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Thread: Building pond using 4X4s...

  1. #1

    Building pond using 4X4s...

    I'm planning to build a small rectangular holding/sale pond in our outdoor shed in the not too distant future. The approximate dimensions will be 4' X 8' X 4' deep, with an approximate water volume of 950 gallons. I'm tenatively planning to build this pond using 4X4s stacked horizontally 12 high with addition 4X4s mounted vertically used for support. I'm not sure whether or not this will be strong enough to support the water weight. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
    Three ponds, too many Koi, and one very angry wife...

  2. #2
    Honmei
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Martinez,CA
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    4,611
    Quote Originally Posted by JosephandGabby View Post
    I'm planning to build a small rectangular holding/sale pond in our outdoor shed in the not too distant future. The approximate dimensions will be 4' X 8' X 4' deep, with an approximate water volume of 950 gallons. I'm tenatively planning to build this pond using 4X4s stacked horizontally 12 high with addition 4X4s mounted vertically used for support. I'm not sure whether or not this will be strong enough to support the water weight. Any advice would be greatly appreciated...
    What are you going to use to attatch them together?

  3. #3
    Bolts? Screws? What should I use? Hoping to get advice from those with similar experience...
    Three ponds, too many Koi, and one very angry wife...

  4. #4
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Maple Falls, WA
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    1,620
    Hi,

    Your only concern will be the corners. This is where the load will be the greatest. You have to stack it "log home" style with each layer overlapping the one previous.

    You can either use rebar that would slide in pre-drilled holes in the corners. But you'll have to have either a 48" drill bit and go real real straight, or drill each one as you stack it, and make sure you line it up perfectly.

    The other option is "tie locker" screws. They come in lengths from 4" to 12" and they're simular to a lag bolt, but have a very aggressive thread for about 3" and then they're smooth shanked which really helps them suck your material together. I've used both ways building retaining walls and IMO the screws are far superior. With the rebar you only have the rebar as support where as with the screws you have all the friction between the lumber supporting the shank of the screw. Also, the rebar thickness required would be at least 1/2" (5/8" would be better) and even if you drill right in the middle of the material you're only left with a little less than an 1 1/2" on either side for support. (unless you use structural lumber which would be a true 4")

    I built a pond simular to that out of landscaping ties (2.75 X 3.5) with the rounded sides. They have wayyy less structural strength but they're cheap as heck and I dug down 36" as well, so my weight was against the earth. Having said that, I used 10" tie lock screws so when I drove one in it was clamping down 3 ties at a time. I still put in 4 screws per tie so it's probably quite overbuilt. However, nothing has moved an inch to date. I predrilled each one with a thin bit, but I think the ties would split easier than proper 4X4's. On the ends just drive the screw down straight so you catch all three right at the corner and shouldn't be a problem.

    I guess if you're really concerned a person could put 3" angle iron and case (vertically) each corner. Just drill some hole for screws and voila. Extra bomb proof.

    Have fun!

    Grant

  5. #5
    Jumbo Steve Nguyen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Bay Area, CA
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    994
    this size of pond, use 4x4 as posts spacing 2 ft apart and use 2"x 12"x8' for sidings. for corners, use metal brackets for re-enforcing. each corner has to have a post. use 3.5" nails to attach sidings to the posts. after you attached the 2"x 12"x8' to the posts, re-enforce 4 sides of walls with 4ftx8ftx1/4 thick roof sheathing. attach the roof sheathings to each wall by 1 inch nails. make sure you use galvanize nails. be sure there is no sharp nails expose to the liner side. if this is 4ft above ground, I would use 6 ft long 4x4 and put 2ft in ground for footing. good luck.

    Steve

  6. #6
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    El Cajon, CA
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    Joseph, here are some pictures from the construction of our greenhouse. I used a combination of post support, rebar, and nail plates. Pond lumber is all 4X6.
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  7. #7
    Honmei
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    Hi Jeff, it looks great. How deep are the tanks?

  8. #8
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    El Cajon, CA
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    Russ, there are 6 tanks because I like to play at breeding and raising very small batches. 16,000 gallons total. One tank is 8' deep and the others 4'-6' sloped. All of them 3.5' above ground.

  9. #9
    Thanks for the advice & info. You guys are awesome! I'll definitely post pics once I get this little project underway...
    Three ponds, too many Koi, and one very angry wife...

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