9! in., however, by omitting the mechanism for raising and lowering ; this need not be a serious omission with narrow laths (admitting plenty of light as they offer so little obstruction) and efficient tilting mechanism, especially as those very narrow windows are usually either hall or staircase, or else flank some other windows large enough to be treated in the usual manner with fully-operating blinds.

Compound Lift

Blinds over 5 ft. wide or with an area of over 35 sq. ft. are usually made with a compound lift, of which there are several types.

The simplest is merely a “double pull,” utilising three tapes and a special cording arrangement which eases the load and gives finger-light control to blinds up to an area of about 80 sq. ft. The cording arrangement in such cases has pulleys specially mounted—and sometimes neatly recessed—in the bottom rail, eliminating the need for anchoring the cords as is usually done on the underside of the bottom lath. In one design the mechanism claims to reduce the “pull” to one-half of that required to raise a two-tape, single-pull blind. The cording diagram is shown on page 101.

For blinds over 80 or 100 sq. ft. traverse or oscillating roller actions are necessary. Here the lifting cord is arranged to coil round a drum of larger diameter than the roller, see page 103. Mechanism of this type occupies additional space and it has become usual to provide a special facia of metal or wood to ensure a clean, neat finish to the installation.

CORDING

DIAGRAMS

r

SINGLE PULL

and

COMPOUND

LIFT



-CORDS FASTENED HERE




Compound Lift —continued

ROLLER ACTION

Standard types of lath are used in assembly, even in large blinds, but in some cases the raising is by means of flexible wire cable one-sixteenth of an inch in diameter, winding on a roller which in turn is revolved by sash cord winding on the operating drum. The difference in diameter between roller and drum is so fixed as to give a leverage big enough to render a 200 sq. ft. blind as light in operation as a single pull blind of 50 sq. ft. Certain manufacturers use chain-operation for their largest oscillating type.


CHANGING CORDS OF COMPOUND LIFT Here is a trick of the Trade—saves time. Cut loop of old cord at 1. Then splice the resultant ends 2 and 3 of old cord to the new cords (adhesive tape is useful). Then pull old cord at 4 and 5, or wherever the dead ends are located. Then pull until the new cord appears and fasten as the old cord has been attached.

ELECTRICAL OPERATION.

Electric motor operation has also been employed for the biggest blinds, the power being transmitted through a series of w'orm gears. This provides accurate control, from any desired point, and enables the blind to be stopped, started and tilted, exactly as if it wrere manually operated.

Another design with a reputation for great mechanical efficiency, utilises an endless chain with worm and wheel gearing which can be adapted to various sizes and weights of blinds.


ROLLER ACTION LIFTING FOR LARGE BLINDS.



Above diagram is of a typical Roller Action, suitable for Venetian blinds up to 120 square feet. Meta! box head contains lift mechanism. Lifting cords traverse the large rollers which are turned by operating cord.


Another example of mechanically-operated blinds of extremely large area. The lifting action is operated by a chain over toothed gear wheel. The cords are of bronze. Automatic brake holds blind at any desired point.

—bv Columbia Mills.



Interior of a British Shot Shop, where the wide background for display. Example of the benefit

Venetian forms an attractive of Compound Lift.


Fixing Venetian Blinds to Metal Windows

Metal windows and window frames are steadily growing in favour and will, in future, be used to a far greater extent than hitherto.

Some guidance as to the best method of fixing brackets to support the head rails of Venetians to metal frames will be helpful.

The leading metal window manufacturers have, to some extent, standardised their products.

The fixing of Venetian blinds for metal windows, has to deal with five common methods.

1.    When the window surround is of wood.

2.    When the window surround is of metal.

3.    Where there is no surround and metal windows are fixed directly to masonry.

4.    Where the Venetian blind is to be inside and enclosed in a case above the head of window, into which the blind is withdrawn when not in use.

5.    Where the Venetian blind is fixed outside the window and enclosed in a case above the head of window, into wrhich the blind is withdrawn when not in use.

Venetian blinds are particularly useful when dealing with the larger glass areas usually associated with metal windows, and their application to the window frames is an easy matter.

1. Where metal windows are supplied and fixed complete in wood surrounds, the head rails of the Venetian blinds can be screwed to angle brackets of sufficient projection to allow the blinds to clear the window fittings, the brackets being screwed to the wood frames in convenient positions as shown in Fig. 1.

Metal Windows





Fixing Venetian blinds to metal windows—continued

2.    Pressed metal surrounds are also used as an alternative to the more common wood frames, and are likely to be met with much more frequently in the future. The method of fixing to wood frames also applies to metal surrounds, the only difference being that the brackets are screwed to the surrounds by metal screws and tapped holes must be provided in the metal frames. This can be done when the frames are in position, but wherever possible it is advisable to arrange to have these holes already provided by the window manufacturers in positions agreed upon by the blind makers before the windows are fabricated. See Fig. 2.

3.    Where metal windows are fixed directly to masonry without the provision of a surround either of wood or metal, angle brackets can be used as in Fig. 2, fixed by metal screws to the head of the metal windows. See Fig. 3.

4.    It is often desirable to arrange the fixing of Venetian blinds above the heads of the windows, particularly where external blinds are used with outward opening casements and fanlights, also where internal blinds with inward opening casements are required.

In these cases the neatest and most satisfactory arrangement is obtained by the provision of metal casings as shown in Fig. 4 for inside fixing and Fig. 5 for outside fixing. These casings are provided by the metal window manufacturers, and can be made to any depth required to accommodate the blinds when fully raised.

These pressed metal casings are particularly suitable for use with Venetian blinds with laths of metal, as such blinds bundle into a smaller space when raised, thus reducing the depth of casing required.

A removable fascia plate is provided to allow easy access for fixing and removing the blinds from inside the building. This applies to both internal and external blinds.

Architects who are planning buildings and who wish to utilise the advantages of metal windows and also secure the utility of modern Venetians, will be able to obtain full information as to the most suitable design and practice for any proposed building, from the leading Makers of Metal Windows.




Ladies’ Hairdressing Salon (Beauty Parlour), showing three different applications of well-hung ladder tapes. A, special four-tape Venetians to form cubicle divisions. B, three-tape Venetians for windows. C, two-tape Venetians for door.

e n e 11 an blind L a a a e r Web bi ng


The manufacture of Ladder Webbing with Web distances, How to hang, with notes on “DmCoP Speciality and cross'tapes, etc.

Venetian Ladder LVebbing

THE life of the Venetian blind is the ladder webbing. So much depend upon the durability of the web, the accuracy of the spacing of the laths ; the correct levels of the cross tapes and the way these are made homogeneous with the vertical tapes, that Venetian blind makers may not risk using ladder webbing that have not the virtues of consistency and uniformity proved over years of use.

The “Fleur-de-lis” Brand with its “Firma Weave” characteristics has unique advantages over ladder webs less fortunate in the applications of laboratory research, scientific tests and improvements which are the fruitage of years of experience and study.

The story of “Fleur-de-lis” Ladder is worth telling.

It begins with the yarn.

The yarn is made of tough fibre chosen for uniformity of staple and thus ensures the utmost resistance to wear.

Yarn for making grey, duck, and other undyed ladder tape arrives at the Mills in large, long reels or spools, each about 3 ft.X 18 in. known as “cheese roller warps,” one of which appears quite clearly in Fig. i.

The yarn slowly uncoils from the cheese roller warp as a certain number of “ends” and passes upwards to a large, porcelain lined guiding eye fixed to the roof.

At this high position the ends are divided into equal portions and sweep dowmvards in an easy curve to small eyes, lined with smooth porcelain. After passing through these small eyes the ends go to tensioning rollers and through a leasing reed to the headstocks Fig. 2, where the ends wind on wood bosses to form warp.

Fig. 1

Warping from Cheese roller Karp to loom Karps.




Fig 2

Automatic Cone 11 arper Headstock and leasing reed.

GUIDING EYES.

Porcelain is used for lining of guiding eyes, and also at other points in the process, as this material gives a smooth, glass-like surface which cannot damage the fine yarn in any way.

The leasing reed, Fig. 3, is a clever, automatic method of forming “end and end ieases” or tie-threads which are placed at intervals in the ends and at right angles, in such a way as to keep all the ends quite distinct and separate until they are warped and ready for the loom ; otherwise the ends might matt or become entangled and interfere seriously with smooth production. Originally a hand process demanding considerable skill in handling the fine ends, this work is now carried out mechanically by the leasing reed more quickly and just as accurately.

COLOURED YARNS.

Yarns for making ladder web in colours usually reaches the mill in hanks, already dyed. The yarn is wound on cones by the usual type of cone-winding machine, and the cones are then inserted in a warper’s magazine creel. Two cones are provided for each feed to the headstock, these two being so arranged that as one is exhausted, the next takes its place. Then, as soon as the second one starts to feed, an operator is ready with the third cone which replaces the first and in due course replaces the second. Thus cones are being replenished continuously, eliminating any need to stop the machine for this purpose.

MAKING WARPS.

Ends are led from the creel, over a porcelain-edged tension bar, and through guiders to the leasing reed, and then to the headstock which forms warps all ready to be placed in the loom. This machine, utilises many ingenious devices including a solenoid switch which not only stops operations immediatelv an end breaks, but lights a red lamp indicating exactly where the fault lies.

Fig 3


Showing Automatic stop motion and leasing reed.




Fig 4

Placing how warps in kratch.

WEAVING THE WEBBING.

Warps, wound on this high speed machine, or from the cheese warps, are now ready for weaving into ladder web. The looms producing “Fleur-de-lis” brand are unique, being designed, built and patented by Thomas French & Sons, Ltd., and introducing the well-known “Firma Weave” principle which not only makes the lath intervals conform to a standard of accuracy unapproached by any other method, but also weaves the cross-tapes as an integral part of the whole. These cross-tapes cannot be withdrawn unless they are forcibly torn asunder in a way which no ladder tape ever experiences, not even under the most exceptional service conditions.

AUTOMATIC LOOMS.

Each of the patent looms is automatic and simultaneously weaves a length of ladder web. These looms carry on their weaving process quite automatically and with an uncanny efficiency which, no doubt, partly explains the exceptional uniformity of all “Fleur-de-lis” products and which has made this brand so highly appreciated in every country using Venetian Blinds.

The looms have reached such a state of efficiency that they operate for long periods without any attention.

The two webs which, joined by cross-tapes, form ladder web, each consist of a given number of ends. The loom is fed by a “kratch,”see Fig. 4, which may be regarded as similar in purpose to the warper’s creel. The weft is wound from cones or cops to spools which are fed into the shuttles. A reserve set of spools can usually be seen lying on the loom breast-piece.

RIGID INSPECTION.

Webbing from the loom descends by gravity conveyors to the Inspection Department where every single inch undergoes a critical examination by a team of lynx-eyed inspectors. The web, when approved as maintaining the regulation standard of accuracy and finish, is then measured, cut into 72 yard lengths, and passed to the Blocking machines. Here an automatic yardage recorder checks the lengths before they are wound on a patent 5 in. core and sent to be parcelled and packed in the Despatch department.



IMPROVED WINDING.

The patent 5 in. core prevents all creasing and crushing of the inner coils, so that every yard unwinds fresh, uncreased and ready for immediate use. This eliminates the waste which occurred when ladder tape is wound on the old-fashioned small spindle which renders useless the last few yards of every half-gross. It gives absolute uniformity in the hanging of the laths. The 5 in. core is fully patented and registered both in the United Kingdom and abroad, and is widely recognised as an important factor in making economical—as wTell as efficient—installations.

“FIRMA-WEAVE” FACTS.

The “Firma-Weave” Principle is an improved method of weaving in the cross tapes of all “Fleur-de-lis” brand Ladder Webbing. The cross tapes become much stronger, keep firmer in position and last longer.

“Firma-Weave” helps considerably in the achievement of perfect gauge and maximum strength of the cross tape.

The “Firma-Weave” process—probably the most efficient to be found anywhere to-day—is so accurate that the cross-tapes spacings do not vary, even by a fraction of an inch, no matter how long the “run” may be. In the hundreds of looms weaving “Fleur-de-lis” ladder web, in operation 24 hours every day throughout the year, no variation has ever been found, so that furnishers and blind-makers can always rely upon accurate cross-tape spacings no matter when or where they purchase supplies.

DYEING.

Where textiles have to be repeatedly washed during their lifetime, it is important to use good washing resisting dyes.

In the case of ladder webbing for Venetian blinds frequent washing and laundering does not occur, but in viewT of the constant exposure to sun rays of the outside of the tapes, it is important that dyes should be resistant to light.

It would be interesting to relate howr colour dye is applied to ladder wrebbing. Lmfortunately this is a field of technical endeavour that is far too intricate and complicated to be treated here even at moderate length.

When it is explained that there are thousands of dyestuffs nowT at the command of the dyer, that individual dyestuffs from the same chemical group are applied differently, that the different textiles all require different dyeing, sufficient complexities will have been mentioned to inhibit any such attempt.

Dyeing —continued

The important thing is for the dyeing to be of suitable fastness for the intended use ol the material. Those that must be washed at intervals should be very fast to both light and washing: others that need not be washed must still have very good fastness to light, and in upholstery fabrics particularly the colours must also be fast to rubbing.

FADELESS GUARANTEE.

Some quite reputable firms give a guarantee of “fadelessness” with dyed ladder webbing. To support this guarantee their dyers use the fastest dyestuffs available, and although there can be no absolute fastness of any colour, common needs are served by the guarantee practice of applying dyestuffs that will stand up to all normal usage.

If a colour tape remains satisfactory after prolonged use—-and the guaranteed colours almost invariably do that—then the colour is entitled to be called “fast.”

THE PRICE FACTOR.

The fastness of dyestuffs has a close relation to the price of the article. The Manufacturer may have to cater for different classes of purchasers, from those who can afford the best quality material dyed with the fastest and most expensive colours, to those at the opposite end of the scale where a high price simply cannot be paid.

COLOURS OF THE SAME GROUP VARY IN FASTNESS.

Unfortunately all the colours in a given chemical group are not of equal fastness. Some members of the direct group of colours have a very good fastness, while others from the same group are fugitive and undependable to a most disconcerting extent. Even the vat dyestuffs group which includes some of the fastest dyestuffs known also contains some dyes which are not even fast to cold water. This variation has an important effect that should be clearly understood. It means that all the chemical groups of dyestuffs have gaps in their ranges of dependable colours. The vat group for instance has no red comparable with indigo blue for fastness. Until recently none of the greens obtainable were fast enough to be recorded the “fadeless” guarantee, but modern research has discovered Jade Green which not only surpasses in fastness any previously known green, but is claimed to be the fastest colour in the world.


Fig. 10

A coif of Ladder-webbing ready for rutting to suitable lengths, showing the cross-tapes.



HERRINGBONE ADVANTAGES.

The herringbone effect of ladder webbing is not only pleasing in itself and decorative, too, when—for example—duck weft is used in conjunction with white warp, but serves a practical purpose as well.

The herringbone indicates at a glance in which direction the tape was woven, and in which direction it should be hung. As shown in diagram B, below, the centre line of arrows should always point upwards. Hung in this position, the ladder tape hangs in the direction of the weaving grain and is better able to resist the strains and stresses imposed by to-day’s conditions and the cross-tape anchorages are better placed to support and control the laths.





C. Ladder webbing, with cross-tapes D. Ladder webbing, with cross-tapes tilting supporting laths—level to stop glare, but laths downwards. Can also be adjusted tilting admitting light and air.    upwards.


A bedroom


Venetian, showing positioning of tapes upon a wide blind.

Notes on Positioning Tapes

two tapes As for the practical, it is an easy matter to follow conventional specifications which insist that the tapes may be placed not less than 4J in. and not more than 9 in. from the end of the laths, and that the tape centres be not more than 30 in. apart.

Thus a blind measuring 42 in.—or less—would have two tapes, as diagram 2T on opposite page. (Some manufacturers take 42 in. and others 45 in. as the maximum for a two-tape blind, while others attempt to make the 50 in. blind operate effectively with two tapes), 'baking 42 in. as the maximum width for a two-tape blind, the general effect is shown in Diagram 2T on opposite page.

three, tapes A much more pleasing effect however, is obtained by using three tapes, as in Diagram 3.T.A. If the blind maker wishes to emphasise one particular colour in the apartment and chooses suitable ladder tape, he may find the three tape arrangement more effective.

In the diagrams the outer tapes are placed not more than ~j\ ins. from the ends of the laths, but there is no need to keep rigidly to any such convention.

The blind width may be divided into so many equal sections, each with a tape separating it from the others.

poi i< tapes    An arrangement of this kind appears in Diagram 4.T.E., and

i ivi tapes    is taken a stage further in 5.T.F. If this method is adopted

in colour—cream laths and green tapes, for example—then it will have the effect of a striped awning, linking up with chair covers or bedspread, or suggesting the informal outdoor atmosphere of loggia or verandah.

While it is always useful to have certain fixed standards, in-so-far as tape schedules and simple or compound lifts are concerned, yet these must not be allowed to interfere with individual jobs in which a certain amount of character, informality, initiative, and colour harmony are to be expressed.

It is always wise to add an extra tape if in any doubt, and to adopt compound lift if there is any risk of the pull being too heavy with single lift. The diagrams therefore must be taken as a general guide, to be adapted in view of individual conditions.






The Blind-maker’s chief object ought to be the production of a thoroughly satisfactory blind rather than a blind made in accordance with some inflexible and arbitrary rule. Long, heavy blinds, even if narrow, operate much more easily if fitted with three tapes or even four tapes, with compound pull so as to ease the lifting strain and prolong the wear of tapes and cords.

One well-known blind-maker has stated that compound pull reduces the lifting effort by one-half; another advocates the use of oscillating rollers for every blind over 70 sq. ft. area irrespective of width. In both cases the object is plain—to save lifting strains and eliminate needless renewals of tape and cord.

For unconventional tape arrangements it may be necessary to make a slight alteration in the head rail mechanism to allow for narrower spaces between the tapes, or for longer distances between the outside tapes and the extremity of the head rail.

The centre bracket (where one is used), may have to be adjusted to accommodate a centre tape where three tapes are used in place of two, or five in place of four. Such adjustments are easily made, and are well worth while making, in order to to obtain an easier pull and enhance the decorative effect.

COLOUR COMBINATIONS.

Normally the cross-tapes are made from exactly the same quality and colour of yarns as that used for the vertical webs, but in “Du-Col” combinations the cross-tapes are made multi-colour ; for example, in a red and duck “Du Col” tape one half of the cross-tape will be woven from duck ends and the other half from red ends.

So cleverly is the “Firma-Weave” principle adapted for the “Du-Col” ladder tape, however, that no red ends appear at the point where the cross-straps are woven into the duck vertical web, nor can any duck be seen at the point where duck weaves into the red vertical web. Yet all “Du-Col” tapes are just as firmly woven into the main webs as in other “Fleur-de-lis”ladder tapes and cannot be torn asunder without utterly destroying both the cross-tapes and the main webs. For use of Colour in Ladder Tapes, see SECTION NINE.


Pleasant living room, with four-tape Venetian for wide window and two-tape Venetian for narrate window.


Studio, with wide Venetians, showing agreeable positioning of four dark tapes for each blind, with light-coloured laths, where uniform lighting is of importance.




Colour Harmony attained by use of Venetian blinds and Awnings in a sub-tropical setting, where palm leaves suggest nature’s own Venetians.

PLATE II


t n

our


Ve n eti an blin Js

i*


Notes on Colour Harmony and the use of colour for blinds and tapes in relation to the decorative schemes employed.

Colour Values

THE value of colour relationships is appreciated by most intelligent persons. Yet rarely can they give reasons why one combination of colours is more pleasing to them than another.

Most people have colour preferences and these emerge into everyday language.

The full range of colours from the spectrum are at the service of the Furnisher and Blind maker and their intelligent use in schemes of decoration often marks the successful business from its competitors as a mountain peak stands out from the plain.

COLOUR USES.

The introduction of “Du-Col” ladder tapes has opened up an entirely new scope for skilful use of colour harmonies and colour contrasts in-so-far as the blind treatment of a room can now be fully linked with its main colour scheme.

MEETING A PROBLEM.

“Du-Col” tape—was first intended to eliminate the difficulties which sometimes arose when a bright or fugitive colour— vermilion, for example, or mauve—became soiled or faded and lost its smart appearance from the outside, although otherwise the tape retained its excellent condition and was capable of giving many more years of efficient service. Meantime the inside part of the tape, not being exposed to strong sunlight to nearly the same extent, kept its clean, fresh colour almost indefinitely.

TWO COLOURS IN ONE TAPE.

So “Du-Col” appeared, with the outer tape in duck, or grey, or white or other undyed colour, while the inside tape might be red, blue, green or any other shade range.


Example of l,Du-Col” Ladder tape with tape facing inside room of a colour chosen to harmonise with the colour scheme of the room. The outside of tape, next to window, and the cross-tapes are in duck or grey, or white or any mingled colour. This illustration shows the ” Firm a Weave” principle of interweaving the cross-tapes homogeneous with the vertical webbing.

INTELLIGENT APPLICATIONS.

Blind manufacturers soon recognised, however, that “Du-Col” opened the way for a much wider use of colour. For instance, all Venetian Blinds may look alike from the outside of a house— every window can have white, or green, or red or blue tapes, as seen by passers-by ; yet each room may have the interior tapes of its blinds to correspond with the decorative scheme.

OUTSIDE CONFORMITY, WITH INSIDE VARIETY.

Thus a house lime-washed in cream, with green woodwork, can have cream laths in all its Venetian Blinds, with green “Du-Col” tapes at every window, giving a harmonious effect from the outside. Each apartment however, may have its own internal colour scheme : blue in the dining room perhaps, burgundy in the lounge, orange in the morning room, and black in the bathroom.

INDIVIDUAL TASTES SATISFIED.

Although for purely practical reasons a colour such as grey or duck or drab may be preferable to green for outside use, yet there are still plenty of discerning people who want their blinds and their windows to have an attractive appearance from the outside, and who count this cheaply obtained at the cost of new blind tapes once a year or, perhaps, not quite so frequently. Those who prefer an external colour such as grey, so that it may last for several seasons in hot climates, can still have neutral shades in the outer webs while having something brighter and individual for the inner webs.


A satisfying outside effect of Venetiatis with tapes of harmonising uniform colour for both the internal window blinds and the external awnings of the top windows. Tapes facing inside of rooms can be varied to suit the decorations of each room, at discretion.

ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING OFTEN THE POINTER.

In choosing blind tapes to correspond with individual colour schemes it is necessary to recollect that colour depends first of all upon light ; and the light which reaches floor, walls, and furniture coverings does not always fall upon the blinds.

As a rule blinds are not much in evidence in daylight, unless there happen to be windows in two or more walls ; but at night the blind usually receives as much light (and becomes as much a part of the decorative scheme) as walls, hangings and furniture coverings.

Windows equipped with modern, efficient Venetian blinds need not have curtains drawn over the window every night. Many people prefer “dress” curtains which do not draw but act as an effective framework (with their accompanying pelmet or valance) for glass curtains during the day and for Venetian blinds at night.

