Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bending Metal for a Community Garden Trellis

H2's nephew asked if I'd help build a trellis for their community garden, Roots and Rays, in Pilsen.  They wanted to make it out of metal but had no idea how to do so. It will serve as an entrance to the garden as well as a support for hops, which they plan on using to make beer.

(Double click on any image to make it larger.)

A rough sketch. We've modified the design by adding another pair of hoops as well as more cross pieces to stabilize the entire structure.

I'm bending a piece around a jig to get the desired finished radius of 5 feet. I made and tested several sized jigs before finding the right one. The metal tubing is 1"x1" square and the walls are 1/8" thick.

Leaning up against my house, we'll weld more curved tubing on the bottom of each end to get the desired shape.

There are a group of gardeners who want to learn some fabrication skills and will be helping me put it together. We'll weld the pairs of hoops together, strap them on the side of my work van and drive down Ashland Ave to the garden. It should all happen in the next couple months.

For a good tutorial on how to bend metal tubing by hand, check out this post.

A short helpful video is here.