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John's garden pergola
garden arbor
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How to build
a garden pergola or arbor

This is a step-by-step explanation of how Tim Johns constructed a free standing garden pergola from a Buildeazy free plan "How to build a walk-through Garden Pergola"

I built this Garden Pergola from the Buildeazy plans "How to Build a Walk-through Garden Pergola."
I used 100x100 (4x4) dressed treated posts, 200x50(2x8) beams, and 150x50 (2x6) rafters for a more bulk look.
I put the posts in basically to the same dimensions as in the plan. I let the posts set in concrete overnight and then trimmed and checked out the top of the posts according to the instructions.
I then measured and notched out the top of the beams to accommodate the rafters.

pergola members
click to enlarge

I cut all the rafters to length and also cut my preferred profile on the ends and clamped them altogether and placed them on convenient height supports to enable marking and notching. I then marked lines where the rafters were to be checked out, set my power saw blade to the required depth, which was 60mm (2 1/2) inches in this case, and made multiple saw cuts within the lines.
I used 150x50 (2x6) rafters for a more bulkier look.

marking pergola rafters
click to enlarge

It was a simple task with a hammer and chisel to clean out the notches. I had previously done the same to the top of the beams where the rafters are to be fixed.

The tops of posts are trimmed and shaped, the beams and rafters are cut and notched, now the whole structure can be assembled.

arbor rafters
click to enlarge

I then sat the two beams in the top of the posts and clamped them in place.

It was then just a matter of drilling and bolting the beams to the posts.

I pretty much went by the plan instructions

pergola beams and posts
click to enlarge

The next step was probably the easiest part of the whole job and also the most rewarding as the finished project took shape.

The rafters fitted easily into the notches in the beams.

A nail or two to make sure that the rafters aren't going anywhere and that's about it!

pergola beams and rafters
click to enlarge

I haven't yet put much thought into what else I might do to the pergola but I might run some lattice work up each end.

I completed the project in a weekend and it's strong enough to support any amount of plants and vines and maybe even put up a swing for the kids.

garden arbor
click to enlarge

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