How To Attach 2 x 4 To 4 x 4

How To Attach 2 x 4 To 4 x 4

Joining a 2 x 4 to a 4 x 4 piece of timber needs to be done correctly if you want the piece to remain strong and stable. There are a lot of people asking the question of how to attach 2 x 4 to 4 x 4 on DIY forums and the like but there aren’t a lot of clear answers on the internet.

Rather than just using nails to attach the two pieces of wood together, you’ll need something stronger. Generally speaking, this involves using bolts, nuts and washers for the most secure result.

In this guide, we will talk you through everything you need to know to successfully attach your two pieces of timber together without the risk of any weakness.

What Is 4 x 4 Used For?

The 4 x 4 piece of timber takes its name from its dimensions and this is a common piece of wood used for many applications. Typically, you would opt for a piece of 4 x 4 when making frames.

You’ll often see it used in the construction industry when framing houses but it’s also common in domestic situations, especially when building things like sheds and other outdoor structures.

What Is 2 x 4 Used For?

Again, the 2 x 4 lumber gets its name from its dimensions and while the 4 x 4 is common, the 2 x 4 is even more common. In fact, this is the most widely used type of timber in the world and can be used for so many different things.

These boards are what many would call a standard piece of lumber and you’ll see them in almost every construction project. They’re also used in house frames and other things on the building site but one thing you should know about the 2 x 4 is that it cannot stand alone and needs thicker woods to reinforce it. So, while it’s extremely versatile, it does need assistance.

When Would You Use 2 x 4 And 4 x 4 Together?

Judging by what we have just learned, it is no surprise that the 2 x 4 and 4 x 4 are often used together. For a lot of projects, 2 x 4 lumber is reinforced by 2 x 6 but it’s not uncommon for 4 x 4 to be used as well, depending on what you’re building.

Making tables is a very common reason to use these two pieces of wood together but a lot of woodworkers also combine them when making decorative pieces. Some people simply prefer the look of the two pieces together as opposed to using two of the same sized pieces of timber.

This is great if you’re looking to make your project a little more unique. Other times, people may have only these two sizes of wood to hand and so they’ll make do.

But owing to the difference in size, you’ll find it pretty difficult to attach them if you’re not using the right equipment.

How To Attach 2 x 4 To 4 x 4

As I mentioned earlier, there are so many DIYers reaching out to online forums about how to attach 2 x 4 to 4 x 4 so it’s something that’s worth committing to memory if you want to be able to do it without thinking.

Primarily, you need to make sure that the two pieces are secure. If you don’t, you’ll only end up with a wobbly connection that you’re going to have to repair down the line. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that they have used nails and screws but this just won’t cut the mustard.

In fact, there was one person who talked about using deck screws to hold them together and needless to say, this didn’t work out well. While the screws did, in theory, connect the two pieces of lumber, it was far from being stable. So, you’re going to need something a little stronger.

That’s why almost every expert will tell you that bolts, nuts and washers are the way forward. These provide a much stronger and more secure attachment that won’t budge over time. The process isn’t difficult so follow our quick guide to connect your boards quickly and easily.

  1. You will first need to position your pieces of wood in a clamp before drilling holes where you need to.
  2. Keep in mind that some people prefer to have these holes concealed. That’s not a problem and it can be done but you will need to make sure to countersink your holes so that the bolt and nut can sit inside.
  3. Start by drilling larger holes followed by through-holes of the same size as the bolt you will be using.
  4. Where the two pieces of wood meet, apply some wood glue before inserting your bolts, nuts and washers and tightening them up.
  5. Be sure to wipe away any excess wood glue.
  6. Now cut out some round dowels for the large holes.
  7. Coat the inside of the holes with more wood glue and gently tap your dowels into place. Again, be sure to get rid of any excess glue before it dries.
  8. The final step is to finish the wood once the glue has dried. This involves staining and painting it to your liking.


I’ve seen a staggering number of people asking how to attach 2 x 4 to 4 x 4 and yet the answer still remains largely unclear. This simple guide on how to create a strong and secure connection between these two pieces of lumber allows you to get the job done without any complications. What’s more, you won’t even see the joints so you’ll end up with a smooth, clean finish that you can be proud of!

How To Attach 2 x 4 To 4 x 4

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