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Build your own lattice?


Gunguy45's Avatar
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08-21-17, 01:10 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Build your own lattice?

Anyone have a simple method for building lattice panels? All the stuff around here is too small and flimsy and too expensive as well.

I've already got a start going. Took 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 72" dog ear cedar fencing and ripped it down to about 11/16" strips. So I made a ton of sawdust and have about 40 strips after culling the extremely twisted or knotty.

I'd like to make a panel about 4' x 10' and it will lay horizontal. It will be supported by the upper rail of a chain link fence as well as posts. How to build and mount are not the big issue.

What I am having a bit of trouble with is that I'd like a diamond pattern instead of square. Square would be simple. Either mass mark a bunch at a time and put 'em together or build a jig. Not so easy with a diamond. Every angle change affects the length and height (like the old school expanding hat racks).

I tried to work it out with math and that just made my brain hurt. Must be something I'm missing, I hope!


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ShortyLong's Avatar
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08-21-17, 05:40 AM   #2 (permalink)  
Flimsy is an understatement. We were building a new deck. The boss told me to cut a small piece of lattice. It looked like a pile of corn flakes by time I was done.

There was a glass table in the yard near where I was cutting the lattice & there was a scrap pile there too. The job was taking a lot of time & my boss was getting a little frustrated. In my wisdom, I quoted Lao Tzu. "Be as careful at the end as you are at the beginning". He said "Who's that, some chinc'?
The job continued & he threw a piece of wood towards the scrap pile right through the glass table. He should have listened to Lao Tzu.

 
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08-21-17, 06:07 AM   #3 (permalink)  
By diamond shape, I assume that you are referring to the opening between the individual slats, right? The slats are still going to be parallel, so you don't need to measure each angle; set the first one, then cut some spacers for the subsequent ones. If you want to check it every so many inches just measure down the top and bottom rails 24" from the first slat, and you can confirm that you're running straight. As far as the configuration of the openings, I would cut 4 short pieces to play with, wiggle them around until I was satisfied, and see what the angle is. If it happens to measure 58-1/2 degrees, 60 would probably be close enough. Or what I actually do myself for larger layout like that is read it as say 5 in 12 with a framing square, just like you would rafters, just because I find that the easiest way to deal with larger angles. Of course that is getting harder as I get older and my math skills get weaker, but the nice thing on something like this is that you can always cheat a little bit and nobody will ever know.

 
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08-21-17, 08:48 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Ahhhh, good answer. Basically a scale model of a diamond or 4. That will tell me what angle I need to meet my size requirements using the wood I have. I tried drawings and math...but this is just the cat's meow. I even have some pieces the right length where they broke on a knot while ripping. Should be able to lay it out in 10 min, make a few spacers and go to town stapling and gluing shortly after. Might even be fancy and cut the ends on the miter saw instead of using a guide and the cordless saw. Will look cleaner anyway.

Amazing how we get our heads all twisted up and can't see the simple things sometimes.

Thank you sir.


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08-21-17, 09:41 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Great! Just looked back to see if what I wrote made any sense even to me, so glad it helped. I've done a lot of trial and error or whatever you want to call it on projects over the years, sometimes for off the wall things like handles for clangers on old school bells, sculptured birdhouses, and whatnot, and those initial templates have drawn more than a few chuckles from a couple of local guys who stop by and grab some of my scrap for kindling every once in a while. I'm sure there have been more than a few times that they thought "what in the heck was he thinking", particularly after I'd worked on something with some fancier scroll work or whatever and decided that I didn't like it. The only thing I would say though is that I would stick with your initial thought of a straightedge to cut them after assembly, because, as I'm sure you know, it is going to take longer to line them up, and you may still end up with a few that are proud or short. Sort of like building a deck; I'm sure there are those who can, but I've never seen one that came out all that great where someone cut all of the ends as they went, rather than after they were all in place.

 
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