Although cutting lattice panels is similar to cutting other sheet goods, such as plywood, manufacturers fasten wooden lattice strips with metal staples. To avoid personal injury or damage to tools, you must remove staples along the lattice's cut line. Additionally, if you plan to attach lattice cap or dividers during final installation, you must increase the dimensions of your cut to accommodate the portion of lattice that fits within the cap or divider.
Lay the panel onto its rough or "back" face; cutting from this side with a circular saw reduces splintering on the panel's finished face. Latch a tape measure to the lattice panel's edge and extend the tape to the desired length of the cut.
Mark the dimension on the lattice's surface with a pencil. If the measurement falls over an opening, lower the tape's position at the panel's edge until the measurement falls over a lattice strip. Mark an identical measurement at the opposite side of the lattice.
Stretch a chalk line between the two pencil marks, pull the line taut and snap the line against the panel to create a straight chalk line between the two points. Inspect the chalk line's path for staples. If the cut line runs across staples, use a slotted screwdriver to pry the staples from the lattice panel.
Place the panel on a flat, stable work surface, such as a pair of saw horses or a shop table. Hang the cut line over the work surface's edge. If the cut line sits at the center of the panel, support the panel from both sides. Panels cut near their centers tend to fall inward during cutting and potentially pinch the saw blade; support the panel so that separate pieces fall outward.
Attach a carbide-tipped blade to the circular saw. Rest the saw's bottom plate on the edge of the panel and align the saw blade with the chalk line. Activate the saw and push the blade through the panel along the chalk line. If you stray from the line between lattice gaps, slow down and use the guide notch on the nose of the saw's bottom plate to align the blade.
Tips & Warnings
- To make small interior cutouts or curved cuts on the edges of a lattice panel, a jigsaw or a small handheld cutting tool is much easier to use and makes more detailed cuts than a circular saw.
- Always wear eye protection when cutting lattice panels.
Things You'll Need:
- Tape measure
- Chalk line
- Slotted screwdriver
- Circular saw with carbide blade
- Jigsaw or rotary tool (optional)
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