A steam bent bridge - Fine Homebuilding

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A steam bent bridge

comments (4) April 19th, 2012 in Project Gallery
Mikebelz Mikebelz, member


We were asked to build a bridge for one of our customers. We steam bent 3- 4x6 white oak boards 16' long on a 10' radius for the under structure. You can see the forms and the bending form in one of the pictures as well as the steam box. The hand rails were laminate bent white oak. and the decking was redwood.The bridge and the yard were landscaped for their daughter's wedding. Their daughter was married on the bridge.


Design or Plan used: My Own Design - Michael Belzowski
posted in: Project Gallery, outdoor spaces, outdoor structure, steam bent bridge

Comments (4)

BudgetFence BudgetFence writes: Great job!!Very aesthetically done, just love it.Perfect setting for a wedding.
Posted: 8:53 am on October 4th

jimes jimes writes: Hi Mikebelz,
Thanks for the note on the Japanese Tea house and Bridge.
I see we share a common interest in foot bridges.
I have a healthy respect for steam bending those oak supports stringers for your bridge, as I spent years steaming ribs for large wooden boats.
Your laminated hand rails were a good judgement call, they will last for years.
The hand rails on the Japanese bridge were also laminated for the same reason, speed and shape needed.
The Japanese bridge has been through many a Canadian winters and summers and there still going, so your rails are good for many a year.
For the Japaneses Bridge structural stringers, we ended up creating a wood I-Beam concept, just because of the shape and shadow lines needed.
I have too enjoyed your projects. I see you have been busy. Keep up the great work.
Jim
jsones@cogeco.ca
Posted: 10:29 am on May 7th

Mikebelz Mikebelz writes: Matt, Thanks for the compliments and sorry it took me a while to get back to you.
The beams were steamed for 8 hours (about 1 hour per 1"). I choose to laminate the handrail because I had to have it finished for the wedding and I was worried about the moisture for steaming it dropping fast enough to allow me to meet the deadline. Had I been given more time I probably would have steam bent them.

Posted: 5:51 pm on May 6th

TheTimberTailor TheTimberTailor writes: Steam bent 4x6 white oak? Nice work! I'm curious how long you had to steam those to make them bendable. And also why you chose to laminate bend the handrail pieces rather than steam them as well.
Very impressive, Mike, very impressive.
Posted: 9:05 pm on April 20th

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