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kdlklm
10-04-2006, 06:01 PM
I've built a backyard bridge, that is 15 feet long, I used Timber Tech composite decking for the surface, and the posts. I can't decide what I want to do with the railings. I was looking for some input. I've attach some photos.

kdlklm
10-04-2006, 06:11 PM
a couple photos of the frame.

BSDeality
10-04-2006, 06:16 PM
is there a really small creek in there?? or did you just build a jump for some kids dirtbike??

I would definitely due something curved to match the bridge whatever you do. Sorry I can't be of more help.

kdlklm
10-04-2006, 06:42 PM
there will be a pond on one side with a fountain in it, and all the dirt excavated from it, will build a waterfall on the other side. I have attached a photo of the fountain, it is it to pieces. It's 11'4" tall, spanning 8 feet.

dvmcmrhp52
10-04-2006, 06:46 PM
Costly I realize but some wrought railings would look good I think.

kdlklm
10-04-2006, 06:49 PM
I had thought about chain, it would be easy to do and I think it would look pretty good.

TPnTX
10-06-2006, 08:42 AM
thats nice. How did you bend your frame?

Are you going to keep the railing height low like the colums?

I like the chain idea pretty well. I would consider first making railings out of decrotive square or round tubing. Perhaps with two levels top and botton with some ornate metal pattern between. Again thats just to consider because the chain is a good idea.

I want to see you doing a wheelie over it :)

Have you been to www.kingmetals.com ?


I really like your bridge. Here (http://s43.photobucket.com/albums/e362/TPShow/?action=view&current=bridge4.jpg) is a pic of mine. I've built and sold about 10 of them so far.

TPnTX
10-06-2006, 08:53 AM
king has rope bar

http://www.kingmetals.com/customer%2fkiarme%2fimages%2fitems%2f60-11418-ROPE_S.jpg

kdlklm
10-06-2006, 10:12 AM
I used 2 inch square tubing for the frame. I had a hell of a time finding someone that could bend 2 inch square, because I wanted it done on a bender, so the curve was consistent. It turned out really good. the railing is going to stay at 16 inches tall. It is more decorative than anything. But it is still functional.

TPnTX
10-06-2006, 01:25 PM
I bend mine myself without a roller using a template made from MDF boards but I can only go up to 1 1/2inch. I tried 2inch once but it was too much. Its a strange way to do it but it works and give consistant results.

kdlklm
10-06-2006, 01:56 PM
your bends look very good. 1.5 inch would have been more than enough for mine as well.but I wanted to make sure it was going to be strong enough to span 15 feet. I also used a .188 wall thickness. I can probably park a truck on it. But it's solid anyway. What are you selling yours for.

Pavers Plus
10-06-2006, 04:05 PM
TPnTX's ideas sound good

John Gamba
10-06-2006, 04:17 PM
I had thought about chain, it would be easy to do and I think it would look pretty good.


Nice:) :waving:

Randy J
10-06-2006, 04:28 PM
Can't add much other than both are examples of good looking bridges. I do kind of like the chain idea.

John Gamba
10-06-2006, 04:31 PM
Can't add much other than both are examples of good looking bridges. I do kind of like the chain idea.


That is some SWEET looking stuff.

John Gamba
10-06-2006, 04:33 PM
I've built a backyard bridge, that is 15 feet long, I used Timber Tech composite decking for the surface, and the posts. I can't decide what I want to do with the railings. I was looking for some input. I've attach some photos.


If you do a search on back Yard ponds and the like you might come up with something go. I seen some cool stuff

TPnTX
10-07-2006, 08:16 AM
I've been selling them to other landscapers for 1000.00. They're probably worth more. I don't know what they charge to install. I can work it into a Landscape for 12-1500.00

Here is a pic of my Bender (http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c105/tpntx/Bridges/P1010062.jpg) Like I said it's poor mans model.

Just this year I put two bridges at local Nurseries. One is SouthWest Nursery in Dallas. It's probably the biggest Nursery in DFW although you can't tell from this picture (http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c105/tpntx/Bridges/P1010062.jpg)

The other nursery is more of a Rock Yard but they are very big and they do a lot of landscape work too.

I've been disappointed so far I've not sold one yet. I had real high hopes that landscapers would snatch a few up pretty quick. On the other hand the business to so slow right now. This drout is serious. We get our water from local lake reservoirs and they are drying up fast.

Sorry if I've hi-jacked your thread I thought you'd enjoy another "bridge maker" Thats the joke between me and my wife. Every thing she does something dumb I tell her "thats why women don't build bridges" That usually blows back on me one way or another.

TPnTX
10-07-2006, 08:25 AM
oh one more thing about the bender....
I usually only bend the 1" square tube. But just last month I needed a 1 1/2 piece bent to match the radius one a fence gate opening. So I took a piece of stock and put it in jig and it bent pretty as you please. Now granted for the 3foot bend I used a 12ft piece of stock for leverage. http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e362/TPShow/PortFolio/IMG_0396-1.jpg

So just to push the Idea I tried a 2x2. No freaking way. I could not budge it. But my wheels are turning. I need to double up in the MDF board template and make some hydraulic or geared devise to do the work for me.

I guess you've priced a good bender? Man outrageous prices for a real good one.


