A garden arch or arbor is one of the easiest ways to give your yard a touch of charm. It's also versatile; it can stand alone, serve serve as a gateway in a fence or frame a walkway through a garden.
Before You Start
Step 1: Cut the Notches
Step 2: Mark the Brackets
Step 3: Draw and Cut the Arches
Step 4: Assemble the Arch
Step 5: Install the Arch
To avoid dangerous (or costly!) accidents, call 811 to have underground utility lines marked before you dig your postholes. If you plan on painting your arbor, you can save money by using treated lumber.
Cut notches on both sides of both posts to accommodate the 2x8 headers. Cut as deeply as you can with a circular saw from both sides, then finish the cuts with a handsaw.
Align the "tips" of a framing square with the edges of a 2x10 and make three marks as shown. Draw the 3-in. "tabs" for connecting the arches to the headers.
Set a nail 20-in. from the edge of your board, then adjust the board until both corner marks are 24 in. from the nail. Using your tape measure as a large compass, swing the 24-in. inner curve and 29-in. outer curve. Use your circular saw and jigsaw to cut out the brackets.
Drive 3-in. screws through the posts and brackets into the back of one header, then position the second header and screw that in place. Use 3 1/2-in. screws to secure the lower part of each arch to the post.
Dig 10-in. diameter holes 30-in. deep. Temporarily screw a stretcher 30-in. up from the bottoms of the posts, then set the arbor in place. Level and plumb the arbor in all directions, then fill the holes with concrete.
To preserve cedar and bring out the rich color, apply two coats of clear penetrating finish.
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