How To Build A Tuteur

Although a relatively simple structure, the vine tower, or tuteur, does require some skill in woodworking to build properly
A vine tower or tuteur can be any size and a variety of shapes, but generally it is pyramidal in form; therefore the tops and bottoms of the legs and the ends of the pieces which connect the legs must be cut at a consistent angle.

image of a vine tower in a garden
A Vine Tower/Tuteur
To start building your tuteur, it is easiest to lay out two legs on a workbench to the desired angle. Determine a perpendicular center line between the two legs and place each leg the same distance at the top from the center line and the same (but wider) distance at the bottom.

A line exactly perpendicular to the center line and laid across the legs will give the angle for cutting the bottoms and tops of the legs, as well as the angle for cutting the ends of the connecting braces and top brace.

In other words, lay the long legs out at the angle and spacing you want, lay the cross pieces across them and mark with a pencil both the cross pieces where they lay across the legs and the leg pieces where they are crossed by the cross braces and you will have your cut lines.

Once the legs (1) and the braces (2, 3) have been cut, they are assembled by screwing the legs to the connecting braces with the braces between the legs. The screws are countersunk into the wood, and the indent is filled with wood putty and sanded.

For the crown support (4), cut a square large enough to overhang the tops of the legs, once assembled. For the crown (5), cut another square into four equal wedge-shaped pieces.

These cuts will need to be at an angle, which will determine the pitch of the crown. For a crown with a forty-five degree pitch, set the blade of the circular saw at a forty-five degree angle and cut the wedges, then fit them together using wood glue. Wood cement can be used to fill any gaps and the entire structure can be painted.

 

illustration for constructing a vine tower, or tuteur
How to construct a tuteur