Friday, April 28, 2017

More on the Madison Bridge Project

This year on May 20-21 the Timber Framers Guild will be holding its annual conference at the Edgewater Hotel in downtown Madison, WI. On May 20th a small group of timber framers from all over the country will assembling for display a one of a kind 90 foot timber framed walking bridge designed by Richard Latrobe-Bateman of the U.K. The bridge will consist of over fifty pre-cut 6x6's  13 to 16 foot long timbers held together with custom designed steel connectors. The 2700 board feet of Larch pine wood will weigh over 18,000 pounds and be hand raised by the builders and then taken down at the end of the conference!

Darren Watson, from New Energy Works in Oregon is heading up and assembling the team that will be in Madison to work on the bridge. When I heard the convention was going to be in Madison only 60 miles from where I live I jumped at the chance to work on the bridge. I have been building a small scale model of the bridge. Since this particular bridge has never been built before the model will be helpful to test out assembly and disassembly procedures on before swinging around the 150 - 200 pound timbers. I have just finished a possible solution to providing some guide railings for the bridge. As plans are to allow people attending the conference actually try out the bridge.

Considering that the bridge design is functional art the railings should add to the design and not distract from it. We will see if this idea meets the test.  If the bridge is not sold at the convention it will be dismantled and stored until a buyer can be found.

And at last I have finished the St. Francis bird feeders that I started last fall. You can see the bridge models in the background and the side straw model on the truck hood. Hopefully getting the wind generator back together and running will be my filler project between now and building the bridge in Madison.

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