Friday, October 23, 2009

Metal Trellis Projects

A sturdy trellis canopy can hold a heavy vine and create a natural shelter.

A sturdy metal trellis can hold heavy flowering vines such as wisteria that need a strong long-lasting support. You can make trellises out of copper tubing, wrought iron or cast iron. Attach a flat trellis to a wall; set it up in an arch shape; or affix it to the back of a bench. Does this Spark an idea?

Restoring Antique Metal Trellis

You can restore an old metal trellis with some time and attention. Start by examining the entire structure for any rust damage. Strip the metal of any paint with a stripping compound. Go over the metal with a wire brush to remove any leftover paint and rust. Use metal putty to repair any weak places on the metal. Once the metal is dry, use sandpaper to smooth the rough edges. Spray all the edges with a metal sealer, which also protects against future rust problems.

You can also thoroughly clean a trellis with soap and water and then polish it to make it shine. Take it to a self-serve car wash for a quick way to wash off the debris.

Painting a Metal Trellis

Use medium-grit sandpaper to rough up the metal before applying a coat of paint. You need to cover the surface with at least two coats of paint. Use an outdoor acrylic paint designed specifically for metal surfaces. Match the color of your trellis to your outdoor furniture or use a paint color that highlights the plants the trellis will support. Silver, gold, bronze or metallic green are other possible choices. After the paint is dry, apply two coats of waterproof sealant.

Copper Trellis

Fashion your own trellis design from copper pipes found in the plumbing section of your local hardware store. The trellis can be designed to fit into a particular area, and the copper will gradually acquire a blue-green patina that will help it to blend into the surrounding foliage. In addition to the copper pipes, you need a tube cutter, a torch, solder, flux and a hammer. After drawing the basic design of your trellis, you will need to cut and solder a piece of pipe to match the sketch. Hammer the end of one of the pieces of copper tubing so that it fits into the adjoining piece before soldering. Bend and hammer out any unwanted creases or wrinkles in the piping. Also use your hammer to flatten the ends that will be staked into the ground. These ends should be approximately 4 to 6 inches long in order to securely hold the finished trellis.

Rebar Trellis

Metal grids used to reinforce concrete comes in 4-by-8-foot sections. These metal grids can be the base for a homemade metal trellis. Purchase strips of rebar to which to anchor the grids with strong wire. The rebar should be a foot longer than the vertical side of the metal grid, either 5 feet or 9 feet tall, depending on the direction you set the grids, so you can pound one end into the ground. Metal trellises work well in a vegetable garden to hold cucumbers, climbing beans, tomatoes or melon. The grids also can make a firm support for berry bushes.

Tags: your trellis, copper pipes, copper tubing, hold heavy, into ground, metal trellis