Garden Bridge

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Project by Firewood posted 06-22-2015 03:47 PM 1849 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I first saw this bridge in an issue of Wood Magazine from 2001. Right then I knew I was going to build one. I started the build about a year later, so that makes the bridge 13 years old now. The bridge was in place before I had grass. As you can see, my basement shop was not even setup yet (more on that in a future posting). This was my first big project in our new home. It is still a joy to walk across.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

11 comments so far

View Desert_Woodworker's profile


1761 posts in 1573 days

#1 posted 06-22-2015 04:23 PM

Nice! I’ve always wanted to build one of these…. When you were building it- does the old saying “You never have enough clmps” come to mind?

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Firewood's profile


734 posts in 1992 days

#2 posted 06-22-2015 04:27 PM

LOL – You have no idea. I was using every size and style of clamp in my arsenal. It was a fun project that challenged me in more ways then one.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View greg48's profile


615 posts in 3116 days

#3 posted 06-22-2015 05:18 PM

Very nice Mike. What specie of wood did you use? I see an arched bridge in my future, so I’m just going to favorite this.

-- Greg, No. Cal. - "Gaudete in Domino Semper"

View Firewood's profile


734 posts in 1992 days

#4 posted 06-22-2015 05:26 PM

Greg48 – Thanks. The bridge is all cedar. The arches consist of about 5 deck boards laminated together. I lathered on glue, clamped it in a jig and then screwed it with lots of deck screws. Each board of the lamination was added one at a time. One before going to work in the morning and another when i got home. Make sure to find boards as clear as you can get. Too many knots will make them more susceptible to cracking and splitting when you clamp them up. Here is a link to the Wood Magazine plan

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View DonSol's profile


249 posts in 1600 days

#5 posted 06-22-2015 05:41 PM

Looks like you did a great job on the bridge.

When that issue came out the Art Center here wanted a bridge across their dry creek bed and ask me to build one. I ended up borrowing 4 clamps from a friend to do the beams. I didn’t use copper for the spindles because we were afraid someone would steal them. Someone did steal the copper caps off the post after about two weeks. I replaced them with the wooden ones. Last year a couple of kids tore it up and they had me build another one and they even paid me this time. They now have cameras in the park and haven’t had any problems since. There have been several weddings performed on that bridge over the years.

I know you’ll enjoy the bridge in the years to come.

-- Don Solomon, New Castle, IN; Quality is not an act, it is a habit. Aristotle

View jeffswildwood's profile


3909 posts in 2336 days

#6 posted 06-23-2015 12:29 AM

Thank you so much for posting this. I have a bridge across a creek in my yard in dire need of replacing and I so wanted to make an arch bridge. I had to favorite this as my new plan. You did a wonderful job on this bridge and I hope mine comes out as nice. I really dread the wood bending though, may use up mine and my neighbors clamps. Was the wood soaked prior to bending?

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Firewood's profile


734 posts in 1992 days

#7 posted 06-23-2015 03:16 AM

Jeff – I didn’t soak the wood, but the deck boards were pretty wet when I brought them home. It did help with bending them in the jig, but I was concerned about the excess moisture interfering with the glue. After 13 years, I haven’t had any issues with the beams.

Don – It saddened me to hear about your first bridge being destroyed through such a senseless act. We may have done a lot of boneheaded stunts when I was a kid, but I never lost respect for other peoples property or hard work. I’m sure the Art Center greatly appreciates your efforts to replace it.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View grosa's profile


1005 posts in 3187 days

#8 posted 06-23-2015 12:07 PM

Nice job on that bridge, looks like it belong there.

-- Have a great day.

View kiefer's profile


5654 posts in 3025 days

#9 posted 06-23-2015 02:00 PM

That is a very nice feature in your garden my compliments .


-- Kiefer

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3225 days

#10 posted 06-23-2015 02:09 PM

That is a lovely accent for a beautiful yard. Congratulations and well done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2702 days

#11 posted 06-23-2015 07:43 PM

nice build

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