In hot sunny weather, of course, the blinds are frequently lowered during the daylight ; but even so, if light enters at all, it usually prevents anyone from fully appreciating the colour and effect of the blinds as a part of the decorative scheme. From the interior decorative angle, then, it is important to consider the blind colour as it is seen in artificial light.

RULES OF COLOUR HARMONIES.

If blind-makers are to ensure that the blind tape will harmonise with other colours in the furnishings, then it is necessary to know something about the rules of colour harmony. While this may be regarded in many cases as a matter of personal taste, yet even this personal taste usually has a recognisable basis and conforms to certain rules, even although the person expressing his or her taste is quite unaware of either basis or rules. Those who have no taste, therefore, need only master the rules, apply some commonsense, and they can evolve colour effects just as pleasing as those produced by people with a natural flair for using colour.

GRADING COLOURS.

Before dealing with harmony it is necessary to adopt some practical method of classifying colour. There are, for example, the schoolboy’s simple categories, primary, secondary and tertiary colours. Then colours are often classified according to their position in the spectrum—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet—A third method is to divide colours into two broad groups, warm and cool ; each of these two groups can be sub-divided further into “cold” and “very warm.”

Then to colours, using the term strictly, we must add black and white. Black is not a colour, in that it absorbs all the light rays and reflects none. So when we look at an object and realise that none of the rays of light are being reflected, we pronounce that object to be “black.”

Similarly another object is colourless because it reflects all the rays.

The moment an article or fabric begins to absorb some rays and reflect others, then it assumes the garb of colour which has its place in the spectrum.

The primary colours—yellow, blue and red—and the secondary colours—green, orange, violet or purple—give an excellent basis for harmony in its simplest form. See plate III facing page 138.

To find the complementary harmony of a primary colour, one simply takes the secondary colour into which the primary does not enter. For instance, the complementary of red is green which is made of two primaries, blue and yellow which contain no red. To obtain the complementary of a second colour, one takes the primary colour which has no place in forming the secondary. The complementary of orange, for instance, is blue, a primary colour which is not used in forming orange consisting as it does of red and yellow.

With blue walls, therefore, orange tapes would give the necessary contrast : or if the walls are orange, then the tapes may be blue. This method gives complementaries for three primary and three secondaries, but becomes rather unsatisfactory when taken a stage further to the tertiary colours.

COLOURS AND THEIR COMPLEMENTS.


PRIMARY

So called because they cannot be obtained by a mixing of other colours.


COMPLEMENTARY So called because one complements the other. Red for instance is complemented by Green, which is composed of the two missing primaries Yellow and Blue.


Primaries

Red

Blue

Yellow


Green

Orange

Purple


Secondaries

Purple    Yellow

Green    Red

Orange    Blue


RULES

The complementary of a Primary is always a Secondary.

The complementary of any Primary is the Secondary into which the Primary does NOT enter.

The complementary of a Secondary is the Primary which does not enter into the Secondary.

e.g. The complementary of red is green which, composed of yellow and blue, contains no red.

The complementary of purple is yellow, a primary colour which has no place in the composition of purple which is composed of red and blue.



A Colour Chart showing the variety of colours produced by combinations of the primary colours red, yellow and blue—Wins tone. PLATE III


SPECTRUM COLOURS BASIS FOR SOLIDS AND TINTS

SPECTRUM

SOLID

BASIS

COLOUR

TINTS

Burgundy

Scarlet

Blush Rose

Post Office Red Geranium

Shell Pink

RED

Venetian Red Crimson

ALL WARM

Vermillion

TINTS ARE BASED ON

ORANGE

Orange

Straw

Red, Orange,

Ecru

Yellow

Stone

YELLOW

Yellow

Honey

Gamboge

Sunshine Yellow

Primrose

Ivory

GREEN

Green

Torquoise

BLUE

Cobalt Blue

Azure

Prussian Blue

Sky

ALL COOL TINTS ARE BASED ON

INDIGO

Navy Blue

Green, Blue

Ultramarine

Violet

VIOLET

Heliotrope

Lilac

Wine

Mauve

Rose du Barry

Persian Red

More practical to-day is the simpler method of classifying colours according to their relative warmth or otherwise. This has a basis red and browns as the warm colours, and blue, green and violet as the cool colours. From these we develop grey, azure, and off-white as cool ; buff, honey, orange and certain shades of blue as medium ; vermilion, wine and all the reds and purples as warm ; and browns, such as sepia, becoming cooler again.

This classification enables the blind-maker to keep fairly strictly to an easily-memorised harmony—a cool colour with a warm colour, introducing black or white—and sometimes black and white—to sharpen the contrast or smooth over the change from warm to cool. Big, striking contrasts are obtained by using cold with warm ; lesser and often more pleasing contrasts are obtained by medium or warm and cool.

WARM AND COOL COLOURS

COLD

COOL

Off-white

French Grey

Greys—medium and dark

Pearl Grey

Azure

Lilac

Helio

Turquoise

Blue-purple

Blue

Violet

Blue-Greens Green Eau de Nil Primrose Light Yellow Stone

WARMER

WARM

Maize

Tomato

Straw

Terra Cotta

Honey

Burgundy

Fawn

Rose du Barry

Ecru

Persian Red

Buff

Vermilion

Brown

Reds

Sepia

Orange

Gold

TONE EFFECTS.

“Dominant” or “mono-harmony” is another name for the more familiar “two-tone” or “tone upon tone” effect which utilises several tones or depths of the same colour, and has been made popular in damasks, trellis and lattice designs in carpets, detached patterns in tapestries and cretonnes and innumerable moire, mottle, and jaspe effects in furnishing fabrics and floor coverings and wallpapers. Thus the tapes, or the laths of a Venetian blind may be of a lighter or darker tone of the same blue which dominates the carpet or walls or furniture coverings.

Very attractive two-tone effects can be evolved in rose and blush pink, jade green and green bice, and in brown and buffs, such as sepia and yellow ochre.

COLOUR BALANCE.

The ideal colour scheme, according to a great British artist of last century, contains all the three primary colours. Any scheme which omits one of the primaries is usually vaguely unsatisfying.

For instance, a few years ago there was a vogue for brown and blue colour schemes. These omitted nature’s favourite and indispensible background, green ; and most people—even those who professed admiration for the blue and brown combination—knew by instinct that the scheme was unbalanced, imperfect, unnatural. The classic example of perfect colour balance, of course, is the traditional “red and blue” Turkey carpet ; here all the primaries are included, and the result proved so thoroughly pleasing that for almost a hundred years the red and blue Turkey was regarded as the only suitable floor-covering for dining room, hall, and stair.

Other examples of perfect colour balance, expressed by craftsmen gifted with the colour instinct, yet knowing nothing of theory, are to be found in Persian rugs, Paisley shawls and Elizabethan embroidery.

To-day the manufacturers of block prints, tapestries, and certain high-grade carpets, have an excellent sense of colour balance and the blind-maker can hardly go wrong if he studies some modern examples of such craftsmanship in his efforts to cultivate a practical sense of colour.


Venetim blind with roseDu-CoF' tapes, and rose curtains and seat covers, an idea for the dressing room.

HARMONY WITH EXISTING DECOR.

In most cases, however, the blind-maker finds the colour scheme complete when he is commissioned to supply Venetian blinds, so that all he need do is advise on the choice of colour in laths and ladder tapes. As a general rule the use of large expanses of solid colour is to be avoided ; which means that only “tints”—i.e., cream, off-white, beige, pearl grey—are suitable for the laths, leaving exciting, vivid, striking, attractive contrasts for the ladder tape. It is usually a good plan to match the walls with the laths, or, at least, choose some neutral tint (such as cream or pearl grey) which can be used throughout the entire house, giving a uniform appearance from the outside.

EXTERIOR EFFECTS.

Then the outside tape colours can be varied to suit the outside woodwork, which may be green or black, or blue, or brown. The inside tape colour is then selected to emphasise or contrast with some tone in the walls or carpet or coverings, always remembering that the colour so chosen is to be most effective in artificial light. For this reason the warm colours are more effective, except in tropical countries where cool green, or still cooler blue, is preferable to rose or brown.

Finally there are white and black, both useful for sharpening the colour contrast and obtaining a more vivid effect with certain shades. In a room with ivory walls and black woodwork, the Venetian Blinds might have ivory laths with black tapes.

If walls are rose with cream woodwork, and the furniture has coverings of a two-tone rose w'hile the carpet is almost plain cream, then rose ladder tape will emphasise the warmth of the apartment, while cream tape will tend to make the window seem lighter and larger in effect.

The list of practical, interesting and effective combinations has by no means been exhausted, and wide scope still exists for the blind-maker who brings to bear upon this task a little enterprise and taste.


Skilful use of “ Du-Col" tapes for Venetians in a modern English entrance hull and for the light over door Transonic.

COLOURS AND THE COMPASS.

Rooms with different aspects, i.e., facing the four cardinal points of the compass—North, South, East or West, and in-between variations, are responsive to different colour schemes.

Lights from the North and East are cool lights and rooms receiving these lights will appreciate warm colours.

Rooms facing South and West receive a warmer light and will therefore be agreeable to cooler colours.

The warm colours are those which extend from yellow through red and orange to reddish-purple. This range might also include a yellow, slightly inclining towards green.

The cool colours are from green through green-blue, blue, violet to blue-purple.

Of course, these two scales include all greyed hues. Thus the warm area includes all warm browns, rusts, etc., while the cool area includes the deep bottle greens, pale eau-de-nils, amethysts, etc.

Tone contrasts.

A contrast of tone is good when used properly, and two or three tones of one colour are always safe, but if it is impossible to get a matching colour, a good contrast is better than a bad match.

Colours in juxtaposition affect one another. For example, if blue is placed next to grey, the grey will appear slightly yellowish, owing to the principle of induced hue. If, however, red is placed next to the same grey, the grey would appear greenish by the same principle.

Black, by contrast, often helps to produce a better colour scheme, but use it sparingly, as whilst it forms an easy method of enhancing the brilliance of another colour when placed next to it, it is apt to look spotty unless used carefully.

Suggestions.

Violent contrasts should be avoided, but bright touches of colour—either toning or contrasting—may be incorporated in isolated objects—as pottery, glass, cushions, etc.

For north rooms—use rust, browns, yellow and yellowish-greens and the warmer beiges. Colours like tangerine may be used sparingly.

In south rooms—ivory, light apple or almond greens, greys and soft enamel blues may be used, but some rooms will demand lavender, soft rose hues and delicate olive greens. Copper or brass bowls are effective.

East and west rooms may be furnished by a combination of the cool colours suggested for south rooms and the warm colours for north rooms.

West rooms may have such colours as peach, blue-greens, grey and gold. This applies when blue is the dominant note.

East rooms could have soft browns, light orange, or yellow-greens, and any of the warmer neutrals may be used according to personal taste.

Neutrals are colours which are not decided colours, they are really tinted greys or tinted natural colours, the latter being usually referred to as beige.

These neutrals vary, for although they contain no pronounced colour, they must contain a slight predominance of one of the primary colours—red, blue or yellow'.

Thus we have lavender-grey w'hen red and blue predominate over the yellow7, pinky-beige w'hen red with yellow7 predominate over the blue.

These neutrals require just as great care in selection as more pronounced colours.

For this reason the greyed effect of some of the modern light furniture demands the exact complement in furnishing—thus pink usually looks insipid, as do certain kinds of blue, but green of sufficient strength and slightly yellow7 will harmonise and look cheerful.

H5


Black and white are not regarded by some people as colours, but they form admirable foils if used correctly and in the right quantity.

White contrasted with green and blue makes the two latter colours appear more lively, but as white reflects all colour, care must be taken not to use too much.

Black, which absorbs all light, makes some colours appear more vivid when placed near them. For instance, orange is intensified considerably by such juxtaposition, owing to the fact that orange has the greatest luminosity of any colour.

Generally speaking, any colour may be used in furnishings if used skilfully as regards tone and quantity. However, purple especially, and also certain deep blues—red, too, by reason of being a physical colour—should be used sparingly.

SOME COLOUR COMBINATIONS.

Two-colour combinations :

Ecru with Golden Brown or Almond Shell or Rust.

Parchment or French Beige with Nutmeg or Pompadour or Cambridge Blue or Old Rose.

String with Crushed Strawberry or Olive Green.

Oyster Grey with Mistletoe or Crushed Strawberry or Raspberry.

Silver Grey with Calamine blue or Apple

or Cambridge Blue.



Venetians with harmonisingDu-Col” tapes matching curtains, upholstery and carpet. The head rails of Venetians are concealed by a cornice moulding.


Charming effect attained by usingDu-Col” tapes for I cnetians with attractive drapes, for a private cocktail bar.


PLATE IV


Colour Harmony for a Drawing Room. The walls and woodwork are painted deep flesh pink ; the mantlepiece and furniture are waxed pine with the settee fabric blending in old Aubusson. An oyster white carpet is relieved with hand-tufted rugshells, seazceed and coral in pink, grey, cream, nigger and white. The curtains of oyster satin. The deep Cornice enables the Venetian blinds to be totally concealed when not in use—Green & Abbot Ltd.



n


Ve n etian u i n ds


The new synthetic translucent laths and the possibilities they offer in achieving fine decorative effects

Synthetic materials for Venetians

WIDE scope exists for synthetic substances in making-up Venetian blinds. Some of these substances are pressed, and others are moulded. Amongst mouldings are items such as cleat hooks and hold-fasts, which may or may not be reinforced with metal. The pressings include flat sheets, used when they first appeared as a substitute for wood panelling and as table tops ; this type however has been further developed until it forms the laths of Venetian blinds.

BAKELITE.

One of the earliest and most successful synthetic substances is Bakelite, used for blind laths by an enterprising American Company. This substance is formed of paper impregnated under certain conditions with synthetic resin, the product ultimately being a translucent sheet of specially-curved section giving it is claimed correct light diffusion and ventilation.

It is non-inflammable, unfadable, resilient and easily cleaned, occupying little space when bundled, almost ever-lasting, and non-conducting. This synthetic substance is thinner than wood but is tougher and not liable to split, warp, or crack, has a satin finish which cannot lose its dull sheen, being unaffected in any way by heat, water, spirit, acid, damp, or alcohol.

DECORATIVE VALUE.

Translucency, welcome and novel feature in Venetian blind laths, opens up interesting new possibilities in decorative treatment. Not only can the blinds now play a much more important part in the colour scheme of a room, but translucent laths impart a cheerful glow in daylight, entirely eliminating the harsh effect of a northern exposure, and also the dull, uninviting appearance so usual in bad weather.

These laths reflect heat, thus preventing the escape of warmth from an apartment in winter, and preventing the sun’s rays from becoming oppressively warm in summer-time ; always provided, of course, that the laths are adjusted accordingly.

SCIENTIFIC PROCESSES.

Although at one time a troublesome by-product in the experiments of certain research workers (more particularly those concerned with the production of dyestuffs, gas, and benzol from carbonisation of coal), the synthetic resins have only recently been developed and produced commercially.

Bayer’s discovery in 1872 proved that a hard synthetic resin could be made by combining any phenol and any aldehyde under certain conditions, and that this hard resin could be made fusible. Later Dr. Baekeland’s research showed howphenol and formaldehyde could be combined to form a substance capable of production commercially. This discovery was acknowledged by the name “Bakelite”—now almost a household word in U.S.A. as well as in England and the Empire.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF MANUFACTURE.

The manufacture of synthetic resins is being carried on by many different firms to-day, and the processes involved are regarded as highly confidential.

Phenols in crystal form reach the factory in drums or tank wagons and are immediately emptied into storage tanks. A 40 per cent, solution of Formaldehyde in water also arrives in drums and is pumped into a separate battery of tanks holding from 2,000 to 4,000 gallons. The two components are brought together in kettles of stainless steel, fitted with jackets and are steam heated. A stirring device is fitted to each kettle to ensure efficient mixing.

The active formation of the resinous material is produced by the phenomenon known as Condensation. 1 o effect this, an accurate amount of alkali is added, usually in the form of ammonia, and heated under pressure for a given length of time, according to the nature or viscosity of the resin.

In producing resin for impregnating paper which is ultimately to be made into blind laths, a quantity of solvent is added as soon as the material resembles treacle in consistency.

This alcohol solution is transferred to a bath through which runs a roll of paper. The paper passes slowly through this bath, so that all its pores absorb the resin, saturating the very fibres and penetrating through and through, until the paper is thoroughly impregnated.

Rollers then lead the paper to an enclosed and heated chamber or oven ; this at once amplifies the impregnation and, at the same time, causes the alcohol to evaporate. At this stage the paper weighs nearly twice its original weight, so heavily is it impregnated. The paper is next dried and carefully examined for any slight imperfections ; it is then cut into standard sizes and stored for use in making laminated sheets.

NON-INFLAMMABLE RESULTS.

To make the laminated sheets from which blind laths are made, several sheets of impregnated paper are laid, one on top of the other, and placed between large metal plates and then stacked in a hydraulic press. The application of intense heat and a pressure of 2 tons per sq. in. unite the separate sheets of paper into a single laminated sheet, paper and resin having undergone a chemical change so that they are now non-inflammable, constituting an entirely new substance with all the features already mentioned as being of such value, practical and decorative, in modern blind laths.

RELIEF EMBOSSED EFFECTS.

If the surface of the steel plate has a pattern or shape, then the surface of the laminated sheet bears a corresponding impression. It is a simple matter, therefore, to produce laminated sheets with a wood grain, or marbled or jaspe effect, or reproducing the appearance of a woven fabric. Similarly by using specially shaped metal plates, the laminated sheets are given a section which produces laths of the most suitable shape for diffusion of light and ventilation. Giving the necessary colour to the sheet is merely a question of introducing colouring matter to tint the resin at the appropriate stage of production.

SAVING OF WEIGHT, BULK AND PROCESSES.

Synthetic laths, made in this way from resin impregnated paper, being lighter, less bulky, and more consistent in quality, will probably replace the wood type in time. This synthetic lath is not liable to split when holes for the cords are cut, nor need its adoption involve any big alterations in the lay-out of either machine shop or assembly department, but the finishing shop is simplified to a certain extent by eliminating lath painting machines. Nor need the ends of laths be sprayed after cutting to size, as the resinous material has no exterior coating or finish but retains its solid colour through and through.


An endeavour to catch the translucency of Venetian laths, within the limits of two colour inks only.

Spray painting booths, however, are required for finishing the head, tilt and bottom rails and fascia boards. In due course, no doubt, all rails and fascia boards will be constructed wholly from synthetic material, but meantime only the laths utilise this new substance.

Less floor space is occupied by the drying process, as only the rails require drying. The nett result, then, is to accelerate production, as laths can be stocked in bulk lengths, all ready to be cut and passed to the assembly department without the two processes which occupy most time, viz., painting and drying.

WIDE RANGE OF COLOURS.

With the introduction of metal laths came a trend towards standardising one or two very light colours—ivory, for example, and white or cream—and to rely solely upon richly-coloured tapes as a means of bringing the blind into harmony with the decorative scheme. By utilising the new synthetic laths, however, a wider range of colours is brought within reach amongst the more popular being post office red, burgundy, navy blue, nile green, sunshine yellow and torquoise blue.

This offers interesting alternatives : for example, in a blue and cream room the blinds may have cream laths and blue tapes, or blue laths and cream tapes : again, laths may be light blue and tapes dark blue, or vice versa : laths may be cream and the tapes a rich cream, or honey, or sunshine yellow, or gold.

ADVANTAGES OF TRANSLUCENCY.

Most interesting and valuable of all possibilities, perhaps, is this new translucent quality, so far exclusive to the synthetic lath. It brings an entirely new factor to bear in the colour scheme, viz., an expanse of glowing, lively colour when the blind is lowered, partly or wholly, in daylight. This colourful glow varies in intensity according to the degree of sunshine but always exists to some extent, even in dull weather.

Translucent laths are most useful in overcoming the harsh light which so often enters at the top of a window, particularly in rooms with north, north-east, and north-west exposures. In such cases, sunshine yellow laths will tint the light and soften it, if not entirely eliminate the hard, cold effect, when the blinds are lowered to an extent of 12 in. to 18 in. or more.

EFFECTS OF ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL LIGHT.

The translucency is more effective in rooms with a sunny exposure. Here rose, green, and blue can all be utilised to advantage so that the laths not only help in controlling air direction and in diffusing light, but also tint the light and set the window aglow with rich yet subdued colours. In choosing lath colours, therefore, it becomes necessary to consider the effect (a) normally, and (b) with the blinds partly or wholly lowered and utilising the translucent qualities. In (a) effect at night is the main consideration. Colours must be chosen to harmonise with the interior decoration in artificial light.

In (b) a deep, rich colour may be chosen in the knowledge that it will appear much lighter and brighter when sunlight brings out the lath’s translucent quality.

EXTERNAL NIGHT EFFECTS.

Less important perhaps, but still an interesting factor is the appearance of translucent blinds from outside, after dark, when artificial light from inside adds a new beauty to the exterior, compared at times to that of stained glass. A house begins to express individuality, standing out attractively from neighbouring buildings, its glowing colourful windows with their rich effect indicating something of the warm hospitality awaiting guests as they approach. Translucent blinds give individuality as much to suburban villas as to country residences: and on this account alone they present profitable sales appeal.

HORIZONTAL BANDS OF VARYING COLOUR.

So far, laths have been made from the same colour for each blind. Yet a well-designed Venetian blind can often substitute for outside blinds and awnings, so there is no reason why the laths should not form a pattern in horizontal stripes as gay and colourful as the tickings used for awnings. A blind might have three laths in cream colour, five of green, two of black, three of red, and so on, with tapes of green or cream or red.

Many attractive combinations can be evolved from the range of synthetic lath colours, each quite different from any other and designed to suit the interior colour scheme. See page 156. For an example of synthetic materials used for Venetians, see Appendix.


Aii artistic English exam file of l 'enetian with laths of two tunes of rose alternating, in harmony with the soft furnishing ; whilst the tapes are in a third shade of rose to match the wall decoration.

—shaped Venetian blinds

Window Head Shapes


Methods of dealing with Transome, Round' Headed, Semi - circular and Gothic - Headed Windows; also Skylights, Drapery Heads and Valance Blinds.

For Transomes and Shaped Heads

IN addition to straightforward Venetian Blinds and those mitred for bow windows and angle windows, other windows of varying top shapes are being equipped with Venetians to-day.

Such windows present problems and need special and careful treatment and the following notes will be helpful.

TRANSOMES.

Windows with transome openings with square heads may have a single blind fixed at the top of the window operated to drop down from top to bottom without reference to the transome rail.

This method may be used also w'here a window is roundheaded, semi-circular or Gothic headed—except that it usually means fixing the head rail on the inner room wall inside the window and well above the top of window opening.

These present no variation from normal practice except that the Venetian laths should be extended well beyond the opening of the window at each side to shut out light.

When fixed in windy districts or where a maximum of silence is desirable such as hospitals, nursing homes, etc., it is advantageous to use channel guides.

