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This is going to be a little different, I plan on making this Garden Arbor completely out of plastic! I've used plastic trim boards for years because of their obvious resistance to rot. Now I'm going to try to make outdoor furniture out of the stuff. You can screw and nail this plastic which is really polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and you can glue it with plumber's PVC cement. Typical woodworking tools work fine here but you won't have that nice aroma of pine or cedar, only sharp "sawdust" that looks more like snow.
The whole process is basically the same for plastic as it is for wood. You need a way to form the pieces that make up the two big arches. The inside radius is 30" and the outside radius is 35-1/2" 

You can get the Free Plans for the Arbor here.

The plans show the simplest solution: make a compass by using a stick with a nail at the pivot point, then a hole for a pencil at the correct locations to scribe the inside and outside radius. Use the edge of the stick to layout the ends of these pieces.
Now you simply rough cut the arch segments to size.

Beam Compass
Beam Compass

Dust Bee Gone Mask
Washable Dust Mask

Olson® All Pro™ Band Saw Blades
Olson® All Pro™ Band Saw Blades

Whole Shop Dust Collector

Problems getting your bandsaw to track properly? It may be the rubber tires. 
Try replacing them!

The solution is cheap and easy!

After some of the segments are rough cut, I clean up the cuts with a drum sander. Dust collection here is important for health!

Replace your Bandsaw Tires!

14'' Band Saw Wheel Brush
14'' Band Saw Wheel Brush

15 Piece Drum Sander Kit and Replacement Sleeves
15 Piece Drum Sander Kit

Drill Doctor® 350X Drill Bit Sharpener
Drill Doctor® 350X Drill Bit Sharpener

See my Ride: 1600 Vulcan Crusier

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You'll need a sheet of plywood to build the assemblies on. Use your compass that you made earlier and draw out the inside radius on the plywood, so both of the arch ends rest on the edge of the plywood.
Now to start some assembly. Johnny's helping me here with some two sided tape to hold the first layer of our arch in position on the plywood. Use the inside radius line as a guide for placement. Also check to make sure the joints are tight, trim if necessary.
Now the second layer goes on, with PVC cement and 1-1/4" drywall screws. 

Ok, I stray from the plans here. The plans call for three layers of 1-1/2" stock. I'm using 3/4" stock so I need 6 layers. Since the plastic weighs a whole lot more than cedar, I thought of a way to make the inside hollow, both to conserve stock and lighten up the load.
Here I've cut 2 strips of plastic 1-1/2" wide (equals 2 layers) and now we're trying to bend the stock. We're using the arch as a bending jig. John heats up the stock with a heat gun while I snug up the clamps and take pictures. The idea is to train the plastic to hold this bend to make it easier to fasten to the arch.
That wasn't too hard, now to let it cool a while.
Darn, it didn't stay bent as much as I hoped for. But it is a help and we were able to glue and screw it down to the second layer with a little effort.
Here is a view of this bent layer. I used 2-1/2" drywall screws pre drilled and counter sunk. 

36'' & 48'' Sure-Foot™ Aluminum Bar Clamps
Sure-Foot™ Aluminum Bar Clamps

Irwin C-Clamps
Irwin C-Clamps

Here's the start of the fourth layer, make sure you mark where your screws are below!
The last layer can only be secured with screws from the outside, so I use a 3/8" counter sink to create a hole for plastic plugs.
Rockler/Insty-Drive Tapered Drill Bits and Countersinks
Tapered Drill Bits and Countersinks

Hex Shank Tapered Plug Cutters
Tapered Plug Cutters

This is a 3/8" tapered plug cutter, the plugs it creates will fit perfectly in those holes to hide the screws.
After the plugs are glued in place, they are easily sanded to leave a flush appearance.

Now onto the columns!

In the plans, the columns are made up of 3 layers of 1-1/2" stock. I made mine out of 5-1/2" and 3" stock with splines securing the pieces together. You can see the construction in the pic at left. The grooves are made on the table saw with feather boards, the splines are made to fit the grooves on my bench top planer.
Lots of PVC cement. I apply a thick layer so it doesn't dry out before I'm finished.
First I glue on two of the 3" pieces to a 1x6, one piece at a time. 

I let the glue sit for about 10 minutes, then move onto the other side. 
To glue on the other side, requires gluing in both splines. This is best done with a buddy because the glue cures rather quickly.
There's my silly gluin up buddy.
And and he looks so proud!
I made cedar tennons to secure the joints where the arch meets the columns. The top section fits into that hollow part of the arch and the lower of course fits into the column. We screwed the tennon permanently to the arch sections. 

Sorry it's only a drawing, i keep forgetting to take pictures.

Man this thing is tall! Here I'm securing the slats to the curved section, making sure to keep the arches parallel.
John gluing plugs to cover the screws. He's been a big help with this project, every step of the way!
Before the joint trim that hides the joint between the arches and the columns.
I've made a 2x6 out of two pieces of 1x6 plastic, and secured it to the columns with screws from inside the hollow column.
After the joint trim. I used some 1-5/8" plastic for the trim. I used a 45 degree router bit to create the bevel for the trim, and all the cross pieces. PVC cement and 1-1/2" finish nails hold the trim in place. All that is left is to fill the holes (and dents) ,then paint.
Day before delivery, the arch section fits in my pickup. If I didn't have the boxes in the bed of the truck, I would have been able to put the arbor sides in here too.
This was a beautiful spot for a wedding! Flowers add the finishing touch.
The perfect backdrop on a wonderful day!

Here is a large collection of Garden Arbors to choose from!

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