Laying Out Straight Edges

If you lay out a bed with landscape timbers, bricks or stones, you'll want to create a flawlessly straight line to start with. This two-step technique assures you a perfectly straight line every time.




Step 1

Build batterboards and nail crosspieces

Build the batterboards and nail crosspieces


Build batterboards with 2x4 stakes and crosspieces that are about 2 feet long. Nail the crosspieces a few inches below the top of the stakes with 10d (3-inch) common nails.


Step 2

Position batterboards and tie crosspieces

Position batterboards and tie to crosspieces


Drive in a batterboard about 2-feet past each end of the bed. Run a mason's line between the batterboards along the bed's edge and tie it to the crosspieces. Level the line with a line level.


Step 3

Mark edge transfer points with plumbob

Mark edge transfer endpoints to the ground with plumbob


Mark the end of each edge on the mason's line with tape. Transfer the endpoint to the ground with a plumb bob and mark it with powdered chalk.


Step 4

Drive 2x2 stakes

Drive 2x2 stakes at endpoints


Drive a 2x2 stake into the ground at each of the marked endpoints. Run a mason's line along the ground between the stakes. To mark the bed's edge on the ground, sprinkle powdered chalk over the line.