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Building a trellis panel

Project Overview

Building a trellis panel

Unsupported, a trellis panel is flexible, and thinner ones are downright flimsy. Consequently, the first step in any trellis project is to strengthen it with a frame. The frame begins as a 2x4; a prefab channel that you nail to it holds the trellis in place. Vinyl channels are for vinyl trellis. They're U-shape and about 1/2 inch thick and 1 inch wide. Wood channels are beefier, and the groove is stepped in order to handle panels of different thicknesses. Wood trellis comes in two thicknesses-7/16 inch and 5/8 inch. Get the 5/8 inch- it's more durable. Vinyl panels are a standard thickness.

5 Steps

  1. CUT THE FRAME PIECES SO THEY'RE A BIT LONG
  2. CUT ONE END OF EACH FRAME PIECE
  3. LAY OUT THE REMAINING FRAME PIECES
  4. TRIM A PREFABRICATED LATTICE PANEL TO FIT INSIDE THE FRAME
  5. SCREW THE FIRST CORNER TOGETHER
CUT THE FRAME PIECES SO THEY'RE A BIT LONG
CUT THE FRAME PIECES SO THEY'RE A BIT LONG

Step 1

CUT THE FRAME PIECES SO THEY'RE A BIT LONG

To determine the size, add at least twice the width of the frame to the desired length of the piece. For example, if you have a 2x4 frame and want a finished frame that is 6 feet square, cut pieces that are 6 feet plus 2x2, or 6 feet 4 inches. (A 2x4 is really 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the full 2 inches in the formula gives you an extra margin of error.) Cut pieces of U-channel to the same length as the frame pieces. Drill holes in the channel that are slightly wider than the shank of a #8 galvanized deck screw. Screw through the holes to attach the channel to the frame. If the channel is wood, tighten the screws so they're snug. If the channel is vinyl, leave them slightly loose so the channel can expand and contract with changes in temperature.

CUT ONE END OF EACH FRAME PIECE
CUT ONE END OF EACH FRAME PIECE

Step 2

CUT ONE END OF EACH FRAME PIECE

Set your power miter saw to cut a 45-degree angle. Put an assembled frame-and-channel piece in the box so the groove is against the fence. Cut one end of all the pieces you'll need. Measure out the length you want on one of the pieces and mark the edge of the wood with a sharp pencil. Lay out the miter with the help of a combination square. Repeat the process on an adjoining side. Cut the pieces to length with the power miter saw.

LAY OUT THE REMAINING FRAME PIECES
LAY OUT THE REMAINING FRAME PIECES

Step 3

LAY OUT THE REMAINING FRAME PIECES

Use the first two pieces as a pattern for laying out the remaining two. Put the finished pieces on top of the unfinished ones. Have a helper carefully align the mitered ends and hold them together. Trace along the other end of the finished piece with a sharp knife to lay out the remaining miters. To ensure that you hit your mark right on the money, ease into the cut by starting about 1/2 inch longer than the mark but lower the blade only enough to begin the cut. Slide the piece slowly toward the knife mark until the saw is positioned accurately, then finish the cut.

TRIM A PREFABRICATED LATTICE PANEL TO FIT INSIDE THE FRAME
TRIM A PREFABRICATED LATTICE PANEL TO FIT INSIDE THE FRAME

Step 4

TRIM A PREFABRICATED LATTICE PANEL TO FIT INSIDE THE FRAME

Measure the opening, add the depth of both grooves, and subtract 1/4 inch to allow for expansion in humid weather. Clamp a piece of 1x2 to the lattice to serve as an edge guide while you make the cut. Work slowly to keep the slats from splintering. Start by putting the pieces next to each other to form the frame. Lay out three holes in each corner: two through one frame piece, one through the other. To prevent splitting, keep the holes at least 1 inch from the tip of the miters. Drill oversize holes through the marked pieces but not into wood behind them.

SCREW THE FIRST CORNER TOGETHER
SCREW THE FIRST CORNER TOGETHER

Step 5

SCREW THE FIRST CORNER TOGETHER

Have a helper hold two sides of a corner in position, or clamp them to a work surface. Drive galvanized deck screws through the holes and screw the pieces together. Screw a third piece to the other two, creating a U-shape assembly. Slide the sheet of lattice into the assembly. Have a helper hold the fourth side in place while you screw it to the others. Lattice is flexible and could pop out of the frame if someone were to lean against it or bump into it. To anchor wood lattice, drive 1 1/2-inch deck screws at an angle through the lattice and into the body of the U-channel.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Intermediate

Time: 1 hour

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

Materials

  • U-channels
  • 2x4 for frame
  • galvanized deck screws
  • wood or synthetic lattice panels

Tools

  • drill and bits

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