Monday, August 01, 2011

Finishing Up

Sorry for the gap in posting.  We started to get down to the wire, working upwards of 12 hours each day, and I didn't have the energy or the particular inclination to get on to post.  So I'm going to put up the last few days in one post.

We assembled one truss, got it upright and stabilized, then assembled and righted the other truss.  The trick to these was making sure they went up on rollers on the timber track that some of the crew constructed earlier in the week.  Once they were both up, we could install the tie beams with the knee braces, install the floor joists and decking, and finally install the rafters.  We got the roof sheathed in 1x, and got some good bracing in place for the locals that will roof the bridge.  All of this done, the riggers Grigg 2 and Grigg 3 prepared to roll the bridge over the falseworks and drop it in place.  Stable on the rollers and rigged up to a Tirfor, a large winch-like device, it slowly crawled into place.  It was jacked up, the falseworks removed (the timbers from which became a raft and a log rolling game for me and a few others), and it was settled into place on some Black Locust blocks.

My sharpening setup that I kept in my toolbox.  A 6x2" 220/600 grit DMT, and a two sided strop with black and green compound.  With a little spit or a dribble from my water bottle, this system allowed me to quickly and easily keep the edges on my tools sharp without having to walk back to the sharpening station at the other end of the site.

Cancelling the wind in a stick of timber using framing squares as winding sticks.

Will Truax, professional bridgewright, trimming a joint with a Gransfors forest axe.

This young man jumped right into planing, using my Stanley #8 with no problems.  He both pushed and pulled it, not seeming to have a preference.

Baron mean-mugging while trimming the roof sheathing.

My new friend Emma having fun with the camera.

Consulting with Bruce.

Grigg 2, the senior rigger.

Trimming decking made of 8/4 White Oak.

Joel McCarty, executive director of The Timber Framer's Guild, looking on.

Pulling the bridge into place.

Pirates trying to capsize my raft on Wason Pond.  Below, a spoon I carved in small increments in between the three primary activities: working, eating, and sleeping.  It's made from a hunk of White Birch I got from Dick Lewis, the sawyer that cut all the timber for the bridge.  I think it might be my favorite spoon that I've carved.


  1. Simon -

    It was a pleasure working with & getting to know you. Glad you came, and I do hope you'll be dropping Plumbs somewhere and making use of whatever else you might have managed to glean from the time you shared at Wason Pond...

    Thanks for being there,

    -- Will

  2. That's pretty fast. Well, that is the effect when all of your friends started helping with the construction. Kudos to all those who built this bridge! :) Anyway, those wood frames looks good and sturdy, what type of roof were you going to install on that one? Wood shingles or wood shakes?

    Rolf Matchen