My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #122: Building a Bridge 2

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 10-03-2010 03:06 PM 11856 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 121: Building a Bridge Part 122 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 123: Ironing Out Details »

”We build too many walls and not enough bridges” – Isaac Newton

I had a lot of fun yesterday. I finished my little bridge and even though I had made one previously that went to the magazine, I had learned some things on this site that made the glue up much easier and it went together like clockwork. It was only a couple of months ago when I struggled to make the first one, and it made me feel good to think that I learned so much in such a short time. It went together so much easier than before!

I also got the rough cutting done on the shoe project. I am proud of even getting the shoe to this point and toyed with the idea of calling it a ‘moon walker’ and calling it a day, but I suppose I will toil on and see what I can learn. I haven’t used the band saw much, as when I go to Bernie’s to get my wood milled, the guys usually take over that part and I don’t get the chance to participate. The band saw is a bit intimidating to me. I am very respectful of its power and I am very safety-conscious when using it. I know there will be a time in my woodworking career that I will use this piece of equipment on a more regular basis, but for now, I just let my partner do the cutting for me. We went to his dad’s shop and it is an unfamiliar setting for me so I sat at the computer with the tutorial and drew the lines and did the measurements and let him do the cutting. I don’t think it is really cheating, as I am going to do the rest myself, but I didn’t feel like learning for the first time on a piece of wood that Jordan was good enough to ship from Calgary. If I were to goof it up, I would really be disappointed.

The band saw was a hobby type saw. I think it was a 9” one. It barely accommodated the block of wood I was cutting and I was really relieved when I saw it just cleared over the top of it. Keith’s dad builds incredible model ships and helicopters and planes that he flies, but he uses hand tools for most of his work and his power tools are minimal. It really amazes me that he can create such incredible things with such limited resources. But he doesn’t consider himself a ‘hardcore woodworker’ and is very happy with his set up. In any case, I was very grateful to be able to use his shop and it did get the job done. Now it is on to the real work on the shoe.

My bits are due tomorrow so I can’t really go any further on it right now. I am happy that the pace of the class seems slow enough so that I will be able to catch up when I do get them. I am rather scared to take that first step and take the Dremel to the wood, but if I don’t try it I will never learn. If it comes out looking anything at all like a shoe, I will be happy. :)

We got home from there and I worked on the little bridge and finished it. It was quite fun and I had forgotten how easy and cute it was, as the original one was shipped away in February. I had been following Martyn’s blog about building his beautiful clip board and I was fascinated how he used clear con-tac paper to stick the veneer pieces into place. When I was assembling my bridge, it gave me the idea to use a piece of glass and double-sided tape to secure the side rails and easily glue the support pieces into place. I remember with the first bridge, I kind of ‘winged it’ and it was a bit more difficult to get the supports straight and the spacing even on the two sides. It is a rustic type bridge, but I still needed it to look good. This made things infinitely easier. Thanks, Martyn! :D

The acrylic wash was dry on the bridge assembly and rail pieces. I printed out two side views of the assembled bridge and laid a piece of glass over the picture. (I used a piece of glass from a cheap 8”x 10” frame that I had purchased. I knew the glass would come in handy one day!):

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I then applied a couple of pieces of double sided tape so I could secure the rails into place:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I placed the rails over the tape:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I then applied glue to the contact points where the supports and rails meet:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I glued the supports into place and allowed them to dry:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

When the side pieces were dry, I glued them to the bridge and GENTLY clamped them into place. These little clamps are somewhat laughable because the are so little, but there are times when they really come in handy for the small things like this where only slight pressure is needed:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

When the bridge was dry, it was time to add some snow. I use Sno-Tex by DecoArt. It is gives a nice effect and is easy to build the texture of the snow with it. I also use it on all the bases of the figures (which will follow at the end) and all of the trees and stuff. I think it adds a lot to the entire scene:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

I daub it on with a damp paint brush, building random thicknesses of snow. I think the more uneven that it is done, the more natural it looks:

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

And here we have the finished bridge! :

From SLDP103 Skating Pond Figures

Now wasn’t that easy? It just goes to show that things don’t have to be difficult to be nice. I geared this bridge to non-woodworkers and I think that anyone could easily assemble it in a couple of hours (which includes the drying times). I loved that the floor of the bridge could be cut from craft sticks, as it makes the project super simple. I was surprised when I put the wash of color on them how they had a ‘grain’ and looked rather nice. It worked well for my purposes anyway. It really is a cool little bridge.

Today I plan to paint most of the day. I am really working to finish this set and I am going to post another character in the pond blog, which I am a bit behind on. Big Tiny made some nice suggestions that I am thinking about. Although I do have a snowball thrower (Scot – who I showed briefly last week on this blog) and I already kind of had a place for him in the ‘story’. There is nothing to say that I can’t have more than one scamp though, and I do plan to adding in more figures next year after the initial set is done. The problem there is I can go on and on and never finish if I don’t create a stopping point. I do appreciate all your suggestions and comments and I think that the extra ideas are fun!

So with that I will sign off for today. It is beautiful out and much cooler (YAY!) and a perfect, sunny fall day. I wish you all a wonderful and happy Sunday!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

7 comments so far

View Hacksaw007's profile


612 posts in 3125 days

#1 posted 10-03-2010 07:19 PM

Wonderful! You make it look so easy.

-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3051 days

#2 posted 10-03-2010 07:30 PM

woaw Sheila that is a cool little bridge
you are right adding rails and the snow is simply the candy that bring it over the edge

but lets hope frau straker donĀ“t here about the other thing

have a great day your self


View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2824 days

#3 posted 10-03-2010 08:59 PM

Hi Sheila.

Now you can add “Pontifex” to your list of titles! (means “builder of bridges” and is one of the titles of the Pope as the builder of the bridge between heaven and earth)

So, “Ave, Sheila Pontifex!”. (hooray for Sheila the bridge builder)

Have a great today and a better tomorrow.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 2972 days

#4 posted 10-03-2010 09:54 PM

Now you are an engineer! Good blog, Sheila and you’re welcome.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View helluvawreck's profile


30545 posts in 2803 days

#5 posted 10-04-2010 02:14 PM

I like the little bridge and I can see how your pond scene work will sell really well. You have made another good post. Thanks

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View grosa's profile


1003 posts in 2765 days

#6 posted 10-05-2010 03:33 AM

So I’m Not the only one who builds bridges. Great job on the bridge.

-- Have a great day.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2856 days

#7 posted 10-05-2010 12:07 PM

Thanks so much, everyone! :) It was fun!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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