Things still seem too slow on the forums, so I’ll start another discussion topic. The General category is usually the best place for friends to show off what you’ve been working on, unless you are showing construction at the A&O. So if you feel comfortable showing off your recent project, please speak up here!
I’m on the hook for two bridges to complete the A&O mainline. I recently revisited an Atlas deck girder bridge, weathered a long time ago as an object lesson for a weathering clinic given to the local modeling club (there were far more talented folks in the club who do weathering, but I received a tap on the shoulder because “You take photos.”
The colors may seem a bit bright, but they do closely match a prototype photo I used. I won’t post that photo because the copyright is owned by someone else, and I do not have permission to post it.
Where installed there will be little light on the face of the girder and that further mutes the vibrancy of colors. Most of this work was done with gouache, supplemented by acrylics sprayed on the bottom and inside, and also overall acrylic flat. It seemed OK for a first round with gouache.
The problem with the Atlas bridge to my eye is the plastic injection-molded deck. It looks like plastic and far oversize, with unrealistic looking ties, and it is set up for included brass code 148 rail. The mold maker engraved tie grain detail into the mold, instead of removing all but the grain. So the grain became an “outie” instead of an “innie.” Ugh! Sorry but I don’t buy it.
New ties and guard timbers were ripped from Midwest basswood sheets. I made the ties a prototypical 8" wide and 11" high for 12 inch centers, and 10 feet long. It is common in modern practice for bridge ties to be taller than wide as that greatly increases their stiffness. Here I wanted to add extra vertical clearance so that when spiking code 125 rail with tie plates there would be a lessened chance of a spike hitting the girder. If two did that, on opposite girders, there would be a short circuit. And a short that probably wouldn’t express itself until a most important operating session held for very distinguished guests.
The guard timbers started at 8" wide by 6" tall. About 0.020", or approximately one scale inch, was removed during dapping on the mill.
I cut all the bridge wood on a Byrnes precision miniature table saw. In this photo we see cutting ties to length using a simple table saw sled I made at home. Fellow club member and friend Jack Heier gave me the inspiration and demonstrated a sled he made out of acrylic for use on one of his home-made table saws. Jack is a modeler whom I greatly admire and whose skills I doubt I will never equal.
The sled increases safety for fingers in crosscuts and improves precision from cut to cut. I did not take a photo of ripping the ties stock to dimension. With my digital caliper the tie stock varied about +0/-0.003" in width. The blade was a Thurston slitting saw, if I recall it was 0.020" wide, and slightly hollow ground to minimize binding. I really do not mean to brag, but the Byrnes saw is really that good!