Use these instructions to create a beautiful garden tower
A garden tower with the crisp geometry of an obelisk adds a stunning focal point and a vertical dimension to your garden.
Once vines climb onto the obelisk, the contrast between natural and constructed elements only enhances its appeal.
You'll need the following materials to build the obelisk; see the full article for further details.
- One 4x4 fence post with finial, cut about 14" long
- Four 8' 2x2s for 93 1/2" legs
- One 8' 2x4 for four 22" spreaders
- Four 4' pieces of 1/4" x 1 1/2" lath, perhaps rip-cut from a 2x4, for: four 17 1/2" lower crosspieces, four 14" middle crosspieces, and four 10 1/2" upper crosspieces
- Four 7' pieces of 1/4" x 1" lath, perhaps rip-cut from 5/4 decking, for four long verticals
- Eight 5' pieces of 1/4" x 1" lath for eight shorter verticals
- 1/4" and 2" decking or stainless-steel screws
Mark the cut post top for a tongue. The tongue should be 33⁄8 inches long and wider at its base than at its shoulders. Make it 1 inch wide at the base, tapering to ½ inch at the shoulders.
Set a circular saw to make a cut 1½ inches deep, and cut the line at the top of the shoulder. Then set the saw to full depth and cut the other (tapered) line, taking care not to cut too far.
Flip the post over and cut from the other side, then finish the cut using a handsaw. Cut the other side of the tongue in the same way.
he tops of the legs are cut on a compound angle ― that is, the saw blade is set at an angle, and it runs across the piece at an angle as well. The magic number is 6 degrees. Make the cuts 6 degrees off square (that is, either 96 degrees or 84 degrees, depending on how you hold the square) with the blade also tilted 6 degrees.
Position the legs against the post tongue and test to see that the leg bottoms are fairly close to 22 inches apart; adjust the angles if needed.
Drill pilot holes and attach the legs to the post top with 2-inch screws.
Cut the spreaders to length, angling the ends at 6 degrees off square so they will follow the lines of the spread-apart legs. Position the spreaders about 10 inches above the bottom of the legs.
Drill pilot holes and screw the spreaders to the legs. You may need to flex the legs a little to make the spreaders fit.
Cut the crosspieces, angling the ends at 6 degrees off square. Space them 15 inches apart on the legs, starting from the top of the spreaders.
Drill countersunk pilot holes and screw the crosspieces to the legs with 1¼-inch screws. Weave the verticals over and under the crosspieces. Fasten the verticals to the post and the spreaders with 1¼-inch screws.