Woodworking/landscaping project: Garden Archway #2

The weather has not been too stable here lately, except for the steadiness of having showers each day. Hence the garden archway project did not evolve all that much for quite some time (at least in the perspective of one who is used to finishing projects fairly rapidly as there is always another one waiting). But the successive cold fronts have at last turned to a few sunny days. I was right glad to return to the workshop.

In my last post, I had more or less finished the two sides of the archway, and it was thus time to turn to the top arches. I started out by making myself a full-size square out of 2 by 3’s with the desired measurements for the finished arches. Then, using scraps of 2 by 3’s, I played around with angles and lengths to determine what exact figures would produce what I wanted. When I had this worked out, I prepared a first pair of arches of the same size, out of 2 by 10’s. 

But to give these first rough arches any backbone, I took another set of measurements to build another pair of arches that would fit on top of the first set, but with joints in completely different locations, exactly halfway through each short piece in the curve. 

I then glued all edges with the best construction glue I had, glued and stacked one arch onto another of the second set of measurements in an offset fashion and screwed them together with 3-inch deck screws. This gave me two arches of double thickness (stacked 2 by 10’s).

A few days later, I traced my arches and cut them on the bandsaw. I could then start working on attaching the arches to the archway sides. Here again, half-lap joints were my chosen method, coupled with a pair of 6-inch bolts (1/2 thick) per post. I braced the two sides as they lay on the ground, drilled the holes for the bolts and attached the two arches. 
Below are some pictures of the project as it evolved.
I still have the cross sections for the top to make, to drill holes into the ground for installation, to pour concrete, and to make doors. Expect some news soon!
Patrick Savard

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