Violent Disturbances on a Delicate Grid

We’ve got some lattice panels that enclose the space beneath our porch. (Our porch is about ten feet off the ground, so the space beneath it is substantial.) One of these lattice panels was mostly gone, disintegrated over the years, with just a little corner remnant remaining.

I figured since we were having the exterior of the house painted that now was the time to replace this panel.

Easier said than done.

For starters, when I bought the panel at Carruth Lumber, I discovered it didn’t fit in the car after all — just a few inches too wide. Fortunately Thomas, who is organizing the current work on our house, was able to pick it up in the ACORN van. They painted it but did not get a chance to cut it to size, so I tried my hand at it today.

Therein lies the rub. I don’t know how you’re supposed to cut lattice. I used a handsaw. I thought it would be easy enough, even though it involved cutting two inches off one side, and cutting the top at a diagonal. But how hard could it be? It’s just a bunch of wooden slats tacked together. It seems fairly strong, but as I sawed it, the whole grid started bending and warping and it pretty much disintegrated.

Frustrating, and it struck me as a metaphor for something, though I’m not sure exactly what.

8 thoughts on “Violent Disturbances on a Delicate Grid”

  1. Well, when you get the replacement, use a circular saw and sandwich it between two pieces of wood (long scraps of plywood work great, and one edge will be true). You can even add a third as a guide and let the saw ride on one of the plywood pieces with the blade extended just enough to clear the lattice. Oh, and make sure the lattice is square (measure the diagonals) before you clamp it up.

    And for future reference:

    Hand saw = lots and lots of vibration and impact forces
    Hand nailing = lots and lots of vibration and impact forces

    Power saw = some vibration, little impact.
    Power nailing = little vibration, less impact but it is concentrated in the nail where you want it.

  2. David, I’ve been waiting for them to finish the job! It has taken a lot longer than the early estimates… and it has gotten complicated. Hopefully i can post a photo soon though.

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