OverviewSandwich boards are devices that prevent the horizontal boards of a stall wall from bowing or rising which prevents the horse’s hoof from becoming trapped in a space between the boards.
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Many stall walls are built with horizontal boards. This way, a stall wall can be built in a matter of minutes.
There are several ways to stack these horizontal boards.
- Nail the board ends to the posts at the corner of the stall, usually 10 to 15 feet apart. There is no center post. These boards can actually bow over time creating a space that can trap the leg of a horse that is rolling or is cast.
- Create slots on each corner post of the stall and slide the boards down the slots. This is a great way to make a removable stall wall and is commonly used to create a larger stall for a mare with a foal. Unfortunately a rolling or cast horse can catch a board with its leg, raise the wall up in the slots, and then slide through guillotining the leg and trapping the horse to the floor.
- Stack tongue and groove boards using either of the two above mentioned methods. This will help to prevent the bowing of the boards but if stacked in a channel, thay can also rise and guillotine the leg.
Sidebar: A cast horse is one that lays down too close to the wall and when trying to stand up, is unable to get the legs underneath them. This commonly happens when a horse lays down in a stall and rolls completely over. Now his legs are leaning up against the wall. Click and see my video on The Cast Horse here.
Solution: A sandwich board is a vertical board placed against the horizontal boards of a stall wall that ties those boards together preventing them from bowing and / or rising apart. The name comes from when 2 boards were used, one placed on either side of the stall boards, and a hole drilled through from one vertical sandwich board, through the horizontal stall board, and then through the opposing vertical sandwich board. A carriage bolt was placed through this hole and a nut was tightened causing the the boards to sandwich together.
Use carriage bolts to make a smooth bolt surface, but you will still need to cut the length of the bolt to equal the width of the sandwich boards plus the width of the stall board. In addition, you should consider counter sinking the nut into the sandwich board. To do this, you meed to router out a hole larger than the diameter of the nut plus the width of the socket wrench needed to tighten the bolt.
An alternative is to use one board or a metal plate. Try to avoid using screws which break over time or nails which self extract over time. Instead, use a lag screw. These will actually “sandwich” the boards and will last the life of the stall.
Lag screws work simply by drilling a hole in the sandwich board equal to the diameter of the lag screw body. This is the part with no thread next to the head of the screw. Be sure to place a washer on the screw before placing it into the hole. Now drill a smaller diameter hole into the stall wall board equal to the diameter of the core of the threaded part of the screw. Also be sure that the length of the lag screw is less than the width of the combined sandwich board and stall board. You don’t want a sharp tip sticking out the other side. Now tighten the lag screw into the stall board and watch the boards magically sandwich together.
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