Greetings! I created this blog to provide information about various projects and to promote my books, Building a Small Cable Suspension Bridge with the Cable Locking System and Building a Wood-Framed Panelized Yurt. You can read book ordering information below. I have included several posts on this blog that are clips from the bridge book as well as additional information, such as a complete materials price list. I have also posted several posts about our yurt book, including a materials price list plus floor and roof plans.

If you have specific questions about your bridge or wood-framed yurt project, feel free to email me, but as for bridge design, I’ll be honest: as stated in the book, I am not an engineer. I can’t make specific recommendations for your particular bridge project. Bridge designs are all site-specific and all kinds of factors must be considered before installing a structure such as this one. But that said, I do like to share ideas and hear yours. I can be reached at marvinad.mad (at) gmail (dot) com. I don’t always answer very quickly, but I do answer eventually.

Print“It’s a beautiful little bridge and I’d be very proud of it if it were mine.” – Dr. Raymond Cook, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering: University of New Hampshire

Marvin Denmark, builder and craftsman with more than 50 years of experience, details the process he used to design and construct a small cable-suspension bridge. After giving a brief history of suspension bridges and engineering considerations, Denmark provides illustrations, diagrams, and full-color photos to explain the step-by-step process he used to complete the project. Anyone who needs a footbridge that is relatively easy to build, without the use of heavy equipment or difficult-to- replace components, may benefit from the ideas in this book and by using the patented “cable locking system.”

This book is available for purchase on Click Here to Order

Cable locking system components: While I hoped to provide parts for the cable locking system to individuals, the costs to manufacture and ship a small number of the components has made me conclude that it’s not worth it. The beauty of the system is that the parts can be manufactured easily. Just follow the specs in the book.


Marvin Denmark, a carpenter and craftsman with 50+ years of experience, shares the procedures he used to build and assemble all the components of a 12-sided wood-panelized yurt. The structure is based on the original yurt design, employing a center ring and tension cable, but it is built using wood-framed panelized construction that includes radial rafters similar to a traditional yurt. A panelized building system means that the components can be constructed off-site and then transported to the site for assembly.
There are two editions of this book. This is the full color edition: Detailed instructions, photographs and illustrations include the design, materials list and cut-list for a 16-foot diameter wood structure. This yurt was a 1st-place winner in the 2018 Tiny Homes Contest on

This book is available for purchase on Click Here to Order

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12 thoughts on “Introduction

  1. I love your idea and simple instructions for building a suspension bridge. We are considering an 80 foot span here in Waterville Maine. We wonder if you have experimented with cable stay bridges instead of suspension??

    • Thanks for the compliment. In the A-shape design, cables are run from the deck up to a post or tower where they are secured. The load forces are primarily on the vertical posts and on the bridge deck. That’s a cable-stayed bridge. The post or posts would have to be in the middle for an 80-foot bridge. If the post was on the bank then half the bridge would be going over the land, not much point in that. The column can also be jeopardized by the rise of the creek, but an engineer could figure all that out for you.

      My goal was to stay dry while I built my bridge which I managed to do. I also preferred the M-style because I like the Golden Gate Bridge!

  2. Would like to purchase the cable locking system components but can not find how to do so on your web sit. Please advise

    • As mentioned in the blog about material costs, the shipping was too much for us to produce and sell the components, but all the information is there for your local fabricator to make what you need. Good luck!

  3. Just finished your book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The step by step descriptions have been helpful in thinking through a bridge of my own. I’m on your site hoping to find information on your next bridge (referenced in the book) so hope to find it here somewhere. Thanks a lot.

    • Thanks, Travis! My next bridge is still a pending project, but I can tell you right now what will change, which isn’t much. The cables will go straight across, at about 36″ above the deck. They will attach to four posts which are again supported with dead men. Cable stringers will meet up with 4×4 beams that will attach using the Cable Locking System.

      I will use the simpler version of the C.L.S. which I explain on a blog post from a few years ago:

      I like the look of the “Golden Gate” style suspension bridge, but also like the look of something simpler. Plus, the holding cables will also serve as handrails, something that is missing on the original design. Some people feel more confident with a hand rail.

  4. I could not find how to talk to you about your radiant heating floor system…which was explained so perfectly..thank you for your do diligence. My husband cannot believe this cost $1700.00. We are going to build our home soon and if you could somehow show how the money was spent, I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much for your time. And maybe u can update us on how your electric bill has reflected with this install. Sincerely

  5. In the book about the suspension bridge, do you give guidance on how to calculate the size and weight of the required dead-men? Or do you share the specific size/weight of what you used for the 80-foot bridge you feature in the book? Thanks! David

  6. Hello,
    Thanks for creating this site and book.
    I’m about to purchase your Yurt book and wanted to ask your opinion on scaling up to a 24 sided 30′ design?
    Do you think its possible with or without a centre pole(s)? Thanks, Shahn

    • Hello Shahn,

      The answer to “can you build a 30’ yurt without a center pole?”, is yes. It could even be larger. I installed a 41’ yurt and was prepared to install a 50’ yurt but the buyer’s finances fell apart.

      Of course at some point you have to take into account the greater distance effect on the roof loads and hence the beams used to hold everything all together. I’m not an engineer and I don’t make recommendations on structural members. But, if you live in an area that has snow accumulations that becomes a big concern. After you have planned out all your work and done drawings you should consult with an engineer to help you decide what would be appropriate.

      Having said that, you should be able to draw up anything involved in building your yurt. The book will guide you through the building process and also be a guide to doing your own drawings. On the blog there are several posts on upsizing a yurt with titles starting “Scaling up …………..”

      Happy building!

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