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I've always wanted a trestle so I built one to span a gap between two retaining walls.

I used the dimensions outlined in the Bridges & Trestles book. I used 1:24 scale as I thought that would be a good compromise for my 1:29 and 1:20 locos. I followed the specs in the book exactly except for the stringers. There were supposed to be 3 smaller ones bolted together on each side, but I just made 1 bigger stringer on each side. I figured no one would be able to tell except me and it makes the trestle stronger. And I do think an elephant could walk on this thing.

Material used was cedar, the bents were made from used cedar fencing (free) but the stringers needed to be thicker so I bought a piece of cedar from Home Depot for $8.

The overall length is 6' and the height about 2'.

I used Titebond II glue - not waterproof, so I hope it holds together :)

I then sprayed on dark walnut Minn wax - oil based stain. I'm hoping that it will protect the glue. It's only been out a little over a month, but so far so good. Since I used only glue I didn't think it wise to stain first and then glue. Since it was built and the stain sprayed on it tended to be thicker in areas. I didn't like that at first but after looking at it I liked it as it reminded me of the oil/tar on prototype ties I've seen.

One thing that does bother me a little is the dimensions are a bit perfect for a real trestle, so it looks like a model not a real one. I built a jig to make assembly of the bents quicker but I wonder if not using one would make some not so perfect alignment and thus look more real?

The main rail is 332 brass to match the rest of the layout. The inner guard rail is code 215 nickel silver. I wanted to use a lighter rail like I've seen on the prototypes for the guard rail. I didn't paint them as the rest of my brass has weathered nicely and I'm hoping these will as well. And I've seen Nickel Silver weather really nicely. The rail is hand spiked, one spike per tie, but both sides. The inner guard rail is spiked every other tie and only on one side, because the guard rail base bumps up against the main rail base. The gap between rails is a little bigger than the width of two flanges. Hopefully it will never get used :) but since this is on the main line I thought I'd be overly cautious.















Finally, this is the jig I built for the bents. The wood blocks on the ends were used as stops for the end of the sills. This jig made building the bents a breeze. The part that took the longest and was the hardest to put together was the cross bracing between the bents.




 

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Really a nice construction job, looks plenty strong.

Check the MinWax label. I have a feeling that's probably interior stain. You may find it fades a great deal in the outdoors. Might be a good idea to let it weather a bit, then spray it with Krylon flat clear coat. I'm told the Krylon is UV resistant and may help with fading. I can't locate any Krylon here locally. I'm using Rustoleum matte finish on a few projects.

Anyhow you did a really good job!

Best Wishes,

Joe McGarry
 
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i love it!
gentlemen, you are just on time!
that is the fourth fine bridge now, that i see, just in time to snatch some ideas for the bridge i want to build the next days.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tip Joe, hadn't thought about the stain being for interior. Yes, Krylon does have UV resistant matte, and I have some. I'll take your advice and use it :)

Thanks Korm, looking forward to seeing some pics of your bridge/trestle.
 

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Really nicely done, Jim! I really like the guard rails. I think they add a lot, even if they weren't also functional.;)
 

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Thanks Matt. I hope the guardrails will be functional enough if ever needed :) Even though they are spiked on one side only they are in there pretty good, i.e. I can lift the entire trestle up by just them. Another thing on the guardrails is I read they typically go about 50 feet (1:1) past the end of a trestle or bridge. However, I wanted the trestle to be self contained in case I moved it somewhere else so I ended them at the ends of the trestle.
 
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