Woodworking / Landscaping Project: Garden Archway

As you may already know if you have read my last post on the imminent arrival of our puppy, I have been busy fencing our piece of land. And at the same time, my girlfriend has always wanted an archway/gate, and I thought that this would be the occasion to make one. 

About five years ago, we bought an archway made out of metal, but despite the $250 it cost us, the thing was so flimsy it would lean on a slant if you simply opened the doors to get through. It was literally an insult to human intelligence, and we took it off within that first year. 

Now my woodworking skills have evolved sufficiently to allow me to build something sturdy that should last me a few years at least. And today, the project was launched.

The Japanese pathway I made last year is about 57 inches wide in the spot where I want the archway, and depth-wise, I need to juggle with a window on the house, which leaves me with about 25 inches of room to play. 

Because of the relatively tight spot where I want to install this archway, I decided that a half circle at the top would be too much and would be lost to sight because of the adjacent stone wall on the house. I believe a 1/4 circle to be best, as it will seem to be an extension of the house’s wall rather than a separate device. 

Knowing that it would be overkill, I went with 4*4 posts in treated wood. These will extend 3 ft. into the ground and will be locked into place with concrete. And to make it sturdy (call it very sturdy, or ridiculously sturdy), I went with half lap joints (tight fit too!) coupled with 3/8 lag bolts. 

I have done much fiddling around and adjustments today, and I have the four posts with sides completed. I will then move on to the top part. You will find a few pictures below. Expect more as the project unfolds.
Patrick Savard


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