Jul 30, 2013

Pergola: Top Pieces

For the top of the pergola, we needed 12 ft long 2x2 strips. At least in NJ, Home Depot doesn’t sell exterior pressure-treated 2x2s in 12 ft lengths. We probably could have shopped around in an attempt to find it, but that would have required more truck rentals or delivery fees and we didn’t want to deal with that. Instead we decided to be brave and cut them down ourselves. This would have been MUCH easier with a table saw, but we don’t have room for a table saw right now in our ridiculously unorganized garage or basement. Instead we set things up very carefully with the circular saw and hoped for the best.

It worked. It was a pain, but it worked. Mike cut five 2x4s down the middle to create ten 2x2s. We actually only needed nine, but we're saving the last 2x2 for another part. Once they were cut I stained all of them. Finally it was time to put the top pieces of the pergola up, laying parallel with the house over the cross beams. Since these pieces were for more for shade and stability over structure, we decided to forgo the notches and just attach them with a heavy duty nail gun and 2 ½” nails. All we had to do was measure and cut the decorative ends with a jigsaw at the right length, line them up, and nail them into each piece below.

Excuse all of the sawdust all over the pergola - the whole thing needs a rinse with the hose (or some rain!)

It took a lot of nails, but it’s very sturdy and really helps prevent any wobbling. Of course, the final pieces for stability (and wobble prevention) were our next step - the corner braces.

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