How to - Projects

Garden arbours: Grow up!

By
Paul Lewis
Photography by
Mark Burstyn

This garden arbour makes a great focal point and supports your upwardly mobile climbers

Unlike most weak-kneed, store-bought types, our cedar arbour has a strong, solid stance, thanks to its substantial timbers. To build it, you'll need a circular saw, jigsaw and drill (if you don't have a circular saw, you can make the straight cuts with a sharp-bladed handsaw).

ARCH
Grow-up-arch.jpgThe sweeping curve of the graceful arch requires just one cut. After you've cut a 2 x 6 board to the correct length, lay out the curve with a drawing bow (a skinny, flexible piece of wood, such as narrow moulding). Here's how: Measure 10" in from the ends of the 2 x 6 board and drive two finishing nails into its face, close to the bottom edge. Mark the centre point of the board 1 1/2" down from the top edge.

Position the drawing bow against the finishing nails and push the centre up to meet the centre mark on the board. The bow will flex to form a near-perfect curve. When you're happy with its shape, run a pencil along the edge of the bow to mark the curve. Next, use a compass to mark the circular cuts on the ends of the arch, then use a jigsaw to make the three cuts to form the arch. To complete the arch, attach the large, curved waste piece to the top of the 2 x 6 with 2 1/2"-long deck screws. (To prevent wood from splitting, first drill a 1/8" hole.)

The curve of the elegant arch is achieved with just one cutPOSTS
Start the corner posts by cutting each of the 4 x 4s to 7' lengths. Next, measure and mark the notch at the top of each post that will receive the arch pieces. To cut the notch, make six saw cuts about 1" apart and 1 3/8" deep. Knock out the waste pieces with a hammer and clean up the notch with a chisel, wood plane or rasp. Repeat with the remaining three posts.

A side detail.
SIDE PANELS
Cut the 2 x 3 rails and stiles to length. Attach them together as shown in the drawing (next page). Apply a bead of construction adhesive at each joint, then drive 2 1/2"-long deck screws to make each connection. Once frames are complete, cut the nailing strips to length and install them on the inside face of the frame, using galvanized finishing nails spaced every 8". Use a small scrap of wood as a gauge to ensure even spacing between the strip and the edge of the 2 x 3s. Next, measure and mark the lattice panels, and cut to size with a circular saw. Install panels into the frames against the retaining strips and secure in place with more nails. Finally, attach the remaining nailing strip to the other side of the lattice panels.

 

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