TRANSOME RAIL FIXING.

But the most frequently used method is to fix the head rail of the main Venetian blind at the transome, keeping it and the tilt rail as inconspicuous as possible. The main blind then opens up to transome level.

For the window space above the transome, various methods are indicated.

For instance, another shorter working Venetian of the same character and tape-spacing as the main blind may be fixed at the top of the window, dropping when fully extended to meet the head rail of the lower blind at the transome. This enables the upper blind also to be raised or lowered and tilted to give adjustments for both light and air.

Transomes


TRANSOME RAIL FIXING.

This permits of the laths of the top section to he adjusted at a different angle to those of the lower blind, according to volume of light and air desired.

In other cases, it may be preferable to hold the upper blind permanently in its position by channel guides and by “holddown” or “sill” brackets fixed at the transome rail.

The tilting mechanism of such top blinds is sometimes operated by a metal rod which gives remote control and eliminates the extra cord or head chain, not always convenient in offices, factories and large buildings.

Care in designing the two sections will produce a transome and window blind with the effect of a single blind, identical in efficiency and appearance, apart from any conditions which may prevent the top transome blind from raising and lowering.

In the latter, when the lower blind is raised, it appears as if there is only one blind, half-raised. It is necessary, of course, to match lath colours and tapes and cords accurately, and to renew' the tapes and cords in both blinds at the same time. Tape intervals, too, must be exactly equal in both blinds.

SWING TRANSOMES AND DOORS.

Venetian blinds for transomes that swing into the room should be equipped with rod guides. These guides consist of small sw ivel rings, securely attached to the ends of the laths and w'hich operate on a " rod holding the blind firmly to the sash at all times. See page 89.

A similar method is preferable for doors, since it prevents the blind from flapping as the door is opened or shut, but in no way interferes with the working on the blind or the door.

It is also recommended for use with blinds exposed to strong winds.

Ahvays obtain the actual size of the glass. It is wrise also to give the distance from the edge of the glass to the nearest point of any hardware which occurs on the transome sash or door.

iS9


ROUND-HEADED, SEMI-CIRCULAR and GOTHIC HEADED WINDOWS.

Window with either rounded, semi-circular or Gothic headed top sections, need special care when fitted with Venetians.

It is often advisable to treat the shaped aperture above the transome as a unit with a fixed Venetian in keeping with the larger Venetian which has its head rail fixed at transome level.

It is necessary carefully to make a cardboard pattern or template the exact size and shape of the top opening in which the blind is to fit.

There are two ways of filling the section of Venetian blind which comes above the transome, or squared across member, on which the head rail of the working Venetian is fixed.

A.    The horizontal types, with laths set at a tilt of 45

degrees angle, housed into a solid Circular or Gothic shape sawn wood frame, ij"Xif" in section, shaped to fit against the window. See page 161.

The tapes should be renewed when the tapes of the wrorking blind below are renewed.

The frame should be screwed to the window frame with long screws.

B.    “Sunburst” type. The laths are set fanwise, or on sun-ray plan, radiating at suitable angles from the central point of the transome rail, and fixed into position by means of grooves or slots cut into a solid sawn wood frame of section ij"xif" or such other section as may suit the particular window, and shaped to fit space by copying a pattern or template carefully cut in cardboard.

The central point may be covered by a semi-circular boss, plain or ornamental to suit the room. See page 162.


FOR ROUND-HEADED WINDOW, ABOVE TRANSOME This sketch indicates the horizontal type of fixed I enetian laths set in a semi-circular head above transome, with ladder ta[>es matching the main Venetian blind, in colour and position.

ROUND WINDOW HEAD—WITH “SUNBURST”


GOTHIC SHAPED WINDOW HEADS.

These need special thought regarding the arcs to be filled in and how best to adapt either the horizontal fixed laths or “sunburst” radial type and great care in making the template or pattern shape before cutting the wood frame is essential.


Sketch of aSunbursttype, fitted to Gothic head, above transonic.


Charming treatment of staircase window with round head, utilizing curtains to cover the space above transom*, from which I ’enetian blind is hung.


Cornice and Drapery Treatments

FACIA and DRAPERY HEADS.

Various types of heads are standardised by individual blind-makers, the simplest being merely a flat facia, usually fixed between the window jambs and concealing the blind operating mechanism.

FACIA.

The facia projects no more than is necessary to screen the mechanism—and, perhaps, the tilt lath—so that it usually forms an integral part of metal heads and head-rails.

In wooden installations, however, the facia is usually an extra. Facias may have a return of anything from z\ in. to 4 in. when the window architecture does not allow fixing between the jambs. In depth the facia may be anything from z\ in. to 5 in. outside face measurement. It is finished to correspond with the main laths, and may be enriched by mouldings, flutings or carvings ; the edge may be scalloped or van dyke edged or shaped to repeat some decorative motif in the furniture or mural treatment.

While enhancing the appearance of a Venetian blind, the facia is kept as close as practicable to head-rail and tilt-lath, protecting the entire mechanism from dust and damp. Mitred facias, reinforced with metal corners, are sometimes decorated to correspond with some other metal work in the room.

DRAPERY HEAD.

The drapery head is a more elaborate fitting, the projection being sufficient to allow a curtain rod or rail to be fixed in a position for supporting glass or heavy or dress curtains. In certain cases a light rod supports glass curtains ; in others “Rufflette” curtain rail serves to support dress or heavy curtains. A few drapery heads accommodate both rod and rail, the latter being suitable for the suspension of either dress or draw curtains.

Drapery heads are normally fixed to the wall and project beyond the window casing. This projection varies in individual designs, but the amount of projection is not so important as the space available for fitting the curtain rod and/or rail. The drapery head has a return, and in width it extends to a point from 3 in. to 12 in. beyond the main laths.



Two examples of Drapery head box or cornice —by National.


Cornice and Drapery Treatments


Drapery Head—continued

For example the drapery head may be extended far enough on each side to allow heavy draw curtains to be drawn back, clear of the window opening, so as to admit the maximum amount of sunlight and fresh air.

This is a most important feature as it ensures maximum ventilation by means of Venetian blinds, the laths of which can be adjusted within fine limits to exclude hot sun and admit fresh air.

The drapery head may consist of a vertical member secured to the head rail which is wider than standard size, and strengthened to correspond with its heavier duty. In this form it is an elaboration of the facia.

Another type, however, is the drapery “box” or cornice, a complete unit in itself, mounted above and independently of the Venetian blind. The cornice is made of wood finished to correspond with the main laths or with the window woodwork ; or it may be painted to match the walls, or cellulosed to correspond with metal work or furniture coverings or rugs. It is usually provided with a bold return and being a “box”— has a dust-proof top. Inside are brackets for suspending the curtain rods and/or rail.

One design of drapery head, however, is constructed integral with the Venetian blind and has a drapery rod with ample projection for curtains, as well as returned ends. The entire unit, comprising Venetian blind, head rail, drapery rod, and brackets, is held in position on the wall by a single pair of brackets. After these brackets are firmly screwed in position the Venetian blind head-rail, with drapery rod attached, is placed in position. A locking device prevents the head-rail from moving. Curtains are then attached to the rail, and the cornice slips into position. End fixing brackets for the curtain rod and rail are provided if necessary.

A well-designed pelmet of fabric affords opportunity for a charming ensemble.

Another idea that is sometimes used with Venetians is the Extension Swinging Crane—an artistic swivel arm which supports the curtains, see page 170. Hold-backs for adjusting the dress curtains are made in a variety of materials and designs. See page 170.


Drapery Head, with Venetian head rail and curtain supports concealed under cornice.



A restful use of thin net or muslin curtains, with dress curtains on supports. At top is a built-in facia, behind which a complete Venetian head rail and laths can be nested out of sight when fully drawn up. If desirable, an outside Venetian or awning can be fitted above the window externally.


Feminine motif achieved with a “pinched head pleated I alance and net or muslin side curtains to match the dressing table material.



EXTENSION SWINGING ARM BRACKETS for Curtains. Useful where facia or drapery heads are not desirable. May be fixed to top of window casing at one or both sides of windmc - by Kirsch.




Interesting treatment of semi-circular window with valance and individual curtains at intervals, combining the virtues of Venetians with colourful fabrics.

Fa l a n c e    Bl in ds

For wide windows, such as shops, workrooms, offices and factories, etc., it is at times necessary to have a fixed Venetian valance at the top.

Valance blinds are a form of Venetians which neither tilts nor lowers, but retains the other advantages of Venetian blinds, e.g., admitting light at the window top—light which can be directed to and then reflected from the ceiling—and adding a highly decorative effect. The laths are held into a predetermined angle.

Valance blinds also serve as a screen (i) behind which artificial light units and their reflectors may be mounted, or (2) to conceal awkward structural features of the building or window frames.

The laths are of metal or wood, usually 2§ in. wide, but occasionally of 2 in. and if in., held in position by metal brackets with slots arranged at an appropriate angle, supporting anything from 6 or more laths. Brackets are made to hold six laths in approximately one foot in depth, and each additional foot of bracket will hold seven further laths.

Brackets can be cut to give exact depth required. Finished in chromium plating or painted to match surrounding woodwork or walls, these brackets are screwed or bolted to the ceiling but in special cases may have face fixing flanges as well, 9 in. from the ends of the laths. A maximum of 30 in. is allowed between brackets supporting wood laths, but longer stretches may be permitted in the case of light, thin metal laths.

If fitted to a window the lower part of which is equipped with an orthodox Venetian blind, then the valance blind should have the brackets so placed as to continue with line of ladder tapes supporting the Venetian blind.

The brackets allow laths to be withdrawn for cleaning. An attractive appearance is often obtained by providing the valance blind with tapes which—although non-operative— correspond in position and colour with those of the orthodox Venetian blind, and thus complete a colour and line scheme.


Modern shop with fixed Venetian valance at top of windows, also interesting use of ordinary Venetian blinds at back of windows for easy entry as well as artistic effect.


A standard metal J7alance Bracket holding laths at a pre-determined angle. Some Valance Brackets are hinged at top, enabling the Valance to swing back from the window for easy removal of laths.

METAL

TYPE

SKYLIGHT


WOODEN

TYPE

SKYLIGHT


i74


Venet i a n S ky light s

Skylight Venetian blinds involve an entirely different principle and demand careful measurement and installation if they are to be efficient.

The first demand for such blinds is efficiency, for such blinds serve to control light and ventilation in many factories and important buildings where any breakdown of blind equipment would interfere seriously with production.

Skylight blinds are made of metal and wood laths, but metal has come to be regarded as the more suitable. The metal type has laths, supports and mechanism constructed entirely of metal, a typical installation being shown in page 175.

Specially designed brackets to carry cross-bars and tilt-laths, are screwed to the skylight frame at a point 12 in. to 16 in. from the end of the skylight.

The tilt-lath carries a complete worm-gear assembly which may be placed at the top or bottom of a sloping skylight, or at either end of a horizontal daylight, or between the non-operative cross-bars of a wide skylight.

Instead ot ladder tape, used in vertical hanging Venetian blinds, the skylight blind has two or more supporting bars, the ends of which fit into an opening in the tilt arm. Metal laths are held by clips projecting from the supporting bars.

The tilting mechanism employs an endless worm meshing with a segment, the two being mounted in a housing of pressed steel. This assembly is attached to one end of the supporting bar and tilt lath, and operates all the laths by means of a bead chain or tilt cord.

If preferable, a metal rod can be used to operate the tilt mechanism, with remote control.

Wooden skylight blinds are mounted in a special frame which is screwed or bolted directly into the skylight surround of metal or wood. This frame has supporting bars, one for every 18 to 22 in. in the blind width. A steel operating arm or bar runs at right angles to the main laths and carries operating arms and sprockets over which a chain passes. When this chain is pulled, the sprockets revolve and they move the operating bar to which wood laths are attached. Some blind-makers prefer to operate the tilting with a tilt pole. See page 176

Diagram of a metal Venetian skylight blind with tilting bars instead of tapes, adjustment by worm gear operated by bead-chain. Small drawings in circles show the method of fixing.

DIAGRAMS of WOODEN SKYLIGHT VENETIANS —by Western


Figs. 1 and 2 TOP CORNERS, show cross-sections A and G of the framework of |"X2|" pieces. F casing strip 2J" wide to allow cross-piece G to rest upon it. E is J" X tilting bars.

Fig. 3 SECTION THROUGH SKYLIGHT WELL.

Fig. 4 PLAN OF VENETIAN. B, friction arrangement of metal lever, held between two strips of metal by means of set screws and coil springs. C, tilting arm with ring at end operated by tilting pole.

Fig. 5 ISOMETRIC VIEW OF VENETIAN. D, £" cold rolled steel rod, connecting tilting bar underneath the laths.


Awnings, Sun-blinds, Loggias. Outdoor advantages of Venetians.


Venetian Awnings

The orthodox type of awning excludes fresh air and shuts out the view. It cannot be adjusted to allow for wind direction, or the ever-changing slant of the sun’s rays. The fabric fades and rots, so that it must be renewed every season or two.

All these disadvantages can be overcome by utilizing Venetian blind principles in the design and construction of awnings.

The Venetian allows immediate adjustment and provides finger-light control of ventilation. The laths can be adjusted to give a view of the garden or countryside while still excluding the sun’s rays, and may provide perfect privacy for people in the room. The angle of the laths can be altered to correspond with the rising or setting sun, and with changes in the wind.

The Venetian awning has a unique advantage in that it may be used either as an outside blind or as an awning. In the latter position the lower end is supported by extension arms, projecting anything from 6 in. to 3 ft. from the window sill. The triangular space between blind edge and wall can be filled in with an expanding apron or shield if desired.




WEATHER RESISTING FACTORS.

Outside blinds and awnings, having to resist the combined action of dew, sun and rain, or salt-laden sea air and heavy gales, it is essential that the materials used should be chosen for ability to resist all such conditions for long periods without much attention.

Although this might seem to demand all-metal construction, yet laths of Oregon cedar and Swedish pine (in a frame and operating box of pine) have given excellent service in past years. Wood lath Venetian blinds, can be fitted without any framework, apart from a stout bottom rail and the usual type of extension arm.

POSITIONING.

Venetian awnings are at their best when architectural conditions allow the operating box and laths to fit neatly inside the window reveal, preferably supported from underneath the soffit.

POSITIONING.

Where this is impracticable—as in the case of round-headed or Gothic-type windows—the operating box may be mounted on the wall, outside and above the window opening. In any case, the operating gear must be adequately protected from the elements, and firm anchorages provided for brackets, arms, and all other supports.

When fitted into the window reveal, a certain amount of daylight may be excluded at the top, by the operating box and laths when the blind is raised, this being one reason for advocating metal laths which occupy less space.

In many cases, however, this part of the window is screened by a valance or pelmet on the inside of the room. In others, it is no great disadvantage to cut off light entering near the ceiling which so often reflects a harsh trying glare.

ASSEMBLY POINTS.

Although Venetian awnings are assembled in much the same way, as interior Venetian blinds, yet there are certain vital differences, mainly due to the fact that one is fitted outside and the other inside the room.

One important factor here is that laths must be protected, as much as practicable, when raised ; and so it has become usual for awnings to withdraw behind a box or facia which may or may not be integral with the operating box.

In the simpler types of wood lath installations, this facia is merely an apron of wood extending right across the upper part of the blind framework, anything from 12 in. to 18 in. deep, and forming a protection for the operating gear as well as for the laths, when raised. This apron hinges with the framework when the arm extensions are used.

Behind the apron is a head rail with tilt lath, automatic stop action, main laths, and cords for controlling lath position and height.

When the blind is raised, the bottom rail lies at right angles to the apron and helps to prevent rain and dust from reaching the laths, head rail, and operating gear.


Awning of the Florentine type with head rail mechanism and nesting for laths (when blind not in use), covered by an artistic facia.    Side curtains can be fixed if desired.

ASSEMBLY POINTS.

Venetian awnings of this type, usually fitted to moderate-sized windows, are inexpensive, efficient, and easy to operate, a decided improvement upon the fabric variety.

The mechanism, laths, and framework are often supported by three simple but stout angle brackets, screwed to the window casing or to plugs in the wall, so that the complete blind may be taken down at the end of autumn, stored in summer-house or garage, and replaced in the spring again.

It will simplify this work if brass or copper or stainless steel screws are used.

SPECIFICATION FOR TYPICAL WOOD LATH

INSTALLATION

FRAMEWORK. Of thoroughly seasoned cedar (Oregon) pine, or teak, with channel guides recessed into or applied on surface of side members, hold-down brackets to bottom member or lowest part of side members, all joints thoroughly well made, edges rounded and sand-papered, finished to correspond with laths and facia.

LATHS. 2§ inx§ in. cedar or basswood, with clips every third lath to fit into channel guides, finished to resist weather.

HEAD RAIL. 2§ in.xij in. basswood.

TILT LATH. 2$ in.xf in. with pin-end clips to fit into tilt lath brackets.

BOTTOM RAIL. 2f in.xf in.

ACTION. All metal parts to be rust-proofed. Tilt bar brackets with locking arm. Automatic stop action with division between dogs. Pulleys : rust-proofed, steel ballbearings or of lignum vitae or oil-impregnated.

LADDER TAPE. “Fleur-de-lis” brand, “Linen quality” for outside blinds, size “D.”

This specification refers to the simplest and smallest type of Venetian awning.

,111

m

E

VMM

l*J

An English Home where awnings are well suited to windows and loggia.

LARGER AWNINGS.

Larger awnings require a built-in operating box which does not move with the awning, but is fixed permanently to the window casing or wall : the awning emerges from the lower edge of this box and—when the extension arms are in position for swinging out—it makes an angle with the wall from that point.

These permanent awnings are also of utility in winter-time, to exclude high winds and protect the glass.

An important point is that existing installations with fabric can have metal Venetian laths substituted without renewing the extension arms and other fixtures, provided these are in good condition.

Maintenance costs of Venetians are lower than in the case of awnings of fabric which has to be renewed frequently.

METAL LATH TYPE.

The metal lath type of awning, although costing more initially, is admittedly cheaper to maintain over a period, and claims to be completely fireproof and impervious to the effects of any climate.

During the past ten years aluminium has proved thoroughly satisfactory, and in one instance wrhere this metal has been used for laths, the construction is entirely all-metal, or almost so. Apart from occasional renewal of operating cords, the cost of yearly maintenance has been nil.

INDIVIDUAL EFFECTS.

A metal lath awning should be designed to suit individual window’s, w’ith mechanism, laths, and installation details all chosen in view' of the conditions under which the aw'ning is to operate.

The operating box or head may be fixed in the reveal or on face of the w’all with a projection of i in. to 3 in. beyond each side of the window opening. The former usually makes a better and neater job, especially in small houses, and where there is accommodation for the operating box and laths without excluding any necessary daylight.

Yet face-mounting has advantages also ; it can add appreciably to the appearance of a house or block of flats, especially if skilful use is made of the colour contrasts now' within reach of anyone who has access to modern metal lath stocks. Face-mounting also has the effect of emphasising a window which may have appeared insignificant, or out of proportion to the remainder of the building.

By careful designing, a window may be increased or reduced in size, apparently, according to the size and mounting chosen for an awning.


A modern house, where a large Venetian awning outside living room offers many advantages.


The operating box comprises a steel head, forming three sides of a 4 in. square, although in larger awnings this may be 5 in., or even 6 in. in exceptional cases. Below this head is a tilt lath, the position of which is so fixed as to exclude all light between it and the lower edge of the operating box.

To this tilt lath is fastened ladder tape carrying laths in the usual way. A bronze cord of 150 lbs. tensile strength is firmly secured to the bottom rail and runs upwards, through holes in the laths to raising mechanism fixed in the head or operating box and controlled from inside the room.

METAL TAPES.

In the place of a woven ladder tape, however, one design employs a series of bronze alloy links, non-corrosive and so designed as to fasten together and form a metal tape, yet capable of locking each lath individually in position, eliminating any possibility of rattle in a high wind.

These metal links—or, as the manufacturers term it a “metal tape”—claims to be practically everlasting. New links can be inserted at any time without dismantling the awning. The range of colours is sufficiently wide to satisfy modern decorators. The links fold up and nest in a remarkably small space, and an 11 ft. awning will require only 1 ft. 5 in. space when raised. (Bundling space 17 in.) The metal laths are made of a reinforced aluminium alloy and retain their rigidity almost indefinitely.

OPERATION DETAILS.

Raising and tilting mechanisms are mounted in the operating head, spot-welded in position ; this method eliminates any risk of screw fastenings coming adrift or rusting through and breaking off. Extension arms of the usual awning type, are galvanised and then finished to correspond with the finish of laths and operating box.

The Venetian type of awning nests or bundles and so is entirely different from the older type of awning with a fabric (ticking, holland, linen, canvas, or other suitable material) which winds round a roller of wood or metal concealed in the operating box or head or facia. There are many types of such awnings, so that it becomes quite easy to choose one suitable for any given window, although casement windows opening out presented difficulties.


Loggias

The use of Venetian blinds for Loggias offers wide scope in securing a maximum of efficiency and comfort in adjusting light without hindering the circulation of air. By using carefully-chosen colour schemes for facias, laths and tapes, satisfying colour harmonies in keeping with the exterior of the house and its setting are achieved.

s

111p'

nodern Loggia with uniquely appropriate

e net tans



Interior of Loggia at night, with Venetians lowered and the electric radiant unit under window sill su'itched on.



Interior vine of the I-oggia illustrated on page 191 showing the raising and Imeering mechanism on left, and the centre channel guide.

Close-up of the winding mechanism for raising and lowering the Venetians.



Ideal adaptation of Venetians to a Loggia of a country residence. Note the centre channel guide which is of wood, enamelled ; easily removable and prevents swaying of the Venetian by the wind.


Use of Venetians for exterior blind of a Town House in London.


A suggestion for making a Spanish type awning, with stiff angled side pieces which, when removed, allow Venetian blind to drop vertical at bottom in order to withdraw Venetian into facia box.





The varieties of timber used in America and Britain. How timber is seasoned and stored. Stocking timber in the blind workshop. Standard siz,es of stocks.


Ch oice of IVooJs

i IMHI K    HE timbers used in U.S.A. for making Venetian blinds include

Oregon Cedar, Basswood and Redwood ; in Britain the best grade blinds are usually made from St. John Spruce, and the less expensive types from Columbian Pine.

These timbers have all proved thoroughly practical in that they are comparatively easy to work, do not split or splinter when cord holes are cut in the laths, take a fine, smooth finish in the white, can be painted, enamelled or lacquered, or cellu-losed, and neither split nor warp nor chip when exposed for long periods at the window top, exposed to hot sun and heavy dew, to damp frost and cold winds entering through crevices in the window casings, and to hot air (from fire or central heating equipment), which always collects near the ceiling in winter.

