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How to Build a Wooden Box Pond

Viva Mexico!

How to Build a Wooden Box Pond


If you're going to have a fountain, then you're going to need a pond.

Modfountain can sell you a 4ft. x 4ft. x 14in. fully assembled Douglas Fir Pond for $675 + shipping.

We also have available an 8ft. x 8ft. x 14in. unassembled kit pond for $1275 + shipping

(Custom sizes are available upon request).

Though if you'd like to make your own wooden box pond, this blog should give you all the information you'll need to get going.


The easiest way to create a pond, is to choose your outside location, then dig a hole the size you want and line it with a heavy duty flexible plastic pondliner.

In-ground pondliners are also readily available in pre-welded square, rectangular and round configurations. With a little online searching, you'll find all kinds of configurations for in ground pondliners.

At the end of the instructions, I'll list tips and tricks for making the process go more smoothly. I'll also list links to our preferred pond suppliers.

If you'd rather not wait for online deliveries, most big box hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowes should have all the supplies you'll need to construct your pond.


The following instructions are for a wooden box pond as seen on this website.

The instructions are for a 4 ft. x 4 ft. pond, the minimum size needed to accommodate a Pierced Arc fountain, though you can use the same principles to create a larger and more custom size.


Instructions for a 48” x 48” x 14” Wooden Box Pond


(4) 2”x8”x48” - Douglas Fir (or equivalent)

(4) 2”x8”x45” - Douglas Fir (or equivalent)

(4) 4”x4”x12” - Pressure Treated or Cedar Posts

(4) 2”x2”x45” - Douglas Fir (or equivalent) with 45 degree angled cuts on each end

(1) 45”x45”x1/2” - CDX Plywood

(32) 3 1/2”x1/2” Galvanized Hex Head Wood Bolts

(32) 1/2” Galvanized Washers

(2) 1” Computer Power Cord Grommets

(1) 8ft.x8ft. Heavy Duty Pondliner

(1) Box 2 1/2” Deck Screws



Electric or Cordless Drill

1/2” wood drill bit

1” hole saw drill

1/8” wood drill bit

Staple Gun with 3/8” staples

Caulking Gun

Clear Silicone Caulk

Heavy Duty Scissors

(3-12) 4” “C” Clamps


Step 1

Drill (2) 1/2” holes into each end of the 2”x8”x45” DF (4 total) – 1” in from the end and 1” down from the top and 1” up from the bottom.

Step 2

Drill (2) 1/2” holes into each end of the 2”x8”x48” DF (4 total) – 3” in from the end and 2” down from the top and 2” up from the bottom.

Step 3

Lay the 45”x45”x1/2” CDX Plywood on a level surface.

Step 4

Align (1) 2”x8”x45” DF on the outer edge of CDX Plywood.

Step 5

Align (1) 2”x8”x48” DF on the outer edge of adjoining CDX Plywood making sure the 2 DF planks line up evenly.

(note: the planks align on the outside of the CDX, not on top of the CDX).

Step 6

Place (1) 4”x4”x12” Post on top of the CDX, in the inside corner of the two DF Planks.

Step 7

Screw (4) 1/2”x3 1/2” Hex Head Wood Bolts through the pre-drilled holes into the 4”x4” Post.

Step 8

Repeat Steps 4 – 7 for the remaining two sides.

Step 9

Stacking the remaining (4) 2'x8' Boards on top of the now square wooden box,

repeat Steps 4-7.

Upon completion of Step 9,  you'll have a 4 sided square measuring 48”x48”x14”.

Step 10

Lift your 4 sided square box off the CDX Plywood and place upside down on a level surface.


Step 11

Place the 45”x45”x1/2” CDX Plywood on top of the now upside down square box, resting the 4 corners on top of the 4”x4”x12” post.

Step 12

Using the 2 1/2” deck screws, screw two screws through the CDX into each corner of the 4”x4”posts.

Upon completion, the CDX base will be flush with the bottom surface and not visible from the outside.

Now, turn the box back over with the CDX on the ground, it's time to attach the Pondliner.


Step 13

a. Lay the 8'x8' Pondliner evenly on top of the 4'x4' box.

b. Push down on the center of the Pondliner until it touches the bottom of the box.

c. Working from the center out, flatten the pondliner on the entire floor of the box.

d. Working up one wall, flatten the pondliner.

e. At the top center of the wall staple one or two 3/8” staples no lower than 1” from the top.

f. Repeat on the remaining 3 walls.

g. Moving from the center out, continue stapling the pondliner to the top area of the walls,

never stapling below 1” from the top of the wall.

h.When approaching the corners of the box it will be necessary to fold the pondliner to conform with the contours of the 4”x4” corner posts.

I.Continue stapling.

j. Upon completion of pondliner install, trim excess material with scissors.

Step 14

Pre-drill 6 evenly spaced 1/8” holes in the 2”x2”x45” Douglas Fir Boards making sure the 45 degree angles conform with the corners of the box.

Step 15

Arrange the 2”x2”'s on top of the 4 corner posts. (you may have to trim the pondliner to accommodate a snug fit, be careful not to allow a gap where water can penetrate).

Using silicone caulk, liberally spread caulk on the back of the 2”x2”strips and clamp to the top of the box.

When adjusted perfectly, and the 45 degree angled end align, screw the 2 1/2” deck screws through the pre-drilled holes into the walls of the box.

Upon completion, remove the clamps.


Step 16

Locate where on the box you want your pump's powercord to exit the box.

I usually locate it about 1” below the 2”x2” strip close to one of the corners.

Using a 1” hole saw, drill a hole through the pondliner and the box wall, being careful not to splinter the outside of the wall.

Clean saw dust from the hole and apply silicone around and inside the hole, then place one of the 1” computer grommets into the inside of the hole. Repeat on the outside of the hole with the remaining grommet. You may need to clamp the grommets until dry.

Step 17

The object of the pond of course is to retain water without leaking. To that end check for any gaps. For safety sake, I silicone the entire gap between the 2”x2” board and the wall on the entire box.


Congratulations, you've just completed your wooden box pond!


Now if you choose you can seal the exterior with a water sealer and/or paint or stain the exterior of your pond. The raw Douglas Fir will eventually weather and turn gray in color.


Tips and Tricks


  • Before using the plastic pondliner, unfold it and lay it out in the sun or in a warm room. This will help to relax the material and make it more flexible and easier to handle.


  • Most lumber stores will happily cut your materials to the exact dimensions needed, which saves time and money.


  • Lumber comes with origin source ink markings. Sand them off with heavy duty sandpaper. In fact sanding down all the exterior wood makes for a more finished look, especially when applying stain or paint.


  • Be creative when constructing your pond, don't be afraid to substitute material, especially a smaller dimension for the corner posts. Just make sure to adjust screw and bolt lengths to the appropriate size.


  • When caulking, use blue masking tape for cleaner lines. You can also use a paintable caulk, long as it's waterproof.

  • Do your best to make sure your pond is level. Fountains work best when they are level.







Preferred Links is our preferred source for pondliners. is also a good and reliable source. and also sell pondliners as well as all the lumber and hardware you'll need.


Modfountain Ponds

If you'd prefer to just have us ship you a pond, we provide 2 different size ponds that are shipped directly to your location.


4 ft.x4 ft.x14 in. Douglas Fir Pond (specifically for the Pierced Arc Fountains)

ships fully assembled $675 + shipping.


8 ft.x8ft.x14 in. Douglas Fir Pond – ships as an unassembled kit - $1275 + shipping.


(Custom sizes can be made upon request)