Bridge materials: Trex decking?
Doing some fall clean up before a Moss Lake ride and forgot I have a bunch of old, used Trex decking behind the shed. Seems like it would be perfect for some local bridging projects with a treated 4x4 as a stringer. Would last forever. But, may be a little too slippery in the wet. Maintenance would be a breeze though.
I can pre-cut and pre-drill at home which would be nice. And, that faux wood finish would contrast perfect with mother nature.
Pros and cons please.
Don't know whether it would be more slippery or not, but trex doesn't span well. You'll have to support it more than wood. Other than that I don't see why you couldn't use it.
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Works well. Pros = lasts a long time. Cons = grip, span, ~looks, ~fastening. Grip when wet is probably not much worse than pressure treated but obviously worse than split or scored cedar. Had some other brand donated to Colonnade and used it upside down to get more grip/texture. As mentioned above, the next issue is span. Did some destructive testing at the 'Nade and 1x composite breaks at much narrower span than 1x cedar. For 1x, Trex' spec stringer span is 16" OC. I'd drop that a bit... so widest bridge deck using 2-stringers = ~18" (12" gap + 1.5x2" stringer thickness + 1.5x2" overhang). When doing a lot of it in the field with portable battery powered tools, I kinda sorta recall drilling pilot holes and fastening was more difficult.
Thanks. Heavier to get out into the field too. You know me. I was planning on 24" wide pcs on 2 8" long treated 4x4s 4" in from either end which leaves an 8" gap in the middle. Pre drilled at home on center. (12" versus the 16" spec)
Also though about using the chop saw to score it a little too.
You have to have it supported every 18" at the minimum or you'll get sag.
Using that material anywhere outside of Colonnade or an indoor park is not a good idea.
And scoring that type of material will compromise it.
I personally think it would be a great option. It wont rot and will outlast anything else you can use and is easy to clean.
They put a new nature boardwalk thru some wetlands in the Kent/Renton Valley area and they used a composite decking for it. Maintenance is way lower than regular wood and it has help up great after 2 years of use.
Kind of like a fanny pack.
Totally functional, but......?
I would use it, if it's free. Just put hardware cloth (or other wire product) over it for the traction.
Cover the edge of hc with some type of material (2x4 on the flat) and use fender washers and screws to hold it down on layout. That bridge would last a long time.
This is over pressure treated, but you get the idea.
Is it getting greasy yet with moss, etc? I'm not concerned with asthetics and it's only going to be 8' long so not much room to slide off given the tine you'd be on it with a direct straight approach and exit. Just over a bike length. Free and available is good. Recycling!
Originally Posted by Mr. Lynch
We take the kids down there for walks (bikes aren't allowed on the bridge) and I've never had any slippage issues. They seem to keep the bridge pretty clean though.
My deck is made of Trex and even when it gets nasty it never really gets too slick. I put a 6ft bridge on the Tapeworm using the scraps I had and I have noticed any issues unless it gets really muddy. If it gets bad then we will chicken wire it.
Trail use precidence! I like it. Good to know.
Thanks. May have to do some chop sawing and pre-drilling this week.
I probably wouldnt bother predrilling. When installing it for a deck predrilling prevents mushrooming and gives you a cleaner look, but for a trail bridge i don't think it really matters.
Wire Mesh/Cloth Material
Is 2 x 4 the ideal size of wire mesh/wire cloth to use to be biking over trex?
Have seen a load of different wire mesh material used on the past - but it has all usually been finer than this. I don't think 2 x 4 will give you as smooth a ride, and was looking for into something along the lines of an 8 x 8 wire mesh cloth - ( See measurment details here: Belleville Wire Cloth, Cedar Grove, NJ )
If you are referring to my post with the Hardware Cloth, 2x4 was the wood we used to cover the edges of the 24" wide wire like in the picture of the guy riding. 8x8 wire mesh is good.
Originally Posted by clarks45
Add some carpet remnants on the entrance & exit, this will be sweet!
Gonna build a test sample 16 footer across a now dry creek on the Exit Trail in the backyard system. Will post up a shot when it's done fer ya. Got some left over Cedar decking too that I might use for side rails just in case it does get slippery.
Any comments on best blade for the chop saw? I'm heading to Home Despot at lunch tomorrow to get the stringers anyways.
Worked out pretty darn good. Tried to take some pictures but getting too dark. Takes 14 24" long pieces per 8 foot 4x4 with about a 1.5" gap between. No problem with grip when dry of course. Super solid and no sag.
Heading out from home with split cedar ladder to drop that Lgxtra would be proud of in the background.
Happy to report that it's surprisingly very grippy when wet too.
Look for some of this at a more public local water crossing or two near you soon.
Where is that trail located? The ladder dropin the background of your pic looks very similar to one I installed recently on a local trail.
Wet grip and resistance to becoming slimy has been a marketing point for trex decking. MUCH better than fir lumber.
Originally Posted by Borneo
The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common
The original "Exit" Trail from the back yard to a single pole power line to the Tolt Pipeline.
Now to utilize the BOB trailer to get some "out there". Will go down to 18" and use 2x4s or 2x6s for stringers instead of the 4x4s though. With 4x4 sills on either end.
Wire Mesh Size
Thanks for clarifying the wire cloth and wire mesh size - just purchased some off of the internet from that site I had posted originally. appreciate it.
Originally Posted by ghglenn
Glad you brought this back to the top. So far I've been really happy with the grip on this bridge and have pre-built a couple more for a couple other rough spots to cross.