Hello again. Last year, 2 of the coolest people I have ever met decided to form Voltron and get married, and they asked me to build a wedding arbor for them. Everything was going great until I remembered that arches are, you know, roundish. After some experimentation, I figured out how to create a wooden arch without having to boil or steam anything or even know what you're doing!
If you don't want to scroll all the way down to see how it looked when it was done, here it is:
I am not a carpenter and I managed to pull this off, but it would help to have one handy for this project. I'll be focusing on the arch portion because that was the only real difficult portion of this project. If you'd like more details about the body of the arbor, drop me a line. To do this you will need the following tools: table saw, miter saw, circular saw (preferrably with a plastic-cutting blade), hand sander, hammer, screwdriver (electric) and lots and lots of c-clamps.
The arbor itself is built in 3 pieces. The 2 side panels and the arch on top. The side panels were made from 2x4s, and assembled measured 6'x4' (I think). I used white plastic lattice for inside the panels held in place by a 1/2" deep groove cut along the inside of the 2x4 frame.
For the top portion, I created the 2 arches which are secured at the bottom by a 1x4 panel (you can see it overhanging the side panels). This allowed me to move the arbor in pieces, a bonus since the wedding was held in a park at the lakefront.
To create this arch, I started with 1/4" pine lattice from Home Depot. It's about 2" wide (IIRC), and sold in 12' lengths. Cheap, too! I bought 5 of these and cut them all in half.
I made a form by screwing blocks of 2x4 to a piece of plywood in the shape I wanted. I then took 5 of my 6' strips of lattice, glued them together with a non-water based wood glue, wrapped them in waxed paper and clamped them to the blocks, like so:
After everything dried I peeled off the waxed paper, sanded the arch smooth and trimmed the ends. Both arches were screwed onto a 1x4 and additional strips of lattice were attached between the two. The red line shows where the arch ends and the side panel begins:
And that's pretty much it. By far the most difficult part was painting it. To install it for the wedding, I just hammered a few strips of metal into the ground, and bolted the bottom of the arbor to them. The little picket fences were freestyled. Throw in some frilly stuff, some flowers and a a happy couple, and here it is: