Fence arbor

  • Advertise with us
Project by Scoop posted 01-20-2008 07:36 PM 4217 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This arbor for our back fence turned out to be quite the challenge. I only have a 6” jointer so truing the rough timbers involved quite a bit of time and some heavy lifting. Even with infeed and outfeed support, working with such large pieces by myself was tricky.

It was my first experience with open mortise and tenon joints, which I used both to join the wood that forms the arched pieces and to join the cedar with the treated lumber that is in the ground. I learned a great deal about working with chisels and block planes (and about sharpening them) with this project. I now understand just how important it is to keep your hand tools sharp.

I made a mistake that cost me quite a bit of time. I decided to use treated lumber for the underground portion of the posts after I had already glued the posts and the lintel together. So I ended up working on the open mortise and tenon joints with the mortise horizontal instead of vertical and with the entire arbor on supports. I think that added quite a bit of time. And since I didn’t have any really wide chisels, I had to take a lot of time to get a smooth, tight-fitting joint. Still, I’m pleased with how the joints and the pegs turned out.

I am now working on the gates that go in the opening. Again, I tackled more than I realized, because the top of the gates are curved to mirror the arch on the arbor, and the gates are of different widths. I’ve had lots of hand work to cut the mortises and tenons, though I am using a tenoning jig on the table saw for rough cuts.

8 comments so far

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5098 days

#1 posted 01-20-2008 07:38 PM

You did a great job on this. I really like the size!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5050 days

#2 posted 01-20-2008 08:24 PM

Very nice!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4936 days

#3 posted 01-20-2008 10:36 PM

Quite the mortise and tenon. It sure looks tight.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14189 posts in 5044 days

#4 posted 01-20-2008 10:42 PM

beautiful work. terrific design and style.

great posting. well written and easy to read.

welcome to lumberjocks !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Marge's profile


145 posts in 5015 days

#5 posted 01-21-2008 12:09 AM

Looks like quite the task – very nice

-- Marge, Colorado

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5152 days

#6 posted 01-21-2008 12:25 AM

Very nice Arbor.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5222 days

#7 posted 01-21-2008 01:29 AM

it’s beautiful
and the pictures—really highlight it beautifully.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Napaman's profile


5534 posts in 5139 days

#8 posted 01-21-2008 05:17 AM

great job!!! that sounds very hard—-working with such huge pieces…turned out great…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics