Sunday, August 14, 2016

Garden Structure

  I  recently picked up a station wagon's worth of 2 x 4's that had been used for temporary fencing.  The wood had been outside for a year (temporary?) but is still useful for rough projects.

  Today's rough project is a quick but sturdy trellis for our back garden.

  Against our back fence grows a clump of coreopsis about three feet wide and one foot deep. The clump grows bigger every year.  By now the plants have grown six or seven
feet tall and one good storm with rain and heavy wind blows the stalks into a twisted mess. This happens every year, this year the clump of flowers is big enough and I have the right materials at hand so I did something about it.

trellis, 5 ft. by 3 ft.
  I started out with weather 2 x 4's which I ripped into approximately 1.5 by 1.5 inch boards. Before I let the wood near my table saw I brushed in heavily with a wire brush and double checked the wood for nails and screws.  When I picked up the boards I took time to remove all the nails and screws that I could see, but checked again to be certain.  I like re-using materials, I hate to see wood wasted.

  I used 3/4 inch dowelling as tenons. The up rights were drilled on my drill press and the ends of the cross pieces drilled free hand.  I opted for tenons and all wood construction so there would be no rusting screw or nail heads next season.

  There are many ways to cut dowelling and a variety of jigs that can be built but I have found that a mitre box and hand saw do the job as well as any method.

Stanley Clamping Mitre Box w/Saw 20-600
Stanley mitre box

  Nearly always I am cutting a piece of dowel less than 2 inches long so the 10 inch sliding mitre saw is too aggressive. = (scary).  Dowels can also be easily cut with a band saw, probably my second choice. 

  When I came time to glue the trellis together I only had two pipe clamps that were long enough so I improvised for the third.

c- clamps attached to the rails, Bessey clamp
pulling the c-clamps together.
 A quick and adequate extension.
  When this year's flowers die down I will move the trellis closer to the fence so that next year the wooden trellis will be somewhat hidden by the growing flower stocks.  The flowers between the trellis and the fence can be ignored and the flowers outside the trellis I will tie up.  

  We have a couple of other spots in garden that need extra support and so I will probably make a couple more versions of this trellis over the next while.

  cheers, ianw

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