"For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?" Luke 14:28
We didn't build a tower, but rather a raised bed. And I'm pretty sure we purchased enough materials to complete the job (see yesterday's post). Here's a quick run-through of how we did it.
From the highest point, figure out where the land drops 18" (laser level & yardstick works for this). This determines the length of the bed. Our mower & tiller determined the inside width (4').
From the lowest point, lay timbers - leveling the ground as necessary. When the bottom row becomes even with ground, go back to the lowest point and start a new row of timbers. All the while, use a tape measure to keep the inside width consistently 4', a 6' bubble level to make sure the two outside walls are the same height, and a smaller bubble level to make sure each timber is level in all directions.
From the lowest point, mark every three feet on both sides. Girls, fingernail polish works great for this! Alternating between a 1/2" bit and a 5/8" bit, drill a hole at every mark. A 3' drill bit allows you to drill all the way down the ground. Standing on the timber helps secure it while you drill (I stood on the other end).
(NOTE 8/28/07: We found using the larger drill bit allowed the timbers to pop up. From here on out, we will always use a drill bit the same size as the rebar.)
Next, at each hole, measure from the ground up and add 18". Cut pieces of 1/2" rebar to this length and place next to appropriate hole. On each side wall of the bed, drive the rebar into the holes using a sledge hammer. The holes drilled with the 5/8" bit will be a breeze. However, the holes drilled with the 1/2" bit will be quite a work out! Don't drive rebar into the end pieces - yet.
Here's the finished product! The timbers are stacked and leveled, the pieces of rebar have been driven into place (except on the ends), and we're ready to start adding dirt. See you tomorrow!