First non-shop project

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Project by BJF posted 01-28-2013 01:12 AM 1284 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first actual (not a shop project) woodworking project. It’s a bridge used my members of a Masonic lodge. I built it at the request of my father in law, who is a Mason. It’s two pieces, held together with carriage bolts and wing nuts, making it easier to move by disassembling it. It’s about 8 feet long, 20 inches wide, and 6 inches high at the middle. I used 3/4 poplar, painted it white and then topped it with two coats of polycrylic. My father in law plans to add no skid stair tred strips to it. The 2o inch pieces going across sideways are glued and screwed, the screw counterbored and plugged. That turned out great, my father thought I had used glue since the plugs worked great at hiding the screws.

The toughest part of building it was that I was working off a set of plans that only noted the length and width of the piece. That was all my father law had, someone from the lodge left them lying around. Determining the slope of the support pieces that hold cross pieces on which people will walk, not to mention some of the other dimensions, was hard. I stared at the horribly done set of plans and a picture for weeks trying to figure it out. Design is not my thing. Neither is planning ahead. A few problems that arose during the build could have been avoided had I thought ahead. In the end, it turned out great.

By the way, I cut the long support pieces for one side on a Saturday, with a jigsaw. A few days went by and Santa (my wife) brought me a Rikon 14 inch bandsaw for Chirstmas. I’ve had it for a month now and I can’t imagine how I got by without a bandsaw. I have a table saw, miter saw, radial arm saw, and of course the jig saw, but the bandsaw is a game changer. I need to post a review of the bandsaw and my table saw. I’m very happy with both, and reviews I read on this site have been very helpful.

-- BJF

2 comments so far

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3599 posts in 2629 days

#1 posted 01-28-2013 02:10 AM

Outstanding job there BJF!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View BJF's profile


12 posts in 2477 days

#2 posted 01-29-2013 02:02 PM

Thanks Dallas! My father in law said the other lodges in his area may want a copy of the bridge, so I said $200 plus materials. Maybe I can quit my crappy day job.

-- BJF

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