CEDAR


BASSWOOD


REDWOOD


The cedar, used by American blind-makers, known variously as “best white Port Orford,” “Oregon,” “Californian,” “Clear White Port Orford,” or simply “best cedar,” grows in Oregon and other north-west states, taking its name “Port Orford” from the Pacific Coast port. It belongs to the conifer order, growing to a height of over 200 ft. at times, the diameter being over 10 ft. These dimensions ensure long boards, usually free from defects and ideally suited for blinds. Cedar resembles the English wood known as “Lawson’s Cypress” and is a bright yellow or occasionally almost white in colour, with a long, straight grain, close-knitted and regular, which enables the timber to withstand exceptional extremes of heat and cold, damp and dryness.

Basswood, also known in U.S.A. as Linden and Lime, grows widely in that country and Canada, and is often confused with—but in reality is quite distinct from—the English “Whitewood.” Basswood is a lighter and softer wood altogether, resembling the British Birch in some ways. It works easily, and although not regarded as a really strong timber for constructional purposes, it has proved capable of giving excellent service in Venetian Blind rails and laths.

Before it is made into laths Redwood undergoes a process of impregnation which claims to eliminate cracking, warping and splitting, and also to provide an ideal surface for finishing in paint or cellulose.

J94



A Columbia Pine Forest—Courtesy of the British Columbia Timber Commission


!95


Spruce, clean, almost white timber with a straight, compact grain, grows extensively in Europe, U.S.A. and Canada and serves many widely different purposes. St. John Spruce, named after the well-known New Brunswick Port from which it is exported, has become a popular timber with British blind-makers.

SPRUCE


PINE


Columbian Pine comes from British Columbia and U.S.A., has a coarser grain than any of the other Venetian Blind timbers, and is widely used for architectural woodwork in California. It may be obtained in planks up to 25 ft. in length and over 20 in. wide, and resembles pitch pine in general appearance.

Owing to the exceptional conditions in which Venetian Blinds have to operate—extremes of temperature and humidity—it is imperative that the timber be thoroughly seasoned.

SEASONING.

MOISTURE

CONTENT


Green timber, growing in the tree or after felling, contains a large proportion of sap and water, sometimes as much as 50 per cent. Sooner or later this moisture will evaporate ; and while at one time this was allowed to occur in the open air, leaving timber to season for months and years between felling and making into articles, to-day’s practice is to season the wood much more rapidly and probably more thoroughly in a kiln, with a scientific control quite impracticable with old-fashioned methods. When properly seasoned timber becomes stronger and lighter in weight, better able to resist decay and take preservatives, paints and finishes, and more likely to maintain its due shape and size under conditions in which a Venetian blind operates.

Seasoning starts from the outer surface of timber. Therefore this surface begins to shrink earlier than the inner parts. Shrinkage takes place in three different directions, and if not carefully controlled, may lead to warping which will render the timber useless for making Venetian blinds. The key to success in seasoning, then, lies in knowing how to dry the outer surface without causing the inner parts to split or “rupture.”


American Pine, growing in California. Size is indicated by the score of riders grouped around base of the “Grizzley Giant” in centre.—Courtesy of U.S. Forest Service.


SEASONING.

It may be mentioned here, perhaps, that “air drying” is now the term used to describe the process of seasoning timber by exposing it in the open air, a process as old as the use of wood itself. “Kiln drying,” on the other hand, is a modern, time-saving method rapidly becoming general throughout the trade. Both methods utilize the same process, viz ; air is circulated through a pile of timber.

One method is not necessarily always better, but kiln-drying is quicker, more easy to control, saves locking-up capital for an indefinite period, and eliminates the risk of valuable stocks being damaged or consumed by fire.

AIR DRYING

“Air-drying” has one grave disadvantage, in that it can only bring timber into equilibrium with the atmosphere at a moisture content of approximately 20 per cent. ; this figure may be taken as ideal for outside work—e.g., the exterior woodwork of a building—but if such timber be used for anything in a living room it will soon dry and shrink, probably leading to both warping and splitting. For this reason, if for no other, the timber used for making Venetian Blinds should be kiln-dried.

A SINGLE STACK WOOD DRYING KILN

Kiln Drying Essential for Venetians

THE importance of kiln drying for wood intended for use for Venetian blind work is emphasised by the fact that wood thoroughly seasoned in the open air usually contains up to 20% °f moisture. Such wood will shrink if used in normal rooms because it will continue to lose moisture until it reaches

7% t0 I2%-

Also, the long period required for air seasoning represents a serious loss of time.

Open-air seasoned wood is therefore not suitable for Venetian blinds unless it is allowed to remain long enough in the workshops or showrooms to approximate not more than 12% of moisture.

Timber for out-door work such as awnings, sun blinds, etc., is most satisfactory if dried to about 15%.

The chief factors for proper kiln drying of timber are :

1. Air circulation.

2. Heat.

3. Humidity.

4. Ventilation.

The efficiency and economy of a wood-drying kiln depends upon the manner in which the four above factors are provided for.

It is a simple matter to provide air in the kiln at a pre-determined temperature and humidity ; the real problem is to bring conditioned air into constant close contact with both sides of each board in the stack, including those in the heart of the stack.

It is obvious that the temperature of the air circulation will fall, and the humidity increase as the air progresses through the stack and those boards at the side where the air enters will dry more quickly than those at the opposite side. Therefore the air circulation must be reversible at pre-determined intervals, thus equalising the rate of drying on both sides of the stack.

In practice, this is achieved by the arrangement of propeller fans mounted at intervals along the centrally situated line shaft, either beneath the floor or overhead. This shaft can revolve in either direction so that the whole air movement can be reversed.

Figures i, 2 and 3 show the most efficient modus operandi and indicate the flow of the prepared air current, which is reversible at will.

Figure 3 indicates a double stack kiln which possesses many advantages as compared with the single stack type.

Figures 4 and 5 indicate how the air flow can be reversed by means of a fan system and properly fitted air deflectors.

Another interesting development from the point of view of reduction of initial expenditure is the condenser type of kiln as shown by illustration Figure 6. In this condenser kiln, advantage is taken of the tendency of warm air to rise and cooler air to fall.

The warm air rises between the two stacks without obstruction whilst the cooler, moist, heavy air near the side walls and condensers can also fall without obstruction.

This induces a strong transverse movement of air from the centre gangway of the kiln to the side walls through the stacks of timber.

This type of kiln is very economical, but the drying period is of course longer than in the reversible kilns.

HEAT.

In these modern kilns the heat is obtained by means of steam pipes fixed inside the kiln where the heat is required.

Its advantages over kilns where the heat is generated outside the kiln, are many.

For instance, with the external fan system, should the fan stop, the kiln cools dowrn and such fans therefore, cannot be stopped at night or at week-ends under any circumstances. Should some technical breakdown stop the fans, the temperature inside the kiln automatically falls.

With the internal generation of heat, although the fans may be stopped, the temperature does not fall and considerable drying takes place and no damage is done to the wood.

In the most efficient kilns the steam coils are of the return header type which ensures that an average temperature of the coil at any point is the same throughout the length of the coil, thus ensuring uniform heat.



HUMIDITY.

The humidity of the air in the modern kiln is obtained by blowing live steam into it by means of two perforated pipes running down the length of the building which ensures that the humidity of the kiln is the same throughout its length.

VENTILATION.

Suitable fresh air inlets and moist air outlets are provided at intervals throughout the length of the kiln. The amount of air entering or leaving the kiln is controlled by shutters, or dampers, all connected to a single push rod operated from outside the kiln.

The drying conditions can be varied from day to day as the timber loses moisture the rate of which can be ascertained by tests, and can be varied to suit all thicknesses and kinds of timber.

STACKING.

It is important that correct and careful stacking of the timber in the kiln should be arranged.

The stacks must be formed so as to present the least possible resistance to air movement. See Figure 7.

Stacks must be constructed to reduce as far as possible the distance the air has to travel in completing its circuit from and to the steam pipes, thus keeping the temperature of the air as equable as possible.

The makers and erectors of modern timber kilns are always able and willing to advise on the best method of stacking timber to meet the requirements of a particular unit.

STICKING OR SKIDDING.

To ensure proper air circulation stacking sticks or skids must be provided, made of sound material and placed in the stacks in such a manner as to be in a true vertical line one above the other. In a stack of boards they are placed about 2 ft. apart and in a stack of planks they are placed 4 ft. and upwards depending upon the thickness of the timber.

Sticks should always be placed in a stack so that the air movement is along their length and never across the air current as that would cause obstruction. See Figure 7.

Air will not pass through a stack of timber if it can flow over the top or round the ends.

Gangways must be roofed over with sheets of some kind and gaps between the stacks must be filled up in some temporary manner.

heating


COILS


CURTAINS


DAMPER


outlet ducts


24" TANS


oooo


oooo


oooooo


oooooo


STEAM JET


DEFLECTOR


FRESH AIR

INTAKE




Figs. 4 and 5 show how the fans reverse the air currents, either way, by use of Air Deflectors, at predetermined intervals of time.



KILN TRUCKS.

For economical handling the best practice is to provide a rail and truck system which is much more efficient than merely stacking directly on the kiln floor.

The time required to load and unload the kiln by hand is a matter of days—lost time from a drying point of view.

One kiln and a truck system is equal to two kilns without it, which means economy in heat production and fan operation, and in output. With trucks the filling and emptying is done within an hour. Special truck bogies are obtainable—all metal—coated with acid and moisture resisting material to give protection. See Figures 8 and 9.


Fig. 9.


DRYING TIME.

The length of time in which timber must remain in a modern kiln depends principally upon the moisture content of the wood, species, dimensions, and the degree of dryness required.

For soft woods a period of one week per inch thickness is the general guide and for hard woods two weeks per inch thickness, although in actual practice the drying period for one inch is sometimes as low as three days.

Up to 3 in. the drying period is approximately proportional to the thickness of the wood.

Full instructions for the drying of the timber and the drying period can always be obtained from the kiln maker when full details are known.

Here we give two typical schedules for i in. hard wood and i in. soft wood. The use of this table depends upon the ascertained content of moisture of the wood before drying. See Diagram Table below.

HARDWOOD

SCHEDULE

Moisture

Temperature

Temperature

Humidity Per cent.

Content

Dry Bulb

Wet Bulb

Per cent.

Degrees Fah.

Degrees Fah.

Initial

95

91

85

40

100

94

80

30

!°5

97

75

25

I IO

100

70

20

”5

100

60

15

120

100

50

10 to final

120

95

40

SOFTWOOD

SCHEDULE

Moisture

Temperature

Temperature

Humidity Per cent.

Content

Dry Bulb

Wet Bulb

Per cent.

Degrees Fah.

Degrees Fah.

Initial

100

96

86

40

no

96

60

20

“5

90

40

10 to final

120

90

3°

TEMPERATURE RECORDING.

The correct temperature is established by means of dry bulb and wet bulb thermometer or recorders.

The correct percentage of humidity in the air is obtained by blowing live steam into the kiln until the wet thermometer shows the specified temperature.

The foregoing schedules are merely representative as it is possible to dry some soft woods at a temperature as high as 180 degrees Fahrenheit.

Certain sample boards, or convenient pieces, are weighed and examined each day and when these are dry the kiln is unloaded.

KILN BUILDING.

Care should be taken with regard to materials used for building a kiln if serious and rapid deterioration is to be avoided.

Allowances must be made for expansion and contraction of the walls. The roof must be insulated against loss of heat and must be impervious to moisture.

Ordinary lime mortar is unsuitable for interior brickwork. Ordinary wooden doors are useless owing to the swelling, warping and shrinking.

Successful kiln makers avoid all these troubles not only by using the right materials but by treating woodwork and ironwork with special bituminous kiln paint.

For any serious establishment of proper wood-drying kilns the services of those who have devoted long years to the study of kiln drying should be sought and will safeguard most of the pitfalls and difficulties which arise in successfully dealing with this important branch of the Furnishing and Blindmaking Trades.

Timber merchants and sawmills, dealing in cedar, basswood, spruce and pine, usually have good stocks of timber thoroughly seasoned and suitable for blind-making purposes. Many wholesalers of hardware, too, hold big stocks and are able to supply laths, head rails, and tilt and bottom laths at either a fixed rate per 1,000 ft. or in lengths cut to the blind-maker’s order.

The more economical method is to purchase lots of 1,000 ft. or more, there being a quantity discount as a rule which increases every 5,000 ft. up to 25,000 ft. Assorted lengths may be purchased cheaply, too, from 2 ft. 6 in. to about 10 ft.

Then many sawmills will supply lengths cut to exact sizes, smoothly finished and all ready for painting or enamelling, this being the form in which many of the smaller blind-makers purchase their timber.

Certain high-grade cedars are supplied in cartons which give adequate protection in transit and also serve as a storage container in the blind-maker’s shop, keeping the timber clean and dry until it is required.

STANDARDIZE SIZES.

The demand for narrow laths is increasing, as the public become educated to the utility and economy of Venetian blinds for domestic purposes.

The standard size for laths, 2§ in., serves for almost every purpose, apart from domestic. Some blind-makers have adopted if in. as the most suitable size for private house installations, but there is much to be said for the 2 in. size which has one advantage—it simplifies the stocks of head rails for blinds with metal laths, as one stock of head rails will usually serve for all 2 in. laths be they wood or metal.

To eliminate duplication of stock, therefore, there is a decided trend towards standardising two sizes only, viz :    2§ in. for

industrial, commercial, and large house installations, and 2 in. for smaller houses and blocks of flats with small or mediumsized windows. These two sizes will meet practically every demand to-day. By concentrating upon them, the blind-maker is able to purchase larger quantities of a given size of lath and so qualify for extra discounts; he reduces his stocks and varieties of hardware, and simplifies the assembly process.

Where the blind-maker purchases none but thoroughly seasoned timber, there need be no special provision for storage in the blind workshop, apart from light racks, with plenty of space for fresh air to circulate.

These racks may have a series of divisions or partitions, so that short, medium, and long lengths may be grouped conveniently for rapid assembly and stock-taking.

Such racks must be not too near a radiator or central heating unit or hot-water piping, nor should they be located immediately adjacent to windows and doors through which cold winds may enter during the winter months. As far as possible, all timber in the racks should experience exactly the same temperature.

Timber should not be stored on end, but lying flat and supported at intervals of not less than 6 in. and not more than 2 ft. Racks should be constructed of light framework—2 in. X4 in. timber makes a thoroughly satisfactory rack—and both horizontal and vertical divisions should allow uninterrupted passage of air.

Divisions or compartments may be labelled with widths and approximate lengths of the timbers stacked therein.

WATCHING STOCKS.

Minimum stock levels may be fixed for all the fast-selling sizes so as to insure against a shortage which might delay the completion of an urgent order. The amount of stock is usually visible at a glance, so that stock records, so essential in hardware and other component parts, need not necessarily be kept.

Some responsible executive should, however, make a daily check of timber stocks, keeping a careful eye on all quantities and maintaining the necessary margin for emergency calls.


Handling and working of Woods. Prevention of warping, checking and distortion. Soft wood faults. “Raised Grain”—its cause and cure.


Woods, Handling and Working

TIMBER IDIOSYNCRASIES.

BLINDMAKERS and those interested in this enterprising and prosperous new industry, are often faced with problems in so far as timber supplies are concerned.

Not only are there few species of timber suitable for making Venetian blind laths, but these few species must be specially dried and conditioned if they are to give good service. The Venetian blind operates under exceptional circumstances, in widely differing temperatures, and must last a life-time or longer. Laths are expected to retain their original shape and condition almost indefinitely, subject of course to reasonable reconditioning from time to time ; laths must not sag or show any tendency to warp, or split or twist, nor must they exude resinous matter. The demand, too, is for light-coloured timber which facilitates the finishing processes and helps towards consistent colour in the final effect.

SOFT WOOD FAULTS.

One of the faults of softwoods is “raised grain.” This sometimes appears on laths of yellow pine, Douglas fir, and other timbers which have springwood and summerwood contrasting in the annual growth rings. Ultimately a raised figure shows conspicuously through the enamel or paint finish. Raised grain may be caused by excess pressure in planing, and by pounding of the planer knives.

The latter is one result of summerwood being forced against the softer springwood bands, distorting the growth rings. When finished, the timber may reveal no trace of uneven surface or distortion, but in due course the softer springwood tries to regain its original position, thus forcing up the summer-wood and giving the familiar “raised grain” effect.

CORRECTING RAISED GRAIN.

There is only one stage at which this trend can be arrested ; that is, during planing operations. The plane knife or blade should be keenly sharp so that the timber need not be pressed hard against the cutting edge. As a further precaution, the laths—after cutting—may be passed through a fixed-knife planing machine. This improves the first finish and reduces the risk of raised grain developing at a later period.

EXAMPLES OF RAISED GRAIN IN SOFT WOOD VENETIAN LATHS.


A.    Upper two are edgegrained laths—enamelled —after long exposure to high humidities.

B.    Lower two are flat-grained lathsenamelled after similar long exposure.

CORRECTING RAISED GRAIN.

One leading technologist recommends that a priming coat of aluminium or other composition to retard moisture formation would also go a long wray towards the elimination of raised grain.

OIL AND PITCH.

Resin, oil, pitch and similar substances exist in soft woods, and if not eliminated during drying and conditioning, are almost bound to appear sooner or later as spots of oil, or resin or pitch in quantities sufficient to cause laths to adhere together. Yet so far, no resinous timber has been completely de-resined, according to the Forest Products Laboratory in the U.S. Agriculture Department ; but certain manufacturers claim that resinous timber can be rendered completely free of pitch.

These manufacturers go further, stating that laths can be cut from this de-pitched timber and will give continuous service without any appearance of oil, resin, pitch. No known paint or enamel seal the wood fibres and so prevent the exudation of resinous substances, for indefinite periods.

Timber is often allowed to deteriorate in quality as the result of careless stacking. Amongst the points which demand investigation, when this occurs, are (i) base supports, (2) cross supports, (3) end supports, (4) spacing, and (5) protection from the elements.

BASE SUPPORTS. Lay down substantial pile bottoms, so that all timber lies perfectly flat.

CROSS SUPPORTS. Cross stickers at frequent intervals should be used to eliminate any risk of sagging.

END SUPPORTS. The ends of all boards should be adequately supported and protected by over-hanging stickers.

SPACING. All timber must be properly spaced to assist in natural drying. This helps to eliminate spotting and surface defects due to lack of adequate space between boards.

PROTECTION. At one time it was usual to protect by special boarding those sides of the stack most exposed to the weather. This practice is dying out, however, the current policy being to provide nothing except an efficient roof.

IMPORTANCE OF SEASONING AND DRYING.

One result of to-day’s demand for Venetian blind timber is that blind manufacturers have now to accept timber carefully “surface dry,” whereas previously they purchased timber thoroughly seasoned and ready for cutting into laths : or, at least, almost ready. Surface dry timber can be kiln-dried, see pages 199 to 207—but more time than usual is required on account of the high moisture content.

Great care is essential in this kiln-drying process, the one object of which is to stabilise the timber so that it may attain and retain the exceedingly high standard demanded by blind manufacturers. Inefficient or hasty seasoning results in splitting, warping, and checking, and in resinous substances making their way to the surface despite subsequent processes intended —in part, at least—to prevent this occurrence.

MINIMISING OR PREVENTING WARPING.

The stability of any timber depends to a great extent on whether it is quarter-sawn or plain-sawn. In quarter-sawn timber the annual growth rings run at right angles to, and in plain-sawn timber are parallel with the wide, flat face of the boards. Plain-sawn timber produces “flat grain” laths. Quarter-sawn timber produces “edge grain” laths. As timber shrinks most tangentially—i.e., in the direction of the growth rings—the quarter-sawn boards are not so liable to warp, and consequently such timber is more suitable for lath-making.

Another advantage of quarter-sawn timber is that laths made from it are less likely to develop “raised grain.” This does occur occasionally when the bands of thick, dense summer-wood alter at a different rate than the adjoining softer spring-wood, thereby causing the surface to develop waves or become corrugated. “ Raised Grain ” is extremely rare in hardwoods normally supplied for lath making.


orkshop management



What the blind maker of simple types of Venetians should know about making up; tools ; stocks ; and handling of components.

THE making of Venetian blinds does not involve any big outlay, either for plant or stock.

PLANT AND TOOLS.

As far as plant is concerned, the only additions to an average workshop are a lath-punching machine and a machine for mortising and bevelling the head rails, a sanding machine and a spray painting gun. All other equipment being part of the average cabinet shop.

Most Furnishers have a cabinet shop with benches, saws, planes, chisels and other woodworking machinery suitable for cutting and dressing the laths ; but in any case the local saw-mills are usually able to do all this work at a very moderate charge.

In executing a big blind order it may be quicker and cheaper to utilise outside assistance for lath making as far as possible, so that the Furnisher’s own men may concentrate on punching, finishing, assembling and fixing.

FLOOR SPACE.

A generous area of floor-space must be reserved for assembly, as nothing multiplies the risk of error so much as cramped working space. While in themselves the laths are not bulky, yet when set out for assembly, with workmen handling hundreds of laths a day, and when so many slight variations in size add to other complications, it is essential to eliminate anything that may cause confusion.

STOCK.

The Furnisher may prefer to carry a small stock of timber suitable for head rails and for making the top and bottom laths, purchasing supplies from a timber merchant or saw-mill or local wholesaler in the ordinary way. Some wholesalers supply excellent timber, in lots of ioo ft. runs, size z\ in.X in. for top and bottom laths, and z\ in.X i in. for head rails.

The main laths are usually obtainable in bundles of about 400 ft. at a time, or may be purchased in the quantities and qualities as required for individual orders.

Stock —continued

As to quality and finish, the wise policy is to standardise two qualities and offer each quality in two finishes.

One quality should be inexpensive but thoroughly reliable, of course—so that the Venetian blind may not appear much dearer than a first-grade linen or Holland blind. This inexpensive quality may be made from white pine or other suitable timber, with a choice of painted or enamelled finish in certain standard colourings.

The better quality might be in St. John spruce or best yellow pine, offered in enamel or stain and varnish. Others can be added as business develops, but at first it is certainly simpler to limit the choice of qualities and finishes. Samples of metal laths might be carried.

ACCESSORIES.

Certain supplies and accessories must be kept in stock. Apart from laths, the most important component in a Venetian blind is the ladder webbing.

LADDER WEBBING.

This must support the laths at exactly equal intervals if the blind is to be efficient in operation and effective in appearance. Ladder wrebbing has been discussed fully in an earlier section.

A small stock of plain webbing will be required. This is used sometimes to suspend the blind from its top lath to the head rail, passing over the rollers which constitute the “swivel” action and allow the laths to be tilted and adjusted to whatever angle may be required at any given moment.

CORD.

Blind cord or “ Glacie cord ” will be needed in a variety of colours, usually to match the laths or—occasionally—to match the window woodwork so that the cords do not appear conspicuous. In other cases, however, the cords are in a colour to match the ladder tapes, an effective scheme where blinds and tape utilise a contrast to correspond with the decorative scheme. Blind cord is usually stocked in half-gross hanks, and only a thoroughly reliable quality should be used with Venetian blinds.

OTHER COMPONENTS.

