Lattice layout question

I'm going to build a piece of half-lapped lattice that will go into a frame (not diagonally) like this:
http://smithandhawken.speedera.net/www.smithandhawken.com/images/product/7/727826-1.jpg
Should I bother with having the lattice spacing at the edges be equal to the spacing in the field? It seems that a little error will propogate and cause the edges to be narrower or wider than the spacing in the field, based on the final dimensions of the frame.
I'll be chopping mortises for the horizontal lattice members, and letting the vertical members run about 1/16" short, so they don't touch.
I guess I'm just a little overwhelmed with the thought of actually laying this whole thing out so it's symmetrical. I guess the frame width will determine my lattice spacing. In turn, the lattice spacing will determine the frame height so that the edges turn out uniform. Any advice?
-Mike
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http://smithandhawken.speedera.net/www.smithandhawken.com/images/product/7/7 27826-1.jpg
I would start in the middle and work your way out. This way your sides should be even. I personally wouldn't worry about them being exactly the same size on the outsides but would shoot for at least half as big so you didn't end up with a tiny little hole. It would be similiar to laying out a tile or hardwood floor, start in the middle.
That's a nice looking table btw, good luck with it.
Bryan
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http://smithandhawken.speedera.net/www.smithandhawken.com/images/product/7/727826-1.jpg
Don't let it overwhelm you Mike. Take it one step at a time and don't look at the whole picture. Make each cut precisely and measure dead nut accurately. If you do this, it will come out fine. You'll then be able to keep the symmetry that the design really wants. Once you begin to think that you need to allow for sloppy work, you'll get sloppy work. Be precise, take your time, insist on accuracy and you'll end up with accuracy. If you can make a cut, then you can make a cut the right way. So - make it the right way.
--

-Mike-
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Thanks for the encouragement, but that's how I make all my cuts ;)
My concern is layout, not cut accuracy.
Mike Marlow wrote:

don't look

able to

think
precise,
If you

the
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I have "made" lattice before in decking projects....
Here is what I have learned:
Buy a piece of 1/2" MDF and layout the "pattern" on that using framing squares, etc,etc. Use entire sheet or what ever you need to get to FULL SIZE. MDF is cheap.
(think construction template)
After you get it "layed out", bradnail small blocks as a "reference", so you can layout the sides and bottom correctly.
Rather than trying to cut a million half laps, machine the biggest stock you can get and cut the dado's on the larger piece. After the dados, rip the bigger stock down to final size. Using that method, it goes MUCH faster.
Try to use stop strips/blocks when you cut those dados... This will insure at least the same distance between cuts. This is where the "layout sheet" comes real handy.
Make extra strips(don't ask how I know this) cause you will screw a few up.
Mike Reed wrote:

http://smithandhawken.speedera.net/www.smithandhawken.com/images/product/7/727826-1.jpg
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Thanks Pat.
So what exactly how do you use the blocks on the layout sheet. I'm assuming the blocks will occupy some of the voids in the final piece. Is this for assembly purposes?
The jig I'm going to use for the dados will be a panel jig on the table saw with a strip to hold my workpiece (several strips wide, uncut, as you suggested). So it doesn't seem like the layout sheet will come into play for cutting, although the spacing from the sheet will determine the placement of the reference strip on the jig.
As far as the actual layout goes, a full-size sheet is a great idea. I guess I can pin a tape measure at one corner, and run it up diagonally until a number divisible by 3 (or whatever works for me) hits the opposite side. Then I can go through and mark off every 3 inches along the tape. Then run lines square with the bottom of the sheet from top to bottom through these marks. This is how I layout my dovetails.
These lines would then be the centerlines for my vertical strips. Then I decide on a strip width, make a scrap sample, and mark it around the centerlines. Next, copy the spacing (probably with a story stick) of the strip-edge lines, and mark up the horizontal pieces.
Then I'll know how many I'll need, how long they'll need to be, and can add like 5 vertical and 5 horizontal for backup pieces.
Does this sound about right?
-Mike
Pat Barber wrote:

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Yeppp. you got the idea...
The blocks are fillers that allow you to accurately position the strips, during assemble. I also use the template as a guide to create stop blocks for the table saw operations.
The template is really just for assembly, but allows you to "see" how things are going to work out.
Since you have so many "sticks", the template also tends to keep things straight and square during actual assembly
A story stick is also a good idea.
Mike Reed wrote:

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Hi Mike,
I went through this exact same problem a few years ago when I built 12 lattice panels to form by-pass doors/frames under our deck.
I sort of dismissed the "measurement to get it exact" technique, thinking this to be virtually impossible with pressure-treated stock that I used (old stock at that).
First I decided on what I wanted for lattice spacing which would fit each space (no 2 spaces were equal). It was more what looked right than anything else.
Next, I built the lattice assemblies (?) using an exterior dab of glue and a brad to tack each joint. Made a jig etc....etc..
Finally, I built the frames (doors) around each panel. This is where I made up the difference in widths of each space. The stiles of the panels/doors vary by an inch or so (in width) - some panels are an entire lattice space larger than others. By doing that, I wound up with panels that "look" similar, but are actually up to an inch or two different in width - but you would not notice this in "looking".
Hope this makes some sense!
Lou

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