deck progress 4

The deck reaches alpha!

Friday was mostly about the Pergola. Pergola. What a lovely word. I love saying it. It has certainly been the most laborious part so far though.  Getting the box in place

took about 4 hours, which included sawing the notches for the center joist, and more jigs and clamps. Working overhead is always more difficult. Also, I have some sad news to report. During the course of work, my trusty scroll saw, 
which has been with me through many years and many jigsaw puzzles and assorted projects, broke--for good. Now, it's well known* that every major home improvement project requires some form of sacrifice to the home improvement gods. Blood is traditional (and may yet be drawn), but my hope is that the death of my scroll saw will satisfy the requirement instead.

Moving on. After the joists were up it was time for the pergola (pergola pergola) roof, which is made of 2x3s, because they're cheap. I got them all roughly in place, made some cuts to go around the tree trunk, and then I was ready to do the crazy unsafe thing. I climbed the wall, and up on top of the pergola, and crawled along the center beam, nailing the pieces in place as I went. I kinda wished someone had been there so they could grab a picture, and so I could say "I got this" just like old times, but it's probably just as well. Anyway I still have to nail down the outer edges, so maybe we can document that.
Annie came home as I was starting to move on to the next task, which was decking the dock.  We finished that up together under the floodlights, and then spent a while watching a family of mice run back and forth along the fence, behind the brush at the back of the yard.  The floodlight illuminated them pretty well, and Chloe (the cat) was very interested. Final state as of Saturday morning:
Just a few more things to do, nail in the tops of the pergola, put in a few spare nails here and there, build a couple of steps, and maybe do a little triangle bracing. Should definitely be finished, or at least beta, for the party tomorrow.

*Is it?  It is to me.


  1. Is this pergola a kit or your own design. From your pictures it looks like an easy DIY project. Keep posting your progress. I want to see the built in gas grill and fireplace next:)

  2. My own design I guess. It's a pretty straight forward thing, though if I did it over again I'd make a couple design changes. 2x8 joists under the deck, plan for a few more feet, use joist hangers, keep the pergola beams roughly in line with the posts, that sort of thing. I think the plan for the outdoor kitchen was a couple of rocket stove burners ;-) See: