How to Make a DIY Homemade Screed from a Rake
By: Joe Truini
A screed is a straight edge attached to a handle that’s used to smooth and level concrete, gravel, sand, or soil. To make a homemade screed:
- Cut a straight 1×4 board 2’ to 3’ long.
- Position a garden rake on the middle of the board.
- Drill holes in the board, and attach a piece of steel pipe strap to the board using bolts and wing nuts.
- Insert the rake under the metal strap and tighten up the nuts.
Watch this video to find out more.
- How to Make a Screed Board (video)
- Resurfacing a Concrete Driveway (video)
- How to Lay a Paver Patio (video)
Joe Truini: The next time you need to level out a garden bed—as I’m doing here—you can use a rake or a hoe, but a preferred tool is a screed. Now if you don’t own a screed, don’t worry; most homeowners don’t, it’s a specialized tool used in the concrete industry. But you can make one simply enough out of a garden rake.
Danny Lipford: Now Joe’s homemade version here is actually made out of a one by four. And he’s attached it to the rake by using a piece of steel strapping, drilling through the one by four, putting a bolt in—actually four bolts—and then using wing nuts to tighten it down. And because of it being a one by four, it’s nice and light and pretty easy to use.
Joe Truini: Now this tool can also be used, not only for smoothing out soil, but also sand when you’re making a brick and sand patio, or a mulch when you’re putting in a new garden, and even concrete—wet concrete—when you’re pouring a new walkway.
Danny Lipford: Now it’s important when you’re making your homemade screed not to make it too long, because it can make for a very long day because of it being so heavy.
Joe Truini: Another thing I wanted to show, Danny, is when you loosen up these wing nuts you can pull the rake off when you just want to use it as a rake. But don’t take the nuts and bolts off, because you’ll wind up loosing them, and next time you want to use it as a screed you’ll have to search for the parts. So leave them all together, and just store it somewhere where it’s easily found.
Danny Lipford: I can see a number of ways this can be used, even say a gravel—when you’re putting down some gravel or something like that—it really works well here on the garden.
Joe Truini: Well, you’re doing a great job, and I won’t stop you now. I’ll catch up with you a little later.
Danny Lipford: Hey, where are you going!