eastern red cedar garage pergola

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Project by MattNC posted 08-22-2013 12:41 PM 13158 views 16 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a garage pergola also made for my neighbor. We barter landscape work, plants, etc (he is in landscaping) for woodworking. This was 19’ long and the beams are 2×8x20 eastern red cedar. The sawyer I go to did an awesome job getting the wood cut. The brackets are also ERC and timber frame style mortise and tenon joined. Its through bolted with 2 1/2” hot dipped galvanized bolts on each side and nylock nuts and 3” washers to the triple 2×6’s on each side of the garage. The top slats were dado’d to fit in place on the beams and then screwed on. The finish is cabots australian timber oil which is awesome for the oily ERC wood. Don’t use water based on ERC, it peels off and doesn’t penetrate.


8 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21736 posts in 3307 days

#1 posted 08-22-2013 12:47 PM

That is really nice and really BUILT. I love good construction that will last a lifetime!!

I know what you mean about coating cedar. Don’t use oil based varnish or poly on it either. The oil in the cedar will shed the finish over time and look all peeled. I just scraped a cedar lounge chair clean of poly and I’m letting ‘er naturally turn gray!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MattNC's profile


43 posts in 1953 days

#2 posted 08-22-2013 12:52 PM

the cabots timber oil was the fourth or fifth attempt I have made and it has held up well. The swing I posted has been out four years now and looks awesome. I let the cedar dry a few months before staining it though and didn’t apply it too heavy.

View PopsHuckster's profile


157 posts in 3273 days

#3 posted 08-22-2013 04:37 PM

I like it. I was just talking to my wife about doing that above our two garage doors yesterday. Funny.

-- Pop

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2377 days

#4 posted 08-26-2013 04:52 PM

That garage pergola looks really attractive and will last a lifetime and more. Like the design, wood and finish. Very lucky neighbor!

View ukusa's profile


1 post in 1622 days

#5 posted 07-06-2014 04:20 AM

Mat. Is there anyway you could post info on how to make one of these garage pergola’s. I really want to make one for my garage.

Thank you.

View MattNC's profile


43 posts in 1953 days

#6 posted 07-07-2014 01:45 AM

Ukusa I’m traveling this week but can talk to my neighbor next week and take some detailed pictures. I didn’t have any plans but the pictures should help.

View MattNC's profile


43 posts in 1953 days

#7 posted 07-21-2014 04:33 PM

I added some pictures of the brackets to hopefully help show how I made it. The beams are 2×8x19’ when finished. The slats are 1.5×4” and I used the dado blade to create the slots that sit on the timber and then they were screwed from the top.

The bracket backs are 1.5” thick as are the braces. The top pieces are 3×4” beams. The brace sits in a mortice on the bottom of the bracket, and they sit in a mortise on top as well. The stress I was most worried about was the beam pulling away from the mounted bracket. I took care of that by mortising the beam and using a bolt to hold it to the bracket. You can see it in my picture from below the bracket.

Hope this helps


View sawmiller1938's profile


2 posts in 1064 days

#8 posted 01-15-2016 06:22 PM

Use Penofin. It is a very good penetrating sealer. We use it on log homes as well as cedar projects. It deepens the color but does have the tendency to put a slight yellow cast to any sap wood.

Finishes such as clear urethane peel after a fairly short time due to the fact UV attacks the wood under the finish and causes it to release. We learned a very expensive lesson using urethane in the log home business even though we had additional UV agents added to the urethane.

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