Step 2: Locate and Mark Notches

locate and mark notches
Photo: Kolin Smith
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The horizontal 2x4s in the trellis frames meet the vertical pieces by butting into ¼-inch-deep notches. Joining the lumber using a combination of notches and screws will make for a very strong and square frame.

To locate the bottom notches, measure up from the end of the frame's two uprights a distance of 1 foot, plus the amount the posts will be buried, and mark the wood. Lay both uprights flat, side by side, and flush at the ends. Lay a scrap 2x4 on edge—representing the width you want your notch to be—across the uprights at your mark, and, using a Speed square, check that the scrap is square to the lumber. Trace its width onto the uprights. Repeat this marking at the top edge of the uprights. Using a combination square, measure down ¼ inch along the sides of your markings to give you a guide for the depth of the notches. If your trellis will have two or more attached panels, you'll need to notch both sides of the common uprights.

Pro Tip: To be sure the two notches on either side of each frame are even, mark and cut them on both uprights at the same time, working with the lumber lined up side by side.
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    Tools List

    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • speed square
      Speed square
    • straightedge guide
      straightedge
    • combination square
      combination square
    • chisel
      chisel
    • hand saw
      handsaw
    • drill
      drill/driver
    • two-foot level
      2-foot level
    • post hole digger
      posthole digger
    • 7 foot digging bar
      digging bar
    • pointed shovel
      shovel
    • tamper
      small hand tamper

    Shopping List

    1. Cedar or pressure-treated 2x4s for the frame. Keep in mind that two adjoining trellis panels will share one vertical frame piece.

    2. Cedar or pressure-treated 1x1s for the stops that hold the lattice.3. Cedar or pressure-treated lattice fencing comes in 4-by-8-foot sheets. If you're building more than one panel, get both straight and diagonal lattice. 4. Cedar or pressure-treated 2x6—to cap the tops of the panels.

    5. ¾-inch gravel for drainage in the postholes. Four 50-pound bags will be enough.

    6. 1 5/8-inch self-tapping deck screws

    7. 3-inch self-tapping deck screws