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Thread: Dorrance Glulam Bridge Project Info

  1. #1
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    Default Dorrance Glulam Bridge Project Info


    We are almost ready to start building the large Glulam beams for the Dorrance bridge. All dirtwork on the first loop is now comple and we finished pouring the bridge footings a couple weeks ago. I'll be updating this topic with progress and announcements for the bridge project as we move forward. The main holdup right now is finding a place to build the beams so I'm throwing it out to anyone who might be able to help us here (see below).

    • We need to find a large (working area of at least 38' x 15') heated shop area with power for this portion of the project. The structural epoxy adhesive used to glue the beams together can't be used below 50F. Doing the beam glue-up outside over the winter would require building a large temporary enclosure and heating it for +24 hrs (hopefully a last resort). It will probably take us 2-4 weeks to complete all three beams. It would be great if the location was close to the Port Byron area and on the IL side of the river to minimize hauling distance. PM me if you have a place in mind or are willing to lend us a space.
    • Once the beams are built, we'll also need a trailer/vehicle to haul them to the park. There are three 34' long beams weighing in at ~700lbs a piece.
    • I've found a route to haul the beams through the woods that is 700' from a road access point, downhill most of the way, and with minimal cross slope. At this point the plan is to use dollys or sleds to drag the beams from the trailer to the work site and then pick them up with ropes/rigging to fly them into position over the ravine.



  2. #2
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    Default

    We have a building! Illiniwek has given us access to use their shop area for the few weeks it will take to get the beams built. Thanks again to everyone who replied with offers to use their buildings! I'll post a workday when we are ready to start.

  3. #3
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    Default Workday Sat. Dec. 17th @ 10am


    Materials for the bridge beams are being delivered Thursday and I'm planning a work day for this Saturday (12/17) to start building the layup jig (shown in the above rendering).

    We're meeting at the Illiniwek Workshop (click link for directions) at 10am and working for a couple of hours. There isn't a ton of work to do yet but I'll need 2-3 people to help move materials, run screw guns, and cut lumber. Let me know if you plan on coming.

    If you have a cordless impact driver/screwdriver bring it along. We'll be using T-25 bits and have lot's of screws to drive. The shop is heated, has WiFi, and a bathroom.

  4. #4
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    Made some progress Saturday on the glue up jig. All pieces are cut, subassemblies nearly complete, and in a few more hours the jig will be fully assembled. Next step will be cutting fingerjoints and gluing boards into 36' long sections until we have enough for a beam. This may start middle of next week. No workdays scheduled next weekend b/c of the holiday.






  5. #5
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    Working at the Illiniwek Workshop again on Thursday 12/22 starting at 5:00pm. Plan is to finish the glue up jig assembly and start finger joining boards. Drill/drivers are needed again.

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    We finished assembling the glue up jig last week and are ready to start making finger joints and stretching boards this week. Once we get enough lumber assembled for a beam we'll start laminating which may be as early as this weekend.

    Meeting at the Illiniwek Workshop on Thursday 12/29 at 5pm again. Could really use 2-3 extra people for this stage since it involves handling long and awkward pieces of lumber. We will be working with epoxy so wear old clothes.

  7. #7
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    Made a little progress yesterday... Making finger joints has a learning curve and took a while to get it dialed in. We'll be back at the shop on Sunday 1/1 at 10am and hopefully get enough lumber stretched to start laying up a beam next week. 2-3 extra people again should be plenty of help.

  8. #8
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    Default Workday Tues. Jan. 3rd @ 6pm





    We finished the first batch of stretched boards earlier today and are going to start laminating/gluing the first beam this Tuesday (1/3/17). Meeting at the Illiniwek Workshop at 6:00 pm and expecting to stay for ~2 hours. Wear clothes you don't mind trashing. Will need a minimum of 5 people to make the glue up operation work. Without 5 we can't get it done fast enough (epoxy pot life is only 30-40 mins). Please let me know if you can make it! If you have an impact driver/drill with a socket adapter bit and/or a 15/16" socket that will fit on that bit bring those as well (needed to tighten clamps).

    Two days after glue up we'll be ready to pull the first beam blank off the form. On that note, if anyone has an engine hoist (like pictured here) and doesn't mind lending it to us for a couple of weeks to move the beams around PM me. Each beam blank weights ~700 lbs and a 1 ton hoist would do the job.
    Last edited by DH001; 01-01-2017 at 11:44 PM.

  9. #9
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    The first beam blank is currently in the form curing.

    Also, still looking for an engine hoist to get the first blank off the form ASAP. We have the shop for about 2 more weeks before we have to clear out.

  10. #10
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    Default Workdays: Sat. 1/7 @ 2pm & Sun. 1/8 @ 12pm

    The Illiniwek staff and I were able to get another batch of boards stretched for beam #2 on Thursday. Haven't had any luck tracking down an engine hoist so we're going to build a simple wooden hoist on Saturday (1/7) afternoon at 2pm to get the beam off the form. Will need 2-3 extra people to help move the beam once hoisted.

    For Sunday (1/8), I'm planning to do another glue up session if enough people are available. Meeting at 12 pm at the Illiniwek shop and will need 6 more people to get it done. Let me know if you can make it. Epoxy is messy stuff so wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty forever.

    Tools we will be using Sunday and could use extras to speed up the work:
    - Belt Sander or Power Planer
    - Pipe or Bar Clamps
    - Drill & Impact Drivers
    - 15/16" Socket (For tightening the threaded rod clamps)
    - Sawhorses (2 more would be great. Ours are 30" high.)

    If you bring tools, write your name on them with a Sharpie or some kind of label so we can get them back to you if they get lost.

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