Mind if I show off my new bridge?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Mind if I show off my new bridge?

    I've been working on fixing up an old trail near my house. It is chock full of old sketchy bridges that appear to be made largely out of tomato stakes. A friend and I just finished replacing one of the longer and sketchier ones with a bridge made out of trees that had fallen in the immediate area.

    Splitting the logs:

    first section done with remains of old bridge

    shaping support footings before cutting them free

    final product (still needs a bit of rockwork at the ends) it is 60' long and varies from 24" to 16" wide

    bonus picture - flowers I found while working on the trail yesterday

  2. #2
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    Very nice

  3. #3
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    Whereabouts are you located?

    Nice work on the bridge., looks solid.

    Those flowers look like pink lady-slippers. If they are, they are an orchid, and pretty rare!

  4. #4
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    We're in Northern VT - and yeah, apparently they are pink mocassin flowers. Saw lots of trillium earlier and there is a jack-in-the-pulpit right by the bridge.

  5. #5
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    Nice! What kind of chain did you use on the saw?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkrobe View Post
    Nice! What kind of chain did you use on the saw?
    A regular one? I'm definitely not a pro at this, but I did start to get the hang of the whole sculpting thing. I had a chain where the non-cutting teeth were too tall which I got rid of (the stock chain), that probably would actually be really nice for the sculpting parts.

  7. #7
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    It might last longer if the bark is peeled off...

  8. #8
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    nice job, love the natural stuff

  9. #9
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    Sweet!

  10. #10
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    You'll probably want to place planks down across the two halves of the tree you split, otherwise, over time, the tree will dry out and the gap in the center will open up and become brittle. That's when it becomes dangerous. One day you'll be riding across your bridge and your front tire will break through the center gap, causing you to flip over the bars. Depending on your speed, it could end with a trip to hospital. There have been some law suits that resulted in large pay-outs because of the failure of land managers to plank bridges designed like yours. You probably won't sue yourself, but you might be angry at yourself should you get injured.

  11. #11
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    We sliced off the edges where the planks meet so that they are large flat faces flush together. We also have them nailed into the footings so that they can't twist away from or toward each other, and in addition to that, we drilled horizontally through them with a ship auger and then spiked them together in a few places.

  12. #12
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    I like it. whish we could attempt features like that where we are
    Get out and Ride!!

  13. #13
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    State would not approve?

  14. #14
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    Please tell me those are not Pine logs. Cause if they are it will be a shame to do all that good work, only to have them rot and die in a year or so.

    I have made dozens of split log bridges. Love the technique. Mostly out of Red Cedar, but locust and cypress are great when you can get it.

    Instead of cutting notched logs to stablize, I bevel the ends at a steep angle and nail the spars to split crossmembers at each end. Then toenail the spars together with 16 penny nails from both directions to stablize the slot between the spars.

    The real trick is trimming the contacting sides where they come together tightly. Freestyling a chainsaw can be iffy. So, you get your beveled end right first to get a level surface. Then lash the spars together with a couple old tubes. The gap will be held apart at the high points. Run the saw down the gap with a little pressure from the tubes untill the gap closes.

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