Opps the Nursery pic is mess up and I cant edit it.
Here's the right pic (http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e362/TPShow/PortFolio/IMG_0400.jpg)

TPnTX
10-07-2006, 08:42 AM
heres a good shot of the bender results.http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c105/tpntx/Bridges/P1010066.jpg

ztec
10-08-2006, 01:16 AM
damn tpntx thats good work, I have been wanting to build a table to do large bends like that. Just wondering if you really need a 12' piece to make a 3' bend would it work if you have a handle that would either fit inside the the square tube or over it to get leverage or would it just want to bend at the point you put the handle on?

TPnTX
10-08-2006, 11:42 AM
well certainly the leverage can be obtained by extending the tube with a handle or something but that will not give you a smooth bend at the points where the extension meets the tube. As a matter of fact if you use a 12ft piece od 1" square tube you and where from 9-10 ft of usable radius tube. There is enough play at the very tip to make it noticable. You only bend half way and then flip the piece so you get the the same at both ends.

Here's anothe shot of the bender. I have improved it also which I don't have a picture of. I have been wanting to make the table top out of steel plate. I just never talked myself into spending a couple of hundred dollars on a new piece. Then it occured to me. I don't need steel plate I just need a smooth top. So I made a top out of MDF and fastened it to the table fram. It works great and when I done I remove it giving me back my 2" table frame to use.

Again I feel like I've high jacked this thread. I hope kdlklm like seeing the home made bender pic

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c105/tpntx/Bridges/P1010061.jpg

TPnTX
10-08-2006, 11:46 AM
one last post. Here is a Julliet Balcony that I made using the same technique.

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e362/TPShow/PortFolio/IMG_0418.jpg

TPnTX
10-08-2006, 11:50 AM
Now back to the backyard Bridge. have you decided what to use yet?
I can't wait to see that and I hope you use the chains.

That reminds of a bridge at golf course. I definately want to build one like that. I think I'll try it using the 1 1/2 to see how strong it is.

LindblomRJ
10-08-2006, 09:22 PM
TPnTX,

That is some nice work. Like the bender. Impressive.

kdlklm
10-10-2006, 05:57 PM
don't worry about hijacking the thread, I love the photos of the bender and definitely that house. I think 1.5 inch will be more than enough strength. I put 1000 pounds on mine, and it flexed less than an inch. It had a little bit more flex before it was bolted down, but after that virtually nothing.

TPnTX
10-11-2006, 06:59 AM
Well even though I've gotten zero response yet from the two big nurserys, I still have high hopes for the bridges. When I hauling them people run off the road looking at them. Everyone loves them when they see them installed. Even the sales guys at the nursery are surprised the haven't sold a few yet.

A friend of mine had a good suggestion too. I can upsale these quite a bit using finer wood, more ornate metal, different colors.
I think your design is a good one. I see them here and there online in ads. You can order a kit for some of them. None of them have a steel subframe though. If the radius is right you should be able to drive a golf cart over them. I figure if I were to make one that my tractor could drive over and park on, it would be good enough for golf carts or atvs.

My first bridge was request by a client in Shreveport La. He had bought a small one from somewhere and it came with just the two sides. You had to bolt it together with the wood slats. Its wasn't very good and it was small. He wanted one for the back where the dry river bed was 9ft wide and asked me if I could find someone to build it. So I said I could.

I spent the whole 3hours driving home trying to figure out how to build one. (fake it till you make it)

So once I was ready to fabricate the frame a friend of mine loaned me his 110v wire welder. I had been stick welding for a while and thought I'd try it. Man once I started I loved it. Piece of cake.

I loaded the bridge on the trailer and headed to Shreveport. The last part of the trip is this Hwy Loop something. This road will bounce your teeth out. I looked in my mirror and a picket had come loose on one end. I thought uh-oh, good thing I brought the welder. Then another and another. I pulled over and looked. The whole frame was comming apart.

Man... I had basically caulked this thing together. Hardly any penetratrion at the welds. So I returned home and got out the stick welder. I welded the hell out of it.

I took a better approach to learning MIG and Wire welding and now I hardly use the stick.

Grn Mtn
10-11-2006, 09:10 AM
once the frame is done do you have it powder coated or do you let it rust out? Ever thought about having it engineered? This way when you sell it people will feel more comfortable about its quality/safety. Definitely consider using Teak wood, 12volt lighting, less of an arch or higher approach ramp, higher hand rails... Put the top of the line model at the nursery, then a sign saying priced from $900+, model shown $2100
trust me i'm not criticizing, i really like the work. You should try to get a local free paper to do an article on the bridge, or take out a full page ad in the local garden show's program. This might cost you $$$, but if the return is $$$$?

Good Luck, and nice work.

the house picture is amazing... amazing that they have a plastic hose reel!

sunray
10-11-2006, 10:23 AM
Nice work, we work with steel and design alot and will give you a pat on the back for your project.
Good idea getting the steel bent using a bender, alot of guys might be tempted to heat and bend but cold bending retains more strength.
You better check on state and county regs on the railing height, that will be regulated just like a deck or porch.
Lastly, like my daddy always said always over build because there will always be people who will abuse it.
On the lack of response, maybe everyone loves it but does not ask about it thinking they could never afford one.
Display the price and a brief sales pitch.

kdlklm
10-11-2006, 06:04 PM
the bridge I posted, is not one I am selling. You're probably right if I were, it would cost too much. I have almost $900 into the materials. And many many hours. The composite decking was the most expensive part, but it is virtually maintenance free now. The frame was painted, I would've loved to have powder coated it, but that was about $150 more than I wanted to spend. I didn't think it would be that crucial. I don't know if I will get the railings done this year, it is starting to get cold, here in Canada. and I do plan on putting a light on each of the posts, or maybe just the end four. But it was a fun project, and turned out really well.