By John McGilvrayMore in Outdoors
Pre-drill two holes in each of the 1-1/2" marks through the tall side. Lay two of the 72-inch boards with five of the 15-inch pieces on the marks and test fit. Screw the pieces together using 3-inch screws. It makes is easier if the back is resting against something or you have a helper holding it (image 3).
Repeat for the three remaining pitching platforms.
Cut the 5/4" x 6 boards to 72 inches. If you had them precut at the store, you may want to check length and square them up. Lay the boards on top of the frame and test fit. Do not fasten the deck boards to the frame at this time. It is best to do that at the site during installation.
The 4x4 post will run the length of the two platforms and the backboard. To hold up the backboard, two notches must be cut into the 4x4. To determine the placement of the notches, find the center of the 4x4 and make a mark. Make two more marks at two feet out from that mark in both directions.
To mark out the width of the notches on the 4x4, lay a scrap piece of 2x4 on the inside of those marks (image 1, below). Make a line on both sides of the 2x4. Double check that the spacing is even across the length of the 4x4.
Set the circular saw to 2” deep and cut all the way through both the marks. Clamp the 4x4 down or have someone hold it while you are cutting. Make cuts within the marks leaving about 1/8” to 3/16” wood with each pass. Knock out the remaining pieces of wood out using a hammer then use a chisel to clean it up and flatten the bottom of the notch (images 2 and 3). Test fit a scrap 2x4 into the notches to make sure they are deep and wide enough.
The 2x10s pieces will be the face of the backboard. Lay one of the 2x10s next to the 4x4 and line it up with the outside of the notches. Then lay the second 2x10 next to the first.
Lay the 22-inch 2x4s into the notch and on top of the 2x10s. Spread the 2x10s slightly apart so there is a gap. Line them up with the top of the 2x4 (image 4). Screw the 2x4 into the 2x10s and 4x4.
Turn the backboard over and center the other 2x4 x 22” pieces 36 inches apart across the 2x10s. Fasten using 3" screws.
We used couple of really inexpensive ($1 each) plastic planters for stake supports. Fill the planters half full with the concrete, add water and mix thoroughly. Add more concrete and water until the bucket or planter is full. Set a stake (we used rebar) into the center and support them. We simply leaned the stakes against the top of a table. Let the concrete dry according to manufacturer's instructions.
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