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Project by SawdustAddict posted 06-01-2011 06:59 PM 5439 views 4 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Most of my projects are a bit larger than last weekend’s mini cutting boards. Here is a pergola I built a few years ago to provide a little shade on the back patio. It was based on a pergola/archway in Fine Homebuilding. I have done several decks before, but this was my first pergola. This is all cedar with an exterior oil stain.

The main framework was ‘timber framed’, with no metal fasteners in the main framework. The corner joints interlock with a hidden loose tenon locking everything together. The knee braces are mortised into the posts and beams. This is one area that I would redo if I could, as the tenons end up with a lot of short grain and are not as strong as I would like. Someday I may retrofit a beefier knee brace, but there are too many projects in the queue right now.

The lattice was made from ripped down 1 by stock. It takes more time, but I really like the look. The lattice frame was mortised into the posts as well. I am hoping to get some form of vine to grow up the lattice and over the top to provide more shade. My first attempt failed. I guess I am better at making sawdust than I am at growing things (or landscaping in general.)

3 comments so far

View Dave Pearce's profile

Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3696 days

#1 posted 06-01-2011 07:15 PM

Nice pergola,

For the last couple of years, been thinking about building one of these for my patio as well. One question: Did you concrete in the posts?




View SawdustAddict's profile


5 posts in 2712 days

#2 posted 06-01-2011 08:54 PM


This was built over an existing concrete patio (with a paver overlay). I mounted the posts to Simpson anchors epoxied into holes drilled into the existing concrete. I like these as they keep the end grain off the concrete.
After these pics I covered the anchor brackets with a 1 by box around the base. I need to rethink those covers though as the 6 by 6 posts move a lot when wet and blew out the corners on these boxes.


View Dave Pearce's profile

Dave Pearce

108 posts in 3696 days

#3 posted 06-01-2011 09:10 PM

Thanks for the info Bruce. My paver patio has a gravel base, so I guess I’ll have to make cement pads at the corners if I want to use anchors.

Ouch on the blowouts. I’ve got the same thing on my front porch posts. They’re nailed together (not even glued) at the corners, which once they start to loosen up, I just tap them back together. I’m pretty fortunate, I think, because the front porch doesn’t get much weather.

At any rate, great looking project, hope to see more soon.



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