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  • Redwood arbor

    Some pics of a 12x20 redwood arbor I completed a while back.

    Overall design was influenced by the original layout of the previous arbor and the clients' budget. Some individual details were left up to me.
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

  • #2
    Re: Redwood arbor

    Very nice. what's the difference between an arbor and a pergola? Are they the same?

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    • #3
      Re: Redwood arbor

      Originally posted by dgbldr View Post
      Very nice. what's the difference between an arbor and a pergola? Are they the same?
      I have no idea. Around here they are mostly called "arbors", "pergola" seems to imply a victorian fanciness or something, which is not the usual aesthetic.

      This thing (arbor/pergola) will get grapes grown up it, fwiw.
      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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      • #4
        Re: Redwood arbor

        I guess according to this article the thing would be a pergola, not an arbor, as it lacks side lattices, and has seating.
        http://www.finehomebuilding.com/item...-and-a-pergola

        But I really don't hear locals talking about "pergolas" very much.
        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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        • #5
          Re: Redwood arbor

          An arbor is light latticework framed structure specifically designed to support plantings.

          A pergola is a garden structure with an open wooden=framed roof, often latticed, supported by regularly spaced posts or columns. The structure, often covered by climbing plants such as vines or roses, shades a walk or passageway.

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          • #6
            Re: Redwood arbor

            would you rather do that or crawl under thru those crawl spaces.

            I notice the geo dome house in the background also

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            • #7
              Re: Redwood arbor

              Originally posted by m beezo View Post
              would you rather do that or crawl under thru those crawl spaces.

              I notice the geo dome house in the background also
              Yeah, huh, beezo. Give me decks and arbors any day.

              I looove outdoor carpentry. It has enough structural aspects to be challenging; it has exposed details, so you can show off some skills; and yet being outdoors you know it'll move so the tolerances are not as anal as cabinetry or whatever.

              The dome is a funny place. The guy (previous owner) who built it was a serious alcoholic; the current owners are always fixing the latest thing to go wrong, but it's a very nice, livable space. They both curse the guy and respect him for actually building the thing essentially him and a high-schooler and a lot of whiskey.
              “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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              • #8
                Re: Redwood arbor

                Kevin, just out of curiosity, will that have any finish applied or what would you expect it to look like within a few years with no finish applied?

                If I leave redwood exposed here it will end up splotchy black in a couple years. Customers think it will remain like the original look but when I tell/show them reality they will invariably change their choice of lumber or finish.

                I also enjoy projects such as yours and one of my first restoration jobs was an arbor, in cypress, that is part of the original landscaping at a nice 1920ish property here. The owner was going to demo it because she could not get someone to repair some broken trellis work and the bench seats. After the rebuild I stripped and painted it and it is still serving them well after 28 years.

                Since then I have accumulated several original publications from companies that made these in the teens and twenties when the craft was probably at its peak. Many are very formal and the designs very elaborate. These types of pieces really do make for an enjoyable setting.

                Thanks for sharing yours.
                "ALS IK KAN" - Stickley

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                • #9
                  Re: Redwood arbor

                  Originally posted by calvert View Post
                  Kevin, just out of curiosity, will that have any finish applied or what would you expect it to look like within a few years with no finish applied?

                  If I leave redwood exposed here it will end up splotchy black in a couple years. Customers think it will remain like the original look but when I tell/show them reality they will invariably change their choice of lumber or finish.
                  Thanks, Calvert.

                  There is no finish on the redwood.

                  It will fade to a silvery gray in a few years. (It had already faded somewhat by the time I took these pictures). This structure replaces a previous, cruder one which was also unfinished, so the clients were aware of what it would look like after fading. It is a very informal setting, so everyone agreed unfinished was fine.

                  I generally prefer to leave exterior redwood unfinished. The climate is mild enough here that it doesn't tend to have real material problems like radical splintering or feathering, just a change in color (and minor "dustiness" from very superficial damage to the outer layer of wood fibers). I have recommended finishing redwood a few times, like for deck railings, especially when I think the client will maintain the finsh. If I think the client won't be up for periodic re-finishing I tend to advise against it.

                  How often does a painted outdoor structure need re-painting in Pa.?

                  Redwood is definitely the default wood for outdoor structures such as this one out here. I've seen some cypress siding, but have never built an outdoor structure with it. This job was in Anderson Valley, Mendocino County; the lumber probably was logged within an hour or two of the site.

                  kevin
                  Last edited by kfc510; 09-05-2014, 07:02 AM.
                  “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Redwood arbor

                    Calvert:

                    One of my favorite buildings is Bernard Maybeck's Berkeley church, it is 110 years old and the redwood has never been finished. I was there about a year ago, I see some minor repairs have been done in difficult areas under the redwood wisteria arbors, I don't know if other repairs have been done in the past, but I've been following this building for close to 60 of it's 110 years and this is the first repair I've seen. BTW, those white panels are real asbestos cement, that too has survived fine for the 110 years, while we see today's fibercement lasting less than 20 years.

                    I've done unfinished redwood in the past, the problem is today that the environmentalists have stopped us from cutting old growth redwood, and the juvenile growth doesn't last at all. Over the years I have been successful at finding old growth with a few suppliers stocking it, stickering it for air drying, it costs a fortune as well it should, but some customers are willing to pay for it.

