"The material list called for cedar, but I used spruce and then stained the finished structure. The staining added about a day to the process. In all, the projected was finished by me working solo in 4 days. In future projects, I would stain the pieces before the final assembly (especially lattice work).
"I was expecting plans that were more of a series of diagrams rather than the predominantly text instructions received. It did take a little while to become accustomed to the text presentation, but once things started to roll, there was no problem.
"One would need to have some familiarity with working with tools required to complete the piece. By no means would one have to be an expert; I'm certainly not. It was my first time using a router. I did find myself practicing on scrap pieces of lumber. The router tool can have a tendency to take off on you if you use it in the wrong direction. But with a little practice, most of the passes on the final projected went well.
"I did modify the design slightly. I left the 2x4 legs a full 8-foot length. I knew the arbor was going into one of our new gardens. I dug post holes 2 feet deep and "planted" the structure. The plans call for the stucture to be bolted to concrete blocks. Another modification I made was in the attachment of the bench slats. I did not use the nailing procedure in the plan. I used a pneumatic brad nailer. That worked very well.
"It was a fun and worthwhile project. I am impressed with the final look."
- Keith Morrison
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