Forty years ago, before clad wire took control over wooden lobster pot construction, this is the way it was done. Here in southeastern Connecticut one would visit a local lumber mill. White oak (sometimes called "piss oak" because of its uric acid smell) was the wood of choice. White oak is a true marine wood as it has very good natural decay resistance and, then as now, seems to grow just about everywhere. A verbal contract was made for the length of slats desired and the size of the frames. There really was not much in the way of standardization as the lumber mills would be more than willing to cut whatever was desired. The frames were provided with simple, but strong mortise and tendon joints as shown. Galvanized pot nails (sometimes called lath nails) were used to put the pot together. A single nail would lock a tendon joint together. Three frames were needed for each pot, and the oak slats were attached with two nails wherever they passed over a frame. The hinges for the door were 1" by 4" strips cut from junked automobile tires. Oh yes, commercial lobster men practice recycling long before we went green. Wilcox would have a barrow-full of these strips. Since the slats were somewhat flexible, no bungee cord or latch was needed to keep the door closed. One would just flex a slat and let the lip edge of the door slip under the slat. The netting was mostly done by hand until somebody figured out how make the netting up using standard flat netting with a offset circular section cut out of the middle. No special escape openings were needed since the spacing of the lower slat could be attached leaving enough space to meet the escape vent requirement. A couple of well known problems with wooden pots is they would soak up water and become very heavy to handle. Another problem was the wood borers. White oak is rot resistant but not wood borer resistant. It was a common practice to soak wooden pots in a chemical vat (I forget what was used but I doubt if one could buy it today) to protect the oak or simply pull the pots when the borers first became active. The life of a wooden pot was fairly short being just a few years, perhaps slightly more if they were cared for. When the wire clad pots first made their appearance, the transition phase was fairly short. Some believed that the wire pots would work better on the rocks while the wooden pots were better on the flats. I gave up on wood very quickly as wire was cheaper, no problem with borers, lighter weight than water soaked wood, less water resistance in current thus less weight was needed, lasted several times over that of wood, and they worked.
For those of you who wonder why the Maine lobster men went to the classical rounded top pots as compared to the lower New England box like pot think about the viscous currents they have up Maine's way. It was entirely possible for pots to walk and be flipped over as well. With the rounded top, eventually the pot would end up right side up and continue to fish which is a far more stable position than being upside down. Occasionally I still see wooden pots so somebody must still be using them but wire has definitely won out with one exception. The Conch fishery still uses oak conch pots. Wire is also used but most of the conch men I know use wood. While I do not target conch, I do take some of them in my wire scup pots. Conch pots are not very complicated so I think it is more of a personal preference as to how one slaps them together.