The next step to putting the arbor together after we set the posts was to assemble the top. The top section was made from 3 45″ 4″x4″ pieces set in a diamond position. The arbor top was designed to fit the 4″x4″ pieces into the notched ends of the posts and they would also go through the front and back beams into the diamond shaped cutouts. For a decorative effect I beveled the ends of the 4×4 pieces which would add an extra diamond effect to the front. The top was assembled on the ground which saved time. (Each piece was sanded and stained before assembly.) The 4″x4″ pieces were locked into place with the 2″x8″ front and back beams by using brackets made from 2″x2″s. Once the top was put together it was a simple two person job to lift the top onto the notches. The great thing about this design is that once we put the top on we could let go without attaching it. The notches completely held the top in place making it easy to attach with screws.
The top slats came next. On the end of each slat (which were made from 48″ long 2″x4″s) I cut a small triangle out to give the ends a beveled appearance. I saved the cut triangles and used them as brackets to brace the inside of the top slates against the front and back beams. This worked great and was much easier than cutting a 1.5″ notch on each end of the the 2″x4″ slats.
Then came the sides. I put two 2″x4″ pieces that were about 29 inches long on each side. Then added the 2″x2″ vertically between the 2″x4″s. The hanging diamonds were the last part to add. I made three diamonds for each side, one whose sides measure about 7 inches and the other two are about 10 inches. I put these together with 2″ outdoor screws but I definitely recommend using small screws. The cuts were all at 45 degree angles which enabled them to fit nicely together. Then I pre-drilled holes for the screws and pieced them together. Next I added eyehooks at the center of the side 2″x4″ pieces and at the corners of the diamond frames and hung them on the black chains.
I was excited when the solar lanterns went up since that meant the project was almost finished! I used the leftover cut outs from the ends of the cross beams to make brackets and drilled 1/2″ holes through them then weaved the black chain through it. I screwed the black chain on what would eventually be the top and attached the bracket to the front posts of the arbor around 5 feet high. Then I hung the lanterns and stepped back to look at the scene!
I was so busy building the arbor that I just didn’t take enough pictures of the process! I tried to use the cropped pictures of various sections to illustrate the building process. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!