modding the Asian arbor

About that arbor I ordered…

arbor just after it was installed, avec trellisy bits

Yup, that one. Love the Asian influence. Hate the unnecessary busy-ness that detracts from the simplicity of the form. I blame the traditional trellis bits up the sides and across the top. Not a big deal — it can be simplified. First, you pull those trellisy bits off. You are so outta here…

trellisy bits are so outta here

See, looks better already!

a clean slate

Then you take the .25″ OD (outside diameter) x .028″ wall T-304/304L stainless steel tubing you ordered from onlinemetals.com to fit where the ugly wood trellis was…

steel rods

Why steel rods? Strong. Minimal. Modern. They tie in with the steel going on elsewhere in the landscape now. And steel and cedar look great together, duh.

You measure and mark equal distances for the tubing, then drill a hole wide enough to insert it…

measure twice!

Then you hammer the tube into the hole. The tubing will cut itself into the cedar in the opposite post (where you marked it).

apply hammer liberally

Saw off the excess rod…

saw off the excess steel rod

You countersink the rods so they’ll sit just below the surface of the cedar rather than flush, leaving you room to wood putty the holes for a cleaner look…

countersink the rods

And the next thing you know, your arbor looks much, much nicer…

all done except the top!

The simple steel bars fade into the background. With the offending wooden trellis mess gone, the focus is on the architecture of the uprights and the upswept Japanese torii pieces across the top of the arbor. Essentially, a torii symbolizes that you’re stepping into an inner sanctuary or sacred place. Welcome to our garden, neighbor!

Steel bars still need to get installed across the top, but I really love how it’s looking…

steel rod closeup

Thanks, David! You rawk.

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