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Old 06-11-2012, 02:30 PM   #1
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Timber retaining wall - screws vs spikes


Im expanding my existing playground by building a timber retaining wall that will be about 5 (6x6) timbers tall (dimensions = 12 x 10). The yard is sloped so you will only be able to see 3 on the back and about half a timber in the front. I'm securing the bottom row with rebar. Regarding the remaining timbers - what is the best way to secure them to one another - spikes vs timber loc screws?
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
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Timber retaining wall - screws vs spikes


I would pre drill and use spikes. Even with pre drilling, installing an 8 to 10 inch screw is going to put a serious strain on whatever your are using to install it with. Times that by how ever many dozen you install and I could see frying most light to medium duty screw guns.

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Old 06-11-2012, 10:59 PM   #3
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I didnt think of that. I just bought a Bosch 1013VSR drill and I dont want to burn it up right from the start. I started demoing a section of the old structure and those spikes actually hold very well. Thanks
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Old 06-12-2012, 01:37 AM   #4
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Timber retaining wall - screws vs spikes


Yeah I actually built a retaining wall a year (two?) ago out of 6X6 and used galvanized ardox nails. Even after pre drilling I would up using a small sledge hammer to install the spikes. Amazing how well it sucked everything together.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:59 PM   #5
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Timber retaining wall - screws vs spikes


I tried using 4ft rebar to stabilize my initial row but I hit rocks and I can't get past a foot. Is there anything else I can do?

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Old 06-16-2012, 03:02 AM   #6
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Timber retaining wall - screws vs spikes


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Originally Posted by gruntman View Post
I tried using 4ft rebar to stabilize my initial row but I hit rocks and I can't get past a foot. Is there anything else I can do?

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Use/rent hammer drill to get past rocks. I don't use nails to build a timber wall, I use steel bar 3/8 steel bar.

Also when butting a timber to timber I use Heat bend the bar like a large staple

Drill about 7 inches from each butt end. From those holes run the chainsaw from hole to hole making a slice in top of both timbers now drive steel staple through holes and that pins bottoms to top and the staple end ( counter sunk) locks the two timber at the same level for shear pressure.

I don't see any Tie backs mention here why?
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:54 AM   #7
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Tie backs same as dead men? I have them coming from both sides.

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Old 06-16-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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Timber retaining wall - screws vs spikes


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I tried using 4ft rebar to stabilize my initial row but I hit rocks and I can't get past a foot. Is there anything else I can do?
use a bigger hammer, or get a bigger guy on the hammer or move the hole
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:10 PM   #9
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I think I'm on ledge. What if I piled boulders, 45 -50 lbs ones, at the base of the bottom course. That might hold them in place?

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Old 06-24-2012, 07:46 PM   #10
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Timber retaining wall - screws vs spikes


I put crushed stone against the inside of the wall wrapped in landscape fabric and the topped with more stone. What do I put on top? Dirt? I'm going to top it all off with playground chips when I'm done.

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