How to Make a Border Using Wood Timbers

Updated February 21, 2017

Bordering flower beds, garden spaces, walkways and play areas can help to regulate unwanted plant growth, contain mulch and other surface materials and delineate separate spaces visually for a clean yard design. The best method to secure timbers so that they will not move is to attach them to stakes driven into the ground. This allows the border to be constructed with a single row of timber, rather than burying the bottom row to use as a footer.

Drive one 2-by-2 wooden stake 12 inches long into the ground about six inches at each corner of your proposed bed. Tie mason's twine between the stakes to create the outline of your bed. Measure along the twine and drive one stake into the ground along the twine every 4 feet.

Lay your timbers up against the stakes along the outside edge of the outline. Butt the pieces up to each other, if more than one is needed on any one side. Mark the last piece to length and cut it off with a circular saw.

Stand 2-by timbers on edge, or lay thicker timbers flat and set a level along the top of each piece. Use a spade to remove dirt under your timbers to adjust the level, if needed, until the bubble is centred in the indicator.

Align the timbers so that they are on edge, or laying on their faces and up against the wooden stakes. Double check that all corners are overlapped to contain bedding material and create neat joints. Trim any pieces that need it.

With a 1/8-inch pilot bit with countersink, drill two holes through every stake, from the side opposite the timbers you are attaching to them. Drill holes in both directions through corner stakes so that both timbers will be secured at the corner. Start one hole one inch down from the top of the stake and the second two inches below the first.

Drive three-inch treated deck screws through the stakes into the timbers to hold them upright and in line with each other. If you are using 2-by lumber for edging, drive screws through the overlapping timbers into the ends of the overlapped timbers at the corners.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood timber, in your choice of thickness and width
  • Wood stakes
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Treated deck screws
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About the Author

Mark Morris started writing professionally in 1995. He has published a novel and stage plays with SEEDS studio. Morris specializes in many topics and has 15 years of professional carpentry experience. He is a voice, acting and film teacher. He also teaches stage craft and lectures on playwriting for Oklahoma Christian University.