While the amount of ladder tape, cord, and lath depend on the drop and width of the blinds, the quantities of other components for a simple type of Venetian blind, depend on the number of blinds. Amongst these items are pulleys, rollers, rosettes, automatic stop actions, driving eyes, cord acorns and angle brackets. These components can be purchased more economically in quantities of a gross or more, particularly in the case of small items such as acorns and driving eyes.

Venetian blinds being sold largely upon their long life and efficiency, it is short-sighted policy to use anything but the longest-wearing components.

For example, brass-bushed pulleys cost a penny or two more but wear far longer than the ordinary boxwood variety ; and to save a few pence per blind by using a cheap pulley is false economy. If the Furnisher and his staff are to be sincere and convincing in their sales argument, then they must speak in the knowledge that only long-wearing, long-lasting items are employed in assembling the Venetian blinds.

COSTING AND QUOTING.

Venetian blinds are sold at so-much per sq. ft., usually with a minimum of about 15 sq. ft., and often with a proviso that blinds wider than they are long must be subject to an extra charge as these involve additional tape and extra pulleys, rollers, and actions.

The price per square foot, however, is intended for selling purposes only and—unless conditions are unusual—it does not constitute, or substitute for, an accurate cost per blind or per job, based on the time taken and the actual materials used.

COSTING SIMPLE TYPE VENETIANS.

In all well-organised workshops, every job is accurately costed. This becomes quite easy, as a list of the necessary materials must be prepared in any case, and this list serves admirably for costing purposes as well. Guide to simple costing continued on page 223.

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Many large concerns now fit

Venetian blinds to offices



Excellent use of exterior Venetians for business premises. An example where the advantages of compound lift, or mechanically-operated lift, will be appreciated.

C OS ti ng—continued

I n diagram F, page 45, is a specimen ‘ ‘ List of Materials required ’ ’ for Order No. 123. This calls for eight simple type Venetian blinds, using laths of 2f in.X-J- in., finished in Standard No. 3 colour, on “D” size “Fleur-de-lis” ladder tape, Duck colour. Four of the blinds have two tapes and four have three tapes. The quantities of timber required for the top and bottom laths are shown as one calculation ; but of course 36 ft. must be ordered for the top laths and the same quantity for the bottom laths, a total of 64 ft. The head rails, being 2 in. wider than the other laths, will require 37 ft. 4 in.

These eight blinds, being made from 2§ in.x£ in. laths, will be supported by “D” size “Fleur-de-lis” ladder tape which has a space of 2 in. between the straps.

This means an average of 6 laths per ft. drop, so that the first blind, which has a drop of 5 ft., will require 30 laths. From this must be deducted three laths—as the head rail, top lath, and bottom laths are already included in their respective categories.

This gives a nett allowance of 27 laths for this blind, cut at 3 ft., i.e., 81 ft. of lath. Similarly the next three blinds, with a drop of 6 ft. wrould be allowed 6x6, that is 36 laths, less three, or a nett 33, at 3 ft. each, 99 ft. of lath for each blind or 297 ft. for the three. So the actual amount of lath can be calculated ; and in totalling the quantity, of course, allowance will be made for waste in cutting. The waste will depend on what lengths the blind maker purchases the laths. If they are bought and cut at a saw-mill, the price may already include an allowance for waste.

CALCULATING LADDER TAPES.

In calculating the amount of ladder tape, the blind maker must allow" for cutting away part of the cross-tapes, so that the tape just below will support a lath exactly 2 in. underneath the top lath. The list, diagram“F”page 45, allows an extra 2 ft. per blind (this includes three-tape blinds as well) for cutting at the top, and for turning over at the top of the top lath and under the lower side of the bottom lath. See page 61.

For suspending the blind on the head rail, an average of one yard of No. 88 webbing is allowed per blind. This amount varies from one job to another, depending to some extent on the size of ladder tape being used, and of course, on the number of tapes per blind.

CALCULATING CORDS.

The yardage of blind cord also varies, much depending on the point from which the blind is to be controlled. As a basis for estimating, however, it is usual to take a quantity for each blind equivalent to four times the drop plus once the width for two-tape blinds, and six times the drop plus once the width for each three-tape blind.

This may or may not provide sufficient for operating the Beaumont action ; if any doubt exists on this point, add another yard per blind. No. 6 cord is usually regarded as strong enough for domestic work, and this has become standard for lowering and raising the blinds and operating the Beaumont action. A thinner cord—No. 3—is provided for operating the tilt rollers, and two yards per blind should be allowed.

COMPONENTS.

The list, page 45, shows that four pulleys are required for each two-tape, and six pulleys for each three-tape, blind ; two rollers for each two-tape, and three for each three-tape, blind ; and one driving eye, one acorn, and one pair galvanised angle-brackets for each blind. The two-tape blind requires one two-cord Beaumont action, and the three-tape, one three-cord Beaumont action.

If the totals of these items are transferred to a costing sheet, as indicated in Diagram G, page 47, then costing becomes quite a simple matter. Every item of material is included, and it only becomes necessary to add Foreman’s and man’s time, and the cost of finishing—painting, staining and varnishing, or enamelling, as the case may be. Fixing costs are extra in any case, these not being included in the selling price per sq. ft. unless in special circumstances.

RENOVATIONS.

When re-taping existing Venetian blinds this same List of Materials “F” and Costing Sheet “G”, are used, entering only those items which are actually required to complete the job and render the blinds capable of giving another long period of trouble-free service. For instance, the following items might be entered : replacements for laths split or damaged as the result of careless handling, new cords, new tapes, new webbings, new rosettes, and replacing any missing acorns or driving eyes.

Painting Lath

s


MANY blindmakers in small workshops obtain an even, blister-proof coat of paint by hand application, using a glass plate or bed with studs to support the lath ends.

There are usually three of these small studs, projecting £ in. from the glass surface and acting as a stop against which the lath remains firmly held. The glass bed is cleaned at frequent intervals and particularly after a change of colour or quality of paint.

The brush is a high-grade quality 3 in. varnish brush and the expert lath painter can give one coat to about 80 laths per hour.

As this method gives an individual finish to each lath, it compares not unfavourably with the machine painting process, see page 247, which enables two men to deal with 400 laths per hour but without guarantee of uniform finish throughout any given job. Spray painting, see page 249, is however considered more efficient than any other method.

When hand painting, the paint brush is applied with great skill to both sides of the lath alternately, rubbing paint well into the grain and removing all excess, coating the punch hole edges and then removing any surplus paint with the brush end or—more frequently with the operator’s finger.


HANDLING PAINTED LATHS.

Each lath of the simple type Venetian blind, after painting, is hung on a rod which projects from a circular disc, known as the “whirl-round.” The usual “whirl-round” has eleven sockets in its periphery, and the rods fit into these sockets The 1 ‘whirl-round” revolves on an upright pillar stretching from floor to ceiling ; and a rod is placed in position, ready to receive the laths as they leave the painters’ hand. The “whirl-round” is then pushed round into a position to receive the next lot of laths. See page 58.

After ten laths are placed on a rod the latter is pushed round and another socket is ready to receive a rod which, in turn, is loaded with ten laths as they are painted. Only ten laths are allowed on each rod, leaving a space of at least 1 in. between each lath ; no lath need ever touch its neighbours, and ample space is left for air to dry and harden the coat of paint. For spray painting methods see page 250.

Further information on “Finishing” will be found in SECTION SEVENTEEN.

DRYING.

Loaded rods are transferred to the drying racks, as the “whirl-round” fills up. These racks are a series, mounted about 7 ft. 6 ins. from the floor and supported from the ceiling, running in parallel lines, about 18 in. apart.

The rods are placed across these racks, leaving plenty of space for free circulation or air. After the paint has thoroughly hardened—the time varies from two to ten days, depending on the quality of paint, type of timber, workshop temperature, and other factors which vary in individual cases—the laths are removed and given their next coat, afterwards being placed on rods and dried once more.

Finally there is the varnishing or finishing coat. When thoroughly dry, the laths are transferred to the assembly shop where the head-rail and bottom rail awaits the arrival of enough main laths to make up the blind.

Further information on “Drying” will be found in SECTION SEVENTEEN.

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An imposing American Office floor designed for utmost efficiency shmcing the proper use of modern I enetian Minds


Mela! I enetian blinds are ideal in an Executive's Office



renetmn blind Workshop


Three simple Factory Layouts

Layout of a    IVorkshop

AS the blindmaker’s Venetian business develops it reaches a /"V stage where manual processes are neither economic nor sufficiently rapid, and so suitable machinery must be installed in the workshop.

If the blindmaker is also a Furnisher he may have already in his own workshop a circular saw as well as various woodworking machines for thicknessing, planing, and sanding, using these as and when necessary for blindmaking.

The choice and use of machinery to be fully employed in blindmaking, are to be settled only after a careful review of individual circumstances and output. Yet there can be no question as to the need for a workshop efficiently planned for flow production, thereby accelerating output and economising in labour costs.

EQUIPMENT.

Experiences vary as to when and at what stage mechanical assistance becomes necessary in a blindmaking workshop, but no workshop can claim to be mechanised unless it has the following equipment as a minimum :

1.    Circular saw bench with rip and cross-cut saws and table extension.

2.    General purpose planing machine.

3.    Morticing and boring machine.

4.    Sanding machine.

The following extra equipment is necessary for large output :—

5.    Spray Guns and Spraying Booths.

6.    Drying Racks.

All of these machines are capable of many jobs other than that of blindmaking ; and it may be that, with semi-skilled labour, the sanding machine—costing more than all the others put together—could be omitted. But with a growing turnover, and especially if rapid output is desired, the sander will soon justify its existence.


CIRCULAR SAW BENCH

Either by motor direct




COMBINED CHAIN AND HOLLOW CHISEL MORTICER. Exhaust Fan to eliminate chip pings. An extension can be fitted to do Soring and square chisel work.


PLANER

SURFACING AND THICKNESSING

Three Speeds giving 19, 29, or 41 feet per minute. Cutter Mock of two knife circular safety type, turned from solid steel forging. Simple moulding and thtcknessing can be done at one operation if required.

SANDER

An Electrically operated Three Drum, Roller-Feed Sander, 40 ins. wide, with three rates of feed—9 feet, 18 feet and 27 feet per minute by simple adjustment. Can also be driven through lee belts. Two Drum Sanders of smaller size and also Belt Sanders are obtainable.

LAYOUT FOR FOUR MACHINES. Diagram A.

Assuming that all four machines are to be grouped in one factory (measuring approximately 40 ft.X2o ft.), for Venetian blindproduction,the saw bench would be placed at“C”as shown in Diagram A,withtimberstacked at“B,”as it is carried through door into the workshop from either timber-yard or delivery wagon.

After sawing the laths with a rip saw, the timber is piled on table“D”pending its transfer to the planing machineat“E,”and thence to racks on the wall at “F.” From “F” it passes to the bench at “G” where the laths are marked off and piled on a table or bench.

Alternatively, they may be taken immediately to the table adjacent to the circular saw at “C,” for cross-cutting. Main laths are then held up while the head laths and tilt and bottom laths are morticed and bored by the boring and slotting machine at “H.” All laths then pass to the sanding machine at “I” and from there to the paint shop at “K.”    Table at “ J ” can be used

for Inspection and Assembly. “L” is sliding door exit for deliveries.

TOOL DETAILS.

Dealing now in detail with some of these machines :

SAW BENCH. The circular saw bench should have a 20 gauge saw for cutting with the grain—a rip saw—and a 16 gauge saw' for cross-cutting. If this latter is a smooth-cutting “Elect” alloy steel “A.i.” tooth saw, it will leave the ends so smooth as to eliminate any further finishing, although in certain cases it may be advisable to round-off the corners by hand, using a No. i| sandpaper.

The saw bench has a groove in the bed to which can be fitted a sliding extension table along one side of which is usually fixed a metal measure, engraved in inches and feet, recessed so as to be flush and yet facilitate the measuring of laths as they are cross-cut. This extension table can be removed altogether, if and when necessary, as the sawr can do many other jobs requiring no such accommodation.

PLANER. The “General purpose” planing machine, also known as a “combination planer” serves for both thicknessing and planing, and w'ill deal writh timber up to 18 in.X9 in- *section. Thus it may be used for producing drapery-box parts, curtain laths, wooden pelmets, and similar jobs. With the assistance of a jig it will plane the edges of a batch of laths and leave them all smooth enough to render any further finishing unnecessary.


I


c

SAW

BENCH


l)

J

TABLE

TABLE



G

MARKING OFF BENCH



K

PAINT VM) FINISHING SHOP


DIAGRAM A. WORKSHOP LAYOUT FOR FOUR MACHINES.


SAW BENCH. PLANING MACHINE.

A.    Entrance to Workshop for Timber.

B.    Timber stacked.

C.    Saw Bench and Table.

D.    Table for Piling.

E.    Planing Machine.

F.    Wall Racks.

BORING & SLOTTING. SANDING

G.    Marking off Bench.

H.    Boring and Slotting Machine.

I.    Sanding Machine.

J.    Table for Inspection, etc.

K.    Paint and Finishing Shop.

L.    Exit for deliveries.

TOOL DETAILS.

BORING AND SLOTTING. The boring and slotting machine is equipped with a number of different sized mortice chisels and bits for making head rails and tilt laths, a f in. bit being used normally for the tilting roller recesses and a | in. bit for pulley holes.

SANDING. As belt-sanding machines may prove impracticable for blind laths, a drum sander can deal with big quantities rapidly and efficiently, at the same time being adaptable for many other purposes. The two-drum type will be quite large enough.

A LARGER WORKSHOP.

A more ambitious layout is shown in Diagram B. Here timber is received through door “A” and is passed to a bench equipped with roller feed saw.

After sawing into laths the timber passes to a high-speed planing machine ; and then, after marking out, to a small cross-cut saw.

After that, it is taken to a general purpose planing machine for finishing the edges. From here the main laths go direct to a sanding machine, while head and bottom latbs should be bored and slotted before sanding.

The roller feed saw is a fast-working machine able to deal with timber up to 12 in.x6 in. so that the blindmaker may purchase and store large section timber and cut to size as it is required. The high speed planer can turn out 900 ft. per minute and is one of the machines specially intended for making Venetian blind laths. Timber is fed by a rubber-covered roller.


ALL PURPOSE MACHINE THE SUPER “ ELLIOT ” WOODWORKER

This combination machine will do all the following processes

Ripping up to 7 ins. deep. Cross-cutting up to 26 ins. wide. Surfacing and Thicknessing. Trenching with or across grain. Tenoning any width or length. Moulding up to 6 ins. wide. Mitreing, right or left hand. Compound Mitreing.

Stair Stringing.

Boring up to 11 ins. x 6 ins. deep.


L


PAINT

SHOP



BORING

and

SLOTTING

MACHINE


GENERAL

PURPOSE

PLANER


MARKING-

out bench


CROSS

CUT

SAW


HIGH

SPEED

PI.ANF.R



DIAGRAM B

LAYOUT OF LARGER WORKSHOP WITH SIX MACHINES

ROLLER

FEED

SAW-


II l \ I


DOOR FROM TIMBER SUPPLY

A

Factory


THOUGH each blindmaker will prefer to lay out his factory in view of his own individual equipment and output, it may be helpful to outline a typical factory in detail including Paint Shop, Drying and Assembly Departments ; the layout being specially designed with the idea of its being adapted to suit any blind output.

This layout is shown in Diagram C and shows the factory with a timber store from which supplies are drawn, as required, and stored in racks fastened to the wall.

From here the timber is taken to a marking-out bench equipped with flush-fitting steel measures, set squares, and a complete set of marking laths.

After being marked, the timber passes to the saw bench where it is sawn into lengths and then may be transferred back to the marking bench for making into laths or—if the timber is stored in lath form—it goes direct to the planing machine.

Mounted centrally are the planing machine and the punching machine : thus after planing, the main laths go to the punching machine while the head, tilt and bottom laths are transferred to the boring machine for slots, holes, etc., to be made.

In any case, however, both the main and other laths meet again at the sanding bench where—after edges have been smoothed and corners rubbed down—they all pass to a trolley, neatly arranged in jobs, which is then wheeled into the paint shop.

Laths are picked up from the trolley by the lath painter and painted or sprayed at the painting equipment section, afterwards being transferred to the drying racks, either direct or via the whirl-rounds.

After thorough drying the laths are replaced on the trolley and given further coats. When the final coat has thoroughly hardened, the laths are wheeled on a trolley into the assembly shop.

/. V. <



PAINT

SHOP


WHJRLROl ND C

X

X

'Jm

P

y.

b

DRYING RACKS

x

>

V

V

-

Beam tapes


ASSI M HI NCH


-okii s


I.V    I

:s    *



Commentary on Diagram C—continued

Here a special assembly table, in the form of a hollow square, is ready with various stop pieces, vices, and other equipment to facilitate the fitting of head-rails and the inserting of cords, while on the extreme right is a fixture to assist in holding the blinds while the tape is added.

Provision is also made for stocking accessories—hardware, automatic cord stops ; tilting devices ; all the usual sizes of glace cord and ladder tape.

After assembly, each blind passes to testing rails, mounted on the wall and arranged to support any size of blind by means of stout angle brackets, so that its size, drop, and mechanism can be thoroughly tested before being packed and sent to the dispatch room.


unfling a

Venetian



bli n(J IVorksh

Important Factors

Factory Layout ; Storage ; Stocks ; Machine Shops ; Finishing Dept. ; Priming ; Painting and Spraying ; Colour Changes; Drying Methods.

Factory Layout

WHILE the ideal factory may not be within reach of every manufacturer, it is always helpful to keep something of this kind in view so that any alteration and improvement made to existing buildings may bring them nearer to that ideal.

THE IDEAL FACTORY.

In establishing new businesses, it is necessary to have an ideal in view so that the premises may be planned from the very start in a thoroughly modern, practical manner.

Probably no two manufacturers or managers hold identical ideas about the ideal ; yet discussion about an ideal always helps to crystallise thoughts which have only existed previously in nebulous form ; this encourages the manufacturer and the factory manager to seek methods of improving present layouts.

FLOW PRODUCTION.

Although the plans recommended in this section cannot be expected to satisfy everyone, they will—it is hoped—direct attention to the advantages of a well-organised layout on flow production lines, perhaps suggesting means whereby output can be accelerated, control simplified, and management rendered more economical.

The recommendations which follow are based throughout on the most up-to-date American practice, and lend themselves readily to adoption, with whatever variations may be necessary in view of local conditions, in almost any factory.

ONE STORY BUILDING PREFERABLE.

The Venetian blind factory should consist of one story, preferably on ground level, with convenient access to at least one wall by rail and road. Reasonable facilities for expansion should be regarded as an essential condition of any new factory site.

PROPORTIONATE ALLOCATION OF DEPARTMENTS.

An area of 10,000 sq. ft. all on the one level, has been suggested as the minimum by a production specialist : of this area, 20% is reserved for storage purposes, 10% for machinery and bench space, 40% for spraying and finishing and drying racks, and 30% for assembly, stringing, and inspection purposes, including space for goods awaiting dispatch.

As accommodation for packing is likely to vary widely in different areas, it is suggested that additional space may be allotted for this purpose, quite apart from a proportion of the 30% of 10,000 sq. ft. allotted to assembly and examination. Diagram D, page 243, shows a layout, drawn to scale, with the various sections arranged on these lines.

RAW MATERIAL INWARDS.

Timber arrives by truck and is unloaded at the Goods Arrival platform, access to which is obtained through sliding doors. After checking and entering in the “Goods received’’ book, each consignment must be carefully inspected and passed as O.K. by the Timber Buyer or Works Manager after which it is put into the storage racks. See Diagram D.

It is assumed that the Timber is already thicknessed and planed. If not, then planing machine can be located in the timber passed section.

STORING TIMBER.

It may be stacked flat or on end, but in any case there must be adequate spacings between the boards so that air may circulate freely. End stacking is preferred by many factory managers as this method allows immediate access to any part of any consignment. With certain timbers, however, end stacking encourages bowing as well as end checking, in which case flat stacking should be adopted. Timber which has been stacked out of doors for a time should be kept in the factory storage racks for long enough to reach equilibrium with the factory atmosphere. See SECTION THIRTEEN.

VISIBLE INDEX ON STOCKS.

Each consignment of timber should be marked with date of receipt and any other information of importance to the Factory Manager or whoever is responsible for the quantity and condition of the stock. Two means of access are advisable : one will be facing the loading and unloading platform, convenient for admitting and stacking the timber, and one facing the machinery benches, convenient for issuing timber to the machines.

SAWING DEPARTMENT.

Adjacent to the storage accommodation is the machine shop with a cut-off saw for reducing head rails and laths to the sizes indicated in Instruction sheets, Job cards, or Works Order Forms.

Machine Room


MACHINE OPERATIONS.

From here the laths pass to a high speed router machine which cuts cord holes in seven or more laths simultaneously ; the head rails are bored to accommodate the hardware and morticed for the pulleys.

SANDING.

Laths and rails meet again at the sander for smoothing and for finishing the ends. Practical experience alone will indicate how and where these important machining operations should take place and how the machines themselves are best located in relation to each other. As most timber has to reach the high speed routers, it may be that this machine should be directly in the production line, while the borers or drilling presses are off-set and the flow of head rails directed there (rather than towards the routers) after leaving the cut-off saws.

This is the arrangement suggested in Diagram “D”but some Managers prefer these machines placed exactly opposite to that. A third plan, adopted in machine shops of the long, narrow type, is to keep all machines in line, and to arrange (for example) that laths—after routing—should short-circuit the borers and go direct to the sanding machine.

FLOOR PLAN TO SCALE.

Having decided on a provisional layout, the spaces between benches and machines, and between machine and machine, should be measured and a minimum fixed in each case. Spaces must be ample to allow for the passage of trucks, laden and empty, without interfering with operatives at work. Benches ought to be long and wide enough for handling timber considerably longer than usual.

Some machines have benches integral with the design, so that any other support for timber is unnecessary ; other machines must have long and sometimes wide benches for supporting timber and receiving it after processing. Yet too generous spaces only leads to waste of time and prevents the smooth flow of production.

WORKSHOP LAYOUT FOR FLOW PRODUCTION

243




TROLLEYS TO BE )ADEI)


LATH

PAINTING

MACHINES

AND

SPRAYING

BOOTHS



TIMBER

PASSED

TIMBER

READY

AWAITING

FOR

STORAGE

RACKS

INSPECTION


DIAGRAM D



HANDY RACKS ESSENTIAL.

When the lay-out has been decided in so far as machines and benches are concerned, there come the questions of tool racks, stores, and spares. Bits for the borers, and alternative saws, must be kept within easy reach, yet out of the way of timber being processed, of dust and oil, and of the damage sometimes caused by hasty operation of trolleys. Suitable provision for tool racks, therefore, must be included in the final lay-out.

Measuring rules, templates or jigs in everyday use, and joiner’s pencil, may be kept in a convenient locker or drawer adjacent to the machine bench.

SALVAGE.

Arrangements must be made for rescuing any scrap timber which might be used for narrow blinds. Pieces over 12 in. long are always worth keeping, and a bin for such items may be placed below the machine, so arranged that it may be cleared as often as necessary without interfering with production.

