How to Make a Wooden Bracket for a Pergola Beam

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Make wooden brackets for decorative pergola support.

Pergolas are a wonderful way to add garden-style functionality and appearance to any home. For further decorative appeal, decorative wooden support brackets, or knee braces, can be built to support the beams in lieu of standard stamped metal options. These wooden brackets offer the same if not better support when constructed properly and placed in the right locations, while giving a custom touch to the overall appearance of the structure.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Drill
  • 3/16 inch drill bit
  • 2-by-4 stud beam
  • T-square
  • Pencil
  • Table saw
  • Two-inch wood screws
  • Philips bit attachment
  • Router
  • Scroll saw
  • Paint or stain
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Instructions

    • 1

      Measure the distance between the vertical and horizontal beams that the bracket will span.

    • 2

      Use this measurement to cut two pieces from the 2-by-4 stud.

    • 3

      Measure the distance diagonally of the open side of the "L" bracket. Cut a piece of the two-by-four long enough to span this opening. Take your T-square and mark a 45-degree angle at the ends of this piece. Cut the ends of this piece at 45 degrees with the table saw. The flat portion of the angle cut will face outwards, towards the straight-cut pieces.

    • 4

      Add decorative touches as desired, using the router on the edges of each piece and the scroll saw for more intricate designs. Wood stock is cheap, so practice until you've found a nice design.

    • 5

      Set the two straight cut pieces into an "L" configuration. Drill two holes into the junction point of the "L." Drive two 2-inch galvanized Philips screws into the holes.

    • 6

      Drill and screw the 45-degree cross member at the hypotenuse of the "L," forming the bracket.

    • 7

      Paint or stain the bracket prior to installation. Allow the proper amount of curing time, as directed by the manufacturer.

    • 8

      Pre-drill two holes on the inside facing edges along the top and back of the "L" bracket. Attach the bracket to the pergola with 2-inch wood screws, meeting the outside corner of the bracket to the meeting join of the vertical and horizontal beams.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the bracket is spanning two main columns, all you need are the 45-degree supports. The staining and mounting procedure remains the same.

  • Remember that wood rots after enough exposure to soil and moisture. Do not use a wooden bracket for structural support if the bracket will be installed at or near ground level.

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References

Resources

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

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