After completing the work on Page 3, you're now ready to make your wooden garden arbor design come to life! The next step in the building process is to tie your crosspieces and posts together. While following these steps, please refer to the free garden arbor plan (see the picture on the right):
- Insert a spade borer into a drill. The width of the borer will have to match the width of the bolts that you've chosen. I chose 1/4" bolts, so I used a 1/4" spade borer.
- With posts and crosspieces lined up (see Page 3), you can now use the drill with its attached spade borer to drill a hole through the crosspieces and posts (both left post and right).
- When boring the holes, keep the drill as level and as straight as possible. You don't want to end up with the front hole an inch higher than the back hole, say.
- If the borer doesn't penetrate all the way through, there's an easy way to avoid having to drill first from one side, then from the other, hoping the two holes will meet. That's a bit too dicey for me. Instead, take the easy way out! Bore through as far as you can (you should be able to get half way into the post, anyhow), then remove the crosspiece that you've drilled through. Now continue boring through the post. You should be able at least to pierce the other crosspiece. Then you can widen the entry by switching sides and boring through the other crosspiece.
- Now hammer the bolts through the holes, and apply the washers and nuts.
- Take the rafters that you've already notched, and just slip them over the crosspieces, perpendicular to them. The notches will tell you where they fit, if you've measured properly in your notching; so this step is easy.
- Attach the rafters to the crosspieces with deck screws.
- Finally, lay the 2x2s on top of the rafters, perpendicular to them. Attach with screws.
- And you're done! Wait at least 6 months before staining your pressure-treated wood.
Because of the wait involved before you can stain the wood of your garden arbor, you won't be able to plant any vines on it for that first summer. Instead, spend the time looking at other people's arbors, and see what plant choices catch your eye.
Climbing roses and wisteria are two widespread aesthetic uses for arbors. Meanwhile, trellising grapes on arbors is a traditional horticultural use of arbors. But at this point in the discussion, we have moved beyond the building of arbors to a treatment of their function. And that, along with other arbor miscellany, is the subject of Page 5....