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How I Made It
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Weekend Arbor

Due to copywrite protection laws I can not include the actual plan for this Arbor. However, you can find plans for it at
PlansNOW, it is called the Weekend Arbor, because you can actually built it in a weekend. The plans are fairly simple and the end result is a great looking Arbor. The plans come with add-ons such as a bench seat, a gate, and side fencing if you would like to punch-it-up alittle. I made mine from Pressure Treated Southern Yellow Pine and finished with Spar Polyurethane. The dimensions are approximately 84" T x 65" W x 26" D.
The Arches

The best way to build the Arbor is to do it in sections and then attach each section later to create the finished project.

Let's start with the arches, each arch is cut from a single 36" long piece of 2 x 8 stock. To do this I made a template out of hardboard to ensure that each arch would be exactly the same.

To make the template I used the full size pattern included in the plan. The key to shaping the arches correctly is creating flat sufaces where the arches meet the ridge and the side panels. I drew the arch pattern out on the hardboard, you need to be patient when drawing the template grid lines as they are important guidelines when you place the template on the stock to be used for making the arches. I carefully cut the flat sufaces with my
table saw, but a circular can be used as well to accomplish this. Next I cut out the curves and tight corners using my band saw and scroll saw. Next I used the template to draw the each arch on the 2 x 8 stock.

Once I had drawn the arches on the stock using the template,
I then cut the flat surfaces on each arch with my
table saw.

Next, I moved over to my
band saw and scroll saw to cut the curves on each arch, being sure to stay about 1/16" to 1/8" proud of the line, I then moved over to my oscillating spindle sander to sand down to the line, removing any saw blade marks and making sure each arch was as close to being identical as possible.
The Canopy Slats

The next step is to lay out the locations for the canopy slats. Using some
bar clamps I ganged the four arches together with the upper ends flush. I use a small nail to tack the end of a tape measure in place on the upper end and I held the tape against the arch's curve as I marked the location for each slat with my combination square. Make sure to place an X or other type of mark on the side of marking line where the slat goes, so you won't make a mistake when placing the slats on the arches.




There are 14 slats, 7 on each side, that create the canopy on the Arbor. For decorative purposes I ganged all the slats together and using my
circular saw, I put a 1" chamfer on each end of all the slats.







Now it is time to build the arches. First, you need to build the arch frame. Using my
cordless drill and a counter-sink drill bit, I pre-drilled holes and then using exterior screws and exterior adhesive, I attached the arches to the stretchers.
Next, using my tri-square, I marked the underside of the arch 4" from the end where the I will attach the plate that will be used to attach the completed arch to the side panels. The plate is attached using screws and exterior adhesive.
Now it is time to attach the arches to the ridge. The ridge is a piece of 2 x 6 stock that spans the arch in the middle. Each half-arch section is secured to the ridge using exterior screws and exterior adhesive. To accomplish this I first clamped one of the half-sections to the ridge and glued and screwed the stretcher to the ridge. Next I clamped, glued and screwed the other half-section to the other side of the ridge, being careful off-set the screws from where I had driven the other screws into the ridge from the opposite side.


Next, I attached the slats, lining up each slat using the marks I previously made on the arches. This ensures the proper spacing for each slat. I let each slat over hang the arch frame an equal amount on each side.

This picture shows the completed canopy arch. Now I set this aside and move on to the next section...
The Side Panels
Making the Side Panels

I made each side panel out of the wood pictured here and some prime pressure treated lattice. As you can see several of the pieces have grooves in them. These are the retaining strips that will be attached to the inside of legs, the upper side and the lower side rail. I did this by setting up my
stack dado blade into my table saw set to cut a 3/4" wide by 1/2" deep groove in the center of the piece.
Now to begin building the side panels, I start by gluing and screwing the upper side rail to the rail backer together. Next, I lay out the pieces and clamp it together to make sure everything lines-up. Once the dry fit looks good, I then proceed to attaching the upper side rail to the legs, the grooved retainer strips to the legs, inserting the lattice panel and then attaching the lower rail to hold everything in. This is done with lag screws, exterior wood screws, and exterior adhesive.
Now with everything lined-up, I begin to screw the legs to the upper side rail . This is a 3-step procedure, first, using a 3/4" spade bit I drilled counter sink holes for the 1/4" lag screws that are used to attach the legs to the upper side rail: Next, I pre-drilled the remainder of the hole with a 3/16" (or smaller) drill bit to make it easier to seat the lag screw; Finally, using an adaptor for my cordless drill, I screw-in the lag screw and then hand tighten each again with a socket and ratchet.
With the upper side rail  attached to the legs, I then move to securing the grooved retaining strips to the inside of the legs, using scrap 2 x 4 to rest the retaing strips on to make sure that the grooves line-up with the grooves in the upper side rail. These grooves will hold the lattice insert as seen in the picture below. The grooved retraining strips are attached to the legs by using exterior screws and exterior adhesive. Now slide the lattice panel into the grooves, dry no adhesives, no screws or nails, you want the lattice to float in the grooves.
The last thing to do now is to attach the lower side rail to the inside of the legs and in doing so, securing the lattice panel. I did this the same way I did the upper side rail using the 3/4" spade bit, then pre-drill the remainder of the hole with a 3/16" (or smaller) drill bit and then secure it with the lag screw.

Here is a picture of one of the completed side panels layedout on my workbench. After finishing up both side panels, I set them aside along with the canopy arch.

And now on to building
The Bench and then putting All Together