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Arched pergola beams - how to make them?

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Forum topic by Loren posted 07-15-2012 08:12 PM 13862 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Loren

7625 posts in 2315 days


07-15-2012 08:12 PM

A client wants me to build a pergola with arched beams.

The sample pics I’ve seen of the sort of thing they want are
glue-laminated out of shaped curved parts, lotta waste and
a lot of clamping to make just 4 or whatever.

So I’ve got a question of whether: (a) can I outsource these
glue-lams at any kind of reasonable cost?

and (b) would I be real stupid to glue up perhaps 2”x18”
blanks from 2×6s (for example) and just saw them out?

Weight load is not going to be more than a few hundred
pounds on all the posts but I’m looking at spanning about 14
feet between posts with the curved beams.

-- http://lawoodworking.com


13 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4982 posts in 1244 days


#1 posted 07-15-2012 08:31 PM

You wouldn’t be stupid at all for making them yourself. Plan b seems to me like normal thinking.

Make a template, use the flush cut router bit, and have fun.

View bhog's profile

bhog

2145 posts in 1357 days


#2 posted 07-15-2012 09:38 PM

What kind of heigth are you trying to be at ?How severe of an arch? You could always use LVL and wrap it with what ever you are building with- cedar,redwood,cypress etc.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View madts's profile

madts

1274 posts in 1006 days


#3 posted 07-15-2012 09:50 PM

A pictrue would be good to be able to give a decent answer.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7625 posts in 2315 days


#4 posted 07-15-2012 10:07 PM

Like 8 feet tall and maybe a 10” rise in the center of the arched
beams. Not bearing a lot of weight.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View higtron's profile

higtron

194 posts in 1344 days


#5 posted 07-15-2012 10:14 PM

You don’t need to waste all that much material if you glue and spline your laminated material together like in pic.

-- If I cut it too short I can scab a piece on, but if it's too long what do I do?

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Loren

7625 posts in 2315 days


#6 posted 07-15-2012 10:21 PM

Ok. Splining, that makes sense. Thank you.

Other ideas still welcomed of course.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1735 days


#7 posted 07-15-2012 10:51 PM

I made these with redwood 2×8’s.

First, I made a full size pattern from 1/4” ply, then determined the number of pieces of redwood I needed and the angles to cut the ends to cover the pattern

I laid the pieces out and traced the pattern onto the pieces and marked for biscuits – making sure that no biscuits would be exposed on the edge of a joint.

I cut my biscuit slots, tacked cleats at each joint, and assembled the whole thing using the cleats to clamp the joints.

When it was dry, I cut the arches on my bandsae, sanded everything and rounded the edges.

That was 10 years ago and – except for turning grey with age and exposure – the arbor is rock solid.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112170 posts in 2244 days


#8 posted 07-15-2012 11:23 PM

Here’s how I would do it Loren ,close to how sawkerf suggested but doubled up with splines and overlapping sections and cut it out with a router.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1735 days


#9 posted 07-16-2012 01:10 AM

I considered splines Jim, but didn’t want anything peeking thru the edged of my joints which might provide a path for water.

I forgot to mention it earlier, but I used gorilla glue.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1517 days


#10 posted 07-16-2012 01:21 AM

I question the need for splines when you’ve got a flat grain to flat grain glue joint.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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a1Jim

112170 posts in 2244 days


#11 posted 07-16-2012 01:30 AM

Sawkerf
My job was paint grade so I just used bondo in the little bit of kerf that showed primer and painted. I like the splines because they had more glue surface(I made them 1/2” deep on each side of the joint ,I used resin glue for the spline joinery and construction adhesive to join the two layers together.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1517 days


#12 posted 07-16-2012 04:12 PM

I’ve been mulling about my comment regarding splines, and I’m thinking they are a sensible addition to this project structurally.

The representative from Oregon changes his vote to Yea for splines.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112170 posts in 2244 days


#13 posted 07-16-2012 04:40 PM

Us Oregonians have to stick together Lee :))

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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