Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Deck bridge

Happy Thanksgiving All!

Getting each bridge assembled was a PIA compared to getting them joined!  Don't remember them being that hard to assemble years ago?

Last night I was able to get the three bridges assembled into one 240' span.
I made a simple jig at work that would help me keep the bridge as level and square as possible.  I just cut a chunk of MDF and glued a piece of solid wood even with one edge.

Another piece was used to sandwich the bridges against the first piece.

Once I had all three bridges assembled, I sanded all of them on one side to flatten the top edge of the girders. I also sanded the mating ends with a "True Sander". After testing them for a good fit, I applied liquid cement to both ends and place them in the jig, two at a time. 

I was pretty happy with the results.  Then after letting them sit a bit, I went back and added four little strips of 1/8" x  0.020" styrene over the joints on the inside of the bridge and glued them into place to strengthen the joints.

I started working with the supplied bridge shoes but wasn't real happy with them. There was a lot of flash on them.  It wasn't the easiest to file them so I started looking for a replacement.  I found some on Shapeways, but wasn't going to spend $20 for a small batch of them. Thought about using some C55 rail snipped into 1/8" sections, but wound up finding some tiny Evergreen "H" channels.

While these don't really resemble bridge feet, once I get them painted and weathered, I think they'll look OK.

I think they'll pass?
I still need to work on the girder joints some more, clean things up and get the bridge painted.  Then I can work on the bridge flex and guard rails and finally the piers and abutments.

The last picture will be about the right height of the bridge.  I have a layer of 5/8" ceiling tile then a layer of 1-1/2" white foam to cut out for the river.  I'll need to make some slight adjustments to the piers and abutments so things line up properly.


  1. I like your idea for the bridge feet! Simple and clean.

    1. Thanks KArl.
      May not be Proto, but they're a heck of a lot easier than filing the cast ME ones down, my fingernails were already too short. ;)