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Building an Arbor

This DIY Basic will provide tips on building an arbor.

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Watch an Overview Video

Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

4x4, 2x4, 2x6 and 1x1 cedar or treated lumber
3-1/2-inch deck screws
2-inch galvanized finishing nails
5-1/2 x 3/8-inch carriage bolts with washers and nuts
socket wrench set
circular saw
table saw
saber saw
power drill with wood bits
nail set
power sander
tape measure

Cut the Sides

An Arbor is easy to build if you make it in sections.

Cut four 4x4 posts 84 inches long.

Measure width of lattice panels and cut four 2x4 crosspieces 1/2 inch longer than panels.

Using 3-1/2-inch deck screws, attach two crosspieces top and bottom to inside of each post.

Tip: Pre-drilling all screw holes will cut down on splitting.

Check for square.

Cut and Attach the Lattice

Cut lattice panels to fit between crosspieces. Each lattice panel will be sandwiched between two sets of 1x1s.

Cut 1x1s the length of crosspieces to frame-in each lattice.

Attach 1x1s to outer edges of crosspieces and insert lattice.

Attach second set of 1x1s to hold lattice in place.

Build and Attach the Bench

Make 5-foot-long ladder-like frame to hold bench seat.

Cut two 5-foot 2x4s and attach three 2x4 crosspieces evenly spaced.

For seat, cut two 5-foot 2x4s and three 5-foot 2x6s. Alternate seat boards with 2x6s on outsides.

Attach seat to frame with deck screws.

Insert frame ends between side posts and attach with deck screws. Check for square and level.

Build and Secure the Top

Trellis is made of two pairs of 2x6 beams connecting posts attached with countersunk carriage bolts; seven 2x3 crosspieces are spaced evenly across top.

Cut four 7-foot 2x6s. Cut decorative curves in ends.

Lay arbor on ground and clamp two beams on both side of posts.

Tip: Beams should be flush with tops and extend evenly on both sides.

With bits, drill holes through beams and posts and insert carriage bolts.

Cut seven 48-inch 2x3s, place evenly across beams and secure with deck screws.

Seal or paint arbor.

Tip: To keep posts from rotting, place arbor on concrete or pavers.

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