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How to Build a Toja Grid pergola with Hammock

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First Impressions of the Toja Grid

The first time we saw the Toja grid brackets, we were on vacation in San Diego. We went to an outdoor patio store, and they had several showcase pergolas built with them.

I was impressed with the look of the Toja metal brackets.

toja gird in patio productions, san diego, california

Collaboration Opportunity

About a year later, Toja contacted us to see if we wanted to collaborate on a project. I researched the company online and got very excited to use their product.

The Appeal of the Hammock Pergola

We settled on their hammock pergola kit. We love laying in our hammocks but loved the idea of a hammock we could enjoy together.

I’ll showcase our DIY build and my opinion of the Toja pergola brackets. We used brackets, wood, and other items for our project.

Materials and Preparation

toja grid kit and materials laid out

All of the brackets were ordered and delivered within a week via FedEx. We bought the wood from our local Home Depot and purchased the curtains and curtain rods from Amazon.

I liked the look of other Toja projects with black wood along with the black brackets.

Prepping the Wood

I prepped the wood by sanding and filling any voids with an exterior rated epoxy filler. After all the wood was prepped, it was painted with a 4-inch roller.

prepping boards

I painted on two thin coats and let the wood dry well before moving them.

painting 4x4 matte black stain

Building the Pergola

Next was building the pergola. Toja recommends 3 or 4 people to build their pergolas. Since there were only two of us, we built it slightly differently than they recommended.

Our process just as easy and turned out perfect.

getting ready to assemble toja grid brackets to 4X4X8 posts

A Two-Person Build Strategy

They say you don’t need to pre-drill, but I would recommend it. The first few screws I tried were difficult to start and would drift towards the metal edge.

I stripped my third screw (I was using the wrong bit), used vice grips to remove it and promptly went to Lowes to get the correct bit. I pre-drilled the rest of the screws and it went much smoother.

removing stripped screw from toja

Minor Challenges and a Recommendation

So my only pet peeve with the Toja is they don’t supply the correct drill bit along with their stainless steel screws.

Their supplied screw head is a phillips #3, which I don’t use a lot, so I had to go to Lowes to get the right bit. Make sure you use the correct bit or the stainless steel will strip since it is so soft.

Top Frame Assembly

We laid out the brackets and wood for the top of the pergola and assembled everything upside down.

We then turned it over and lifted one side to install the posts. I secured the two posts with screws.

teanting the roof for the toja grid

Then we used a ladder to lift the other side up far enough to insert those posts in the brackets. We finally had something that looked like a pergola!

adding post to toja grid roof

Now we worked on assembling the bottom part of the pergola. We tried to get the brackets and wood as close to the vertical wood posts as possible.

The bottom square was made exactly like the top frame.

assembling toja grid base

Once everything was secured we lifted one of the vertical legs and inserted the hammock brace on the post before placing it inside the bottom bracket.

We continued this with the other three posts, remembering to put the hammock bracket on the post before inserting it into the bottom bracket.

adding hammock brackets to post

Very important to remember this!!

All of this took about 2 hours which included the detour to Lowes.

For only having two people, I think it went by very quickly and easily. We only had a couple of spots that we had to use a rubber mallet to get the wood all the way inside the metal bracket.

After a lunch break, we built the top which was the most difficult just because I was working on a ladder most of the time.

This is the part that Toja recommends building on the ground and then lifting it with 3 or 4 people up into the vertical posts.

We knew we couldn’t lift that many pounds, so we adjusted our build.

Installing the Wave Shades

We started by installing the wave shade strap brackets.

brackets for wave shade

Once you know the direction of the 4×4 posts, you’ll install three brackets on the left and right side of the wave shade posts, spaced 24 inches apart. You’ll also install four corner brackets.

The top includes (4) 4x4x8 posts equally spaced out for the wave shades to weave in and out. Toja recommends each post to be 19.2 inches away from each other and from the inside of the bracket joint.

adding posts for wave shades

We lifted each 4x4x8 with the brackets and placed them on top of the top frame. The brackets make it easy since you don’t have to hold the 4×4 while trying to screw everything down.

We double checked our measurements several times to verify all the 4x4s were spaced evenly across the top of the pergola.

We then installed the wave shades, weaving them through the 4×4 posts and securing them to the brackets. We tightened everything once it looked even on both sides.

toja grid hammock wave shade

Hammock Placement

Next up was the hammock install. We wanted something that was easy to get in and out, so we installed our hammock about 20 inches up from the bottom of the bracket.

We actually tested it by placing one screw into each hammock bracket and installing the hammock to get an idea of how it felt. Once we got the right height, we finished installing the rest of the screws.

measuring the level for the hammock

At first it looked really low, but once we tightened everything up, it was a great height for us. You’ll definitely want to test this for yours.

Adding the Back Wall

Finally, the back wall was installed. We had (8) 2x4x8 wood to space evenly between the top Toja bracket and the hammock bracket.

clamping back wall slats

To make sure everything was evenly spaced, I made a few calculations. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’m glad I did and marked everything before we began the installation.

Using the Wall as a Headboard

We installed the 2x4s differently than what Toja shows on their site because we wanted to be able to lean up against the wall like a headboard on a bed.

Each board was secured with a clamp, and we verified our placement before installing one screw on each side. I wanted to verify everything looked even before installing all (6) screws on each side.

And voila, the Toja build is complete.

back wall slats added to toja grid hammock kit

Final Touches: Curtains and Lights

All that was left was putting up the curtains on three sides. Even though Toja supplied us with all the brackets, I am very happy with how the Toja hammock project turned out.

They are sturdy and look great, and I’d certainly use them again for another project. Overall, the build took about 5-6 hours, making it a very easy weekend project.

By showing you our project, which was built by two women, we hope we have given you the confidence to build your own Toja project.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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