FINISHING DEPARTMENT.

From the sanding machine, all parts pass to the Finishing Department which should be quite separate from other parts of the factory and enclosed by dustproof walls. Access is obtainable through double-doors so designed that one pair of doors must be closed before the other pair will open. This helps to exclude fine wood dust and other atmospheric impurities always associated with any space in which wood machinery is at work, and which might settle on and ruin a newly finished surface. If a dust extraction plan and air conditioning can be installed, so much the better.

Opinions vary as to the lay-out details of a Finishing Department. The laths may be finished by a painting machine or by spraying, whereas hand rails, as well as tilt rails and bottom rails too, must either be hand-painted—a slow process—or sprayed. Various combinations of plant, therefore—machine and hand-painting, and hand-painting and spraying—are to be found in different factories.

Finishing.    American Practice

FINISHING, being one of the most important of all processes in Venetian blind manufacture, demands more consideration in detail than could be devoted to it in the preceding sections. The finishing process depends mainly upon three factors, viz : the type of timber, the paint, and the method of applying the paint.

Little need be said about the timber itself as this has been fully described elsewhere.

In so far as finishing is concerned, the Port Orford Cedar often retains a certain amount of oil in the fibres which, even after careful finishing, may exude and so spoil the appearance, especially of laths finished a light colour.

Basswood may be (and, in fact, admittedly is) more liable to distort and warp during the finishing process as it is of softer texture. It absorbs more colouring matter, and takes finer finish which is better able to resist the sun’s rays for a longer period.

PRIMER COAT.

Most manufacturers to-day believe in giving all blind woodwork a primer, not only as the best preparation for the fine finishing coats, but also as a means of sealing the surface so that resinous substances are much less likely to exude. Another advantage is that a primer helps to some extent in protecting subsequent coats from the effects of prolonged exposure to damp and the sun’s rays.

From the production angle, too, priming the woodwork— and especially the laths—is a help, as it provides employment for the painting machines during slack periods. This allows a certain accumulation of stock which saves time in executing rush orders.

Only one slight disadvantage has been suggested—owing to tools coming into contact with pigment in the primer, it becomes necessary to sharpen saw blades and machine bits more frequently. Even here, however, it is admitted that this is a trifling expense in comparison with the time saved and the business gained as a result of being able to quote good delivery dates.

With a wide range of colour finishes, of course, it may not always be possible to give rapid delivery of every colour, as there are practical limits to the stock which can be held already coated with primer.

STOCK OF POPULAR COLOURS.

But even with a small factory it is possible to standardise one or two of the more popular colours and to hold these in readiness for urgent orders. As business develops, too, it is often quite practicable to stock laths already finished with the first coat of paint or enamel. This involves making slight alterations in “flow” production, of course, as the laths have to be cut and sanded after coating, and then the ends must be given a first coat before the batch receives its second coat. In view of the advantages resulting from holding stocks of semifinished laths, however, this diversion is well worth making.

SPRAY PAINTING ESSENTIAL.

Spray painting is considered an essential, even if the laths generally are coated by machine. It is not unusual for the final coat to be sprayed although the under-coatings are applied by the “Rollacoat” machine described on page 247.

Competition between spray painting equipment and painting machines has helped to produce thoroughly efficient apparatus of both types.

Spraying maintains its popularity with many manufacturers on account of its uniform distribution and the effect as a finishing coat. Paint manufacturers, as well as manufacturers of spraying equipment, are anxious to reduce costs in the application of spraying to blind laths, and much highly-specialised data is at the disposal of any blind manufacturer who cares to ask for it.

THE FIRST LATH PAINTING MACHINE.

The first lath painting machine, as far as is knowm, appeared in Bootle, Lancashire, England, almost a hundred years ago, and one of those early examples is still treasured as a museum piece by a well-known Scottish Blind Manufacturer.

Painting Machines


It contrasts strangely with the modern “ Rollacoat,” an American product now used by so many enterprising manufacturers. This operates on the same principle as a printing machine which utilises a series of rollers to coat the type with a uniform amount of printing ink. The lath painting machine first removes any foreign matter which might interfere with the coating—wood dust, particles of metal, or grit from the atmosphere -and then employs edge-finishing brushes to give an even coating to the edges.

Then the top and bottom surfaces are coated similarly as they pass between soft rollers of rubber which are continually fed with paint.

This machine may be operated manually or automatically, the latter type being fitted with a hopper accommodating 250 lineal feet of lath at a time.

When the lath emerges, coated and ready for transferring to the drying racks, it is grasped at the edges (opposite the cord holes), a process demanding careful handling on part of the operative. Some workers use rubber-tips to their fingers, and others wear gloves which have pieces of bead chain sewn to the thumb and two fingers. Other operatives, again, handle the laths with bare hands, experiencing no difficulty in leaving the lath with a clean, even coating, innocent of any mark of any kind whatever at the point which has been firmly grasped.

Lath painting machines may be obtained with or without a metal bench which feeds automatically and has a pedal control.

Both surfaces, and the edges, are coated in a single operation, and some machines can turn out 150 lineal feet per minute. It lends itself admirably to flow production lay-out, and is the quickest method of painting large quantities of lath.

The mechanism of modern painting machines has reached a high state of efficiency, dealing with any width of lath from if in. to 2§ in., and in length from 2 ft. to 16 ft. Laths are fed automatically, the top, bottom and edge of each being painted simultaneously at the rate of 50 laths 3 ft. long per minute.

Changing colour has been simplified, in the very latest “Rolla-coat” lath finisher design, an operator may alter from one shade to another in less than six minutes.

DRYING DEPARTMENT.

Ample space must be reserved for drying laths and rails. Here, more than anywhere else in the factory, over-crowding is fatal to efficiency. Lack of space encourages hasty removal of the laths before they are thoroughly hard, and risk of semi-dry laths being dislodged accidentally as freshly painted laths are being placed in position. This latter often means that two complete sets of laths have to be painted all over again, disorganising the production and adding unnecessarily to manufacturing costs.

SPRAYING.

General experience, indicates that spraying makes a better job although costing a little more. Booths for spraying are easily constructed and differ in no respect from those in everyday use for other industries. At least one spray painting booth will be required, even with a lath painting machine, and due arrangements for this are included in the lay-out suggested in Diagram D. A booth is required, of course, for spraying head rails and tilt rails, and—if necessary— accessories as well : e.g., the hardware.

In Spray Painting, as a rule, anything from 9 to 15 laths are placed horizontally in a series of wire racks and then put in the spraying booth.

Paint is applied by electrically-operated spray gun which coats surfaces, edges, and ends thoroughly. The wire rack is then transferred to a series of shelves on trolleys which are loaded at the spraying booths and then wheeled into the drying room.

The number of spraying booths will depend upon how much work is to be sprayed and how much undertaken by the painting machine. At least one spraying booth is essential for dealing with head rails and tilt rails.

Where only the final coat is sprayed there must be ample space for transfer of laths from painting machine to spraying booths and vice versa.

If laths are to be stocked after receiving a priming—(and perhaps a first finishing coat as well), then storage racks must be provided in vicinity of the painting machine. For these reasons the lay-out as indicated in Diagram D is merely an outline and must be altered to suit individual production plans.

SPRAY PAINTING EQUIPMENT.

The two principal advantages of spray finishing over older methods are greater speed and a better finish. Economy in finishing materials due to a reduction in the number of coats may often be effected, and it is also possible to obtain with modern Spray Painting Equipment, special effects which cannot readily be produced by other means.

The basic requirements for spray painting are :

1.    A SPRAY GUN.

2.    A suitable PAINT CONTAINER.

3.    AN AIR RECTIFIER.

4.    AN AIR COMPRESSING PLANT.

It is also necessary, if the plant is to be used for continuous production, to provide :—

5. A suitable SPRAY BOOTH with EXHAUST EQUIPMENT, to remove the fumes arising from the spraying operation.

The SPRAY GUN (illustrated Fig. 1) is a widely used general purpose type suitable for the application of all normal materials. It is fitted with a fan adjustment (controlled by the small knurled dial towards the front of the body), by which the maximum width of the spray pattern may be adjusted to suit the width of the articles being dealt with. The illustration also shows a patented pre-selective device by means of which the correct width of fan having been selected, the operator may change instantaneously from cone spray to fan spray and vice versa without cessation of work. This additional feature may sometimes be omitted as it is not always necessary for production purposes.

The PAINT CONTAINER may take the form of a Cup attached to the Spray Gun, this arrangement being very satisfactory where the amount of work is small or frequent changes of colour are necessary. For a long continuous run on one colour, however, it is better to use a separate Container of reasonably large capacity. The Paint Container (illustrated Fig. 2), is of two-gallon capacity and is of the pressure feed type; air is admitted from the Compressing Plant via a pressure reducing valve to the space above the material inside the Container so that the material is forced along the rubber hose which connects the Container to the Spray Gun. The use of a separate Container such as this eliminates the very considerable waste of time attendant upon constant refilling of a small gun cup. It has the further important advantage that the operator’s hand and arm are relieved of several pounds weight with a consequent reduction in fatigue.


Spray Painting Equipment




The AIR RECTIFIER (illustrated Fig. 3), serves to remove water vapour, condensate and other impurities which may possibly be present in the air delivered by the Compressing Plant. It also incorporates a pressure regulating valve by means of which the pressure may be set to the exact figure required by the particular material being handled. Two pressure gauges are provided, one showing the pressure of the air as delivered by the Compressor and the other the reduced pressure at which the air is passed to the Spray Gun. It is usual to connect the Air Rectifier to the Compressing Plant by means of ordinary galvanized piping, and to the Spray Gun by means of a suitable length of rubber hose.

AIR COMPRESSOR. These are available in a wide range of types and sizes, the choice being principally determined by the output contemplated. The machine illustrated Fig. 4 is of the air-cooled two-stage pattern suitable for working pressures up to 100 lbs. per square inch and of sufficient capacity to maintain three fast Spray Guns under normal working conditions.

SPRAY BOOTHS. The general appearance of a typical Spray Booth will be apparent from the illustration Fig. 5. The size of the Booth and the exact type is dependent upon the average and the maximum sizes of the articles being handled, and attention must be paid when selecting it to the proposed method of handling the work before and after painting. The EXHAUST FAN is arranged to draw air at a high velocity (of the order of 100 ft. per minute), through the front of the Booth, the fumes being carried with the air stream and discharged to the outer atmosphere. A refinement is the provision of a battery of MULTI-LOUVRED COLLECTOR PLATES interposed between the working space of the Booth and the Exhaust Fan ; such a battery collects over 90% of the solid particles present in the fumes, and is therefore of great assistance in keeping the fan blades and discharge ducting free from fouling.




The remaining illustrations Figs. 6 & 7 are of a type of SEMIAUTOMATIC SPRAYING FINISHING MACHINE of use where there is a really large output of laths. This machine incorporates a reversible conveyor ; the laths are placed on it at one end of the machine, carried through the Painting Unit and are unloaded and stacked at the other end. If a second coat is to be given the conveyor is reversed so that unnecessary handling is avoided. This machine is capable of handling slats of any normal section and size at the rate of approximately 80 linear feet per minute, all surfaces being painted at one pass. The pressures at which the air and materials are fed to the Automatic Spray Guns can be accurately set by means of the pressure regulating valves and gauges on the control panel.

A TEN GALLON PRESSURE FEED CONTAINER is incorporated and there is a separate two-gallon container containing cleaning solvent for flushing the paint pipes. The fumes are discharged through the vertical duct which can be seen above the machine.


Practical Hints

SANDING AFTER PRIMER.

\FTER basswood laths have been coated with primer and allowed to dry, a slight “fuzz” usually develops on the grain, although previous to coating, the surface had been perfectly smooth. This roughness must be sanded off, for if paint or lacquer were applied over it, the result would be to accentuate fuzzing and produce an extremely bad effect which could but lead to such laths being rejected as below standard finish.

Similar roughness after priming is prone to occur in other parts made from basswood—head, bottom, and tilt rails. Arrangements must be made, therefore, for transferring laths and rails after priming to the sander.

LIGHT SANDING PREFERABLE.

Sanding after a priming coat should be light, its main purpose being merely to remove fuzz ; otherwise part of the priming coat will be removed and—consequently—the timber loses some of the protection which this process is intended to give. In addition, the final finishing coats are bound to suffer.

For this reason, some authorities prefer to have laths sanded by hand after priming, using very fine sandpaper or glasspaper. A few light strokes suffices to restore a smooth finish, ideal for applying the next coat of paint. This hand sanding process may be executed at a bench adjacent to the sanding machine.

The laths and rails will need to be passed to the machine for sanding the ends by means of an electric sanding disc. Several laths can be treated at one time, so that the total operation does not interfere seriously with production. The laths must be held firmly together, with all the ends perfectly level and parallel.

Sanding inevitably results in particles of wood dust being present in the atmosphere : thus even when hand-sanding is employed, it is imperative that the work should be taken outside the Finishing Department.

ELIMINATE DUST.

After sanding it is essential that wood dust be removed by air pressure or brush. The use of rags or fabric of any kind will leave particles of fluff and lint in the grain which interfere writh later finishing processes.

In addition to basswood, certain other timbers also require sanding—Ponderosa pine, for example. Port Orford and certain other cedars with a harder grain and retaining a resinuous content, however, are seldom sanded after priming as moisture in the priming coat does not affect the slightly oily surface of either laths or rails.

COLOUR CHANGES.

In factories turning out a wide range of light and dark coloured laths and rails, some expert attention must be paid to the question of how and when colours should be changed in the lath painting apparatus. Much time can be saved by planning the output so that changes in the colouring matter are reduced to a minimum, coating many orders in one colour before altering colours for the next order.

While certain machines are cleverly and efficiently designed to accelerate colour changes, yet great care is necessary if the changes are to be thoroughly satisfactory.

For instance, if a machine changes from green or dark blue to ivory or blush rose, the only method of obtaining a clear, satisfactory match to sample is to have every part of the machine thoroughly cleansed.

With a wide colour range, time lost in changing colours may amount to considerable proportions ; and no doubt this is one reason for a practice being adopted widely by manufacturers specialising in metal Venetian blinds.

It has become quite usual to confine the choice of colour in laths to one or two, and laths as well as rails are stocked in these colours, often large quantities being held ready to cope with urgent orders. Colour, a most important selling feature of course, is obtained by using a wider range of ladder tapes and cords. As to-day’s trend is all towards lighter shades in interior decoration, it is no hardship to restrict lath colours to ivory and eggshell or blush rose.

Another excellent reason for restricting lath colour is that ladder tape can be had with one colour facing outside and another for the interior view. This enables ladder tapes to provide touches of colour in the Venetians, which harmonize pleasantly with room interior decorations. This is the “Du-Col” range, reference to which appears elsewhere in the present volume. See Sections EIGHT and NINE.

WORK LIGHT COLOURS FIRST.

When colour changes must be made, however, time can be saved by starting a run with light shades, such as ivory : and then changing to darker colours such as green and blue.

Another time-saving method is to make more frequent use of the spray painting booths for small, urgent orders when the lath painting machines are fully occupied on an entirely different colour. The use of simple spray-painting units, for odd jobs, is an economy, for it renders unnecessary a colour change in the painting machine.

In larger Finishing Departments it may be possible always to have a spray painting booth in reserve for such emergencies.

NATURAL WOOD GRAINS.

Another development in interior decoration has affected the Venetian blind industry and is likely to affect it still more in the near future. This is the trend towards natural finishes for wood :    i.e., finishes which exploit the natural beauty of

grain and figure, eliminating paint and lacquer and demanding nothing except a preservative which leaves the grain showing all its natural beauty.

That blinds can be finished in accordance with this modern trend is another big selling feature. The laths and rails need to be carefully selected so that they are, approximately, of a similar basic colour and grain : although natural variations here, too, are not at all inharmonious.

Fine sanding is a necessity ; more so, perhaps, than without paint finishes. No painting or spraying of colour is required, although a sealing coat may be given by either spray or machine. Several coats may be advisable, but here a great deal depends on the original seasoning and present condition of the timber. Coats dry rapidly and render the laths easy to handle, being less liable to delay in the drying racks during damp weather.

Natural finished laths offer wide scope for utilising ladder tape and cord to correspond. One of the smartest combinations is that of natural-finish with tape the colour of tree bark : another very pleasing effect is obtained with lcat-grecn tape.



The use of Sutural Wood drain for the lallh of J enetian blinds for a wide window, with tapes in keeping irith the decora!it e scheme of room.

PAINT DRYING METHODS.

The drying racks section, as indicated in Diagram D is in two parts. One receives laths already placed on racks as they leave the spray painting booth : the other contains the racks on which have been hung laths as they leave the painting machine.

Various types of drying racks have been produced from time to time, all more or less efficient. Paint must not be allowed to accumulate and solidify at the point from which the lath is supported, nor must the support itself remove any of the paint, nor must the use of a support reduce the thickness of the coating in any way. This means that the area of support should be minute and—if possible—towards the upper part of the lath so that paint (as it slowly dries) cannot run down and coagulate at the supporting point.

Suitable drying racks can be obtained from manufacturers to the blind industry, or can be made easily from strips of wood fixed at right angles to some convenient wall or partition.

If no such wall exists, then a low partition can be erected at or adjacent to the lath painting machines. Nails are driven through this wood at an angle from the back, so that their points project from the front and thus form supports on which laths can be hung.

After the priming coat the laths may be placed endways on the floor, leaning against these nail points. This separates laths with only a priming coat from those which have received one or more finishing coats, the latter being hung by the cord holes on another set of racks which may be mounted on trolleys and wheeled into the drying rack section. Walls adjacent to the painting machine are especially convenient for such racks when primer-coated laths have to be wheeled out, through the double doors, into the machine shop for sanding.

Metal racks can be purchased for drying laths which have one or two finishing coats. These support the laths in a horizontal position with the aid of small hooks which catch and hold one edge of each lath. The ideal is for such lath racks to be mounted on trolleys : thus they are loaded by hand, as laths leave the lath painting machines, and then wheeled into the drying section where they are out of harm’s way.

Opinions differ as to whether better results are obtained with laths drying horizontally, or if they should be hung vertically in the drying process.

In any case, the racks should allow ample air to reach both sides, the edges and the ends. Racks should not be placed too low, tor dust—raised by operatives’ fee and trolley wheels— is liable to settle on laths placed any nearer the floor than 12 in.

ARTIFICIAL DRYING AIDS.

Much more attention has been given of late to ventilation during the drying process, and one leading authority now recommends that electric fans be used to ensure adequate circulation. These fans should be so placed as to direct currents of air slowly towards the edges or ends -not over the flat surfaces—of the laths.

DRYING CHAMBERS.

Carried to its logical conclusion, of course, this recommendation implies a totally-enclosed drying chamber, with the air heated and circulated automatically, a step towards air-conditioning which undoubtedly cannot be much longer delayed for the drying section as well as for the entire factory. Heating and controlling the air, even if air conditioning is not adopted immediately, would eliminate at a stroke all the delay and difficulties experienced by so many blind manufacturers when damp weather prevents synthetic enamels from hardening in their usual time.

This interferes with production time-tables and creates a tendency to assemble blinds before the enamel has become thoroughly hard. It often results in the laths adhering to each other during or just after stringing.

These laths have to be withdrawn and replaced by others which may not be free from the same defect.

There are firms, expert in planning and supplying drying and air-conditioning plant, who will gladly advise upon and quote for the installation of an efficient system for any size of workshop or factory.

CLEANLINESS ESSENTIAL.

An essential feature, which can hardly be over-emphasised, in the Finishing Department is cleanliness, not only of the plant, Hoor, and operatives generally, but also of the atmosphere.

When laths have to be sanded after priming, they should be wheeled out of the Finishing Department altogether and taken on trolleys to the sander in the machine shop.

The Finishing Department ought to be insulated from the wood-working machinery and Assembly Department by a dustproof wall, access being gained by double doors one pair of which cannot open until the other pair have closed. A Dust Extraction plant is a valuable aid to cleanliness in the machine shop. The ideal for Finishing Department, is to have dust extraction and air-conditioning, and this may become usual practice within the next few years.

Until then, however, nothing must be neglected if it will lessen the risk of foreign particles, wood dust, and grit settling on newly-coated surfaces and spoiling the finish. No woodworking tool or process of any description should be tolerated in the Finishing Department.

SAFEGUARDS.

Covered waste receptacles should be provided at all necessary points for paint rags, waste cotton, and other useless, soiled materials which tend to accumulate on benches and below stools. Bins which have self-closing lids are to be recommended in this direction, as they prevent dust from rags rising into the atmosphere. Due precautions will be taken against fire risks ; and any paint supplies, not actually in use in the machines or booths, should be stored in metal containers or cupboards suitably insulated.

Reserve stocks of paints, varnishes, lacquers, primers and other inflammable stores, as well as cotton waste, polishing cloths, and white rags, should all be stored outside the Finishing Department and issued only on receipt of the appropriate Requisition order.

INSPECTION NECESSARY.

After careful inspection for blemishes or imperfections of any kind in the finish, laths and rails are placed on trucks and wheeled into the Assembly department.


I nique example »J advanced I enetian blind practice with wide I enetian, sixDu-Coln tapes and toned laths, screened hv a huge circular decorative panel, to form an imposing feature of a lounge.


Here is a tce/l-equipped surgery' of a Dental Surgeon.



.v s e m bly of Vi? n et i an    h i n ds

Factory Practice


Assembly Procedure; Motion Study; Assembly Line; Tapes and Cords; Correct overlapping of Laths and cross tape margins ; Final inspection.

Assembly Procedure

ASSEMBLY consists of mounting all the metal accessories ji \ on the head rail ; fitting tilt rail ; adding ladder tape and cords ; attaching the bottom rail and positioning the laths.

In certain workshops all the essential parts are mounted on the head rail before it is spray-painted. This enables all visible parts of the mechanism to be finished by the same painting operation as the head rail, guaranteeing almost identical colour and creating an effect of unity, rendering the mechanism less conspicuous.

Many other manufacturers, however, do not agree with this policy on practical grounds. Paint may and sometimes does interfere with the smooth working of certain vital parts — pulleys, for example, and operating shafts. It is stated too, that well-finished rustless metal components have a beauty and utility of their own and require no hiding or screen whatever.

Further, any concealment by painting may cover up defects, whereas the frank exposure of metal suggests that the manufacturer is proud of his workmanship and leaves it open for anyone to inspect and admire.

As the trend to-day is decidedly toward high-grade finish and appearance, we are entitled to assume that only the best quality plated hardware is to be used, and that head rails will be painted and completely finished before being passed to the hardware assembly benches.

AS THE CROW FLIES.

All other processes—apart from final inspection, packing, and despatch, of course—end at the Assembly Department where a smooth-running organisation and well-designed layout are essential for rapid and economical production.

Assembly should proceed on flow production lines, each individual process or section being fed by other departments as their individual parts are required.

Laths and head rails from the finishing departments come in at one point : ladder tapes and cords are to hand immediately at another point : accessories are fed from convenient bins into which the operator’s hand falls at exactly the right moment.

