Here's a solid portal topped with a bit of elegant whimsy. Heavy 6x6 posts set in concrete provide firm support for the specially cut flying pieces on top, making a substantial entryway or focal point for your landscaping. While the most demanding task will be cutting the shaped ends of the flying joists, a person with average carpentry skills can produce this impressive garden feature. Allow a couple of weekends for the project.
Use rot-resistant wood for this project such as redwood, cedar, or pressure-treated lumber -- there are plenty of places where moisture can settle. If you find that you cannot get 6x6s in your chosen material, use a protective stain to blend the pressure-treated lumber with cedar or redwood.
Plan on digging the postholes and setting the posts on the first weekend, allowing five days for the concrete to set and cure. Paint or treat the pieces before you assemble them-perhaps while the concrete is curing. You will need a heavy-duty jig saw or band saw to cut the curved ends of the 2x6s. When cutting through the 6x6 posts, make the initial perpendicular cut with a circular saw, then finish with a handsaw. Have a sturdy stepladder on hand. Draft an assistant to help install the top pieces.
- 4 6"x6"x12' for posts
- 9 2"x6"x8' for "flying" rafters
- 7 1"x2"x8' for top pieces
- 5 1"x2"x8' for nailers and molding
- 2 4x8-foot prefab lattice panels
- 2 2"x4"x8' for braces
- 1 2"x10"x4' for post caps
- Concrete and gravel for postholes
- 2 pounds 3-inch galvanized deck screws
- 1 pound 1-5/8-inch galvanized deck screws
- 1 pound 1-1/4-inch galvanized deck screws
- 1 pound 6d galvanized finishing nails