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Rope and Plank Bridges
Goran (Guest) #1
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Subject: Rope and Plank Bridges
Does anyone have any tips, plans, or information on the construction of building a rope and plank bridge?

(59) #2
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I've spent so many hours searching for information on rope bridge design and found very little info.

I'm close to building my bridge as soon as I finish the floor joists on tree house number 2 of three.  After pricing galvanized chain and and bolts and having a heart attack , I'm looking into using cable, which is much cheaper and should do the job. I plan on running the cables first and then setting the 2x6 planks on top of the cables. I will route out a groove on the under side of each plank, just deep enough so the cables are  recessed into the plank. I will then nail a piece of wood to the underside to keep the planks from bouncing free of the cabels. I think 1/4 plywood would be just fine for this.

Hope this helped,

(177) #3
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Anybody find anything?  I have a creek that my dad wants me to build a rope and blank bridge over and I can't find any good links, especially ones with rope tie suggestions.  Anything would help.
(44) #4
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The rope bridge in this example was built for heavy usage, and basically limitless people on it at once.  It was about 30' long.  It isn't the cheapest bridge as it was built for a public treehouse and the requirements are strict.  It was just a functional bridge though.

To start with chain was put through a hole in the beams holding the decking on one side the bridge, on which one side of the foot planks will attach.  This was galvanised steel chain around an inch thick.  There were trees with decking/platforms around them at either end, so the chain then went through multiple beams/holes which made up the deck, and around the tree before coming back out at back across to support the other side of the bridge.  The wire did the same at the other end, and underneath that decking connected to itself.  I think they were linked with a few wire rope grips, but I'm not sure, and can't find any refence images for that.  No slack was left when connecting the 2 ends of the chain.  Previous rope bridges which had the chains connect to singular points on the decking had started to deform the decking after many months, so spreading the weight around the deck solved this.

Planks where then attached down to the chains with nuts and bolts. (Bolts on the underside, and smooth tops on the top).  Large washers were used also, because of the size of chain links in part.   At the end of the bridge on either side 4x4 inch posts where attached to the decking with (about 15mm) rods and bolted in.  2 holes where drilled in these for the main ropes.  1 was the hand rail rope, and the other sat about 1/3rd of the way up from the decking and ran parallel to the hand rail rope.  2 Additional holes where drilled half way into the posts to hide the ends of the these ropes in. The ropes where then screwed into the post.  These ropes where pulled as tight as possible (by hand).  The curve in the bridge forms naturally later on.

4 thinner ropes where then used to make the netting effect along the bridge.  We did the bottom ones first between the chains and the bottom of the 2 thick ropes.  It's easier to reference the attached images, rather than describe the patturn.  All the ropes had melted ends with a whipping knot also.  Spacing between the planks was about an inch.  The only requirement is that there is enough room to pass the thin ropes through and around the chain.  The chain link size makes the spacing variation limited also.  The other part I can't remeber exactly is the ends of the small ropes on all the posts.

Hope this helps guys!

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