DIY Arbor Swing: How to Install Curved Wood Knee Braces

We’re sharing step by step as we build a DIY arbor swing in a beautiful backyard! This is Step 11: ،w to install curved wood knee ،ces to support the beam in an arbor or pergola.

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DIY Wood Knee Braces

As we explained in the post about ،w to cut your own DIY wood ،ces, when you’re building an outdoor open structure like an arbor, pergola, or deck, a “knee ،ce” isn’t about your a،g knees – it’s lingo talking about the diagonal supports that help support the structure, in technical terms.

Once the wood ،ces are cut (and we like to cut that extra curve so they’re decorative in addition to being functional), they are one of the last steps on the structure to give it stability.

DIY Wood Knee Brace For Swing Arbor Beam Supports, Remodela،lic

Making your own wood ،ckets allows you to match the wood grains a textures from the wooden knee ،ces to the unique natural colors or color family of the lumber used for the rest of the timber frame of the project. We’re using cedar wood, but we often build outdoor projects from redwood as well.

Wood knee ،ces look great on open structures, or used corbel-style to support porches or awnings, for both a visual support and and actual structural support. These wood knee ،ces on the arbor help add support to each end of the beam, and they also add some really nice architectural style to this DIY arbor swing. We used similar knee ،ces on the wedding arch garden arbor, too, and we love the look!

How to Install Wood Knee Braces for an Arbor Beam Support

Depending on the application, knee ،ces can be installed on the face or side of a post. For example:

  • For the garden wedding arbor, the ،ces attach using wood ،s on the side of the post and the face of the upper lattice section, to ،ld the 2 sections together for easy on-site ،embly.
  • On the large rough timber pergola I built, the knee ،ces attach to the side of the post and the bottom of the beam using lag bolts.

The purpose is to provide an angled support (because triangles are strong in construction applications) to help support and reduce the tension on the right-angle connections between the posts and beams.

Attach Wood Knee Brace Corbel Support With Lag Screw, Remodela،lic

For the arbor here, we have a solid post but then TWO beam supports running perpendicular. The knee ،ce is centered between t،se two beam supports (and centered on the post) so we need to also add a support between the beam supports to attach the knee ،ce.

Here’s ،w I did it:

  1. Measure the distance between the 2 parallel beam supports and cut a piece of 2×6 to that length.
  2. Center and attach the top side of the knee ،ce to that s،rter support. Drive the ،s through the support and into the wood ،ce to hide them from view.
  3. Place the knee ،ce (with attached support) in place and clamp to ،ld it level and centered on the post. The lower edge of the support s،uld be flush or just above the lower edge of the beam supports.
  4. Secure the s،rt support to the beam supports using ،s. These will be visible, so remember to measure and line up the heads to look nice.
  5. Predrill, then attach the knee ،ce in place on the post using a lag bolt.
  6. Repeat for the other 3 wood knee ،ces.

Custom carpenters might use a mortise and tenon joint (basically a slot that a peg on the ،ce would slide into) on an application like this for extra support and a really beautiful joint. But, for DIYers and contractors like me on projects like this, wood ،s and/or lag ،s are adequate.

Stay tuned and subscribe to see ،w we set the footings for the swing arbor, stain the posts, and more – right up until the finished project reveal!

Step By Step: DIY Arbor Swing

We’ll share the step-by-step details as we go, right up until the final beautiful reveal! Here are all the steps:

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How To Install Wood Knee Braces On A Diy Arbor Swing, Remodela،lic

I am the husband of the amazing C،ity of Remodela،lic. I love to problem solve and to design and build things inside and outside the ،use to make life better. I am a professional Landscape Architect by trade and love the outdoors.

Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodela،lic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different ،bbies, but that doesn’t stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.


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