Build a Bath Bridge




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A super simple stylish addition to any bathroom and a great gift.

These are the basic dimensions I start with although dimensions can be altered to suit your particular bath.

I usually allow 100mm overhang on each side of the bath but its up to you really. I also usually make the bridge 15-20mm thick, any thicker or thinner than that can can make the bridge look too spindly or too chunky.

Step 1: Milling the Timber

I only have rough sawn timber so this process is necessary for me however it is much less time consuming and easier to start from pre-dressed timber.

(Tip) It is always best to start with the timber slightly over-sized then cut it down to final dimensions.

In these photos you can see me measure, cut, thickness and sand the timber down to size. You should end up with planks 140mm wide and approx 15-20mm thick.

Step 2: Cutting to Length

Using a miter saw cut your planks to length. The two shorter end pieces are 295mm long and the longer side pieces are 850mm long.

If you look carefully at the photos you will see that I cut the two end pieces and the two side pieces together. Cutting them this way means that they end up the exact same length and gives a superior fit.

By making the two shorter end pieces 15mm longer than the width of two boards (280mm plus 15mm) creates the gap in the center of the bridge.

**Dry fit the bridge together before gluing to make sure there are no gaps in the miter joints.

Step 3: Biscuit Joint

This step is optional as I don't think the biscuits add a great deal of strength however it does making the glue up easier as it helps keep the boards aligned.

Step 4: Glue-Up

This is the trickiest part as you must work quickly as the glue can dry fast.

As seen in the photos I found the easiest and accurate way to glue-up is to apply clamping pressure both along the board and across. Doing it this way allows you adjust the tension in each clamp to make the board square and close any gaps in the joints.

**Make sure you practice without glue first**

Also its a good idea clamp the board vertically to make sure it stays flat while drying.

It can get a bit complicated with all the clamps and time constraints so might be a good idea to have a assistant for your first try.

Step 5: Sanding

Sand the entire bridge as best you can. This is the most time consuming part for me as the finish you put on later is only as good as the sanding job you have previously done.

I start at 80git, then move to 120g, 220g, 340g and finally 400g.

Step 6: Strengthening/Decorating the Bridge

This is also an optional step as it depends on the timber you are using as some timber can move quite a lot after glue-up and the joint can crack.

In these photos you can see me drill a 5/8 hole and insert a 5/8 plug in a slightly darker timber. This is for decoration only. If I wanted to add strength to this joint I would simply pre-drill and use a long screw before gluing the plug in.

Step 7: Finishing

I like to use wipe on polyurethane as its easier to apply without any runs but you can use any finish you like.

Remember to sand between coats with 400g paper for an exceptional finish. I like to apply up to four coats for best protection.

Have fun!

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17 Discussions


4 years ago

I'm in the process of making this for my wife as a Christmas present. I don't have a biscuit joiner or anywhere near enough clamps to glue this up. Do you think pocket hole joinery will work just as well? So far I just have the pieces cut from a nice piece of mahogany I purchased at the big box store. Thoughts?

5 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

You and I are of very like minds because I planned on doing the EXACT same thing for my wife. Pocket hole joinery and all. Good build by the way. Hope mine comes out just as good.
The plugs that was suggested further down is a good idea. The plugs that are available at the "home" store are oak though so I'm not sure how well that matches up with mahogany.


I ended up using pocket holes. I've not been able to spend a ton of time on it, but I now have it assembled and sanded with 80 and 120. I've been collecting the mahogany saw dust in order to mix with glue and fill the pocket holes. I know it won't take stain/polyurethane well, but that will be the bottom side anyway. I also plan to add a small strip of mahogany on the bottom at one end to keep the bridge from sliding too far from the wall and falling in. Any other thoughts or feedback are more than welcome as I would consider myself a beginning woodworker.


Looks good, the pocket hole look ok the way they are, never see them underneath anyway. I sometimes use those little clear self adhesive rubber feet to stop it sliding around, or small round cork self adhesive tiles work as well.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

You can buy plugs to fill the holes or use 3/8" dowel(if using a standard 3/8" pocket hole bit) to fill the holes and then cut and sand them to length.


4 years ago on Step 7

Awesome! You could even use the slot to add a brace for tubs with a teeny, tiny edge on the wall side - like mine. I made one just out of plywood but with a flange so it wouldn't slide off, but your design would be perfection - and a lot less splintery, obviously. (I was in a hurry)

2 replies

4 years ago on Introduction

I like it - might even make it, but why the hole in the middle? Does it serve a purpose? In which case if it's not needed, surely any piece of wood of the correct dimensions would work, save the gluing and clamping etc and be just as easily decorated? Or perhaps I'm missing the point and it's the jointing that makes it special...

1 reply