Trellis and Lattice Fencing & Workshop Tour

Fred Goode (from Brattle Works) joins Bob to view the trellis and lattice fencing, and Bob visits the Brattle Works workshop to see how the fencing is manufactured.

Clip Summary

Fred Goode (from Brattle Works) joins Bob in the backyard to look at the trellis and lattice fencing that will provide screening and the backdrop for a shrub border.

The bottom part of the fencing is privacy lattice with a one-inch vertical member and a one-inch opening. The strips of Western Red Cedar are laid one on top of another. There's no nailing. The strips are fastened with a stainless steel fastener and waterproof glue.

The top section is trellis. The cedar can be stained, or allowed to weather naturally, in which case it should gray out in six to nine months.

There are two installation options. In one, a wooden post is actually put right into the ground. This method should offer a 15-year life expectancy in well-drained soil. All cedars have tannin in them, and tannin is a natural inhibitor of mold and bacteria.

The second installation option-- the one used in this project-- combines the best of both worlds. A steel pipe goes into the ground and the red cedar extends above ground.

Fred has dug an approximately two-foot deep hole. The hole is filled about halfway with water. Then ready-mix concrete is poured into the hole and the compound is mixed in place. Sometimes an accelerant is added to speed hardening. The trellis panel (with full half-dados) is used for a topper, giving the fencing its sturdiness.

Next, Bob visits Fred Goode's Brattle Works workshop to see how the fencing is manufactured. Everything is made from Western Red Cedar. The rough lumber is 1 1/4 by 4 inches.

In the first step of trellis production, the boards go through the custom designed dado machine. The machine has 11 blades, which cut the dados into the board all at once. Next, the molder rips the board into three different strips.

In the assembly process, a bead of water-based, waterproof glue is applied in each of the dados, and the strips are spread out on the assembly table, where the measurements are already laid out.

The cedar comes in with 15-20% moisture, which prevents warping when the fencing is installed and begins living out in the weather. Once the dados are put together, it's secured with an aluminum fastener, which will hold it together while curing.

Next, the stubs are cut off with a 15-foot panel saw. The panel is then run through a sander to smooth the top and the bottom.

Making the latticework involves a similar process. The fine pieces for the latticework are cut on the molder using a cutting head that rips strips in one pass. For assembly, the horizontal strips are laid down on the table and glue is applied.

Next, they are assembled by hand at the lattice assembly table using knobs to guide the work. They are fastened using an air gun with stainless steel fasteners around the perimeter and then in a pattern across the middle.