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Raised Bed Brackets/Corners

Have just taken possession of an allotment - and the raised beds/edges need replaced. When I did up my garden and terraced it, as when I made the split level raised wooden beds at the front, I seemed to have trouble both drilling into the hardwood landscaping stakes/posts for corners, sometimes also being able to drill deep enough through board and into the stake if I used a chunkier post. I also encountered problems in fully screwing 60mm screws all the way in through board and into the post. I broke several drill bits, and chewed up many screws, even with a newer cordless screwdriver.

Is there a knack for this I am missing?
Do I need an impact driver?

Or are there affordable corner brackets I could use bearing in mind I will need at least 12 x 4 brackets?


  • edhelkaedhelka GwyneddPosts: 1,409
    I use cordless Black and Decker drill for working in the garden, it has both screw driving (1-10 torque setting) and drilling mode, I've been able to do everything with it, including driving 100x6mm screws into pergola posts or drilling into a brick wall. I think that cheaper cordless tools won't give you enough torque.
    Helpful tips (I am self-taught diyer so they are maybe obvious):
    - always predrill
    - choose the best fitting screwdriver bit for your screws
    - if you can, get torx screws and bits, they are so much easier than the pozi/cross type
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,076
    If you predrill holes, there shouldn't be a problem getting screws in. 
    Take your time when drilling/driving. If you don't have a driver that's hefty enough to avoid predrilling, then make sure you're not doing it at an angle, and make sure you reverse the drill/drive action too, assuming you have that facility.
    The drill bit size needs to be appropriate for the screw size too. If it's smaller, you may find it harder to get the screw in. Try and avoid doing it when timber's wet as well. 

    Even lighter weight drills should be able to cope with putting 60mm screws into a board and post. Are the screws too lightweight perhaps? If they're not going in fully, the hole isn't deep enough, so redrill. Don't force the screw in, and make sure the driver head isn't too small for the screw. That's what wrecks them.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,455
    Impact driver and self-tapping coach bolts, no need to pre-drill. You could try and drive them in with your current screwdriver and tighten them with a spanner or ratchet if necessary though. A good impact driver will force screws through anything though. The smooth part of the coach bolt shank ensures that the plank is pulled nice and tight to the post, if it's threaded all the way up it won't work as well.

  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    A trick my granddad a master cabinet maker taught me many years ago of course in his day there were no electric screwdrivers and drills it was all hand tools but still works as well today.

    Use candle wax on the screw thread just scrape the thread up and down a candle a few times fill thread with wax as you screw in the wax melts and lubricates it also helps protect the screw from corrosion.

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
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