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Old 05-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #1
Artieiii
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homemade scratch built bridge

I just completed my scratch built truss bridge.

I realize that the beams are not true to scale but they were the smallest wooden square rods available at my local Home Depot. It looks blue in the picture but it is really painted in dark grey primer. I built it large enough to handle loaded double stack container cars and 2 tracks wide. I used those free paint mixing sticks to make the support joiners then once glued on I sanded them thinner with my belt sander. It was glued together with Elmer's wood glue. I plan on using it for my ceiling train. Now I have to try my hand at adding some rust/weathering.
-Art
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:10 AM   #2
lears2005
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Looks good keep it up
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:18 AM   #3
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It costs me about $7.00 in wood. The paint mixing sticks were free. I had the grey primer in the garage and already had the Elmer's glue. All told I spent about 6 hours of work. I saved the template so If I decide to make another I could do it in about 2 hours.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:19 AM   #4
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Looks great, I have a similar idea planned for one section of my ceiling train. I'll have to make it to accommodate dual O-scale tracks, so maybe the square rods at HD will be the right size for me. If not, I have a table saw, band saw, and a router table to shape them.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunrunnerjohn View Post
Looks great, I have a similar idea planned for one section of my ceiling train. I'll have to make it to accommodate dual O-scale tracks, so maybe the square rods at HD will be the right size for me. If not, I have a table saw, band saw, and a router table to shape them.
Gunrunner
Yes I think the size would be perfect for O scale. They are a tiny bit smaller than the bridge structure supports on my Lionel Bascule bridge. The wood structure is plenty strong. I bet it would hold 20-30 lbs. The tools I used were staple gun loaded with brad nails to hold the pieces together while gluing to my template board. I also have a chop saw used to make the 45 degree cuts. A dremel to round the supports and the belt sander to thin the support joiners.
-Art
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:34 AM   #6
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Well, I'll probably consider something a bit more "robust" for the support, since several of my locomotives alone weigh about 8 pounds. I like a large margin of safety.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:55 AM   #7
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Nice looking bridge. I am thinking of doing a bridge on my ceiling layout as well but I was going to build a variation of a bridge I did for my room layout. Here is a pic.



Do you have enough cross braces underneath? That is the area I would get nervous about. The rest looks like it would hold up great.

Massey
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:32 AM   #8
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Massey,
There are support gussets on all the cross supports at the base of the bridge. Plenty of gluing surface area. I guess I could add diagonal supports but it seems over engineered the way it is (the beams are about double the thickness they should be for HO scale). Thanks for the criticism, that's why i posted here.
-Art
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:37 AM   #9
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I just remember seeing more supports under the bridges I see around here. Maybe I am seeing the structures that carry the rails and not acutal bridge supports.

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Old 05-15-2011, 11:47 AM   #10
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Massey,
You are correct, there is no diagonal bracing on the top or the bottom. For my purposes, my original design will be plenty strong but for a "real" bridge it would defiantly have diagonal braces. I think I will need to add them as you suggested. Back to home depot for more wood (haha "more wood").
-Art
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