A few times during some of the more exasperating moments of the buiding-of-the-bulkhead my interns asked me if I actually had a plan for building the bulkhead before beginning. I told them that it was a “developing plan” like building an airplane as you are flying.
Since I have now built my first bulkhead and consider myself and expert, I offer this simple tutorial on how to build a bulkhead for less than $300.
- First, have a sister and brother in law with a beach with lots and lots of driftwood to choose from.
2. After identifying the driftwood and cutting it into 6 – 8 foot sections drag the logs to the field where your dad’s old battered Ford pickup will haul them away from. And make “south side” gang signs to show that you’re tougher than some old driftwood!
3. Have your interns dig a 2 foot (or so) trench and drop the logs in the trench as demonstrated in this video.
4. Screw some old weathered boards into place to hold the logs together and then fill in dirt around the logs, tamping it down with the end of a shovel. Have an intern walk on the bulkhead to ensure that it is solid.
5. Dig holes to build concrete anchors for the bulkhead to prevent the pressure of the dirt to push the bulkhead over and pour concrete.
6. Have a 76 (or so) year old dad with lots of energy who likes engineering, tools, and has a large amount of galvanized steel cable around as his house. Ask him to help you engineer building the anchors. Use reverse psychology by saying that it’s above your ability to build figure out how to anchor it, and you doubt that your dad can as well. This is guaranteed to motivate him to prove you wrong.
7. Ensure that your dad also has a front loader that is able to scoop up the round rock that he just happens to have sitting at his house to create the beach look in front of your bulkhead. Have him drop it in bed of the old battered Ford truck.
8. Put some water-permeable fabric up to keep the dirt from pushing it’s way through the bulkhead. Then have your interns begin to back fill the bulkhead.
9. Have your interns spread the river rock in front of the bulkhead. Add some larger stones to create variety. Screw in some old weathered planks to give it a bulkheady look.
10. And most importantly have 2 good-looking and hard working interns who may mumble a lit bit about your lack of planning, but who are in general good natured and willing to break a little sweat even if they get irritated at their shoot-from-the-hip foeman to create a great bulkhead.
Now that I’ve provided this easy-t0-follow guide to building a bulkhead for less than $300 I expect to see many more of them springing up on Camano and the Northwest :)!