Intermediate Woodworking: The Arbor

The bench was not enough preparation. Before I’d even finished the bench, I roped my mother-in-law into a wood buying trip (she’s actually got a big enough vehicle to transport what I needed) for both the chicken coop and a new arbor for the entry to the backyard. She saved me from several silly mistakes (for example, yes, I should use framing on the coop instead of just slapping plywood together in a box shape).

(Edit from the future: Chicken coop posts can be found here and here.)

I thought the arbor would be easy. Four 2x4s for the uprights, three 1x4s for cross pieces, a bunch of 1×2 to lattice the sides.

And for a bit, it seemed like it actually would be easy. I framed a rectangle, and another. I laid out the lattice. But…

The screws we had lying around the house were terrible. Stripped the second you looked at them. There are still some sticking an inch or more out of the top of the final result. So I made another trip to the hardware store for some star headed screws.

The structure wouldn’t hold together when it stood up. Just fell to pieces. So I made a trip over to my mother-in-law’s to take her up on the offer of her extra L-brackets.

And then to top it all off, I didn’t measure the opening. The arbor is comparatively enormous. So terribly out of proportion. I almost cut the whole thing down (after Jeff helped me cable tie it to fence) to get it down to size. But I’m lazy. So “let’s give it the winter” we thought. And if you peek ahead (which you have to, because apparently I don’t do progress photos), you’ll see that that may have turned out to be a good thing:

The new arbor (camouflaged by previous trellis, now with sneak peek gate which you can now read about here) and a bonus snow-covered bench to the right.