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How to Build a Dock at Your Pond

2012-10-03   Views:2

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You don't have to pay top-dollar to have a dock built at your pond. Build and install a dock yourself with some basic building supplies found at your local hardware or home-improvement store. This simple floating dock design is tailored for the do-it

You don't have to pay top-dollar to have a dock built at your pond. Build and install a dock yourself with some basic building supplies found at your local hardware or home-improvement store. This simple floating dock design is tailored for the do-it-yourselfer. You can do most of the construction yourself within a day or two, but you'll need a few strong helpers to launch the dock into the water. Begin building your dock close to the pond so you can slide it into the water without using a ramp or rollers.

Skill level:Easy

Things you need

19 16-foot lengths, 2-by-10-inch lumberCircular sawTape measure4 corner brackets with pipe sleeves, 20 inches tall, 16 inches on each side corner-to-endElectric drillWood drill bit, 9/16 inch32 machine bolts or hex heads, 9/16 by 3 inches32 nuts, 9/16 inch32 washers, 5/8 inchRatchet, 1/2 inchSocket, 7/8 inchWrench, 7/8 inch6 plastic-foam billets, 20 inches wide, 9-10 inches thick, 8 feet longHand saw or chainsaw16 16-inch lengths, 2-by-6-inch lumber2 large boxes of 4-inch-long galvanised spiral nailsHammerCarpenter's squareChalk line and pencil35 boards, 1-by-6 inches, 16 feet long2 large boxes of 3-inch-long galvanised spiral nails4 pipes, 1 ½ inches, 2 feet longer than the pond depth8 tie-down rings (screw-in)

Instructions

1 Cut four pieces of the 2-by-10-inch lumber so that the boards are 16 feet long. Cut the other 15 pieces to a length of 15 feet 9 inches.

2 Assemble the bottom tier of the outer box by placing four of the 2-by-10 boards--two of which are 16 feet long and two that are 15 feet 9 inches long--to make a square. The shorter boards should be parallel with the pond's shoreline and the two 16-foot planks should point at the pond.

3 Place a corner bracket at each of the four corners. Hold the ends of the 2-by-10s in place so they're flush with the corner bracket and mark the screw holes with a pencil. Drill the holes using the 9/16-inch wood drill bit. Then, fasten the corner bracket to the boards using the machine bolts and placing the nut and washer on the inside of the frame. Tighten using the ratchet with the socket and the wrench. Repeat for all four corners.

4 Assemble and attach the top tier of the frame to the corner brackets in the same way, also using two shorter 2-by-10s and two 16-foot 2-by-10s. Use your scrap 2-inch lumber as spacers to prop up the boards and make it easier to attach them to the top part of the corner brackets. You'll have a 2-inch gap between your bottom and top tiers in the outer frame.

5 Trim 4 inches off the length of three of your plastic-foam billets using a hand saw or chainsaw. Place the plastic-foam billets inside the frame, making three even rows of two billets each, laid end-to-end. Lay the billets perpendicular to the pond's shoreline.

1 Mark with a pencil every 16 inches along the top of the upper 2-by-10, for the floor joists. Mark on both sides of the frame that are perpendicular to the pond's shoreline. Using the 4-inch galvanised spiral nails, nail the 15 remaining 2-by-10s at your pencil marks. Use two nails at each end of the 2-by-10.

2 Nail the 16-inch-long 2-by-6s to the floor joists as retainers for the plastic-foam billets. The centre billets need a total of eight retainers, four retainers on either side of the two centre billets. The outer billets need only two retainers per billet. Place the retainers so that the top end is flush with the top of the floor joist and the bottom end hangs down almost to the bottom of the billet. Nail the 2-by-6 retainers to the joists using the 4-inch galvanised spiral nails, two nails per retainer.

3 Measure to ensure the frame is square. Measure 6 feet from one corner and 8 feet from the opposite corner and mark the measurements with a chalk line and pencil. Repeat for the other two corners. Measure from mark to mark, across the corners. This measurement should exactly 10 feet. If the measurement isn't exactly 10 feet, pry the corners of the dock one way or another using a long crowbar until you measure 10 feet from mark to mark.

4 Lay your 1-by-6 board on top of the floor joists so that the boards are flush with one another and cover the top of your dock. The 1-by-6 boards are your decking. Nail the 1-by-6s to the floor joists using the 3-inch galvanised spiral nails. Use two nails at each floor joist.

5 Screw in the eight tie-down rings around the perimeter of the dock. Slide the dock into the water. You'll need a few strong helpers to do this. Do not lift the dock, because doing so may cause the foam billets to slip out of their retainers. Place the four pipes into the corner bracket pipe sleeves and allow the weight of the dock to help them sink into the pond floor.

Tips and warnings

You can paint or stain the decking to weatherproof it. Don't purchase marine plywood, unless you can afford the hefty price.

Don't leave the pipes in the pond during the winter if your pond freezes, because the pipes will bend when the ice shifts. You'll also need to either place the floating dock in a protected area of the pond where ice can't damage it or remove the dock from the pond altogether during winter.

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