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Snow is now almost 6' deep and it's time to start building trestle assemblies for this spring.  Which is the best way to go for strength, as well as durability.  Redwood or Cedar?  I've eliminated the idea of  using p/t so that's out.  Any thoughts or ideas on both types of wood would be greatly appreciated. I only want to do this once since the bents will be 42 inches high. Thanks.  Chuck
 

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Chuck,

 I've had good luck with ceder. I also used cca treated wood with good luck. I tried mahogany but didn't like in,as it was to hard to work with.
 

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For what it's worth. I've got two trestles that I have had in since September. They're made from cedar fence boards, I cut the lumber from the boards on a table saw. 
I think you want to be sure to use well seasoned wood. The wood in the lumber yard or Home Depot is usually fresh from the mill and has a heavy moisture content and subject to warpage when you cut it down to scale lumber size. The wood I used had been stored indoors for about six months. 
I pinned the joints on one trestle with brads and used Titebond III to glue the joints. The other is just glued with Titebond III. They get watered frequently with the lawn sprinklers, so far so good. I sealed them both with good quality fence stain (Olympic water based).
Really like the Titebond III seems to really hold up well outdoors, and easy to work with.  Hope this is helpful to you.
 

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I have built three bridges using rewood which are three years old and seem to be standing up well. I too used Titebond III and also an air brad nailer where ever possible.
 

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I have used cedar for all of my scratch built buildings using Titetbond II as a glue.  They have stood up very well to our weird winters here in NE PA.  My trestle however is made of PVC..painted using krylon camoflauge paint. It has survived 2 nasty winters (more ice than snow and high winds) without any changes.  It is a @#[email protected]# to cut however /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gifbut it was worth it.
Barb
 

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If your worried about buying seasoned cedar buy the kiln dried wood. It costs a bit more but it won't twist and warp. I used it to build a six foot tressel and have had no problems whatsoever. I used tightbond II glue and a pin gun to fasten everything.
Terry
 

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Either Cedar or Redwood works well.  I personally use redwood.  Redwood tends to darken with age where cedar will lighten over time.
 

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I built all my trestles out of cedar or PTL depending on what I had available  at the time.  Used both a table and band saw to rip the material for bents and bracing from 1x or 2x stock to nearly correct scale sizes and brad nailed or crown stapled together, then stained with Jasco Termin-Brown to repel the desert termites so common here in West Texas.  

While I didn't use a significant amount of glue where I did use it, Titebond 3 was my choice.   They have only been up for a year now, but I have not seen any separation of joints so far. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif

I like working with the cedar but had to go to 2x4 fence stringers to get pieces clear enough to use in this project 

Good luck
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the input. Cedar seems to be the choice of most of those replying. I never thought of the need to dry the cedar that comes from HD. But looking at the stack of cedar at our HD it looks like most of it was still a tree about 3 wks. ago. I guess I'll get a bunch of it and sticker it into stacks in the heated shop and let it dry for a couple months. I can imagine a warped trestle bent is not pretty. Thanks to all the great ideas. Chuck K
 

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Chuck,
I used to use wood but the last one I did I used black PVC strips that the Split Jaw people are marketing.  I won't go back to wood.  Just glues togerher with standard PVC glue. The strips come in different sizes and are fairly cheap.   I know for the purists that wood is the way,but for longevity outdoors the PVC will last a long time.  Ckeck out their website.
 

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Posted By Paul Burch on 01/13/2008 9:29 AM
Chuck,
I used to use wood but the last one I did I used black PVC strips that the Split Jaw people are marketing.  I won't go back to wood.  Just glues togerher with standard PVC glue. The strips come in different sizes and are fairly cheap.   I know for the purists that wood is the way,but for longevity outdoors the PVC will last a long time.  Ckeck out their website.
Thanks for the heads-up on this one, which just might be the ideal solution for my particular needs.

--Ron in CC
 

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I started using Trex composite lumber (1/2 polyethelene bags & 1/2 saw dust) use for outdoor decking. The results are less than desirable. The saw dust asorbed moisture and small cross bracing pieces warped badly. This was because the composite lumber is extruded and forms a skin. When cut into pieces on the table saw, there is no more skin and the moisture can effect the saw dust. I have since swithed to pressure treated lumber as it was really available for 50 cents in the Home Depot cull bin. As for redwood and cedar it is not as readily available on the East coast. Cedar will turn grey with age. Redwood will not turn grey and will remain a redish brown. I have stained my Trex with ebony stain and I have stained the PT lumber with dark walnut. Try the link in my signature block to see miles of trestles.
 

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[url="http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/RonSenek/trestle.JPG"]http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/RonSenek/trestle.JPG[/url]

This trestle has been outside for ten years without any sealer of any kind.  Used cedar and redwood.
 

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Let us try the picture again.  This trestle has been outside about ten years with no stain applied.  Made out of cedar and redwood.

 

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korm,
It is 1/2 by 1/2 with bracing being 1/4 by 1/8 also glued and nailed
 

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Chuck:

I wanted to reply sooner, but the new system wouldn't allow me to post a photo. The trestle that I'm building is built using cedar.

In your selection of lumber, try to find stock that has a very tight grain. I have been using the 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" balusters from Lowe's. Be a little picky in your selection and find the best in the pile, I went to four different stores to get the lumber that I needed. This material is normally # 1 clear and has a very tight grain. Besides being a stronger material it looks more like scale lumber. The photo below shows what I mean by a tight grain.   



 
               
 

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Posted By RGSSJD on 01/15/2008 9:03 AM


 The trestle that I'm building is built using cedar.

In your selection of lumber, try to find stock that has a very tight grain. I have been using the 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" balusters from Lowe's. Be a little picky in your selection and find the best in the pile, I went to four different stores to get the lumber that I needed. This material is normally # 1 clear and has a very tight grain. Besides being a stronger material it looks more like scale lumber. The photo below shows what I mean by a tight grain.   
               


Thanks for the great tip. I will be among those who will check this material out since we do have Lowes Stores in Anchorage--a mere 205 miles down the road.

--Ron in CC
 

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I'm modeling in 1.20 narrow gauge.









This trestle is a bit over a year old. Cheapest redwood fencing I could get at Lowes (11/16 x 6 x 72). Ripped down to 5/8 x 5/8 for the bents, 1/4 x 5/8 for the x braces. Trackwork is 1/2 x 1/2 redwood tomato stakes cut to 6 inch lenghs with 3/8 x 1/2 side rails. Chemically darkened with vinegar and steel wool. Joins are glued with Titebond III and nailed with 18 ga brads.



Hope that helps. More details here:



http://www.mylargescale.com/Features/BuildersLogs/tabid/66/EntryID/11/Default.aspx





Best,

TJ
 
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