Strong Jointed Garden Wire Trellis

A wire garden trellis relies on a sturdy interconnection of metal wires for vines to climb a pre-defined garden trellis design. Although there are a few methods for joining crossed trellis wires, one must choose the method that best addresses the purpose of the garden trellis project. Garden vines that are expected to become robust and heavy in the future would definitely require thicker wires and stronger joins at the wire intersection.

In my experience, the use of epoxy clay for joining metal wires is always the easiest method to do. You only need a little of the clay portions, a small bowl of water to facilitate mixing and you're ready to mix the clay and apply. The result is often a neat-looking and adequately strong wire joint as shown below.

Trellis Wires that Don't Meet

For the clay method to work, the trellis wires need to be together and motionless when the clay is allowed to cure and harden. But what if the trellis wires don't even touch each other?

You can use a vise grip to somehow hold together the two wires, although the next problem is how to apply the clay properly at the intersection. It is very likely that the vise grip holds the two at the intersection as well.

In this situation, what you can do is to apply a combination of the two easy methods: the Wire Lashing and Epoxy Clay which are #2 and #3 in the methods to join garden trellis wires.

How to Create a Stronger Wire Joint

  • Thin tie wire
  • Epoxy clay
  • Pliers

  1. Start twining the thin tie wire on one of the trellis wires. Stop when you reach the intersection point. In the photo below, the tie wire was twined on the vertical wire. Use a pair of pliers to keep the coil tight.

  2. Using one hand, pull the two crossing wires together so they touch.

  3. Without releasing the two crossing wires, coil the tie wire on the rest of the vertical wire with the other hand. Use the pliers for a tight grip. The joint (Wire Lashing) should appear as below.

  4. Mix the clay as instructed. When the clay has been mixed thoroughly, pinch a couple of bits as shown below.

  5. Diagonally position the two clay pieces opposite each other on the trellis joint. They should form an "X" on the joint.

  6. With your fingers, carefully join the two pieces together so they form a rough ball on the wire joint as shown below.

  7. Continue pressing and forming with your fingers so a smoother and neater clay ball is formed. Slightly feather at the edges of the ball that meet the trellis wires. This will make the bond stronger due to the bigger surface area between clay and trellis wire.

  8. When the clay is smooth and neatly formed, leave the joint to cure and harden. An overnight curing time is preferable.

    Shown below is the cured and hardened clay on the joint with the tie wire reinforcement.

Tips and Warnings

  • If the formed clay is too soft after completing the ball, inspect it a few minutes later to ensure it doesn't droop. You may still press the clay to re-form it.

  • When the joint is good and starts to dry, ensure it is undisturbed as it cures and hardens.

Articles in this Series:
Build a Bleeding Heart Wall Trellis - Part 1
Build a Bleeding Heart Wall Trellis - Part 2
Build a Bleeding Heart Wall Trellis - Part 3
Build a Bleeding Heart Wall Trellis - Part 4
Methods to Join Garden Trellis Wires
Strong Jointed Garden Wire Trellis (this article)
Marking Drill Points for Trellis Anchors
Drill Trellis Anchors in Concrete Wall
Assemble the Trellis Frame - Part 1
Assemble the Trellis Frame - Part 2

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