Bradfield bridge

The current big project is building a green oak bridge. This is the site where two previous bridges have washed away due to the force of the flood water we get round here. Last week with rain falling on snow on the hills the water rose over 3 feet overnight and turned a trickling brook into a fairly decent sized river.

Where there had been steep steps down and a step up to the cricket field on the far side I decided to make a gentle ramp across the slope and build strong tall abutments to raise the bridge to the height of the field, hopefully well clear of the flood water.

Cutting the line of the new sloping path, working slowly by hand allows time to think and get the sweetest line as you go.

 The posts will support a handrail and also oak boards which will hold up the lower side of the finished path surface. The green posts by the water mark the edge of the abutment.

Looking gown from above, this is 10 tones of freshly quaried gritstone for the abutments a ton of sand, cement and the first of the cleft oak posts and rails.

The posts and rails I split last week from a large oak which would have been sawn but was full of nails, I have enjoyed working it with hand tools though it is unquestionably slower.

This is one of the posts, because the soil of the bank is soft and they are on the low side of the slope they need to be sunk over 3 feet into the ground to get then firm. I have been hewing the surfaces with my Japanese carpenters ono (axe) in Japan the textured finish achieved through hand hewing with sharp tools is highly regarded. It is a joy to do this work and I suspect there can not be many examples of Japanese style hewing in the UK though probably no one will ever notice.

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2 Responses to Bradfield bridge

  1. Le Loup March 6, 2010 at 1:04 am #

    I love wooden bridges, I am thinking of widening our stream just so I can put one in!Le Loup.

  2. Erik Schepers March 8, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    I really liked the other brige you blogged about a couple of years ago. So I'm really looking forward to see this one. Good luck!.

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