Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening
#11
  
Hi,
Over the years, I've found "ways" to use wood pieces; not necessarily the right way! This time, I figured I would be better off by finding a friendly forum and ask for for help. So, here I am.

I want to build a simple square to for our new garden. A couple of weks ago, I purchased a Ryobi, OnePlus impact driver to help me with this nad a few other upcoming projects. I purchased two 2x4x8's at HD and had them cut in half. Upon a recommendation from an HD employee, I also purchased a pack of 50 #10-3-inch flat head wood screws. As of yesterday, I had not begin putting it together, however my spouse wanted to go to purchase the topsoil and manure.

While there I asked another HD person in Hardware the same question and I explained that all I needed was a simple joining. First he wanted me to buy a full Kreg jig for over $40. I knew that wouldn't float well and he then suggested a Kreg mini jig and 2" screws. It didn't make sense to me, but I purchased them. Today, I decided to build the frame, but not use the Kreg setup. I lined up the first corner, drilled out two holes before breaking through and then inserted my first #10 3-inch screw and used my impact drive to screw it in. It promptly split the outer board! I have no doubt that I'll screw up the other angles, so I came here.

I'm heading back to HD tomorrow to return the Kreg stuff and would really appreciate any advice.
Thanks very much.

Steve
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#12
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
I am assuming a "square" like a picture frame, but with the boards on edge?

The Kreg jig is nice if you use it as designed, it puts the screws in at an angle, going away from the end of the board, so splitting is rare. However for this you don't need it.

Just screwing into the far end of a board, to screw it straight into another board will usually cause split out, especially on soft construction grade wood. The best, and cheapest way to avoid the splitting is to use screws with a "self tapping point" or to use a drill and a bit that is smaller in diameter than the screw to make a "pilot hole". After making the pilot, then you should be able to screw in the screw without splitting the end board.

Your joint is called a "butt joint" because you are just butting the boards together. You can Google info of screwing together a butt joint, and probably get a lot of how to, and video showing this common simple joint. Another thing you can do is strengthen the joint by using a metal brace corner, which you attach from the inside to both boards. For ground use get Stainless steel, or galvanized to keep it from rusting away in a short time. You an also glue mating ends of the wood using a glue approved for outdoor use. Gorilla glue, Titebond III, or many epoxies will work.




Welcome to the forum.
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GW
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#13
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
Welcome to the forum. 

For down and dirty, use Timberlok screws or something similar.  For a more traditional woodworking approach, use half lap joints.  You can make them with a handsaw or circular saw and a chisel.  Screw them together with your 3" screws. 

John
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#14
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
Steve

I would just use brackets like the other Steve said and never use flat head screws since you will never get them out again if you want to change something.  Get Square head or Star heads for that and easy to put in and get out. You can also pre drill the wood with a small 1/8" bit so the wood will not split. One last idea is to get some brackets so you can bolt it all together but then the threads will rust and hard to get off and on.

Last it is so nice to have you here and hope you keep coming back.  Also maybe there is someone here that is close to you that can help to. Yes
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.
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#15
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
(03-19-2017, 06:38 PM)Arlin Eastman Wrote: Steve

I would just use brackets like the other Steve said and never use flat head screws since you will never get them out again if you want to change something.  Get Square head or Star heads for that and easy to put in and get out.

Arlin, I think he was referring to the head profile, not the drive.  I think you were thinking it was a slotted head screw.  But I agree, the drive style of the screw should be square drive or star drive.  I kind doubt a gardening square would need to be disassembled, but you never know.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#16
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
Since you bought 2x4s rather than larger lumber, I assume you are building a wood border instead of a raised garden bed. If what you want is a raised bed, there are advantages to making it higher than 3-1/2 inches. Metal corner brackets are available for raised beds.

quick corner brackets for raised garden beds
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#17
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
I agree that corner brackets will be your quickest answer. But c'mon guys, he's asking if we know any ways to join two boards at 90 degrees, a slow pitch over the middle if ever I saw it.

I faced a similar project and used a simple half lap joint. (Assume your 2x4 is actually 2" x 4" here). All you need is a small hand saw and marking and measuring stuff, plus that driver.

Mark off a 2x2x2 cube at the end corner of each board and saw your lines away so that each end now has a 2x2x2 void next to a 2x2x2 finger at each end. Now lay your boards into your square and overlap the fingers at each corner. Predrill each hole and drop one screw at each corner screwing one finger to another. Done. And because you are not screwing into the end of a board you have a better joint.
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#18
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
While preboring is recommended for screws into softwood, I can't help but think you didn't have PT lumber, which is always pretty damp and forgiving.  Coated deck screws or similar highly recommended. 

You should consider staking the four corners to keep the bed in place on the ground.  Screw through them into the 2X stock.  I use into the endgrain and face on the butt joint.  I also prefer the often on sale 5/4 deck boards over 2X.  Limit of 5.5 on one board, but you can stack for 11 if you have the desire.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#19
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
Welcome.  You came to the right place/forum for advice.  It's a mile wide and a mile deep.
         Keep it simple.  Use the brackets and 1 5/8" deck screws.   They'll last longer than the untreated lumber.  Pre-drill using a  3/32nd bit.  Using 2 drills will make quick work of your project  - one to pre-drill and the other to drive the screws.  If you don't have 2 drills,  I highly recommend it be your next purchase.  When driving screws, I always pre-drill
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#20
  Re: Joining four 2x4 into a square for gardening by ssg978 (Hi, Over the years,...)
Timberlock screws was my thought also
"There is no such thing as stupid questions, just stupid people"
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