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The Outer Box

How Our Docks Were Made

This dock design has not been tested by any engineering firm or regulatory agency. No guarantee is given that the dock is safe for use.

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Launching Corners Q&A / Links


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Build the dock as close as possible to the water. You don't need a ramp or rollers.

By the way, you could build the dock in the winter, on the ice, which would save you having to slide it into the water. Assuming of course that you get enough ice where you live and don't mind cold fingers. I have built several docks that way but enjoyed the job better during the summer.

One man can easily frame the dock by himself in one morning. The plywood can go on after lunch and the project can be finished by 3 pm.

To make you happy right away, let me tell you that the dock is built rightside up and not upside down as so many others are. It does not have to be flipped over when finished.

Before you start, consider this: we want our three rows of foam billets to end up pointing at the lake. If they end up parallel to the shore, we might not be able to slide the dock in the water without dislodging the billets (way more friction).

Therefore, we need to remember that we have four 2 X 10 planks that are a full 16 foot long. Two of these full 16-footers are for the bottom tier of the dock frame and two are for the top tier. In this picture which shows the bottom tier they are the one in the foreground and the one at the far side. Make sure that those full 16-footers are on the sides that point at the lake. All of the shorter planks go inside the near and the far planks, that is to say "parallel to the shore". This way the foam billets will end up pointing towards the lake shore.

We are going to make the outer box first. Start by making the bottom tier as seen completed here. Eyeball it for squarness, but don't be too finicki at this stage. We will square it up later.

Assembly goes better if you slip a piece of scrap plywood under the corner that you work on. Hold your 2 X 10 in place, flush with the bottom edge of the steel and mark the holes with a pencil. Then drill the holes with your wood bit and screw the thing together. Use 9/16 machine bolts with a nut and washer on the inside. Tighten it well.
dock4.jpg - 19288 Bytes Once you have the bottom tier done, you are home free. The rest is a piece of cake. Do the top tier the same way, using two short blocks of 2-inch lumber as a spacer as seen in the left picture below.
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