Pergola Design with Curved Cedar Rafters

The Pergola Design – Making the POSTS

The posts, and all other parts, true full dimension.

Construction of a cedar pergola designed with curved rafters and curved corner braces
True 6″ x 6″ posts and beams

The posts are 6″ x 6″ and cut to length with a circular saw.

Construction of a cedar pergola designed with curved rafters and curved corner braces
Using a circular saw to cut beams

For this video I have enough lumber around from other projects to show the steps to make each part of the curved pergola

Construction of a cedar pergola designed with curved rafters and curved corner braces
Hand saw to finish the cut

I draw a pencil line around the post with a speed square. If the post is square and true then the lines will meet.
I make 4 cuts with a circular saw. Rotating the post a quarter turn each time. Then finish the cut with a hand saw.
They are then chamfered using a power plane. A sanding disc on an angle grinder will work for this as well.

Alignment Rod

Construction of a cedar pergola designed with curved rafters and curved corner braces
Drill guide used for galvanized alignment rod hole

A hole is drilled in the center of the bottom of each post for the galvanized rod.

Construction of a cedar pergola designed with curved rafters and curved corner braces
Post ready to be installed

This rod will keep the post in position. I use a drill guide for this to ensure the hole is square to the end of the post.
If you want to see how to lay out the post locations for pouring concrete footings have a look at my previous pergola video.
A shingle is added between the concrete and post as a moisture barrier.

Animation of a cedar pergola designed with curved rafters and curved corner braces
Shingle used as moisture barrier between bottom of post and concrete cistern lid

Stakes are driven in and temporary braces are added as we set each post in place, then plumbed with a spirit level.

Temporary Braces

Animation of a cedar pergola designed with curved rafters and curved corner braces
Posts in place held with temporary bracing

The layout and size of this pergola was determined by the size and dimensions of the concrete cistern lid.

Construction of a cedar pergola designed with curved rafters and curved corner braces
Pic of the site during assembly

The lid was found to be square and level so this made everything easier.

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