Pergola Gate Topper

As the seasons change so does the width of the gate opening, usually the tops of the posts are pushed in as the fence swells in the wet weather.

This gate topper will prevent that as well as adding a nice touch to the entrance.

Getting Started

Measure the distance across the bottom of the opening of the gate and check this with the measurement of the top of the opening. If the top is narrower cut a length of 2 X 4 equal to the distance at the bottom. Insert it between the posts at the top at an angle and tap it with a hammer until it is even with the top of the posts on each side, remove when uprights are bolted to posts.


Cut two 2 X 6's the length of the gate opening plus 24", rip the edges of the board to remove the rounded corners, removing as little material as possible.

Trim the bottom corners of the two lengths of 2 X 6 as shown.

Drive a finishing nail in the center of one the 2 X 6's up 2" from the bottom, then drive two more nails 14 1/2" from the end and up 1/4" from the bottom. Use one of the cut off strips from ripping the round corner off and lay it on the 2 X 6 so it is over the center nail and below the outside nails. Mark the arc that it forms with a pencil and cut it out with a sabre saw. Use the cut-off for a pattern to cut the second 2 X 6. Fasten the cut-off pieces to the top of each of the 2 X 6's. and round the outside corners with a router or rasp.

To determine the length of the 2 X 4 uprights, measure the height of the gate posts and subtract that figure from 84, add 16" and cut four pieces. Trim one end of each piece at a 45° angle. The lag bolt holes must be offset for each side of post, with a 7/8" spade bit drill two holes in each upright 3/8" deep, one pair starting 3" from the end, the other pair 3 1/2" from the end, then drill all holes through with 1/4" bit.

Fasten matched pairs of uprights to the top with two 1/4" X 3 1/2" galvanized carriage bolts. Then bolt the tops to the gate posts with 1/4" X 3" galvanized lag bolts and washers. The upright should extend down 12" from the top of the post.

Cut slats 2 1/2" X 3/4" X 18" and fasten them to the top pieces. The spacing shown is for a 36" gate opening and required eleven slats.