I'm creating some exterior wood shutters made from Eastern Red Cedar (rails and stiles) and Western Red Cedar (panels). The mismatch really has more to do with what's available locally than a design choice. The "boss" wants them to be raised panel. She does not like board-and-batten because they're too rustic for her tastes, and louvered are boring to her.
Putting together a frame and panel are pretty straightforward, so my question is more about the details. These shutters will be primed and painted, but there's the possibility that water could get inside the frame. For this reason I'm considering drilling 2 or 3 "weep" holes in the bottom rail that will allow water to drain rather than sit if water gets down into the groove the panel sits in. Let me know if this isn't clear, but is this a decent idea? How did the old timers handle that?
Second, I'm going to attach hardware since these will be working shutters. Should I put a dab of caulk into the holes before I drill the hardware to keep water out? What's the best practices to make sure wood shutters last as long as possible? Thank you!