This is an eastern red cedar log pergola that I just finished installing.
I started with going into the woods and finding some trees.
These trees are eastern red cedars and they’re destined to be removed because they are in a grove of oak trees.
Using my JCB skid steer tractor, her name is Iris, I drag the trees out to the road. There I remove the limbs so they can be ground into mulch by the property owner.
The bark is peeled with a high pressure washer. I use thirty five hundred psi with a turbo head. It does a good job but I do have to be careful because it can damage the wood. Any less of a pressure washer and I’ve found it very inefficient at best. Even with the high pressure it doesn’t work well without the turbo attachment.
The masons left us openings in the patio for our posts. We had to dig our holes for width and depth. We didn’t concrete in the posts because even though the cedar weathers well over time there will be decay and the posts will become loose in the concrete footers. So we used pea gravel as spacer. It will help wick away the moisture. That will help delay the decay. And when there is decay more pea gravel can be added to take up the slack around the posts caused by the decay.
Once the posts were up then using a laser level I shot grade and cut off the tops. The tops were coped, notched I guess you could say, to hold the beam logs.
Then it was time for the joists. The beams are attached to the posts with screws in addition to the notches. The screws I use are specialty fasteners designed for log homes and large timber joints. The joists are attached to the beams with the same kind of screws, just smaller. The beams are also coped for fitting the joists.
For coping the logs to make a better fit I use an angle grinder with a special wheel. It’s designed for wood carvers who normally use a chain saw but want a little more control for detail work. I’ve removed the guard and the tool is deadly. Think of having your fingers an inch or so from the business end of a chain saw and you can understand why I’m so careful when using it.
The installation of the slats follows after the joists are all in place.
We used Red Penofin sealer stain, two coats. We presealed all the joints and the posts before they went into the holes.
I’ll post more pictures after the electrical and masonary work is finished.