The bridge brace
The bridge brace When I was a young apprentice, I remember being impressed when this trick was shown to me. While forming a set of concrete stairs, we needed to position the stringers securely between the two adjacent masonry walls to hold the riser forms in place. Rather than nail the stringers into the walls, thus scarring them with holes, the journeyman showed me how to use what he referred to simply as bridge braces.
We first cut a 2×4 1/4 in. longer than the space between the two stringers. Then we cut this 2×4 in half. When placed end to end, the resulting two pieces were now 1/8 in. longer than the space between the stringers. We then nailed a 2×4 “bridge” piece to one of the resulting two pieces as shown in the drawing at left. Pressing the bridge piece downward splices the two pieces together, exerting impressive pressure against the stringers. Duplex nails hold the assemblies together. To strip the forms, we pulled a few of the duplex nails, and the forms pretty much fell apart.
Sam Foerster, Vancouver, None