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fastening wood to a log

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Forum topic by DTrak posted 03-21-2020 07:35 PM 517 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DTrak

75 posts in 1899 days


03-21-2020 07:35 PM

There are two trees that have fallen over a creek near my house. Someone put a bunch of 2×4s across them to create a bridge. It’s great and the neighborhood kids love it, but the wood boards are not fastened to the logs so if you step wrong they can flip up.

I tried screwing the boards to the logs but the wood screws won’t bite too well because the logs are sort of soft on the inside. They still slide right out. Anyone have suggestions for a simple, fast, and easy way to fasten those down if screws don’t work? I figure there must be a better fastener or something.
thanks
Dan


12 replies so far

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

14501 posts in 1941 days


#1 posted 03-21-2020 07:43 PM

Fasten all the boards together with bracing beneath them. It’s a lot harder to flip a group of boards than one ;-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1007 posts in 2452 days


#2 posted 03-21-2020 08:10 PM

Lashing

View LesB's profile

LesB

2572 posts in 4245 days


#3 posted 03-21-2020 08:41 PM

Get bigger and longer screws. Building supply have screws (or nails) they use for log home construction and there are long screws used for mounting rain gutters.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

528 posts in 189 days


#4 posted 03-21-2020 08:46 PM



Lashing

- tvrgeek

This^

-- Darrel

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

3330 posts in 2297 days


#5 posted 03-21-2020 09:11 PM

Wood moves. Bridges move a lot depending on loads, complicating deck design.

+1 connect all the deck planks together.
Use something that allows wood size changes – rope (cotton/nylon/metal).
Another method is to use deck plate(s) (plywood, metal sheet) attached to cross planks.

With a connected deck or plate sections, only need attach the bridge deck every couple of feet. Use bolts with jam nut to prevent issues with wood movement loosening the fasteners.

IME – Wood bridges require a lot maintenance. 100% wood bridges only have a few years life expectancy without regular maintenance, frequency depending on severity of weather changes. Even using pressure treated lumber. In Midwest used to ‘pull in’ all farm/camp wood bridges for inspection and repairs every spring.

In long past, was part time volunteer for covered bridge restoration society. IMHO – will need new cross beams very soon if they are already soft. For next version, wood bridges mounted to steel cross beam last significantly longer than wood cross beams. Used steel I-beam can be very inexpensive if you have power equipment to haul/move them.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

788 posts in 2264 days


#6 posted 03-21-2020 09:32 PM

I think I would leave the boards separated from each other, and try large lag bolts to hold them to the log. Pictures would be nice, and maybe change that plan.
Are the logs stable to movement, side to side? Or are the subject to roll? How big is the log vs how long is the 2×4 planks? Lot to consider.

-- John

View DTrak's profile

DTrak

75 posts in 1899 days


#7 posted 03-21-2020 11:57 PM

Thanks all for the suggestions. It didn’t occur to to attach the boards TOGETHER. Brilliant. Not sure if I will try lashing or simply 2 long strips across them, but I dont think it will be too tough now.
Dan

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

1753 posts in 3595 days


#8 posted 03-22-2020 12:53 AM

And then, there is liability. If you build the bridge, and someone gets hurt, it may become expensive.

View Foghorn's profile

Foghorn

528 posts in 189 days


#9 posted 03-22-2020 03:10 AM


And then, there is liability. If you build the bridge, and someone gets hurt, it may become expensive.

- ibewjon

Definitely a thing in the USA moreso than other countries. Don’t sign things and proceed carefully. :)

-- Darrel

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5922 posts in 1376 days


#10 posted 03-23-2020 04:54 AM

A bunch of years ago we built a bridge over a small creek a friend owned property he farmed on both sides. He had some White Oaks he took down, and placed across, and we did what Ken suggested above, and used 8/4 WO boards we got from a barn, and lashed 3 across the bottoms.

The bridge is 24’ across, and 12’ wide. He drives about 2 1/2 tons of tractor, and implements across it a number of times a growing season. No problems at all.

For connections we used these 5” long.

https://www.fastenmaster.com/products/ledgerlok-flat-head-structural-wood-screw.html

-- Think safe, be safe

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

1044 posts in 2021 days


#11 posted 03-23-2020 10:56 AM

i think id be a bit concerned with WHY the logs are soft on the inside. IF theyre rotted…...................

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

5922 posts in 1376 days


#12 posted 03-23-2020 03:45 PM



i think id be a bit concerned with WHY the logs are soft on the inside. IF theyre rotted…...................

- tomsteve

OUCH…..missed that part.

As the wise Man said, Ruh-roh

-- Think safe, be safe

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