Footbridge from Salvage Lumber

_DSC5309

_DSC5158

E & I went up the valley a bit to¬†salvage these two viable cedar planks remaining from the piled remains of a demolished bridge put in by a timber crew who set up a mill to thin our forest back in the late 1970’s / early 1980’s. I don’t think such big cedar timbers can be found anymore. They are the sturdy looking forms spanning the creek in front of the worn old footbridge.

_DSC5159

Bridge or Trap? Depends on how you walk across it.

_DSC5164

The support rails are a pair of Lodgepole Pine felled from the forest behind the house, seated on rocks/dirt, and severely compromised by rot. The planks are thin, probably from the timber crew’s mill. Affixed with drywall screws, many screws have rusted and sheared making for flip-boarding.

_DSC5166

The planks were the only thing holding the lodgepole rail on the left together, and it comes apart as I pull it out. The one on the right is so heavy with water that I use the truck to pull it out.

_DSC5172

I use a pickaxe to pull bricks from a grass-mound, where bricks were planted long ago and still sprout. E & I loaded them into the wagon and trailed them down to the bridge. A pair of extra pavers from re-footing the woodstove a few summers back provide an “L” structure that will hold a span of salvaged cedar 4×4.

_DSC5174

Bricks disappear into the hole faster than you expect; more trips to the brick mound.

_DSC5169

The big salvage planks are a few feet shorter than the Lodgepole, so I clear the area while I come up with a plan.

_DSC5183

The first layer is all brick set deep in the mud, then this layer raises out of the creek. 

_DSC5187

We jump through all the structural footing, as the camera battery needed a recharge. Here the big rails run inside the pavers, resting on the 4×4 rail and held in place by massive toe screws, and further supported with Redwood end-cuts from the new Pergola back in Salt Lake.

_DSC5188

Safer to walk across than the old bridge already. Measuring for planks.

_DSC5198

The planks are 2×6 cedar runners salvaged from broken corral panels and an old feed trough.

_DSC5201

A few of the planks just fell apart while being sectioned, so E & I scouted out a variety of possible alternatives, many of which also blew apart. Eventually we had enough planks to skin the rails.

_DSC5202

I cut a step into the rails at each end with the pole saw- E points out that Safety Comes When Man has suspended the power cord over the creek. I probably should have used the chainsaw for this, as it is easier to establish a level cut with- but I was running low on fuel after all the big willow clean up.

_DSC5208

Putting in the first step.

_DSC5213

Standing on the step and beginning to skin the bridge. I’m using all-weather deck screws; they won’t shear like the old drywall screws.

_DSC5216

I pre-drill all the holes for the skin boards, even though the screws are “self-boring”, to ensure that I don’t lose any to splits. It takes more screws than I have left after triaging the garage, and I have to go through my collections of salvaged deck screws from SLC projects.

_DSC5219 - Version 2

The hawks play on evening thermals over the forested hill beyond the corral.

_DSC5228

The last step is cut and outfitted.

_DSC5156

Before: A memory of a bridge.

_DSC5308

After: Actual Bridge.

Advertisements
1 comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s