How to Make a Clatter Bridge

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You need a sturdy chain to ensure the safety of children.
You need a sturdy chain to ensure the safety of children. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Clatter bridge is the name of a structure used mainly in children's playgrounds. This type of bridge resembles the rope bridge, with the only difference being its wooden handrails, offering extra safety to children. Clatter bridges have wooden or plastic boards as footpaths, screwed on two rows of chain. It is not extremely difficult to make a clatter bridge, as its design is quite simple. However, you need to be experienced in handling nails and screwing bolts into wood. After all, these are the only actions needed to complete the bridge.

Things You'll Need

  • 51-by-3-by-3 inches wooden posts, 4
  • 30-by-3-by-3 inches wooden posts, 2
  • 108-by-3-by-3 inches wooden posts, 2
  • 25-by-4 boards of 2-inch-thick plywood, 8
  • 5-inch nails
  • 1-inch screw nails
  • 9-foot stainless steel chains, 2
  • Nuts
  • Measuring tape

Make a letter H on the ground with two 51-by-3-by-3-inch wooden posts and a 30-by-3-by-3-inch one. With a measuring tape, count 10 inches from the bottom of the two longer posts and place the horizontal post on that level. Nail the three posts together and repeat the task with the remaining posts to create an identical letter H.

Place the H structures 6 feet apart and make them stand upright. The horizontal posts must be 10 inches from the ground and face outwards. Also, mark the middle spot of the horizontal post of each H structure.

Connect the tops of the two H structures with the 108-by-3-by-3-inch wooden posts. Make sure the H structures form a right angle with the ground, before you nail the long posts on them.

Measure 10 inches to the left and the right of the horizontal posts' middle spot you marked before. Place a mark on the new spots.

Screw two nuts on two screw nails. Place one end of the two 9-foot chains on the two spots of the horizontal post you have just marked and screw them into the wood. Repeat the process with the other end of the chains on the opposite horizontal post.

Place the eight plywood boards on the chain. Fall on your back, so that you are below the chains. Screw one board at a time, in the same manner you screwed the chains' ends on the wooden posts.

Test the clatter bridge by walking and jumping on it. If it can bear your weight, children should not have a problem using it.

Tips & Warnings

  • The size of the nuts depends on the diameter of the chain links. Equip with the chains before buying the nuts for this task.
  • Ensure you have nailed and bolted all materials firmly. A single mistake on this task can put a child's safety at risk, so be extremely careful.

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