Bridge Reconstruction Part 4 – Final

Our new bridge is finally completed!
Today I installed the final boards over our levelled beams, which finishes our new bridge reconstruction. We ended up choosing pressure treated boards for the top, hoping they will last for a long time. Instead of nails I fastened them to the beams with decking screws so they should stay nice and tight. Here’s hoping that our new bridge will last for many years to come!

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Bridge Reconstruction Part 3

Over the last few days I’ve moved our new beams into position, and now I’m onto the job of trying to level them up. Best tool I’ve found to do this work is the flat adze, so long as I take my time and try not to over swing and miss! Don’t want to get this tool buried in the foot or shins – it is very sharp!new beams laid levelling adze

Bridge Reconstruction Part 2

Part 2 of our bridge reconstruction involved finding the right lumber to support the traffic that will be crossing it for years to come. The old bridge was originally made of Ash beams laid across the gap. These were not skinned, and with the bark still on them had become a home for insects over the years to weaken them structurally. I was originally going to use Ash trees for the beams until I found some Oak that was perfect! After felling the trees, I dragged them to an area where I could work on them. Skinning the bark was a bit of a chore – I found an old ice chipper to use as a bark spud and removed the bark. Next step was to flatten the tops of them so that the boards will lay flat. For this step I used an flat adze and hewed down the top surface.

Stay tuned for more…

Bridge Reconstruction – part 1

I have learned that life on a farm is somewhat unpredictable, and fate may throw you a curve ball without any warning…

Our old bridge has been the gateway from the front of our property to the back woods for years. It has stood strong for as long as I can remember – likely 30 years or more! Built from and old vehicle hoist and 4 large ash trees, it provided a passageway over the stream that runs though our land. I always held my breath as I passed over the old bridge, knowing that one day it would eventually fail as all things do. On the weekend we were driving the tractor back to the bush, and halfway over the old bridge we heard a loud crack. Two of the large trees that supported the bridge busted in half, as the tractor just made it across. Luckily no one was hurt, and we were able to get the tractor back across it.
Needless to say, it looks like I have a new project on my hands!

Yesterday I began dismantling the old timbers on what is part one of our bridge reconstruction.
Stay tuned for more …