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Step by step instructions on how to build an 8½ foot bridge using 2x3s, with railings.
| Step 1 | Step 2 | Step 3 | Step 4 | Step 5 |

Cutting the Parts

8 1/2 foot bridge
All parts are side-views, as in the drawing above.
Dimensions for end post braces are not shown as these may be cut to fit from any suitable piece of scrap.

For the 2 arches in this configuration you'll need 16 pieces, 5 feet long.

10 joists are cut in pairs from five 52 inch lengths.
The 4 joists for the approach ramp will likely need a different angle, depending on your terrain.

4 cross-beams, of a length equal to deck width, connect the arches.

The 8 railing posts may be cut in pairs. The four end posts have only one cut as the railing extends over it a little.

The railing top is a flat 2x4, to cover both the post and lower part of the railing.

The lower part of the railing fits on the inside of the posts.
Only cut one pair of both railing pieces symetrically as the dimensions show.
For the 4 ends of the railing, leave one end a few inches longer to extend over the end post, as in the drawing on top of the page.

Construction Notes:
— All dimensions assume the true lumber size of your 2x3s is 1½"x2½".
— The dimensions are for the interior posts and railings, which are symetrical.
— For the 4 end posts, only make one of the 2 cuts shown at the pointy part of the post.
— For the four end rails, only bevel one end and leave the other end a little longer, to extend past the post.
  — Dimensions for post braces are not shown, as they may be cut from scrap lumber.
— When cutting 2 or more pieces from one length of lumber, you can save a cut as the cuts are symetrical.
— You should obtain the best lumber available, however as each arch member is made of 2 pieces, this is not as critical as with a single piece, as long as two big knots in the wood don't coincide.

Next Step

The design and construction techniques presented on this page are protected from patents by prior art & copyright and I reserve all rights regarding this design. Feel free to utilize this information for personal use but applications involving the exchange of money, require my approval. If you'd like to build bridges for profit, I'd be happy to help you. :-)  Frank Petersohn

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