OpenBridge - Goods for Free





Introduction: OpenBridge - Goods for Free

OpenBridge is an industrial design project of Robin Weidner and Jonas Voigt, exchange students at Emily Carr. It uses very little material and many different variations of it could be made depending on the choice of material. The basic use of the OpenBridge is to hang it off your picket-fence or mail-box or tree-branch and to put things on it that you are no longer in need of. The essence of it being that one man's trash is another man's treasure. So by having space that is clearly earmarked for reusable/recyclable material less trash ends up in the landfill. The OpenBridge can also be used for placing recyclable material that Binners' can pickup and and return at recycling depots earn a living off of.

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Step 1: Gather the Material Required

Material required

  1. Pallet Wood (440mmX100mm) X4
  2. Rope 1,3m + Rope 3.7m
  3. Pallet Wood (440mmX20mm) X2 - Optional (only required for the straight OpenBridge Version)

Step 2: Gather the Equipment Required

Equipment Required

  1. Saw
  2. Drill
  3. Measuring Tape
  4. Pencil
  5. Scissors (something to cut rope with)
  6. Sandpaper (optional)

Step 3: Saw the Pallet Wood Into the Correct Lengths

Measure the wood. Mark the right lengths with a pencil. Then cut the wood with a saw.

4 pallet pieces with dimensions of 440mmX100mm

For the straight OpenBridge:

2 pallet pieces with dimensions of 20mmX100mm

Step 4: Cut Rope Into the Correct Lengths

Measure rope. Cut Rope.

Need two pieces. One 1.3 meters in length and another piece with 3.7 meters.

Tweaks: The rope can be replaced with tough cloth (jean material) or leather, string or higher gauge wire.

Step 5: Drill Holes Into the 4 Wood Pieces

You want eight holes on each plank of wood.

It might be beneficial to line up all four pieces and ensure that the holes end up being lined up as well.

If not you will end up with the edges being a little crooked between the planks of wood.

Step 6: String the Rope Through the Holes.

1. Use the smaller (1.3m) rope to string the right set of holes with the 20mm wood block underneath to provide rigidity.

2. Use the longer (3.7m) rope to string the left set of holes with another 20mm block underneath to provide rigidity and have a hanging bit to hang on fences.

Step 7: Hang It on Your Front Fence

Video Guide through all the steps.

Step 8: Variations: Possible Variations on the Same Theme

There are many variations that can be made to this project to make a unique one off.

The first method is to use slightly different material or to treat the material to make it different. Since there are only two materials used (pallet wood and rope) you can think of several substitutions. For example varnished wood. Or using leather or jean cloth instead of rope.

The second option is to create structural changes that will allow you to hang the OpenBridge in different environments. For example a centered mount instead of a decentered mount.

A third option is to increase space for unwanted goods to be donatable. The increased space can come from a hanging fabric add-on or a multi-layer openbridge. And by having multiple layers you also create a rain cover for the goods so that they do not get wet during inclement weather.



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    28 Discussions

    THANKS for creating this. I love everything about it & am currently building it. Very inspiring!!!!!!!

    1 reply

    i hope i don't seem cheeky, but you could also make a 2nd one & hang it on the INside of the fence to hold your snack plate & iced tea. then, bring it in the house when you're done, so that the birds don't use it as a toilet.


    1 reply

    I like the design of the little shelf a lot, but this is kind of a solution in search of a problem.

    Free things are typically put out on the curb or lawn- a cardboard sign or a free craigslist listing will get rid of them. why did the author feel a special little gizmo was an important new tool for getting rid of stuff?

    1 reply

    It's not a solution for all thinks which you wanna get rid of it. It's a 'tool' which give another person a special permit to take stuff in a more human way in comparison to dive in the bin or picking thinks from the curb. Of course the tiny open bridge is to small in some times even if we are working on the design and to make it expendable. It's not only for the purpose to place goods its also for the purpose for communicate about trash which become treasures in a formal way. :-) Thanks for your comment we/I appreciate your interest. (Sorry about my english.. I'm a german student who is working on his english :-) )


    Awesome. I hope this takes off!

    I'd probably end up seeing my donations at one of the old fart neighbors' garage sales the following weekend.

    5 replies

    I've thought that too, but then I have to remind myself a donation is a donation and free to taker is without stipulation. after all, just because I'm to lazy to have a yard sale shouldn't mean no one else can profit from my unwanted stuff.

    I hear ya. I was envisioning more along the lines of those who would also steal silverware, glasses and mugs, all the sugar packets or an entire bin of ketchup packets from local Diners. I suppose I was just "thinking out loud".

    I've one qualm with the design: preservation. If the Openbridge doesn't have a method to prevent the items from being too exposed to the environment, you would either have to; continually take the items back into your home and put them out again until they are claimed; or the items would wither from being exposed to the elements too often and eventually be overall undesirable or unusable. having a second shelf with waterproofing as a roof over the primary shelf to at least protect the objects from rain would be a minimum, I feel.

    1 reply

    Hi Jasper, thanks a lot for your comment. We saw this issue to make it water proved and secure thinks for drop over already and improved it. We still want to keep it simple and easy to manufacture that makes it a bit challenging.. which is part of the job for sure. We try our best to improve it in a simple way =) follow us in Facebook and be updated =)


    What a great idea! I'm a total scavenger and leaver of free things already but I love this structured place to put smaller things for "adoption".

    1 reply

    Thanks a lot for the feedback. Make it more structured and more formal was also our intention... thanks =)

    We do that in the gated community where we live except we place the items on

    the lawn or driveway with a small sign to take and enjoy.

    1 reply

    Sounds good =) ..we are working also on a branding/ stamp for the wood-pieces. Its important to know that the goods are for free.