Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making a Bentwood Trellis

So last week at our Bentwood Trellis class we turned this pile of Willow Clippings from our teapot tree into these lovely trellises:
and this oneand another oneThe instructions are from Making Bentwood Trellises, Arbors, Gates and Fences by our friend Jim Long, published by Storey Books of MA. This book details each instructional step in making a trellis and also discusses the pros and cons of the wood choices. There are also detailed instructions for other garden features such as a variety of arbors, fence panels and gates.

Here are the basic instructions for a 4 - 5 foot high trellis:
1. 2 upright pieces - For a 4 - 5 foot trellis you need 2 pieces 7 - 8 feet long about the size of a broom handle at the larger (bottom) end tapering to the size of your little finger at the top end.
2. 4 cross pieces - They need to be the width of your trellis about 4 - 6 feet long slightly smaller around than the 2 uprights.
3. 2 - 3 flexible pieces like hot dog sticks - These are the decorative pieces.
Any bendable wood will work: Ash, Aspen, Hickory, Maple, Sumac, Redbud or any type of Willow, cut no more than 24 hours in advance. Avoid using Vines: Grapevine, honeysuckle, etc.
Other supplies include a hammer, pliers, and hand pruners. You might like to have sturdy cloth
gloves also. Wire and Nails and brads are also needed.
Here are the basic steps: Begin by laying out the side uprights parallel to each other about 24 inches apart. Attach the lower cross piece about 16 inches up from the bottom. Nail the crosspiece in place. Attach the upper cross piece about 36 to 40 inches from the lower cross piece. Nail in place at both joints. With pliers and wire: secure the four nailed joints. Next is the difficult step. Bending the uprights into an arch, bend and wire the arch securely into position. Attach a center upright if you are making a larger trellis. Attach additional cross pieces. Begin trimming and decorating with lattice pieces and more.
Note: If you wish to make a larger trellis (7-8 feet) you will need 12-14 foot uprights and also 8 foot center upright in addition to items number 2 and 3 listed above. It is suggested that you learn the techniques by making the 4-5 high patio trellis. This size trellis is also easier to transport home.


Bernideen said...

I feel inspired!

Marilyn said...

What a fun class. It would be fun to make small bentwood trellis's to line a garden edge.