Friday, October 9, 2009

Building a Bridge Before Lunch ~ a long post

Bruce gives an orientation ~ "OK here is the bridge, now, put it together"....
And then take it out of the trailer and haul it over there in the woods by that creek. ;-)
And we did just that, one piece at a time.
The longest boards are the 2X12 beams that will be bolted together to span the creek.
Here they are being bolted by the team.
The assembled beams must now be bolted to the rail posts.
Learning new tools and the way to work with them became important.
Each side is becoming quite heavy, consisting of double two by twelves and five four by fours.
I really like this photo!
Just some perfect form fitting positive/negative shape spooning going on here!
Once these are assembled, it will be time to work on the footers. A trench was dug and the footer, a six by six was set in the ground.
A vigorous workout ensued in driving re bar into anchor the footers.
Teresa and Martha held the first competition on opposite sides of the creek.
Now the guys go at it, Bruce is coaching Will as he squares off with Andrew.
And the winner does a little victory dance!
Once the beams are set on the footer the end cap is placed between them. Then an anchor post is attached to the end cap and footer.
Cross braces are attached at intervals across the span and between the beams.
Bruce was an excellent teacher and guided the project with enthusiasm. (Methinks he has done this before ;-)
Everyone uses
every tool....
Working together to hammer and bolt this bridge together.
Sometimes when are building a bridge you just have to get your feet wet.
I love this image of focused attention and cooperation.

In this image you can see the corner anchor post in the ground.
Now concrete is poured into the hole to anchor the anchor. Our bridge will not float away.
Time to place the treads on the beams. Each board is inspected and placed so that if it warps it will warp down not upward.
The treads are distributed.....
Spacing is checked by Bruce
And then it is "Hammer Time".... everyone finds a way to drive in their nails!
Side rails are attached 1/2 the height of the posts.
Then 2X6 hand rails are pulled into place and nailed on the top of the second rail.
The crew and their mighty might power tools.
And to test the strength and measure the effort all eight of us stand proud on our bridge.
To conclude, there can not be enough kind words to say about the planning, the organization, the material purchases, the pre-cutting of the pieces, or the leadership shown by Bruce in process of designing and constructing this bridge. Thanks from all of us in Watauga and the Friends of MST Bruce,
Good Job!

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