This is something that we had put off and put off and put off. The pictures show pretty plainly just how much we procrastinated and dreaded rebuilding this bridge. But in the end it was either rebuild it, or pay for the mailman’s broken leg when he eventually fell through the rotten boards!
I’m actually pretty late in posting this. This was our big summer project, or rather it was Peer’s project, I didn’t do much other than take pictures and cook. This project took several weeks to complete. I can’t even begin to tell you how much work this was, and the fact that it was done with ordinary hand tools certainly added to the time and difficulty. But it’s done now and hopefully it will hold out at least for the rest of our lifetime.
Peer spent a few days tearing the old bridge down using mainly hammers, screwdrivers and a crowbar. One part of this that he couldn’t do alone was place the new beams. They were about 30ft long and really heavy. He had his dad and some friends come over and they helped him move the beams and set them in place. They spent the rest of the day nailing the floorboards on.
The next thing he had to do was dig holes for the support beams, place them and secure them in concrete.
There are 4 of these beams supporting the bridge.
The porch flooring was also in pretty bad shape so he had to replace it too. After ripping some of the boards away he discovered that the beams were rotten and that the people who built the house had filled the spaces between the beams with some sort of homemade mixture that is similar to concrete. The house was built right after World War ll by polish immigrants…they didn’t have much money at all so they used lots of creative, homemade solutions like this. Speaking of creative solutions, I remember well when we moved in that the floor of our attic was completely covered with a good 6″ of packed sawdust…they were using it for insulation…shoveling that stuff out was a nightmare! I think this concrete was also mainly made with sawdust. Anyway, this stuff was 6″ thick and needed to be knocked out so Peer could replace the rotten beams.
This shows the new beams. All the concrete is gone, the beams are in place and he’s started putting the new floorboards. You can see our firewood underneath the porch. That’s where we store it.
The new floorboards.
Yeah! The finished porch floor. After the floor was done, he coated it with flaxseed oil to help protect it.
These are the slats for the railing. He painted them with flaxseed oil and they are drying.
The railing going up…