PLAN THE FLOW.

Laths and head rails, arranged in convenient bundles or placed in racks and mounted on a trolley, all properly labelled with the Order Number, quantities, sizes, and any individual instructions or comments from other departments, are delivered at regular intervals to the Assembly Department.

Here the laths are taken direct to benches for “stringing” i.e., for cording and fitting with ladder tapes.

The head rails go immediately to the hardware assembly benches. Time is more frequently lost here than at any other part of the factory, so there is urgent need for really efficient planning of all operations.

There must be ample bench space for every operative, a complete tool equipment for each, the most effective timesaving and labour-saving plant available, and modern methods in serving skilled workers with parts as and when required.

MOTION STUDY USEFUL.

An occasional investigation into “lost motion” at these benches will probably reveal operations where time could be saved with advantage all round. Records should be kept and a check occasionally made, to indicate at what stages the various parts are required so that each part may be instantly available at exactly the right moment.

Many ingenious devices may be adopted to save motion time. For instance, a circular piece of metal or wood with ten bins arranged on its circumference, the circle revolving one-tenth of a revolution when the operator presses a foot pedal. Each time the pedal is pressed, another bin (containing supplies of the next part to be fitted), comes within easy reach of the operative’s hand. Another idea ; stationary bins may differ in colour when parts are selected by sight, or in shape when parts are chosen by hand.

It will be understood, of course, that all parts are unwrapped before being sent to the assembly benches, and that bins are replenished immediately they fall to a pre-determined low level.

Such replenishing work can be given to unskilled workers paid a lower rate than those who have learned the art of rapid, accurate assembly.

SPEED IS DESIRABLE.

Time can often be saved by attending to what appear to be mere trifles. For instance, screw nails placed in specially-designed racks, with the heads all pointing on the most convenient direction, so that the operative can pick up each screw and place it in position without any lost motion, save operatives in one establishment an hour each shift. Multiplied by the number of operatives and shifts in the course of a year, this hour represents a very substantial annual sum.

ACCURACY IS VITAL.

Yet important as speed in assembly may be, it must always be regarded as secondary to accuracy. Modern equipment however, often ensures accuracy as a matter of course and yet accelerates production. For instance, the systematic employment of templates, dies and jigs, for centering screw-holes and marking positions for boring, routing and cutting, all save time and lessen the risk of slight errors. It is imperative that these accessories themselves be checked periodically, and that their use be reviewed from time to time, especially at the beginning of each season when new designs may suggest cuts in assembly costs.

SPECIALISE OPERATIONS.

As the volume of business increases, so the assembly benches should become more specialised, each operative undertaking fewer operations. This specialising accelerates output and lowers costs. Re-planning flow is not necessarily a difficult or expensive matter, being confined to lengthening the assembly lines, re-positioning electric drills and other power-driven equipment, and perhaps adjusting the points at which stocks of accessories are fed to the assembly lines.

ASSEMBLY LINE STUDY.

Detail arrangement of assembly lines is a matter for individual factories, as practices differ widely, depending—for one thing -on the type of tilt action and whether it lends itself better to separate assembly or if it should be assembled along with the corresponding head rail.

In the latter case, at what point should it join the head rail assembly ?

As a rule the bottom rail can be assembled quite separately ; and in more than one layout the bottom rail passes immediately to the main assembly shop and takes its place along with the laths ; thus all the ladder tapes and cords may be attached, after which the entire unit is placed on one side pending arrival of the head rails and tilt rails.

INSPECTION.

After coming off the assembly lines the head rails and tilt rails should be all individually examined and tested for smooth operation and freedom from binding ; the sizes are also checked with the original order copy.

Then the rails are re-grouped, either in individual orders, or individual blinds, and sent to the main assembly shop where laths (and probably bottom rails as well) have arrived from the finishing shop.

While the head rails have been equipped with hardware in the assembly lines, the laths have been brought into the main assembly shop for “stringing.”

TAPES AND CORDS.

The first process in “stringing” is to provide tapes and cords for each blind.

A separate bench is almost essential for this purpose, augmented by shelves or cupboards for the storage of adequate reserves.

Tape and cord for immediate use should be mounted on racks, or placed in overhead containers, so arranged that a light pull is sufficient to bring the tape or cord forward in readiness to cut to the required lengths.

Much time can be saved by preparing a schedule of cutting lengths, indicating at a glance how much tape and cord should be cut for each size of blind.

The schedule of lengths may be printed and mounted on cardboard and given a coat of clear varnish to maintain legibility.

The bench should have a flat yard measure sunk flush with the cutting surface, but in addition one or two clearly-marked yard-sticks should be provided. Also necessary are scissors, cutters, clips or files for orders and requisitions on hand, and a duplicate book for recording all goods issued, giving Order Number, lengths, prices, and any other information required by the counting house for costing purposes.

CORRECT OVERLAPPING OF VENETIAN BLIND LATHS

IT is very important that Venetian blind slats overlap correctly and even generously. If they do not, the precise control of the light and air into the room is lost. Generous overlapping ensures correct deflection of air and light at all angles, it diffuses harsh, bright lights and controls and prevents draughts.


DEFLECTION OF AIR AND LIGHT BY CORRECT OVERLAP





LATHS CLOSED Oenerous overlap of luth*. Air and light aim oil totally excluded.

No draught t.


Stage 4

LATHS FULL Y OPEN

straight in.


INFILTRATION OF LIGHT AND AIR BY INCORRECT OVERLAP

W hen incorrect overlapping is permitted the blind fails to perform its proper function as a Venetian as intended. Such a blind permits the uncontrolled flow of air and light into the room, no matter at what angles the slats may be adjusted. It encourages draughts and the deflection of harsh, bright lights into the room.





Stage 4

LATHS FULLY OPEN Ait comes straight in.


ALLOW A COMPENSATING MARGIN IN LADDER TAPE, CROSS-TAPES

Venetian blind laths should never fit tightly between the ladder tapes. Some margin of play is essential for the “ take-up ” when the laths are tilted. Correct margin of Cross tapes, see Figs. 5 and 6. Laths fitting too tightly between the ladder tapes cause ugly bulging of the tapes in unsightly protuberances, when the laths are tilted, see Figs. 7 and 8. This also throws the angles of laths out of uniformity. The bulges shorten the vertical tapes by about J in. at each lath. In a blind of 16 laths the distortion is 2 ins. Because of this distortion, light and air can enter the room without deflection. Cheap ordinary ladder tapes, improperly constructed, result in faulty blinds.




ASSEMBLY RACKS.

All parts meet finally at the assembly racks, a series of metal supports which may be stationary or adjustable.

The adjustable variety have won the approval of most factory managers. The adjustable type has a top member which may be raised or lowered by means of cord and pulleys. The head rail and tilt rail are placed on the top part of the rack, then the tapes are attached from head rail to tilt rail, and the top member raised to a convenient height for the operator to insert the laths.

As the laths are inserted, a pull on the cords is sufficient to raise the head rail and tilt rail, so that another section of the blind may be completed without the operator having to bend down, or use a ladder to reach up.

PROTECTION AT FLOOR LEVEL.

The inserting of laths and completing the blind known as “stringing” is normally performed by women. Throughout the process it is essential to safeguard cords, tapes and light-coloured laths from becoming soiled.

Some protection must be arranged on the floor, otherwise the tapes may become soiled before they are hoisted and equipped with laths. This protection may take the form of a metal trough, or a light framework of timber covered with canvas.

LADDER TAPES.

The ladder tape must be attached evenly on both sides or— with a three-tape blind—on all three tapes positions to tilt rail and bottom rail, as the slightest deviation will prevent the laths from hanging perfectly parallel with the tilt rail and head rail. After inserting one or two laths it is wise to check the alignment and make certain that the tape is fixed perfectly even.

FIX ELEVATOR CORDS.

After fixing the ladder tapes to tilt rail and before raising the top member so as to bring another part of the blind in a position to string, it is well to thread the longer raising cord through the cord stop, across the top of the head rail, over the pulleys and down via the lath holes.

FIT TILTING CORD.

The tilting cord is then inserted or attached to the worm gear control and acorns or tassels placed at each end of the cord.

The assembly rack is now raised, and another part strung : if necessary the rack can be pulled still higher, to allow the blind to be completely strung.

SECURE TAPES AND CORDS.

The tapes and cords are then secured to the bottom of the bottom rail.

In cording it is easy to make one error by placing the cord to the wrong side of the cross tapes; this throws out the entire cording from that point. Before finally fastening the cords, therefore, it is wise to glance up and make certain that all the cords are correctly inserted, i.e., alternately to left and right of the cross-tapes. See pages 64 and 65.

The Assembly Department should comprise two entirely distinct sections, viz : one in which the rails are assembled, and the other where rails and laths are made into complete blinds. It is an advantage if the Assembly Department space can be so arranged that in the event of heavy pressure of work in one section, it overflows into the other section.

For instance, a “neutral” section could be provided in the factory. When something is required to be done in a hurry an additional assembly bench could be brought into this area and the output accelerated. If, on the other hand, many blinds await stringing, then a reserve stringing rack is erected in the neutral space and additional workers start to deal with the arrears.

EXAMINATION.

Before a blind leaves the assembly racks it should be thoroughly examined, a process facilitated by the racks as they allow every inch of each lath, and of the ladder tape, to be scrutinised meticulously. The examiner may raise and lower the complete blind until he is satisfied that it conforms to the usual factory standard. If it does not, then adjustments can sometimes be made without removing the blind from its rack : otherwise the head rail must be detached and further tested until the fault is found and remedied, or the whole blind taken down, dismantled and re-assembled.

FINAL INSPECTION AND DISPATCH.

From the Assembly Department, blinds pass to a final Inspection Department and then to the dispatch department which should be conveniently located for loading trucks alongside the loading platform.

AN ADAPTABLE SYSTEM.

This text assumes throughout, a building devoted exclusively to the manufacture of blinds. It may be that blind manufacture is only one of several different activities in which the owners of the business are engaged.

If so, there are opportunities for employing the saws, borers, slotters, planers, sanders, etc., for other purposes, while the finishing department may also deal with other goods.

Then the arrangements for receiving timber, and for dispatching the finished blinds, may be part of the general facilities for receiving and dispatch of a wider variety of goods.

Manufacturers or blind makers, in such cases, will find it a simple matter to adapt the layout, as suggested in Diagram D, to suit their individual needs.

Our aim has been to give a survey which can be used as a basis for plans for any Venetian blind factory, adaptable to the needs of individual concerns.

We have endeavoured to present observations, which together with illustrations and examples in all Sections will serve to stimulate the How of ideas that can usefully be translated into practice.

SUNAIRE ALLMETAL


Venetian Blinds

The SUNAIRE all-metal Venetian blind, with scientifically curved laths of thin aluminium or spring steel give ideal control of light and air—with positive overlap of laths when closed. The head mechanism is concealed and protected. The smooth surface ensures durable finishedeasy clean and the laths nest in one-third the bundling space of wooden laths, when raised.

HE Venetian blinds illustrated


above are made of “Lamicoid,” a synthetic of Bakelite phenolic resin, laminated under pressure. The laths are thin, of light weight and embody the advantages of translucency, ease of cleaning, fire-resisting, non-warping, and they give very high insulation during hot weather.

Key to Show boors! of Accessories

1. S" brass plated tack.

2.    2" brass plated tack.

3.    Oval, head tubular rivet, used to fasten 21a, 86 and 31a.

4.    Rawl plug, 1", for plaster installations.

5.    Rawl plug, for plaster installations.

10. Automatic cord stop.

It. Rubber tilt cord knobs.

12.    Wood tilt cord knobs.

13.    machine screw's (various lengths).

14.    Front pull fixture.

H-15. Tilt rail center support hook (2 parts).

16.    Ring and link to connect lifting cables to tubing on oscillating roll head.

17.    Jamb or inside angle bracket for Rod 51 or wire 94 guides.

18.    Chain to connect lifting cables to tubing on oscillating roll head.

19.    Porcelain guide ring.

20. Porcelain bushing for oscillators.

21 A. Brass guide clip used on guide slat for rod 51.

21B. Brass guide clip used on bottom rail for rod guide 51.

22.    2" Pulley shafts.

23.    ?g"    Ball bearing    pulley.

23A.    J|"    Ball bearing    pulley.

24.    if"    Pulley shaft.

25.    Sill    or jamb hold    down bracket.

27.    Stock    angle bracket    2$" X2J"    (other    sizes

also).

29.    Outside or face angle for 53 or 80 Channel guide.

30.    Brass connector, used with 33, 31A and 32B on S3 channel guide.

31 A. Brass guide clip, used on ,V' guide slat for 53 channel guide.

32B. Brass guide clip, used on bottom rail for 53 channel guide.

33.    Brass    channel slider    for channel    guide    53

used with brass connector 30.

34.    Cord holder, used when automatic stop is not furnished.

34A. Cord holder with large base.

35.    Sill cord holder.

35A. Sill cord holder.

36.    "    Fibre pulley.

37A. Small rubber wedge and sliding case for rubber cushioned automatic stop 61A.

37B. Large rubber w'edge and sliding case for rubber cushioned automatic stop 61 A.

51.    Brass    guide rod.

53.    Brass    channel guide J"x£".

58.    Tilt rail clip, used on end of tilt rail to reinforce same.

58A. Tilt rail clip (heavy duty) used on very large blinds only.

59.    Zinc alloy tilt cord knobs.

60.    Zinc alloy worm gear tilting device. (Can be used with either bead chain or cord).

60A. Bronze (heavy duty) worm gear tilting device, for very large blinds only.

61A. Rubber cushioned automatic stop cord.

63.    Tilt rail hanger, used when automatic cord stop is not furnished.

63A. Tilt rail hanger (heavy duty), used on oscillating roll heads.

64.    Utility installation bracket.

66. Cord equalizer.

71. Valance clip, used as centre on valances in conjunction with 100 bracket.

80.    Aluminium channel guide, J" X J".

81.    Brass or aluminium slat clip, used with 80 channel guide on 4" guide slats.

82.    U installation angle. Top hangs into head of w'indow jamb.

83.    Centre support angle for head rail.

84.    Plaster plate for 34 cord holder.

85.    Jamb extension for 53 or 80 channel guides. Illustration shows extension rivetted to 53 channel.

86.    Brass guide clip used on w" guide slat for wire guide 94.

86A. Brass guide clip used on bottom rail for W'ire guide 94.

87.    Outside or face bracket connected to 80 channel. Can also be used on S3 channel.

88.    Die casted worm gear tilting device (obsolete).

89.    Steel plated chain for 60A worm gear tilt.

90.    |V" Brass pulley.

91.    Outside or face angle for rod 51 or w ire 94 guide.

92.    Nut for 93A rod guide or thread 93 used on wire guide 94.

93.    Thread used on ends of 94 wire guide.

94.    Bronze wire guide.

95.    Toggle bolt. Specify7 length required.

99.    Universal installation    brackets.

100.    New “Enclosed head    bracket.”

C.    2" 10 round head screw brass plated.

D.    ij'' 8 round head screw brass plated.

E.    1"    7    round    head    screw    brass    plated.

F.    £-"    7    round    head    screw    brass    plated.

G.    I”    6    round    head    screw    brass    plated.

H.    f''    5    round    head    screw'    brass    plated.

I.    i"    4    round    head    screw    plain    steel.

J.    7 flat head self tapping screw brass plated.

K.    J" 7 round head self tapping screw' brass plated.

L.    I" 7 round head self tapping screw brass plated.

M.    J" 10 round head self tapping screw brass plated.

N.    1" 10 round head self tapping screw brass plated.

O.    1 J" 10 round head self tapping screw brass plated.

P.    2" 10 round head self tapping screw brass plated.

R.    2” 8 flat head wood screw' brass plated.

S.    1 J" 8    flat    head    wood    screw    brass    plated.

T.    1 J" 6    flat    head    wood    screw    brass    plated.

U.    1" 6 flat head wood screw brass plated.

V.    1" 10    flat    head    wood    screw'    brass    plated.

W.    i" 7 oval    head    wood    screw    brass    plated.

X.    i” 6 flat head wood screw brass plated.


A SHOWBOARD OF ACCESSORIES FOR VENETIANS

—By Western



SHOP DISPLAY WINDOW

Example of use of l enetian blind in a corner window as decorative background for Display, combined with easy entrance to windmv from the back for xcindcnc dressing.

END OF APPENDIX

enetian blinds Glossary



Glossary of terms used, in the Making and Fitting of Venetian blinds

ANCHORAGE FOR TAPES


ANCHORAGE FOR CORDS


ANGLE

BRACKETS


ARISING


AUTOMATIC

STOPS


AWNINGS


BEAUMONT

ACTION


BORING

(SLOTTING)


Glossary oj Terms and Units

A spring clip with four curved lugs which is sprung over the tape ends on the bottom lath of metal blinds, which serves to fix the ladder tape to bottom lath.

A half-cylinder sleeve, welded or soldered to the inner top side of metal bottom lath, through which pull cord is passed and fastened by means of a metal capping, which fixes cord to bottom lath.

Brackets made of iron or other metal, right-angle shape, varying in size from 3 in.X2 in. upwards and from | in. wide, usually tinned or galvanised, and used to fasten the head rail to the window woodwork. Angle brackets are fluted and have counter-sunk screw-holes, but one end may be pointed for driving into stonework.

The process of chamfering or bevelling the edges and corners of laths. (Scots term.)

A component for stopping and releasing the pullcords to hold blind at any desired position. A simple unit is the Beaumont Action described below.

Blinds which are fixed outside windows, doors, porches, or loggias, to shield sunlight and allow air to circulate. Many types can be constructed with Venetian laths.

A patented component of simple design and great efficiency, comprising a series of stops and grooves (one stop and one groove for each tape in the blind), so designed as to grip the cord and prevent it slipping back when “pull” on the cord is released. Thus, when the blind is pulled up and the cord left unsupported, this action holds the blind at whatsoever point it has reached. To allow the blind to descend, the control cord is pulled ; this causes the action to pivot on its fixing plate. The stops fall over by gravity, and release the cord which then passes through the grooves quite freely and allows the blind to be lowered.

Machine for cutting slots and pulley holes and for boring cord holes in head rails, also for boring cord holes in bottom rails.

Metal eyelettes pressed into the cord holes of laths, with flanges and smooth inside surface to obviate wear on blind cords.

The tilt lath. “Cant” and “Slant” are also used alone, as nouns as well as adjectives.

Neat metal arms or brackets, used to support the head rail ; or which—fastened to the head rail—support the top tilt rail, whilst allowing it to tilt to utmost capacity. The object is to help carry the weight and to keep the top rail level where the supports are wide apart, in blinds of extra normal width.

A cover which encloses the sprocket or gear wheel, operated by chain -used in mechanically-operated lift for metal blinds of large area.

Guide rods or channel-shaped metal guides, which are fitted vertically to the casing of windows or doors to carry sliding attachments which keep the Venetian blind from swaying to or from the window.

The ends of tilt rail, the bottom rail and the main laths, at equal intervals (frequently every seventh lath) are fitted with eyes or rings in case of guide rods, or with properly shaped T pieces to fit into the channel shaped guides. These end attachments slide easily up and down as blind is raised or lowered.

“End” and “Surface” checking—splitting at the ends, or on the surface.

The hook round which blind cords are turned, keeping them tidy and always ready for use. In certain types of blind the cleat hook holds the blind in position by means of knots arranged in the cords, the knotted cord being placed below the lower end of the cleat hook.

Adopted for blinds over 5 feet wide to ease the load and make the lifting of the blind comparatively effortless.

Units, usually metal, to take up the slack in cords due to stretch or wear, to secure perfect level of laths.

BRASS

EYELETTES


CANT LATH


CENTRE

SUPPORTS


CHAIN

GUARD


CHANNEL

GUIDES


“CHECKING"

(SPLITTING)

CLEAT

HOOK


COMPOUND

LIFT


CORD

EQUALISERS


COUPLING

COVER PLATE CROSS-TAPES


DE-PITCHED TIMBER


“DIRECT

ACTION”

Punching

machine


DRAPERY

HEAD


DRIVING EYE


DU-COL TAPES


END PILING


EQUALISER

••ESCALDRA"


EXTENSION

BRACKET

FACIA


Unit to connect cords to chains—or to connect cords end to end so as to give continuous cord.

A metal plate to cover knots in the cord.

The narrow horizontal straps woven as an integral part of the ladder tapes—upon which the main laths are supported and by which the tilt motion is conveyed to the laths.

Stains appear in wood laths caused by resin, oil or pitch substances in the wood. These can be safeguarded against by certain processes used by Timber suppliers, which render timber free from these stains. It is termed de-pitched timber.

A machine for punching the main laths. It cuts a clean, uniform-sized hole and reduces the risk of splitting to a minimum. The counterweight avoids any heavy physical strain, and accelerates production. Others have springs.

Wooden or metal valances which conceal the head rail of blind and serve to conceal or carry supports of the fabric drapes, net curtains or side curtains to give soft decorative effects in harmony with the room furnishings.

An eye used to guide the cord, keeping it hanging tidily close to the window wood-work.

The name of “Fleur-de-lis” Brand Ladder Tapes with two colours combined. The tapes seen from the outside of windows can be uniform throughout a house or large building, whilst the tapes seen from the inside rooms can be varied to suit the colour scheme and furnishings of the rooms.

End stacking—boards stacked on their ends. Easier to handle this way.

See Cord Equalisers.

A patented metal arm, which supports an awning, for windows with casement opening.

A bracket designed to give a projection of the blind and for attachment to metal casements.

A wood or metal face-plate which serves to conceal the head rail and mechanism, and may also serve to protect and conceal supports of any drapes, nets or side curtains.

The horizontal member against which laths are held when being cut by circular saw or bored by a boring machine.

An inexpensive mechanism which has a tension spring of high-grade steel to hold the tilt rail in any predetermined position.

The rough fibry surface which appears in wood laths after priming coat, which must be sanded off before a second coat is given.

A window with a Gothic shaped top.

A simple, convenient tool for cutting specimen laths and doing occasional work. It is used with a hammer in the ordinary way as a punch but is laborious for work of any quantity. The cutting edge must always be kept sharp.

A metal housing or box in which is mounted all mechanisms— tilting gears and rods, automatic stops, friction shoes, pulleys, cords, etc.

The mechanical units, mounted in the head member including tilting gears and rods, automatic stops, friction shoes, pulleys, cords, etc.

A longer, thicker lath into which are inserted the pulleys, swivel rollers, and Beaumont action. The top lath is attached to the head rail by webbing. The head rail is sometimes called the “pulley head” or “morticed head.” The head rail is attached to the window wood-work by angle brackets.

The Herringbone pattern in the weaving of the ladder tapes and which indicates that the manner in which tapes must be hung is with the centre line of arrows pointing upwards.

An accessory which enables the bottom rail of the blind to be fastened to the sill or jamb of the window. Also called sill brackets.

A type of cord-holder, more usually employed with roller blinds ; it has a jamming action as the cord is wound round the shank, each layer of cord helping to hold the previous layer in position.

