Backyard Landscaping: Corrugated Metal and Redwood Tool Wall

Over the last couple of years we’ve been working on landscaping our backyard. One of the simpler projects we did was a galvanized metal screen/tool wall. On one side it’s a decorative screen:

ToolWall

On the other side it’s a tool wall, handy for hanging your garden tools:

ToolWallRear

The tool wall has an overhang to help keep rain and sun off of your tools. It’s compact size makes it fit in places where a shed wouldn’t. Plus the tools are very convenient to access and put away. I also added a couple little shelves from scrap lumber to hold clippers, rose food, etc.

Materials

  • (2) 4x6x10′ redwood posts
  • (2) 2x4x8′ redwood rails
  • (6) 2x6x8′ redwood boards
  • (1) 2x6x8′ pressure treated footer
  • (5) 1x1x8′ redwood strips
  • (4) 2’x8′ corrugated metal panels
  • Lumber preservative to treat the bottom of the redwood posts
  • A couple of bags of base rock and sand for filling/anchoring the posts.
  • Short and long deck screws

Build

You’ll want a helper! It looks like a lot of steps because I’m being fairly detailed. I mostly used screws to assemble this. Wherever I say “toenail” below, I drilled pilot holes at an angle through the cross member (on the edge for the rails, on the face for the footer board) and screwed diagonally to attach the cross members to the posts.

  1. The day before paint the bottom 30″ of each 4×6 post with the lumber preservative. Repeat with a couple of coats. If you can soak the bottom of the posts in a pail, even better.
  2. Dig two post holes approximately 102″ center-to-center, ~2 1/2 feet deep
  3. Toss a little baserock in the bottom of each hole
  4. Bury the first post. Make sure you have 7 1/2 feet of the post above ground and the broad face of the 4×6 is facing the front of your wall. Fill with baserock and tamp with a scrap 2×4 as you fill. Occasionally toss in some sand and add a bit of water. Use a level to keep the post plumb. If you prefer you can brace the post on two sides using scrap lumber and wooden stakes while you plumb it, then fill.
  5. Once the first post is secure, do the same for the second post. Use one of the 8′ 2×4’s to make sure the inner edges of the two posts are exactly 8′ apart — both at the bottom and near the top.
  6. Once both posts are secure toenail the footer board to the bottom of the posts. The top of the footer board should be approximately 84 1/2″ from the top of the post.
  7. Place one 2×4 rail on top of the footer board. Toenail it in place. You can also place a couple of screws straight through into the footer.
  8. Nail one of the 1×1 redwood strips to the top of the rail. Place it so it is recessed about 1/2″ from the face of the rail.
  9. Cut two of the 1×1 strips to 70 1/2″ long. Nail these to the inner face of each post, lined up with the 1×1 on the bottom rail. This forms the front “frame” that the corrugated metal panels will rest against.
  10. Place the first metal panel so that it rests on the bottom rail and rests against the 1×1’s. Toenail it in place by screwing through the panel at an angle an into the post/1×1. Do this in a couple of places on each side of the panel. Leave the top free to move a bit.
  11. Slide the next panel in place. Have it overlap the first panel by one ridge. When looking from the front the top panel should overlap on top of the bottom panel. Screw it into place.
  12. Repeat for the third panel, but this time have it overlap by two ridges!
  13. Nail a 1×1 strip to the second 2×4, recessed 1/2″
  14. Place that 2×4 rail on top of the panels. The 1×1 should rest on top of the vertical 1×1’s on each post. Toenail the rail in place.
  15. Take the final 1×1 and place it along the back edge of the bottom panel and nail it in place. This just provides a little additional support along the bottom of the panel.
  16. Toenail four 2×6’s across the back of the panels. This braces the panels and provides a place to hang tools.  Space them however you wish. I used some scrap deck lumber for this. OK! Now time for the “roof”.
  17. Cut one of the 2×6’s into two 40″ lengths.
  18. Using a jigsaw (or circular saw if only needing straight cuts) cut a decorative shape into each end. Google “rafter ends” and “rafter tails” for ideas. I made a paper template, traced it onto the boards, and cut with a jigsaw. I practiced this on some scrap lumber first.
  19. Screw these “rafters” onto the inside edges of the posts. Make sure the long edge extends ~24″ from the post to the back (tool) side of the screen.
  20. Cut 3″ off the remaining 2×6 so it is 93″ long. Toenail this in place above the top rail, so that the top of the 2×6 is flush with the top of the rafters and the front edge is flush with the front edge of the top rail. See picture. This helps support the “roof”.
  21. Place the final metal panel on top of the rafters to form the roof and screw into place.
  22. I hung my tools using big old nails. I also screwed in a couple little “shelves” to place clippers, rose food, etc.

Tips:

  1. You may need to adjust dimensions. The metal panels I bought from Home Depot were about 27″ tall. I laid them out on the lawn and overlapped them to see exactly how tall the overall panel height would be. For me that was 72″ if I overlapped the first two panels by one ridge, and the next panel by two ridges. Don’t blindly follow my measurements! Double check your own since building materials and installations will vary.
  2. Take care when picking and moving your panels. The metal panels from Home Depot are very thin and flimsy. And once you dent or crease one you’ll have that blemish forever. Remember that the very edges of the panels are hidden a bit when installed, so some dings on the very edges are OK. I had a tough time finding 4 undinged panels at my Home Depot.
  3. If I had to do it over again, I might choose a more rigid fiberglass panel for the “roof”. The flimsy metal panel is working OK, but a more substantial fiberglass one might work better especially if you live in a windy area.
  4. I went to a fencing lumber yard for my lumber. My Home Depot doesn’t carry nice redwood 4×6’s.
  5. I chose to anchor my posts with baserock and sand instead of messing with cement. The baserock held very securely and is not as permanent as cement.

Here are a couple more detailed shots:

Rafter closeupRear fastening of panel closeup

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One thought on “Backyard Landscaping: Corrugated Metal and Redwood Tool Wall

  1. Pingback: Stock Tank, Rain Chain Fountain | Joe's Happy Hour

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