Can a tree-guy do it? Here I've posted for all to see...and critique at will...my attempts at weathering these wheelsets. I am hopeful they will complement some rolling stock items I have recently worked over pretty good.
Personally I think they came out a bit grainy and could use a tad more of the rust coloring. I plan to post what I did for these...soon! -R
Love using the cell cam at the end of the construction session to critique what happened. Here I have the bulkhead in place with piles. Ground goop is everywhere. Note the off-color board. If I can remember to do it I'll add a tiny circle of aluminum foil to cap off each piling. More photos below. There are some improvements needed! -R
After careful examination of other trestle photos including the one of the trestle I am attempting to model, I decided to go ahead and reconstruct the embankments rather than shore up the earth with several bulkheads. It appears that most wooden trestle embankments present a "U" shape versus protuberating, bulging areas of earth leading up to each bent. I speculate this is because if the earth is dealt with this way, it will have a tendency to slough off and in general present more problems than bulkheads will solve. Having said that, if you the reader can find me a photo where there is a large bulkhead directly behind a bent other than the end bents, I would love to see it.
Here are a few photos of the reconstruction (click for larger images). After removing the protuberating land masses (see previous post for photo) I used "ground goop" for the reshaping, then added crushed rock and scenic turf (WS Fine Turf Earth and Burnt Grass). I replaced one of the bents on the bridge in order to accommodate the new slope. I built up a portion of the end sills, then placed the bridge. While positioning the bridge, I added more Ground Goop to the ends of the piles, trying to make things appear as natural as possible. Installing the bridge was the toughest part; bad lighting, body straining over the layout trying to position everything just right, and the potential for getting the brown Ground Goop on the bridge.
Currently the rails are not connected to the ties; the plastic ties have been removed to accommodate the wooden trestle ties (16" spacing). Once everything is bone dry I will begin to work on gauging and fixing the rails to the ties. I will probably use canopy cement for that and possibly make up some homemade tie plates. I will drive a few spikes. Eventually I will get back to touching things up, adding a bit more Goop to the pile ends using a toothpick or #11 blade, covering bare ends, etc. Looks like I neglected to add NBW details!
As you can see in the prototype photo there are plenty of trees and shrubbery in the way. That's my wild card! Just in case anything "needs obscuring". -R
I'm sure I'm not the first to think of that phrase. Yes indeed, they do not go in perfectly.
And I need help. Now that I'm fitting the bridge to its' resting place, I see I am going to need to either build a retaining wall for all that earth, or knock it out. Now, a retaining wall might look neat, as long as it's not out of place. Therefore, here's where you come in. Check out the problem in the photo, then respond with your selection in the Poll below. Thanks! -Rog
I am not a Proto:87 modeler but I would speculate that using a cell phone cam, a scanner, a photo editor, and DraftSight would be very helpful in determining proper track gauge and detection of irregularities.
I just realized there is a better, more accurate option for generating precise drawings in DraftSight that address specific sections of track on the layout. This is yet another short trestle in the works. This time, however, I just used my cell phone to photograph the track where the custom bridge will go. I placed a white foamcore behind it just to get a clearer image. I then processed this in PhotoShop a bit to trim the picture, then brought it into DraftSight. The most difficult part was scaling the image to 1/87 which I have not yet found an option for. However I manually adjusted the scaling repeatedly until the distance between the rails was very close to 56.5 inches. I will do a test print and measure with scale ruler to make sure I'm on track before I draw the parts on top of the rails. :)
Slightly more progress. I've printed the HO template I created in DraftSight. I used 3M adhesive spray to hold in down on a scrap of plywood. Then I laid the ties, holding each with a "dot" of white glue at each end of every tie. Then I placed the stringers over ties, again using white glue. I was able to align the stringers in the correct locations by following the printed lines on the template.
In the photos I've completed the ties and stringer structure. You can see the template lines underneath. Note I'm off kilter with those stringers. The ones on the left side, I realized I need not cut all the way through. I cut 1/2 way by hand with my razor saw, then "snapped" the joint which resulted in perfect butt-end alignments, and a time saver for sure. But I should have kept an eye on the ends.
Once all was dry I removed the paper template and cleaned up the part with a wire wheel in a discount moto tool. Kudos to Mr. Frary for his 101 tips (now 202 and 303 tips!).
I removed the plastic ties from the code 83 ME rail along the curve where the trestle will go. The stringer/ties structure fit nicely under the bare rails.
When fitting the parts to the site on the layout, I will be alternating between installing bridge structure and completing scenery in order to avoid a "trestle trap" that could prevent easy provision of scenery details.
Here I'm trying to fit things together. I've removed the plastic ties from the ME83 rail I used for the curve. I cut into the hillside to accommodate the bent structure. I used clothespins to hold the ties/stringer structure under the rails. I needed an HO scale plumb bob, but sans that I used a Sharpie and marked the bent sites where I thought they should go.
