This is yet another 2"x4" question.

What's the best way to attach a 2"x4" to another 2"x4" that's resting over it?

The rail is a 2x4 and it will be held, on each side, by two 4x4. Under the 2x4 rail I'll have another 2x4 that will keep the top 2x4 straight.

This is basically it: enter image description here

I only have a circular saw and a jigsaw, so, I can't do complex joints.

I forgot to mention that I have to attach these 2x4s to the 4x4 wood posts.

  • use glue - works wonders. Seem to recognize this diagram - posted before? – Solar Mike Sep 27 '19 at 20:56
  • As a matter of fact, yes. The difference is that this diagram has a 2x4 underneath. – rbhat Sep 27 '19 at 21:20
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    I'd use glue all along with 3"-3.5" screws every 12"-18". – brhans Sep 27 '19 at 21:39
  • you could cut a groove in both mating surfaces with a couple of passes of the circular saw and glue in a plywood tongue, complex joins are possible. sure it's easier with a table saw, but it's still possible using only the guide arm. – Jasen Sep 27 '19 at 21:49

This is yet another one of Alaska mans answers to one of rbhat's questions.

Oohhh, i get to say it again, Glue and Screw.

Drill pilot holes from the bottom side of the lower 2x4 all the way through, Clamp the lower 2x4 in place and use 4 inch deck screws to screw up through the pilot holes and into the bottom of the upper 2x4 . ( 2x4 are only 3 1/2 inches ) so a 4 inch screw will give you enough thread to bite into the upper board just be careful not to drive them to far.

Screwing from the bottom this way will keep all screw heads hidden on the bottom side.

I assume you do not need me to tell you how to apply OUTDOOR rated glue, inform in the comments if you do.

Remove clamps, stand back and say. Wow, Alaska man rocks, i want to buy him a quality micro-brew beer.

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  • Yes!!! glue and screw...... but screw with stainless. Those deck screws will rust...I've had horrible results with them, – JACK Sep 28 '19 at 1:15
  • @JACK yes, stainless is better if he can get them where he is. The ceramic screws are good but stainless is better. – Alaska Man Sep 28 '19 at 15:51
  • Thanks, but how would I attach both 2x4s to the 4x4? – rbhat Sep 28 '19 at 21:46
  • @rbhat i answered the question as it was written. You posted another question about attaching 2x4's to 4x4 posts,is this the same project? if not then a new question asking about that would be proper. Screws. – Alaska Man Sep 28 '19 at 22:41
  • In the other question, I wasn't considering a 2x4 underneath, so wood brackets to hold the 2x4 to the 4x4 were a great solution. – rbhat Sep 28 '19 at 23:37

Using your circular saw, cut a 3 1/2" deep and 1 1/2" wide notch off the ends of the 4*4. You may need your jigsaw to finish the deeper cut. The bottom 2*4 should fit neatly in this notch, fasten with glue and screws. Make sure these notches line up when installing the 4*4s. Then fasten the top 2*4 to the top using screws every 12" minimum. Glued in dowel could be substituted for screws if this is an interior application.

BTW, adding a corded drill, a 3/4" and 1 1/2" spade bit, and a 3/4" and 1 1/2" wood chisel to your toolbox would allow you an even more impressive range of joinery. You don't need a router or tablesaw for most classic joints, although they sure make it easier.

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