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By specialk in LivingGardening

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Introduction: Build a Wooden Garden Arbor

We wanted to have a small arbor for a garden entrance. We were looking for something made of wood, and fairly simple, with an Arts and Crafts or Craftsman style. However, the sturdy ones in the style we liked can be quite expensive ($200-$300 range, with some as much as >$1000), and the only ones we could find that were reasonably priced were either not to our tastes, or looked flimsy. Since the style we wanted was pretty easy to mimic, and the construction looked simple, we decided to build one ourselves. My estimate for how much it cost us in materials was a little over $100 (we already had the deck screws and the tools, or borrowed tools we didn''t have to support too much of a load). We built this in 2006, and after 5 years (with lots of rain and snow storms) it is still doing just fine!

What you will need:
posts: pressure treated 4x4s, 8'' long, 2 of them, ($10)
left and right cross pieces: pressure treated 1x4s, 42"" square balusters, 4 feet long, 7 of them ($.89 each)
wooden ladder trellises, 2 of them ($20)
wood deck screws
post hole digger
saw (hand saw)
drill and bits
plumb line
rocks and bricks
pencil for marking lines
safety glasses

All wood we used was pressure treated except for the side trellises.

Note: this is the step by step instructable for this photo instructable, as part of the Share Your Garden Photo Contest:

Home-built Garden Arbor

https://www.instructables.com/id/Home-built-Garden-Arbor/

Don'' to the outer edge of the posts) and height (7'' we wouldn'' below the ground , we would have to buy four 4x4s in 12'', which is on the low side but the structure has been sturdy enough to withstand many seasons. We had found conflicting advice on the internet on whether or not we should pour concrete footings, but discovered we were able to get away without them. However, please note that if you are going to set posts much deeper, it is advisable to pour concrete footings.

We were not that skilled with the post hole digger, and the holes wound up considerably larger than our posts. So, we inserted two (the left and right of the front pair) and temporarily stabilized them by filling the gaps in the post holes with rocks and bricks.

Step 4: Attach Front/back, Left/right Cross Pieces

Check with a plumb line that the posts are vertical. Then check with a level that the tops are even, both in the left/right direction as well as the front/back direction. You may have to nudge them or dig the holes deeper to get this right, and it is an iterative process. Once you are satisfied, one person should hold the post while the other removes the post and fills the hole with dirt. Repeat with the other post.

Attach the front cross piece (1x6s) to the outer surface of the posts, using the wood screws at each junction. Make sure it is the 1 last update 2020/08/04 centered. Repeat for the back left and right pieces.

Then attach the left and right cross pieces (1x4s). There are four of them (each "" the vertical posts). Attach these below the front and back cross pieces, using deck screws at each joint.
Check with a plumb line that the posts are vertical. Then check with a level that the tops are even, both in the left/right direction as well as the front/back direction. You may have to nudge them or dig the holes deeper to get this right, and it is an iterative process. Once you are satisfied, one person should hold the post while the other removes the post and fills the hole with dirt. Repeat with the other post.

Attach the front cross piece (1x6s) to the outer surface of the posts, using the wood screws at each junction. Make sure it is centered. Repeat for the back left and right pieces.

Then attach the left and right cross pieces (1x4s). There are four of them (each "" the vertical posts). Attach these below the front and back cross pieces, using deck screws at each joint.

Step 5: Attach the Top Lattice Work

The top lattice are simply pressure treated 4''. Attach these to the front and back cross pieces using deck screws. Then, attach one perpendicular to all of the "" balusters.

Optional: we wanted a hanging lantern, and had a set of two solar powered LED garden lanterns, so we stole one from the hanging lantern and attached it to the cross pieces with wire.

Step 6: Attach Trellises to the Sides

We found two wooden trellises from a big box store, which were close to the width of the arbor, and thus could span the sides. These vary in appearance, and the one shown here is a simple variation of a grid. Attach trellises to the sides of the posts with deck screws.

And you''d like to do this for my wife, but I haven''ve done a good job on an attractive garden feature. Will try to make one myself at some point. I have made several garden posts, and I just used reg. lumber, (4x4). I got 9 footers, thinking I would bury each post 24in. That made the total height 7 feet, just as you have done, and I think that is preferred to 8 ft, for design and esthetic purposes. To preserve the wood, I prime them, then put a coat of asphalt on the posts. I have had some posts last 15 years or more that way. Anyway, thanks for sharing.