FENCE

FRICTION

TII.TING

FUZZ


GOTHIC HEAD HAND PUNCH


HEAD

MEMBER

U.S.A.


HEAD

MECHANISM


HEAD RAII. OR

HEAD LATH


HERRING

BONE


HOLD DOWN BRACKETS


HOLDFAST


KILN

DRYING


KII-N TRUCKS


LATHS


LATHS MAIN (as above)


LATH TOP


LATH

BOTTOM


The artificial method of drying and “seasoning” timber by means of scientifically constructed and operated ovens or kilns. Mas the advantage of being quicker, and properly utilized, safer and gives more accurate drying to pre-determined requirements.

The metal carriers on wheels used for loading and carrying stacks of timber into the drying kilns ; removing from kilns ; and transferring to and from locations. A labour saving unit.

Made from wood specially chosen for its ability to withstand heat and damp without any tendency to twist, warp, or split. The grain must take and retain a good finish and the finish must resist weather conditions to a great extent.

After years of exposure to heat and damp, the laths must be in a condition good enough to justify re-finishing, afterwards giving another long period without losing shape or splitting. .Many Venetian blinds have given satisfactory service for forty and fifty years.

For ordinary purposes the various grades of pine white, pitch, bright yellow and Columbian—are quite suitable while better quality blinds are made from St. John spruce and silver spruce. In some cases mahogany has been used effectively, and export orders are often executed in teak.

Laths vary in width from 3 in. down to the so-called “domicile” lath of 11 in. In thickness the lath is usually J in., but heavier laths are used for the top and bottom laths in each blind.

Metal laths are now being largely used in modern practice.

Are held in position by a double tape in which are woven cross webs or straps or tapes at exactly equal intervals, thereby ensuring even spacing of the laths. This is a vital point in efficiency as well as in the appearance of a blind.

The uppermost of the laths, as distinct from the head lath or top rail. Often called the “Tilt Lath.” The top lath is the one to which the ladder tapes are secured. See Tilt Lath.

Lowest of all, often thicker than the main laths so as to“weight” the blind ; sometimes rounded at the lower edge to give a pleasing finish to the blind. Also known as the “bottom plate.”

See Head Rail.

LATH HEAD

LATH SOLE

LATH

CLIPS

LADDER TAPE


The bottom lath. Often abbreviated to the “sole.”

A metal clip for attaching to ends of laths to operate on rods or in channel guides.

The leading brand, known as “Fleur-de-lis,” and made by Thomas French & .Sons, Ltd., Manchester, England, is wound on a patented 5 in. core which eliminates all distortion and gives perfect uniformity in supporting the laths. Creases cannot form in the inside of the coil. By a special process, known as “Firma-Weave” the cross tapes are woven integral with the main tapes, making the latter stronger and longer wearing, at the same time ensuring perfect uniformity in appearance. Can be obtained in single colour, or in a variety of two-colour combinations, called “Du-Col.”

STANDARD SIZES OF “FLEUR-DE-LIS” BRAND LADDER WEB

“FIRMA-WEAVE”

SINGLE COLOURS.

DISTANCE BETWEEN STRAPS

WIDTH OF LATH STRAPS

SIZE

if'

i|" for if' laths

X

if"

aj" for 2" laths

A

If"

A"

B

I?"

a*"

C

2"

2J" for 2§" laths

D

A"

21" for 2J" laths

E

2i"

3"

F

A"

3s"

G

See correct overlapping of Laths and Margin in Cross-Tapes of Ladder Tape, page 2~/0

LOCKING DOG


MARKING

LATH


METAL

TAPES

MORTICED

HEAD

MORTISING AND LATH PUNCHING MACHINE


“OVER

HANGING

STICKERS”

PIRN

BOBBIN


PLANER


“POUNDING” of the planer knives

PULLEYS


PUNCHING

MACHINE


The metal unit which operates to check and grip the pull cords of various types. Component of Automatic Stops.

A lath used for marking-off. Many blind-maker’s have a marking lath for every \ in. in length from i ft. 8 in. to 6 ft. These laths are kept in a rack adjacent to the marking-off bench, and assist in indicating the lengths to which laths must be cut and the positions of the cord holes.

In place of fabric woven tapes, used for Venetians in exposed out-door positions or very heavy blinds. Usually made up of metal links.

See Head Rail.

A powerful machine which cuts slots in the head rail for the pulleys and Automatic Stops. The operation is rapid and accurate, as this machine draws out the first part of the core and allows the chisel a better opportunity to cut the remainder perfectly clean. Strongly recommended for work-rooms with an increasing output. This machine may be obtained without the lath-punching attachment but it is better to include this punch and so be prepared for tackling rush jobs.

Probably stickers with extensions or larger ends for assisting in lifting timber from the ends. See Stickers.

The roller used to carry and support the laths ; often termed the “swivel” or “swivel roller.” It rolls as the blind is tilted. See Rollers.

Machine for planing laths and timber to be used for Venetian blind furnishing.

“Hammering” or uneven action due to excessive pressure against the blade.

These may be ot metal or boxwood or lignum vitae, and are sometimes fitted with metal bushes to reduce wear as far as possible. Pulleys are inserted in the head rail, one above each tape, so mounted that the cord will leave the pulley at a point exactly in the centre of each tape. There are two pulleys for each tape. One is mounted above the tape, as already described. The other is mounted at the end of the head rail and acts as a head pulley, converting the pull through at right angle so that the blind may be controlled from a convenient point below. Pulleys are used also in bottom laths for compound lift.

bor punching slots or holes in the laths, automatically, through which pull cords are threaded and allowing them to tilt.

A coating compound given first to wood before the paint or enamel is applied.

A slightly raised-in-relief pattern of the grain of the wood which sometimes appears on painted or enamelled wooden laths owing to the variation of texture of the annual growth rings caused by the soft growth in Spring and harder growth of Summer. During the drying process, the soft wood shrinks more than the hard wood causing undulation in surface. Careful planing and finish of wood with keen tools and proper sanding is primary safeguard plus special priming coat before painting. After appearance, only curative action is re-planing, re-sanding and re-finishing.

A machine for mechanically painting and finishing laths — made by the Gasway Corporation 6600 Palmer Street, Chicago, 111., U.S.A.

Or “Swivel Actions” or “Swivel Rollers.” These are usually made of boxwood or other hard wood, sometimes provided with flanged metal ends to give prolonged wear, inserted in the head rail.

A stout web or tape is fastened to one edge of the top lath, led over the roller and brought back to the top lath where it is fastened to the other edge. Thus the blind—comprising main laths, bottom lath, and tapes—is virtually suspended by those webs as they pass over the rollers. A pull on the tape is sufficient to tilt the entire blind, as the webs move round the rollers. This gives the “pivotting” action, and provides a simple, foolproof control of lath position. See Pirn Bobbin.

These are used to fasten over the tape ends to the top and bottom laths, giving a neat finish to the blind.

A window with top of round or semi-circular shape. Usually above a transome.

The process of drying timber naturally to reduce its moisture content, by exposure to air, until it is dry and easily workable. Generally a long process.

See “Hold down” brackets.

Neat brackets which allow the head rail to be removed and replaced on head rail brackets, without use of tools.

The placing of skids or sticks between planks of timber, either for seasoning, kiln drying or storing, so as to allow free circulation of air.

PRIMER


RAISED

GRAIN


“ROLLACOAT”

LATH

FINISHER

ROLLERS


ROSETTES


ROUND

HEAD


SEASONING


SILL

BRACKETS

SNAP-IN

BRACKETS

SKIDDING

TIMBER


SPRAY GUN

STACKING

TIMBER


••STICKERS”


STICKING

TIMBER

SUNBURST


SWIVEL

ROLLERS

SYNTHETIC

LATHS


TILT LATH


TRANSOME


VALANCE

BLINDS


VALANCE

BRACKETS

WARPING


WHIRL-ROUND


A tool for spraying paint on to rails and laths as distinct from painting by hand or by machine. Works by air-pressure.

The arrangement of planks of timber in stacks, with skids or sticks between units to allow of proper circulation of air.

Small pieces of timber, perhaps i in.xi in. used to separate boards when stacking timber.

See Skidding Timber.

When a round, semi-circular or Gothic headed window is fitted above transome with laths fixed fan wise, or on a sunray plan, radiating at angles from a central point of transome rail. See Rollers and Pirn Bobbin.

Laths made of synthetic resins, based upon the substance generally known as “Bakelite.” These have properties of translucency, are very light in weight, and permit a wide range of beautiful colours.

The top lath, to which ladder tapes are attached, usually thicker than main laths, and fitted so as to tilt at any desired angle, either by cords attached to 2 screw eyes at end, or by a metal end pin and bracket fitting, frequently with a worm gear mechanism. Its tilting motion is imparted to all main laths by means of the cross-strap of the ladder tapes.

The bar or rail which divides a window horizontally into two sections, usually the top section being much less in depth than the bottom section.

A form of Venetian blind at top of window which usually neither tilts nor lowers. Laths can be set at any pre-determined angle, to direct light to a desired angle, such as to ceiling and therefrom reflected. Also forms a screen, behind which blind mechanisms, lighting units and reflectors can be concealed. Used for shops, factories, etc.

Fittings to hold valance blind laths in pre-determined position, and at pre-determined angle.

The liability of timber to twist or bend out of true, due to shrinkage of the grain, after being made up.

Safeguards are—use quarter-sawn timber, and great care in seasoning or kiln drying. Use sharp, keen tools for planing and making ready.

Revolving holder for rods on which are placed the laths as they are painted, before transfer to drying racks.

Acknowledgments


J HANKS are due, and hereby sincerely accorded to those who hare rendered courteous assistance by supplying information, photographs and basic drawings which help to make as complete as possible this first Edition ofVenetian Blinds.”


Andrew Douglas Esq.    -

American Furniture Mart    -

Architectural Review    -

Avery, J. and Co.    —

Aeraspray Manufacturing    Co. Ltd.


-    EDINBURGH

-    CHICAGO

-    LONDON

-    LONDON

-    BIRMINGHAM


Bettman Archive, The    -    -

Bowman Bros. Ltd.    —    —

British Columbia Timber Commissioner Burlington Venetian Blind Company -


-    NEW YORK

-    LONDON

-    BRITISH COLUMBIA

-    VERMONT, U.S.A.


Christian Science Monitor -Columbia Mills Inc., The -Crittall Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Crown Shade & Screen Co.


BOSTON, U.S.A. NEW YORK BRAINTREE BOSTON, U.S.A.


Dell & Wainwright    -

Dominion Machinery Co. Ltd.

Doris Howard Robertson, A.R.I.B.A.


-    LONDON

-    HALIFAX, ENGLAND

-    LONDON


Gardiner Boyd, Edison Electric Institute G. F. Wells, Esq.    -    -

Good Housekeeping Institute    —

Green & Abbot, Ltd.    —    —

Guarantee Specialty Manufacturing Co.


NEW YORK

SHEFFIELD

LONDON

LONDON

CANADA


Harrods Ltd.    -    —    —

Heal & Sons, Ltd.    -    -

Helena D. Gerloff, Rockefeller Center Hor licks Ltd.    -    -    -

Hugh Spenceley, B.Arch., A.R.I.B.A. -Humphrey & Vera Joel —    -


-    LONDON

-    LONDON

-    NEW YORK

-    LONDON

-    LONDON

-    LONDON


lan Henderson, Esq.


LONDON


Acknowledgmentscontinued

James Robertshaw & Sons, Ltd.

J. G. Wilson Corporation -

Kendal Milne & Co. -Kent Daniel Is Ltd.    -

Kirsch Company    —

Maxwell Fry, E., F.R.I.B.A.

M. B. Pendleton    -

Mica Insulator Company -Miller & Harris -    -

Multi-Craft Products Inc. -

National Venetian Blind Company

Odhams Press Ltd.    —

Plastics    -    -

Rolscreen Company    -

Rex Company Inc.    -

R. W. Spencer, Esq.    -

R. Winstone & Sons, Ltd. -

Saxone Shoe Co., Ltd. -Shriely Ware -    —

Studio {The) Ltd.    -

Swedish Venetian Blind Company

Taylor, A. G., Esq.    -

The Merries -    -

Thomas French & Sons, Ltd. Thomas Robinson & Son, Ltd.

U.S. Forest Service    -

Western Venetian Blind Company

Yardley Venetian Blind Company

-    P AT RI CROFT

-    NEW YORK

-    MANCHESTER

-    LONDON

-    STURGIS, MICHIGAN

-    LONDON

-    CHICAGO

-    U.S.A.

-    LONDON

-    OHIO, U.S.A.

-    LOS ANGELES

-    LONDON

-    LONDON

-    PELLA, IOWA, U.S.A.

-    BOSTON

-    MANCHESTER

-    LONDON

-    KILMARNOCK

-    CHICAGO

-    LONDON

-    NEW YORK

-    MANCHESTER

-    HALE

-    NEW YORK

-    ROCHDALE

-    U.S.A.

-    NEW YORK

-    COLUMBUS, OHIO, U.S.A.

Contents Summary

COLOUR PLATES

PLATE I Colour Harmony    facing Page 5

PLATE II Sub Tropic Scene with Venetians

>>

13°

PLATE III Colour Chart from Primaries

»>

I38

SECTIONS

PLATE IV Drawing Room Colour Scheme

»»

H8

Pages

ONE

Foreword .. .. .. ..

•• 5

Resuscitation of the Venetian ..

. . 10

TWO

Venetian Blinds. How to sell them ..

• • 15

THREE

Measuring, Fixing, Estimating ..

•• 37

FOUR

How to assemble a simple type Venetian ...

.. 51

FIVE

A survey of American current practice ..

.. 67

SIX

Venetian Blind Accessories (See also Appendix)

.. 79

SEVEN

Metal construction of Venetian blinds ..

•• 95

Fixing Venetians to metal windows .. ..

.. 106

EIGHT

Venetian blind Ladder Webbing .. ..

. . Ill

“ Du-Col ” Tapes .. .. .. ..

.. 127

NINE

Colour in Venetian blinds .. .. ..

.. 131

TEN

Modern Synthetic Translucent Laths ..

.. 149

ELEVEN

Shaped Window Heads with Venetians ..

•• i57

Skylights, with Venetians .. .. ..

.. 174

TWELVE

Awnings and Loggias with Venetians ..

.. 177

THIRTEEN

Timber for Venetian Blinds .. .. ..

•• i93

FOURTEEN

Woods. Current U.S.A. Practice .. ..

. . 211

FIFTEEN

Workshop Management .. .. ..

.. 217

SIXTEEN

Layout of Workshop .. .. .. ..

. . 229

SEVENTEEN

Running a Workshop .. .. .. ..

• • 239

EIGHTEEN

Assembly Procedure .. .. ..

.. 265

NINETEEN

Appendix .. .. .. ..

• • 274

TWENTY

Glossary of Terms .. .. .. ..

• • 279

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Thanks sincerely accorded .. .. ..

.. 289

CONTENTS

Index to Sections .. .. .. ..

. . 29I

EPILOGUE

From the Publishers .. .. .. ..

• • 295

For more detailed Index to each Section, see pages 292 and 293

Contents—Index to Sections

SECTION ONE

Page

Page

LADDER WEBB IN G—continued

FOREWORD . .

5

Positioning of tapes .. ..

, #

124

The Resuscitation of the Venetian .. ..

10

Du-Col Tapes .. .. ..

127

SECTION TWO

SECTION NINE

VENETIAN BLINDS.

HOW TO SELL

THEM .. ..

15

COLOUR IN VENETIAN BLINDS

I3t

Example of Du-Col tapes .. ..

133

SECTION THREE

Exterior colour harmonies ..

134

MEASURING, FIXING AND

Artificial lighting .. .. ..

136

ESTIMATING ..

37

Grading colours .. .. ..

137

Measuring and fixing

Diagram C

39

Colours and their Complements ..

138

Measuring

Diagram D

41

Spectrum basis for Colours ..

facing

139

Ready Reckoner

Diagram E

43

Warm and cool colours .. ..

139

List of materials

Diagram F

45

Colour balance .. .. ..

*4°

Costing Sheet

Diagram G

47

Exterior effects .. .. ..

142

SECTION FOUR

Colours and the compass .. ..

144

HOW TO ASSEMBLE A SIMPLE TYPE

Colour combinations ,. ..

146

OF VENETIAN BLIND .. ..

5i

SECTION TEN

Preparing Head Rails and Laths .. ..

52

MODERN SYNTHETIC

Finishing Laths ..

56

TRANSLUCENT LATHS ..

149

Assembly Practice .. .. .. .. Adding Tapes and Accessories .. ..

60

62

Advantages of translucency .. See also Appendix for Example.

*54

Cording Diagram . .

65

SECTION FIVE

AMERICAN VENETIAN BLINDS. SURVEY OF CURRENT PRACTICES

67

SECTION ELEVEN SHAPED VENETIAN BLINDS. VARIOUS WINDOW HEAD SHAPES

*57

SECTION SIX

Transomes .. .. .. .. Round headed .. .. ..

*58

160

VENETIAN BLIND ACCESSORIES.

Semi-circular heads .. .. ..

160

DESCRIPTIONS & ILLUSTRATIONS

79

Gothic heads .. .. ..

160

See also Appendix.

Sunburst types .. .. ..

162

SECTION SEVEN

Cornice and Drapery heads .. ..

164

METAL CONSTRUCTION OF

Facia Heads .. .. .. ..

164

VENETIAN BLINDS ......

95

Swinging Arm Extensions .. ..

166

Metal construction details .. ..

96

Valance blinds .. .. ..

172

Compound lift .. .. .. ..

100

Skylights .. .. .. ..

*74

Roller Action . . .. .. ..

102

See also Appendix for Shop window' backgrounds.

Fixing Venetians to Metal Windows .. See Appendix for “ SUNAIRE ” system.

SECTION EIGHT

106

SECTION TWELVE AWNINGS AND LOGGIAS .. Awnings .. .. .. ..

*77

*78

VENETIAN BLIND LADDER

Weather Resisting factors .. ..

*79

WEBBING ........

111

Positioning .. .. .. ..

180

Manufacture of Fleur-de-lis Ladder Tape ..

112

Assembly points .. .. ..

180

Improved winding . . .. .. ..

118

Specification .. .. ..

182

Firma Weave facts .. .. ..

118

Larger awnings .. ..

*83

Dyeing .. .. .. .. ..

118

Operation details .. .. ..

186

Herring bone advantages .. .. ..

122

Loggias ........

187

Index to Sections

—continued


Page

Page

SECTION THIRTEEN

RUNNING A WORKSHOP, continued

TIMBER FOR VENE TIAN BLINDS . .

>93

Allocation of departments .. ..

240

Varieties of timber used .. .. ..

>94

Storage .. .. .. ..

241

Seasoning .. .. .. ..

196

Machine operations .. ..

242

Air drying .. .. .. .. ..

198

Layout for Flow Production, Diagram

D

243

Kiln drying .. .. .. .. ..

199

Handy racks .. .. ..

244

Stacking .. .. .. .. ..

202

Finishing (American practice) ..

245

Sticking or skidding .. .. ..

202

Primer coat .. .. .. ..

24S

Kiln trucks .. .. .. .. ..

205

Painting .. .. .. ..

246

Schedule of drying times . . .. ..

206

Lath painting machines .. ..

247

Kiln building .. .. .. .. ..

207

Drying department .. .. ..

248

Timber buying .. .. .. ..

208

Spray painting practice .. ..

249

Standardise sizes .. . . . . ..

208

Sanding after Primer .. ..

255

Stocking Timber .. .. .. ..

209

Colour changes on machines ..

256

Natural wood grains .. ..

258

SECTION FOURTEEN

Drying methods .. .. ..

260

WOODS. CURRENT U.S.A. PRACTICE

211

Cleanliness .. .. .. ..

262

Woods, handling and working .. ..

212

Inspection .. .. .. ..

262

Idiosyncrasies .. .. .. ..

212

Raised grain .. .. .. .. ..

212

Oil and pitch .. .. . . ..

213

SECTION EIGHTEEN

Deterioration .. .. ..

214

ASSEMBLY PROCEDURE ..

265

Minimising of warping .. .. ..

215

Assembly line .. .. ..

266

Motion study .. .. .. ..

267

SECTION FIFTEEN

Speed and accuracy .. .. ..

268

WORKSHOP MANAGEMENT ..

217

Tapes and cords .. .. ..

269

Plant and tools .. .. .. ..

218

Correct overlapping of laths ..

270

Stocks .. .. .. .. ..

218

Assembly racks .. .. ..

271

Accessories .. .. .. .. ..

219

Fitting tapes and cords .. ..

272

Components .. .. .. ..

220

Final inspection .. .. ..

273

Costing and quoting .. .. ..

220

Calculating ladder tapes and cords . .

223

SECTION NINETEEN

Renovations .. .. .. ..

224

Painting laths .. .. .. ..

225

APPENDIX........

274

Handling and drying .. .. ..

226

“ Sunaire ” All-metal System ..

274

Example of Translucent laths ..

275

Accessories. Key index to items ..

276

SECTION SIXTEEN

Accessories. Showboard .. ..

277

LAYOUT OF WORKSHOP

229

Venetians as shop Window background

278

Simple factory layouts .. .. ..

229

Equipment machines .. .. ..

230

Tool details .. .. .. ..

232

SECTION TWENTY

Layout diagram A. Small workshop ..

233

GLOSSARY ......

279

Layout diagram B. Larger workshop . .

23S

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .. ..

289

Layout diagram C. Large workshop ..

237

CONTENTS ......

291

INDEX TO SECTIONS .. ..

292

SECTION SEVENTEEN

ft ft ft • • • •

293

RUNNING A WORKSHOP .. ..

239

EPILOGUE........

295

The ideal factory .. .. .. ..

240

Imprint .. .. .. ..

296


A small Dining room until modern furniture, the colour tones of which are echoed in the tapes of Venetians and Curtains.

Epilogue

FEW will deny that the opportunity to develop greater use of the Venetian blind awaits energetic action. Ideas conquer where hard work alone fails. The vision of a prosperous Venetian blind workshop or factory is but an invitation to intelligent work; to the putting in of those foundations upon which a splendid business can be built.

The advantages of Venetian blinds are incontrovertible.

In the domestic sphere, the lady of the house is probably more concerned about the economy and the beauty of her window blinds than her men folk ; and she may have been inclined towards textiles and curtain materials for her window adornment in the past. She will quickly learn of the advantages of Venetians.

Business men are usually practical ; so are most men in the professions. Architects appreciate the virtues of Venetians. The opportunities for Venetians in Offices, Administrative Buildings, Hospitals, Clinics, Restaurants, Factories and Shops provide a field ready for development by the enterprising that is almost unlimited.

One last word. If, from our years of experience and accumulated knowledge, we are able to answer any questions regarding Venetian blinds, and to render help to those desirous of developing the use of Venetians, please write to us.

Thomas French & Sons Limited, Manchester 15, England

MADE AND PRINTED IN ENGLAND by CROSS - COURTENAY LTD. MANCHESTER