This trellis looks great covered with vines, and takes just one afternoon to build. It costs less than $100 for treated wood and exterior paint to make it last for years.
Step 1: Cut Wood to Length
Step 2: Assemble the Legs
Step 3: Attach the Spacers
Step 4: Make the Finial Platform
Step 5: Attach the Platform
Step 6: Fix the Spears
Written by Frank Gardner
From 2 x 4 wood, using a table saw, rip four 1 1/2 x 1 1/2-in. x 84-in. long legs at 90°. Cut horizontal 1 1/2-in. x 1 1/2-in. spacers from the remaining wood at 6°, with opposing angles. Cut four pieces each to 18 1/2-in., 13-in., 8 3/8-in. and 4-1/8-in. (Length is for the widest side of the piece.)
Rip just enough wood from the two 3/4-in. x 3-in. x 14-ft. deck boards to eliminate both rounded edges.
Cut the boards 1 1/8-in. wide. From these, cut four pieces 60-in. long and eight pieces 36-in. long.
Cut two 45° on one end of each for a decorative peak (see diagram below).
To measure positions of spacers on the legs, lay the legs together, with sides touching, tops and bases aligned (see diagram below), working from the base up. Set aside two legs.
Lay the other two legs on the workbench, sides touching. Secure at the top with a heavy-duty rubber band while spreading at the base. Center the longest spacer at the lowest mark, the second-longest spacer at the second mark, and so on.
Fasten spacers using #8 x 2 1/2-in. stainless steel screws, starting at the base. As a spacer is fixed, clamp the other or nail a board behind it on the bench. When positioning, leave room for screws to attach adjacent spacers. Assemble the other set of legs.
Stand the legs upright, tops touching. Spread the bases to allow for spacers to hold them together. Secure tops temporarily with duct tape.
Drill a pilot hole and fasten the longest spacer between the legs with a #8 x 2 1/2-in. stainless steel screw to one side. (Don't hit the screw on the adjacent side.) Attach the shortest spacer on the same side. Fasten the second and third spacers last. Attach spacers on the opposite side.
Make a 4 1/2-in. square finial platform from a 1 1/2-in. x 1 1/2-in. scrap of pressure-treated wood. Cut the piece to 4 1/2-in., then cut a piece 4 1/2-in. long from the board.
Draw lines to connect to opposite corners to find the center and mark with an awl. At the mark, pre-drill a hole for the 3/16-in. x 2 1/2-in. dowel screw (double-ended wood screw). Sand the platform for a rounded appearance.
Pre-drill holes on the platform for #8 x 2 1/2-in. stainless steel screws. Angle the holes to run parallel to the legs. Screw the platform into the top of the legs. Attach a dowel screw and thread on the finial.
Center a long spear on each side, pre-drill and attach to spacers with #8 x 1 1/2-in. stainless steel screws. Position and attach the short spears between the legs and long spears. To anchor in a windy spot, drive two pipes into the ground then attach the trellis with cable ties or hose clamps.
© 2012 Reiman Media Group, LLC.