This post contains plans for a wooden arbor or archway for a garden or wedding.
I used cedar for this arbor. The total cost was about $200. You can find the plans at the bottom of this post. Otherwise, read on for some notes and details about the process.
Building the arbor
The curved section is the most challenging part of the design. There are 3 approaches:
Option 1 – Steam forming/bending
This involves heating and steaming wood, then bending it into the right shape. I chose not to do this because of a lack of experience and equipment.
Option 2 – Cutting a single piece from plywood
This will give the best looking and strongest arch, because the arch will be from a single piece of engineered material. If you are going to paint your arbor, this could be a good option.
Option 3 – Adding overlapping sections of small arcs
This process involves cutting out small sections of the arch from a straight piece of wood, then overlapping them to form the entire arch.
I think this is the best choice when using cedar, since it can be done affordably with 2×6’s. It requires 30 linear feet of cutting. Since cedar is soft, you can cut it with a jigsaw (that’s what I used). If you’ll be using a hardwood like oak, a bandsaw would be needed.
I calculated using 2×8’s, 2×10’s, and 2×12’s. These wider pieces of lumber can make longer sections of the arch (e.g. using a 2×8 will make a 60 degree section). However, the 2×6’s end up being the most affordable size and waste the least amount of material.
I used a router with a cove bit add detail to the all the edges (see above).
To connect the 1×4’s to the arch (see above), I cut out grooves in the arch and inserted the 1×4’s. Then I secured them with decking screws and covered them with wood plugs.
Cedar diamond lattice can be purchased in 4’x8′ sheets at most hardware or landscaping stores. I routed out a 1″ deep groove to fit the lattice (see above).
I used extra pieces of 4×4’s as braces to secure the legs to the arch (see above).
To finish the arbor, I used boiled linseed oil.
The plans below are available as a JPG, PDF, and the original Solidworks drawings: