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    How to build a garden obelisk

    Published on 3 June 2014, Tuesday, 10:07 PM

    A garden obelisk is a great feature for your outdoors, so if you are looking at doing some garden DIY, consider how you could include this Egyptian-style decoration.

    Use it as a feature all on its own or put it into action supporting those climbing beans, tomatoes or to help your roses grow straight.

    Obelisks are traditionally around two metres tall and can be used to add height to a low garden - here's how to create your own.

    Materials list:

    - Pieces of timber that are 1.85 metres long. You will need four that are 50mm x 25 mm, four that are 25mm x 25 mm and 4 that are 20mm x 20mm

    - Lengths of timber that are 20mm x 20mm​. Four that are 430mm, four that are 3000mm, four that are 200mm and four that are 60mm

    - Galvanised flat head nails (40mm)

    - Zinc or bronze plated screws (40mm and 30mm)

    - Zinc plated panel pins (40mm)

    Equipment required:

    - Hammer

    - Tape measure 

    - Screwdriver

    - Paintbrush

    - Exterior PVA glue

    - Exterior filler

    - Fence post finial

    - Undercoat, paint

    - Saw

    - Set square

    - Drill with drill bits


    Once the timber has been cut to the dimensions listed, attach one of the 25mm​ x 25 mm lengths to a 50mm x 25 mm piece to create a right angle using the PVA glue and flat nail heads. Repeat this three times to create the other corner supports.

    Then, make a square using the four 430mm lengths of timber. Attach a panel pin at each corner and use PVA glue to join them together. Repeat this process with the 300mm, 200mm and 60mm lengths to form another three squares.

    Next, attach the end of each corner support to the four corners of the smallest square using PVA glue and the 40mm screws at the top and bottom.

    Before you add the screws, it is essential to drill pilot holes. This may seem unnecessary, but it is well worth the time. A handy tip is to use a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw as the pilot holes countersink the screws to prevent cracking and ensure the heads of the screws sit flush.

    Once you have placed your screws in position, attach the four 1.74 metre lengths of timber halfway between each corner support to form central upright supports, using 30mm screws and PVA glue.

    Slide the next smallest square up to the inside of the obelisk and use the 40mm screws and PVA glue to attach it at each corner.

    Finally, attach the last remaining square up inside the obelisk, connecting it at each corner with 40mm screws and PVA glue. Stand the obelisk structure up and attach the base of the finial (pointy bit) to the top using construction glue.

    Leave overnight so the glue can dry and use the exterior filler to plug up any gaps between the obelisk and the finial.

    Prime and paint and it is all set.

    Nathan Mills portrait image
    Nathan Mills
    Nathan is a seasoned Kennards Hire team member passionate about empowering DIYers in their projects. He loves everything DIY and brings together years of equipment and project experience to help customers get the right tools for their next job.