Jul 25, 2013

Pergola in Process: Crossbeams

Once the outer box was built, we installed the rest of the cross beams between the house and the outer 2x6s. Like the two outer cross beams we installed, we marked, measured and cut as we went. Since the notches require a perfect fit (which adds to the strength) and variations in the wood can mess up measurements - each piece had to be rested on the joist bracket and the two 2x6s, marked, then brought down and cut. We drew in the notches, measured 12 inches out, then traced the decorative edge template onto the wood.

Our makeshift  driveway workstation with all the piles of scrap wood
Once everything was cut out, Mike installed a couple of pocket holes over the notches with his kreg jig to secure it to the 2x6 beam (since the inner pieces don’t have posts to attach to). Then we put it up into place on the pergola structure and drilled it in. When all of the cross beams were up in place, we filled in the pocket holes with stainable exterior wood filler.

Views of the top from the deck
There were 9 inner cross beams to do (for a total of 11 cross beams), so this happened over several evenings. There's only a small sliver of time between baby’s bedtime and darkness, and we didn’t want to rush and make a mistake.

It was really exciting to get to this point, where the pergola really started to come together. Of course there's still a long way to go (including staining the ends and wood filler patches), but it was beginning to finally look like a real pergola!


  1. Looking good!!!

  2. This looks so good! You guys did an amazing job!