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Make any climbing plant happy with this 6-ft. tall, freestanding trellis. We used dadoes, glue and screws to fasten the slats because trellises take a beating each year when you tear off the old vines. We built our trellis from cypress, one of the longest-lasting outdoor woods. Ours was recycled from old water tanks and cost about $175 (see Sources, below). White oak, at $60, would also be a good choice.

Marking the legs for the dadoes can be confusing, but if you follow our marking procedures (Photos 1 through 4), you can’t mess up. Even with our easy-to make jigs, routing 68 dadoes is noisy, dusty and tedious (Fig.B and Photo 5). But once they’re done, the dadoes make assembly foolproof. There’s only one angle to remember: Everything slopes 6 degrees.

You’ll need an angled template, made with the miter gauge on your tablesaw, to make the dadoing jigs. You’ll also need a router with a straight bit to cut the dadoes, and a drill with a slotted tip for all the screws. We used a jointer and planer to mill our parts to thickness, but they could also be ripped to size on a tablesaw. The slats are thin, so be sure to use a push stick.


How to build it

1. Mill the legs (A) to thickness and cut them to length.

2. Mark the leg dadoes (photos below).The sides of the trellis are tapered, so the dadoes are angled.

Mark the bottoms of the legs. Bundle the legs together and mark the front and back faces as one pair and the two side faces as the other.

Mark the first pair of faces.The dadoes on the front and back faces match, so they can be marked at the same time. Arrange the legs with the triangles at the top.After aligning the ends, draw reference lines every 8 in. to mark the dadoes.Then go back and mark the slope,which runs outward from the center of each pair.

Mark the second pair of faces. Rearrange the legs with the circles at the top, and…

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