Clusters of brightly colored rings against a warm cedar backdrop provide a fence trellis for climbing vines and a decorative accent to liven a corner of your yard.
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From the 1 x 6 x 8 cedar boards, cut 10 pieces 23-1/2-inches long. From the 1 x 4 x 10 board, cut two 52-inch pieces. Lightly sand the cut edges and the smooth side of the cedar boards enough to remove any rough edges. Coat all of the boards with waterproofing sealant.
On a flat work surface, lay a 1 x 6 x 23-1/2 board with the smooth side down. Lay a 1 x 4 board, smooth side down, with the end 1-1/2 inches from the edge of the bottom board and the outside edge 4 inches from the end of the bottom board. Use a square to check for a 90-degree angle and clamp the boards. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes and assemble the boards with 1-1/4-inch deck screws. Repeat for the other 1 x 4 with the same spacing.
Place a second 1 x 6 x 23-1/2 board under the two 1 x 4s with the ends flush and edges together. Drill pilot holes, and screw the boards together. Repeat for the remaining eight boards.
At the tops of the 1 x 4s, center angle braces with their elbows flush with the ends of the board and mark the mounting screw locations. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes and use 1-1/4-inch deck screws to attach the angle braces.
For the 10 groupings on the panel shown, we cut 10 rings 2 inches long and 44 rings 3/4-inch long. If you enlarge or vary the design, cut a 2-inch ring for each cluster. (The rim of the 2-inch ring is the only part of the cluster that touches the cedar back.)
Mounting a stop block on a miter saw will ensure consistent rings without repeated measuring. Cut slowly and allow the blade to stop in the down position before lifting the blade arm to avoid accidentally throwing the cut piece.
Sand the cut marks on the ends as needed. Using one 2-inch ring per cluster, lay the rings on a flat work surface in the patterns you like or refer to the downloadable Ring Grouping Suggestions. (Note that you assemble the clusters upside down, so create mirror images of the groups shown.) Mark the top rim of each ring where it touches an adjoining ring.
Wipe PVC cleaner along the outside face of each ring in a cluster at the pencil marks and regroup the cluster. After the cleaner dries, dab PVC adhesive on the outside surface of a ring at the pencil mark, press it against an adjoining ring and squeeze them together with your fingers for about 30 seconds. Repeat for the remaining rings in the cluster and gently shift the group slightly to keep it from sticking to your work surface. Repeat for the remaining clusters.
Apply plastic primer to each cluster, taking care to cover both the insides and outsides of the rings. Then spray at least three light coats of paint (Valspar Classic Red shown) on the clusters.
Place each cluster on the cedar panel and arrange them until you like the design. Avoid placing the 2-inch rings on a seam between the boards where you'll drive a lag screw. (Screws should be at least 1 inch from the edges of the boards.)
At the triangle formed where the 3/4-inch rings touch the 2-inch ring, drill a 3/16-inch pilot hole as close as possible to the 2-inch ring. Add a second hole beside the 2-inch ring at another triangle as far from the first hole as possible.
Insert a lag screw through a washer and start it in one of the pilot holes. Repeat for the second lag screw. Use a socket wrench to tighten the screws just enough to keep the ring from shifting, but avoid overtightening and breaking apart the rings. Repeat for the remaining clusters.
Work with a helper to hold the panel in position with the angle braces resting on the upper cross-beam of the fence. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes through the holes in the braces and drive the mounting screws.
If you live in a cold climate, remove the trellis from your fence and bring it indoors for the winter. PVC glue is not rated for temperatures below 40 degrees.