Intro: Popsicle Stick Bridge With Capacity of 100lb+
Here are the instructions to make a suspension bridge with common household goods (maybe except for the tools). It can hold more than a hundred pounds (I got to 120) and can be decorative with led lights and spray paint. Hope you have fun making!!
Step 1: Gathering Materials and Tools
500 Popsicle sticks with rounded ends cut off
1 Gallon of Wood Glue
100meters of Extreme Braid fishing line
Brake Press (for cutting the popsicle sticks but cutting them by hand works as well.)
Step 2: Making the Supports for the Road
Begin by making the road for your bridge by laying down a line of popsicle sticks that is about 8ft long. Layer with wood glue so the glue is 1mm thick. Then place another popsicle stick over the joining points of the first two, continuing to add popsicle sticks. This staggering of the joined parts will make the road stronger. Above is a demo of the three steps. Add 2 more layers of popsicle sticks continuing to stagger the joining, and clamp until dry. Repeat this step until you have constructed two eight-foot rods made with four layers of popsicle sticks. Once dry, you can spray paint or decorate as desired.
Step 3: The Road
Lay out three, 8 1/2 foot strips of duct-tape side by side. Pour the wood glue on to the duct-tape and than spread evenly so the glue is a little thicker than 2cm and about an inch from the edges of the duct-tape. Allow this road of glue to dry. Once dry, slowly peel the fragile strip of hardened glue and set aside.
Step 4: Building the Parts for TheTwo Towers
Lay 4 popsicle sticks flat to reach 15 inches, then add another layer of sticks with glue staggering the joining points just like the road. Repeat this until you have 2 of the 15-inch sticks. For the third layer, add one popsicle stick with glue to both then place a popsicle stick 90degrees attaching the two 15-inch sticks together. Add another in the original direction and then another popsicle stick turned 90degrees to connect the two 15-inch sticks once again. Do this one more time so you have 3 popsicle sticks attaching the two 15-inch strips. After add two more layers of popsicle sticks on both strips, covering the attaching points. Once completed, clamp it together and allow to dry. Repeat this step 3 more times so you have 4 side pieces consisting of 2 15-inch strips of popsicle sticks, each 5 popsicle stick layers thick and attached by three popsicle sticks at a 90-degree angle. Spray paint and decorate if desired. (click pictures to see full image)
Step 5: Assembling the Two Support Towers
Once you have the four sides of the tower you will need to saw the bottoms off so they lay flush on the floor. The way to find the right angle to saw is to lean two of the sides against each other to make a triangle shape. Draw a line parallel to the floor to saw off. Saw all four side so that you can lean 2 of them against each other. Connect with a stack of 4 popsicle sticks glued together, and glue in the gap where they meet at the top (see last picture). You can glue more popsicle sticks across the two to make it sturdier. Add 4 cut ends of popsicle sticks to one side of the 4 popsicle sticks to make a little contained runner for the string (see last picture). Repeat this step so you have two sturdy towers.
Step 6: Assebling Road
Take the two 8-foot strips of layered popsicle sticks and position them adjacent to each other, a little less than a popsicle-stick length apart. Using 30 of the popsicle sticks, begin to glue them on the side of the strips, 3 inches apart, so they connect the two strips together. Once the two layered strips are connected and dried, place it on the hardened road of glue and trace the two long sides. Cut the road out of the hardened glue and glue it on to the inside of the road support. The road is now finished.
Step 7: Adding the String
Once you have the road assembled lay it beneath the two towers so it runs through them. Now measure how long the string needs to be: Take the string and hold it about 12 inches from the end of the road and run it over the two towers, letting it slacken a little in the middle, and have it finish a foot past the opposite end of the road. Cut and lay flat. This is the desired length of string. Cut 20 pieces of string that length and divide into two. Take both of the 10 pieces of string and lay them across the bridge and over the two towers, running it though the guiders at the top of the them, allowing it to slacken in the middle. Starting on one side, take a string about two feet long and thread it at the end of the road, in-between the glue road and its support. Bring it up and lay it over the 10 pieces of string and then re thread it in-between the road. Continue to do that until the string runs out, and tie it to the 10 pieces of string tightly and securely. Taking a longer piece of string, move up about 5 inches and do the same thing. Repeat until both of the 10 pieces of string are connected to the road by many pieces of string. The end product should look like the bridge shown at the very top of the page.
Step 8: Anchoring for Maximum Weight
For the bridge to successfully hold weight, you must secure it to two anchors capable of holding the weight you plan to put on it. Tie the 12 inches of the bunch of strings that run past the road to your two anchors on either side of your bridge VERY TIGHTLY. If it becomes undone the bridge will collapse. Once the bridge is secure it is ready to hold weight!