3 pieces 1x4x8' (ripped lengthwise into 2 pieces)
2 pieces 2x4x8' (ripped lengthwise into 2 pieces)
1 piece 1x8x7" (for top piece)
2 pieces 1x4x9" (for top piece-cedar not necessary)
Step 1: Cut cedar to size.
Uprights: Cut 4
Cut 4 each of the following lengths from the thinner strips: 5" length cut at a 5° angle (top of piece measures 5"; bottom measures 5¼")
- 9⅜" cut at a 5° angle
- 11⅞" cut at a 5° angle
- 14⅜" cut at a 5° angle
- 16⅞" cut at a 5° angle
- 19⅜" cut at a 5° angle
Cut 4 each of the following lengths from the thinner strips:
- 7⅜" cut at a 5° angle (top of piece measures 7⅜"; bottom measures 7⅝")
- 11¾" cut at a 5° angle
- 14⅛" cut at a 5° angle
- 16¾" cut at a 5° angle
- 19⅛" cut at a 5° angle
- 21¾" cut at a 5° angle
Cut 4 from the thinner strips:
- 4' lengths. Shape both ends into points.
Top: Create a rectangular top piece. Attach 2 1x4x9" pieces side by side and top with the 1x8x7".
Step 2: Measure
Mark all four 7' uprights at 16½", 29", 41½", 54", and 66½". Be sure to x them below the marks. The x's will be covered by the horizontals. Also mark directional arrows. Mark the exact center of all but the shortest (top) and longest (bottom) horizontals. This will indicate placement of the center strips.
Step 3: Construct two sides
Using all but the shortest short-side horizontal pieces, create two angled "ladders" by screwing each into place. Then add the decorative center strips so that they extend 5 inches above the top "rung" of the "ladder."
Step 4: Square Up
Use the angle to square the two assembled sides. The center strips should be at a precise 90° angle to the horizontals
Step 5: Assembly
Have an assistant hold the two assembled sides while you join them using the long-side horizontals. Attach the decorative center strip. Then flip the tower and do the same with the other side.
Step 6: Square the Tower.
Stand it upright and jiggle the sides until all horizontals are at 90° angles to the decorative vertical strips.
Step 7: Attaching the Finial
Screw in the top (shortest) horizontals flush with the top of the uprights. Top the tower with the rectangular top piece, then screw in the decorative finial.
And there you have it: A super-sturdy tomato tower that will last for years.
Remember to plant the tomatoes after you build the tower. And be sure to anchor the tower to the soil to prevent it from falling over.