Garden Trellis Completed - just waiting for netting to tie up plants
Garden Trellis Completed – just waiting for netting to tie up plants

Yesterday was my day to take off and enjoy sailing. Today was a day to get work done around the house. Susanna spent the day rearranging the library, and I took time to finish building a trellis for the vegetable garden.

I had glued up most of the legs over the past week. Today I milled the remaining lumber and assembled the trellis.

The structure is made from 1″ thick maple. Not because maple is good for exterior projects – it is terrible. But I have a ton of maple under the workshop that I had purchased to make a floor for the wedding reception. It was pennies per board-foot and isn’t worth saving for furniture building. But it is perfect for outdoor projects (and burning in the fire-pit).

The legs are glued up from three pieces of 4-inch wide boards. I only milled the boards as thin as needed to clean them up. I didn’t bother jointing anything – it is a construction project to sit out in the garden. Anyway, trying to joint a 8-foot long board sucks, and wasn’t worth the effort. This wasn’t fine furniture.

Trellis detail.
Trellis detail.

The top stretcher is connected to the legs by a bridle joint. I simply cut the center of the three pieces for the leg shorter than the two outside pieces – leaving room for the long stretchers to slide into when the legs were glued up. The connectors between the sides are attached with pocket-hole screws. The three top pieces were assembled with a slot cut in them so they just slide onto the long stretchers and can be moved.

Overall this is a quick weekend project if the lumber doesn’t need to be milled. Actually, with dimensional lumber, this is a morning project. The only trick would be cutting the bridle joints at the tops of the legs.

I have ordered netting to hang from the three cross beams. Hopefully the netting will arrive tomorrow so I can finish tying up the plants in the garden before the summer squash take over the tomatoes.

There wasn’t a lot of design thought that went into this project. The dimensions were based on what I had for lumber. I think the top stretchers could be longer, but I couldn’t rip a board that is longer than 8-feet long on the table saw without moving the saw. The wood is still a little green, so I’ll let it dry out in the sun for a week or two before I put a finish on it. The question is, should it be painted to match the house, or just put a clear coat on the wood?

It is nice to finish projects. Of course, it is still easier to start them than finish them. But I am thankful to have a partner that encourages me to finish things. It is amazing how much Susanna and I have been able to get done with the house over the past two years.

And of course, I had Tucker to keep me company outside all day:

A mostly useless Tucker
A mostly useless Tucker

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  1. Priscilla Macdufff
    May 14, 2015

    I would use same color of the trim on your home otherwise the natural wood look is great too. Tucker appears to be good company!

    Reply