Flower lattice

The Jig

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For this lattice you will need a piece of scrap timber 220mm by 18mm approximatel – due to the size I have used MDF. Mark the “true centre” then drawer a circle 220mm and cut it out. Then from the true centre mark a point 50mm out, this is the “lattice centre”. Next on this centre drawer a circle 100mm diameter.

For the next step it is necessary to use a router, either with a template or as I did, by hand cut a recess 100mm diameter by 8mm deep (photo 005) I have reused an old jig by filling with a 2 part filler and sanding back, finally using a pencil mark the point of the “true centre” this is the point you will line up to turn each groove (this can be seen in photo 020).

To hold the lattice blank in place you can either use hot glue or as I have, take three small angle brackets, hammer until they are nearly flat and fix to the Jig with screws as (photo 013). The lattice blank needs to be turned from a reasonably dense timber, I have used Lemonwood, 100mm diameter by 8mm thick using a compass mark out 6 equal points around the edge (photo 015) mount this into the jig either with hot glue or as (photo 020) The Lattice From the true centre mark out 50mm and with a pencil strike an arc on the jig, this is the centre point of the only groove you will turn.

Set your tool rest at a position so it will clear the brackets, then start the lathe and whilst keeping your hand and fingers clear of the rotating metalwork, turn a groove to a depth of 4mm, using a parting tool of approximately 3mm width, and round over the outer edges of the groove as (photo 022) finally again keeping clear of the brackets sand the rounded section to create a reasonable curve.

Now unscrew the brackets and rotate the blank to the second position (photo 026) refix to position and in exactly the same way as before turn a groove in the same position on the jig and to the same depth, check regularly to make sure the cross over point is exact, then round over and sand as before, repeat this process in all 6 points (photo 036.) The same process can be used to turn a further 6 points to make a 12 point lattice (photo 039) but care and accuracy is needed to turn the 12 point as any mistakes are more prominent (photo 109).

The Reverse

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To turn the reverse you will need another piece of scrap timber, this needs to be 120mm diameter by 18mm thick, mount it on the lathe and true up the face and edge, (photo 042). Mark out 50mm from the centre and turn a recess to a depth of 4mm, be careful not to open the recess too large check regularly to make sure you get a good snug fit for the lattice blank (photo 050) to mount the blank it will be necessary to use a very small amount of hot glue 3 or 4 spots, the least amount you can or it will be difficult to get the completed lattice out of the jig after turning.

With the blank mounted we can mark out the position of the beads on the reverse, from the centre mark out 18mm and strike 2 lines to set a 3mm section for the first bead, then mark a further 18mm and again mark a 3mm section this should leave a section 8mm to the outer edge, next using a 3mm bead forming tool turn the beads (photo 056) if you don’t have a bead forming tool you can turn the section square.

Now we can turn the centre section to a depth of 4mm working in even cuts from centre to outside, paying particular attention as we reach the final depth stop regularly to find the point where the two sides meet and “pierce” (photo 058), repeat the process for the 2nd section and finally the outer section (photo 064).

The last thing to do is to get the blank off the lathe, on the outer edge where the scrap timber meets the lattice turn a groove in the scrap timber to a depth of 5mm, don’t cut into the lattice.

Finally with a fine point of a small skew chisel or a fine pointed knife, lever the edge to “pop” off the lattice, do not force it! An alternative is to remove the scrap timber from the lathe and place it in the microwave for a few seconds, but remember no metal, screws etc should be attached whilst in the oven.

If all has gone well you should have a floral lattice (photo 101) which can now be cleaned up with a sharp knife, needle files and finally sanding. If not don’t worry “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette” (photo 243) my own version of the elephants graveyard. The final three photo’s are of the end piece (photos, 136, 140, 142)