I am continuing to work on completing the last of the bridges. I need to do two curved trestles at arms-length locations. I scanned a tracing of the curved radius of the rails taken from the layout (above). I initially adjusted contrast etc. in a photo editor and then imported the scan into DraftSight. Here I am designing the placement of the bents and the stringers. Once finished I will print this in HO scale and use it as a template for constructing the bridge. Hopefully the complex of ties + stringers will slide in over the caps on the bents. As on previous smaller trestles, I am not cutting the ME 83 track; I am merely removing the plastic ties, then sliding in the bridgework. You can try DraftSight for free, here. -R
Thanks to all who responded to the trestle email I sent out and saw the blog entry. A few have given insight to their own methods and have agreed to let me publish their responses here. -Rog
I enjoyed reading about your trestle adventures. I have built several and have used the following method for my jigs: I build one full-length bent using a paper plan covered with a sheet of waxed paper. Once the bent is complete and I am happy with it, I lay it on a sheet of .030 styrene and carefully draw the outline of the bent onto the styrene with a pencil. Then I remove the bent and glue tiny pieces of strip styrene to the styrene sheet along the pencil lines using liquid cement. Once everything is dry I can glue my pre-cut pieces of wood together. I have used white glue successfully and have never had a problem with it adhering to the styrene. I also end up with a styrene jig smaller than a piece of typing paper which I can store vertically in a file drawer for future use. A photo of a jig is attached.
I have attached two photos of my creations. One is a trestle that is installed on my layout, a free-lanced logging and mining line named the Tabernash Lumber Company (named for the town of Tabernash in the Colorado mountains.
The second trestle is a free-standing diorama. I wanted to model a trestle under construction, but had a devil of a time finding any helpful period photos! Almost every old photo I found showed completed trestles, so I finally freelanced what I thought a trestle under construction might look like.
Thanks for the update. Share this with you. I made a jig by pouring a 1/2 thick or so bed of plaster into a plastic lid from a to go container and pressed a completed bent into it to create a mold. Just lay your pieces in the depressions and glue away.
Poured plaster into the top of a to go container lid and left it there for structural reasons. Imbedded a readymade wood trestle bent in the wet plaster and removed it after it cured. With a bit of fussing I came away with this. Lot quicker than gluing blocks down and works well with my imperfect timbers…
Getting redwood twigs on my walks and liking the results. I don't think loggers took the time to skin the bark off of trees so pretty prototypical looking I think.
Two things I have done to resolve some of my jig problems. First I put a thin piece of balsa wood under the pilings to raise it from the cardboard. My sticking to the cardboard problem went away. Second I placed a board at the base to clearly measure the length of each piling. Reference the two photos attached.
A Tale of Two Trestles
There are to be six wooden trestles on the POTB layout. Three are completed. One to be made is only a few feet HO off the water surface, so it's not really a "notch in the belt." There are two others of "significant height", really only 20 feet HO at most. In my effort to expedite the building process, it has been necessary to improve upon the jigs I have been using. The former cardboard & wood jigs proved too uneven and the bents were prone to gluing to the cardboard; a messy situation often resulting in broken parts.
Having read several internet posts on trestle bent construction, I have come up with my own solution. I now have a sheet of glass with HO scale bent plans underneath (that's a Dave Frary 101 Ideas idea, I do believe). The plans are held to a sheet of smooth plywood with 3M spray. The glass is fixed to the plywood with hot glue at each corner.
Hot glue works well to hold the wooden guides in place on the glass surface. They can also be repositioned as needed (break bond, remove hot glue, reapply.
I am using bamboo chopsticks for the pilings. Since I have a way of tapering the chop sticks, I do that just a bit to narrow them somewhat smaller than the stock 3/16" diameter. After tapering, I add color using Rit clothing dye powder and India ink. Ask me for my formula and I will share it readily. The bamboo is hard, so it does not take the adhesives as well as softer materials, e.g. basswood & balsa. Therefore I keep pressure on the ends of each bent as the glue dries. These are just short pieces of cedar fixed to the glass plate with hot glue (photo below). I'm using yellow glue on the piling tops and CA on the support bracing. So far I have not had bents stuck to the jigs once the glue has dried. Yes, the hot glue is a stringy process, however I find that is a small inconvenience for the benefits. I have an older MicroLux saw and a mini chop saw that make short work of the materials. The tallest bent I need is only 18 feet HO. -R
I found this book on Google Play Books, "A Treatise on Wooden Trestle Bridges According to the Present Practice on American Railroads", with detailed information about timber trestles.
I found a copy of the Great Northern trestle construction plans which I then used Photoshop to increase the contrast and make adjustments to print in HO. Thank you to http://ndarrin97.blogspot.com/ for that information!
Below is a shot of the first "finished" area on the layout, the pseudo-tunnel that "exits" the east end of the POTB. I need to think of something for the fascia. Any Ideas?
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