Reply by phlepper

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Posted on Advice on joint needed

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21 posts in 3458 days

#1 posted 06-15-2011 12:23 AM

crank49, I’m not sure where you’re seeing oak. The plans call for “southern pine”. I tend to rely on the “sagulator” to calculate various wood “strengths” and there is very little difference between pine and cedar (although the pine is slightly stronger).

Given the concerns about the cedar, I’m thinking I probably shouldn’t make any deviations and just use the screws. I could counter-bore them and use the plugs as suggested by you and Bob, but I might not even do that as I’m concerned it might weaken the lap joint (or at least not hold the outside post as well).

However, now I’m thinking I might be better off gluing up two 2×4s to create a 4×4. I could then replace the front and back rails with these 4×4’s versus 2×4. That would essentially double the strength of the cross rails. The half lap wouldn’t even touch the second 2×4 of the two and I could put the screw for the chain in the “inside” half of that 4×4 (the uncut part).

Would this be overkill? I’d really like to stick with all cedar since it matches the existing pergola.

Thanks again,

-- "A hammer in search of a nail..." (

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