Free Garden Bridge Plans
|Follow these plans and you can easily build a
bridge like this ►
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Step 1 - Obtain Materials
& Tools (All boards should be green treated
or brown treated or cedar)
- (5) six-foot treated 1x8 boards
- (1) ten-foot treated 1x8 board
- (3) eight-foot treated 2x8's
- (1) six-foot treated 2x8
- (8) eight-foot treated 2x4's
- (16) 3.5 inch long 3/8 inch diameter lag
bolts with nuts and lock washers
- (18) 3.5 inch long 3/8 inch diameter lag
screws with washers
- (100) 2 inch galvanized deck screws or 6D
galvanized box nails
- (75) 3 inch galvanized deck screws.
Tools: 3/8 inch drill, 3/8" & 5/32" drill bit,
circular saw or power arm saw, ratchet and 9/16" socket, tape
measure, carpenter's square, cordless screwdriver, hammer
Step 2 - Cut Pieces
- Cut the six-foot 1x8 boards exactly in
half so that each board is about 36 inches.
- Cut the (1) ten-foot 1x8 board into (3)
36-inch pieces of the same length as of step 1.
- Cut the six-foot 2x8 into (2) 36-inch
pieces that are exactly the same length as the boards of steps
- From four of the 2x4's cut (4) 32 1/2 "
pieces and (8) 31" pieces. You can do this efficiently by
cutting two 31" pieces and one 32 1/2" piece out of each
- Out of the remaining 2x4's cut (4) 44"
pieces and (4) 40 1/2" pieces.
The (3) 8-foot 2x8's won't be cut unless
there is slight variation in lengths.
You should now have:
- (13) 36" 1x8 boards
- (2) 36" 2x8 boards
- (3) 8-foot 2x8 boards
- (8) 31" 2x4 boards
- (4) 32 1/2" 2x4 boards
- (4) 44" boards
- (4) 40 1/2" boards
Step 3 - Build Bridge
Attach the (2) 36-inch 2x8 pieces to the ends of the (3) 8-foot 2x8
pieces as shown in figure 1. Secure each 2x8 with two 2" deck
screws on each end to make attaching the lag screws easier. Drill
(18) 5/32" pilot holes and then use 3 lag screws and washers at each
location as shown in figure 1 for a total of 18 lag screws and
washers. You will need a 9/16 ratchet wrench to screw in the lag
bolts. Don't attach decking yet - it is much easier to do this as
the very last step so you have access when attaching the guard
If you look close you will see that each 2x8 was secured with 2 deck
screws at the top and bottom before drilling 3/16" pilot holes and
inserting the 3/8" lag bolts and washers.
Step 4 - Cut Corners of
Cut the corners off the (8) 31" pieces as shown in Figure 2 below.
Cut the corners off the 31" pieces as shown above. You can
print out Figure 2a, cut it out, and use it as a marking guide.
Step 5 - Construct the
Lay out the pieces as shown in Figure 3 below. It is helpful to use
the side of the bridge as a stop as shown in Figure 4. Fasten
the 44" pieces to the 40 1/2" pieces first as shown below. Then
attach the remaining pieces. Check for square in the 90-degree
angles! Fasten with (3) 3" deck screws in each location. To
easily construct the other side guard rail, use the first guard rail
as a template. When done with both sides, check to see that
they are identical as shown in figure 5 below.
The two middle posts are 40 1/4 inches apart.
I used the frame as a stop for the bottoms of the guard rail.
The two guard rail assemblies should match when placed back to back.
Step 6 - Drill Holes for
Temporarily attach the sides with 2" deck screws to hold railings to
frame as shown in Figures 6 & 7 below. Then drill 3/8" holes
where you will attach the 3/8" carriage bolts (8 per side)
with washer and nuts. When drilling holes, take care to avoid
hitting lag bolts near ends - these will dull your bit in a hurry!
Take the sides off by backing out the deck screws.
You will attach the railing at the site where
the bridge will be. The completed bridge is too heavy and
bulky to safely lift!
Step 7 - Position Bridge
and Attach Sides
Take the bridge frame to the location it will be finally installed.
Make sure bridge is set on a solid
foundation. Also, to avoid injury, two people should carry the
bridge frame to its final location! Pound in carriage
bolts with a hammer. Then place washer and nut on each bolt
and tighten. See Figure 8.
Step 8 - Attach Deck
Place all decking and space properly. The decking should be spaced
about 3/8 inch apart. Secure decking with 2" inch screws if
you have a cordless driver or #8 galvanized deck nails if you do not
have a driver. Secure each board with 6 screws or nails with 2 nails
or screw into each 2x8. If desired you can use 3 nails or screws in
each location. Do not use a corded AC
power tool over the water! See Figure 9.
Note that you will probably wish to place fill dirt and/or plugs of
sod or grass up to the ends of the bridge to make the bridge level
with the surrounding area.
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Copyright 2004 - Michael Sakowski