The Arbor Project

  • Advertise with us
Project by SawdustAndAnIPA posted 07-24-2013 06:39 PM 2733 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Arbor Project. The Arbor began with a plan and then I went off the charts with customization. I found several pictures online of some decks that had the sunrise slat motif. The arbor is made of Redwood and is 11’ tall and 16’ wide.

I finished it with one coat of Thompson’s Water Seal. I am beginning a second coat of finish; this time a much better and thicker Cabot Deck semi-transparent stain. The wood has soaked up the cheaper Thompson’s coat so the higher quality Cabot is providing a good water proof top layer.

It was a big project and I completed it over 6 weekends. I am building a glider bench that will occupy the center section of Arbor for seating. I wanted to build a swing but over time I feel the weight of a swing will provide undue stress on the structure.

This was a huge project and I learned a lot. I followed the plan line by line on the left side of the arbor and it ended up with a 5’ tilt from center. I learned from this and utilized some temporary horizontal beams to line up the right side Arbor posts. The right side is perfectly straight and all sides only vary less than a 1/4” which is within tolerable limits.

The arbor was too expensive to pilot and too expensive to redux the left side because it has a slight tilt from Center. The wife and friends will never see the left side’s imperfection but it is all I see when I look at the completed project. I will have to chalk this one aspect of the project up as an opportunity to learn the hard way.

-- What Is The Matrix? The Matrix Is All Around Us...It Is Your Table Saw Connected To The Internet.

9 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3543 days

#1 posted 07-24-2013 07:31 PM

Very attractive project—I like it!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View theoldfart's profile


12878 posts in 3701 days

#2 posted 07-24-2013 08:02 PM

Sawdust, great work just can’t show my wife right now otherwise I will have to do the same. Proportions on the rays are perfect, must look great at sunset.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Nicky's profile


718 posts in 5342 days

#3 posted 07-24-2013 09:08 PM

Awesome. My wife and I were discussing an arbor over the weekend. I have a grapevine that has really been doing well and I’d like to see it covering a nice arbor.

I really like the design.

Good job!

-- Nicky

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3424 days

#4 posted 07-24-2013 09:24 PM

The design, the materials and the execution is totally outstanding! Cool. Nice to see your creation.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View birdsandboards's profile


7 posts in 3018 days

#5 posted 07-24-2013 11:39 PM

Wow. The ray design looks great. It must have taken forever to get all the pieces cut and assembled. I think you have the right attitude about the goof up. We are always our own worst critic and its the kind of think you can’t let get to you too much. Keep up the good work.

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3143 days

#6 posted 07-25-2013 06:20 AM

Looks great. Great design

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3074 days

#7 posted 07-25-2013 11:24 AM

Very nice, the building of it and the design….you did a great job…well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View juanabee's profile


113 posts in 4259 days

#8 posted 07-25-2013 04:49 PM

Very nice work. How did you measure the angles on the sunrise rays?

BTW, I learned early in my woodworking career that the best way to treat those imperfections is with silence. Every project has imperfections, but nobody will notice them or care if the overall project is beautiful, as yours is.

-- "Life's nonsense pierces us with strange relation." Wallace Stevens

View SawdustAndAnIPA's profile


19 posts in 3019 days

#9 posted 07-26-2013 04:48 PM

Thanks for the comments and posts. To answer a question about the Rays, pretty straight forward. I ripped a bunch of 6’ 1”x1” material in advance. I then took the tool to the project so Mr. Arbor…meet Mr. Miter Saw. I started with the center vertical evenly spaced across both width and length. Once cut, I installed it using my 18 gauge nailer.

The next step was to measure and install horizontal slats on each side of the new vertical both on the top and bottom. This created a goove along the full width of the panel where all of the slats would fit within and also cover the fasteners from view. The horizontals also ensured all of the slats were aligned. I then butted the next slat at the bottom to the center slat while evenly spacing the top section on 4” centers along the whole with of the panel. I cut each slat to within a couple inches of the final length and then drew the lines for each miter cut before taking it to the saw. There is work there but not too difficult. I think the finished look is far superior than most vanilla vertical or horizontal slat installations. Thanks again for the kind words and comments. Happy Woodworking!

-- What Is The Matrix? The Matrix Is All Around Us...It Is Your Table Saw Connected To The Internet.

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