Roger Cook builds a bocce court
Photograph: Keller and Keller
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Building the Bocce Court

1. Roger excavated the 16.5-by-61-foot area for the bocce court 26 inches below grade, then dug 6-inch trenches around the perimeter and filled them with 2 inches of gravel.

2. He set the first course of 8-foot-long 6x6 timbers in the trenches on top of the gravel, butting the wood end-to-end along the walls and end-to-side at the corners. Once the timbers were set, he drilled through them every 2 feet and drove 18-inch rebar through the timbers and a foot into the ground.

3. For the next four courses of timbers, Roger staggered the joints along the walls by 4 feet so they didn't line up with the course below. He also alternated the timbers at the corners to make lapped joints. He drove timber screws through each new course and into the one below—two at each corner and every 18 inches along the sides—to tie them together. He capped the timbers with 2x12 cedar rails.
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