                    BTW Kevin, the "professional" lumber supplier in our area was Hill Mill & Lumber on Brighton in Albany, they had acres of stickered redwood ringing two streets, Ralph Hill sold the property during one of our downturns because the land became more valuable for cheap condos than selling good wood. Hill did not sell to DIYs, only contractors with a good financial reputation, the DIYs went to Truit and White or General in Berkeley, El Cerrito Mill and Lumber was almost as good, but didn't stock anywhere near the quantity of old growth redwood like Hill did, El Cerrito sold for cheap condos about a decade after Hill did. The last I found was a mill up in the Petaluma area, but I paid dearly.
                    Last edited by Dick Seibert; 09-05-2014, 12:19 PM.
                    You will ask what goal the U.S. is pursuing? .... their external debt is huge, and ruining other countries is their customary method. Even ownership of the global 'printing press' is no longer helping. Nor is full control over NATO, None of that if enough for the 21st century colonizers. They don't just need to preserve the dollar as the only global currency but also to get their hands on the economic wealth of other large powers and regions. - Sergei Naryshkin

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                    • #11
                      Re: Redwood arbor

                      [QUOTE=Dick Seibert;707282I was there about a year ago, I see some minor repairs have been done in difficult areas under the redwood wisteria arbors, I don't know if other repairs have been done in the past, but I've been following this building for close to 60 of it's 110 years and this is the first repair I've seen. [/QUOTE]

                      http://www.nps.gov/commonground/Summer2006/grants.pdf

                      http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/articl...nt-2548092.php
                      “I find the curiosity of our men with respect to this animal is pretty much satisfied.”
                      ~ Meriwether Lewis

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                      • #12
                        Re: Redwood arbor

                        Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
                        Calvert:

                        One of my favorite buildings is Bernard Maybeck's Berkeley church, it is 110 years old and the redwood has never been finished.
                        It's funny, I was thinking about that church today while I was at work as an example of untreated redwood in a formal setting. Thanks for posting that.
                        Originally posted by Dick Seibert View Post
                        I've done unfinished redwood in the past, the problem is today that the environmentalists have stopped us from cutting old growth redwood, and the juvenile growth doesn't last at all. Over the years I have been successful at finding old growth with a few suppliers stocking it, stickering it for air drying, it costs a fortune as well it should, but some customers are willing to pay for it.
                        Lumber Baron had some great reclaimed redwood a while back, the old owner (who died) mortgaged his home to buy a bridge, and the timbers were like nothing I've ever seen. I think his son is running the place now, but I have heard it may be in trouble.
                        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Redwood arbor

                          Dick and Mark, thank you for that bit of architectural splendor. Along with your descriptions and links I looked up some other info. about the place and now I have a new target to visit and a reason to come to CA. I have relatives to visit near Oakland and I want to make a trip to Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka so I guess I can round out the trip with a visit to the church.

                          I am fortunate to have worked with redwood quite a bit here in the east. I have been stashing it in my barn for many years, buying at every opportunity I had when old lumberyards would go out of business. I also have a source about 90 miles from me that has the remnants of several rail cars of old stock that were purchased about 30 years ago and have been in storage. Pricing isn't too terrible considering the quality of the stock, roughly in the $8.00 to $10.00/bd.ft. range depending on thickness and width. The trouble is, I hate to use my own stock because of the fear that I won't be able to replace it. I have some 5/4 x 12" cvg 22' long as well as a variety of other thicknesses and widths.

                          Several years ago I trimmed an 1888 carriage barn restoration with 5/4 stock that I purchase from a reclaimed lumber source. That material was up to 20' and made for some beautiful, stable trim.

                          The wood is truly great to use. In most of our applications it has been painted and the stability of the material makes for a great and durable paint job.

                          Kevin, your query about frequency of painting is always relative to the many variables that affect structures and the quality of the materials and procedures used to produce the paint work.

                          I have become so accustomed to using high grade wood, epoxy sealer such as "CPES" and quality primers and paints that I really have had some jobs last 20 years. Most failures I have had have been relative to fractured paint films over inferior fillers that I used years ago. Peeling issues are minimal with the epoxy sealer. I have cedar shingles on my gable ends at the house I am living in now that were installed in 1989. They were cvg, back primed and painted before installation. They face east and west and really held up well. Fading issues finally prompted me to repaint last year so it is possible to have a durable job.

                          Most customers I work for don't necessarily enjoy paying the bills for the level of work we do but they do absolutely enjoy not having to do it very frequently.

                          Sorry for the long run here but I do enjoy being able to work with great materials and produce a lasting effort.
                          "ALS IK KAN" - Stickley

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                          • #14
                            Re: Redwood arbor

                            Originally posted by calvert View Post
                            Dick and Mark, thank you for that bit of architectural splendor. Along with your descriptions and links I looked up some other info. about the place and now I have a new target to visit and a reason to come to CA.
                            There's also a minor Greene and Greene (now a frat house) a few blocks from the church: http://www.thorsenhouse.org/

                            And a bunch of Maybeck houses up the hill, the Maybeck and John Galen Howard designed UC faculty club, etc.

                            Of current designers and builders I personally dig Gary Parson's designs (http://www.garyearlparsons.com/web/html/), a number of his houses are built by Paul Cerami/Cerami Builders, he's a real nice guy. (His link is not working right now, I'll edit it in when I can get it to work)

                            If you come to the east bay I'd be happy to tour around a bit. Maybe Dick can drive us in his Hummer, that'd be fun. For instance, the Maybeck church is directly across from people's park, it would be fun to instigate that culture clash.
                            kevin
                            “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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                            • #15
                              Re: Redwood arbor

                              Well Kevin, spoke to the gf and looks like she already was doing preliminary planning for next April. We'll see how things develop and thanks for the invite. May be nice to meet up with some forum participants. Looks like plenty to see and do.
                              "ALS IK KAN" - Stickley

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