I’ve learned a few lessons over the past 18 years, not the least of which is how fast 18 years goes by. When I built my first arbour on the spot where this new one stands, I simply stepped into the forest for a few hours with a chainsaw, cut some balsam fir poles, then used deck screws to assemble them into a structure that eventually became engulfed by climbing bittersweet. If someone had told me back then that this original arbour would last until my then-toddler son would be driving my truck on his own, I would have thought that this lifespan was more than enough. As it turns out, as this same “toddler”—now taller than I am—helped me rip the rotting old arbour out to make room for this new one, I realized that my original ideas about building for the long haul didn’t take a long enough view.
The design here is not only more refined than what I originally created, it’s designed to last much longer than a mere two decades. It uses standard, pressure-treated lumber, with several joinery tricks tailored especially to suit this material.
|Part||Material||Size (T x W x L*)||Qty.|
|Posts||Pressure-treated lumber||5 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 12'||4|
|Crosspieces||Pressure-treated lumber||5 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 1 12"||2|
|Lattice top/bottom||Pressure-treated lumber||3 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 30 1/2"||4|
|Roof boards||Pressure-treated lumber||1 1/2" x 7 1/2" x 68 1/2"||7|
|Long lattice strips||Pressure-treated lumber||1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 76"**||12|
|Short lattice strips||Pressure-treated lumber||1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 30 1/2"||14|
**Vary length to create a pattern
* Length indicates grain direction