In Loving Memory of Simone Gauthier,
August 26th, 1915 - February 18th, 2008

Saturday, December 5, 2009

"Ruby Basin" HO Timber Trestle Kit

Keeping with my tradition of waiting far too long between posts, it has been far too long since my last post.

I have changed my colors, first of all. I've switched from N scale to HO scale, for various reasons. The MAIN reason is, I have moved from Georgia to Connecticut (from my wife's home to my parent's home) and had not expected to stay up north as long as I have. I left ALL of my N Scale stuff in Georgia.

The next reason is that after buying a loco and then a DCC control system (Prodigy Advance detailed elsewhere in my bolg), I was never able to afford a DCC decoder and installation (since I accidentally bought a loco that was not DCC ready).

I came into a deal that I could not refuse and landed myself an HO locomotive with DCC installed. The deal was, that loco (in original packaging) to me in exchange for a single hand-built flat car made by myself (my first EVER, mind you..).

The loco is a Roundhouse 2-8-0 with ATSF roadname and numbers (599). The loco includes a Train Control System's (TCS) T1 DCC decoder. I also have an extra TCS T1 that is burnt out and TCS has said that they will replace it for me. I do not have photos of the loco currently, but when I eventually do, I will edit this post.

Here is the HO scale "Ruby Basin Timber Trestle (AHM 5824) that I just bought off of Craig'slist for $15 + $5 S&H. The trestle is over 20 years old and is complete and still in the original box, with no visible shelf wear.

Max finished dimensions are:
1 real inch = 7.25 scale feet
26" = 188' long
11.5" = 82' high
5.25" = 38' wide

There are 24 'bents' or legs for the trestle that range in height from 1.5 inches to 11.75 inches. There are also 3 water barrels for fire control and three ladders for escaping fires.

I haven't any glue yet so I can't do much with the trestle just yet. I intend to make a diorama out of solid foam to mount the finished trestle in and display it and a locomotive I have.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Match Stick Trestle, a test of strength

Since I intend to someday start building trestles in G scale (and maybe O if there is a call for it) I wanted some hint of how sturdy trestles are.

The one in the photos is built out of match-sticks and white all-purpose Elmer's glue. The trestle was not built to any specific scale, but does loosely follow plans found on the internet. It was built solely for the purpose of piling measurable weight on it until it was crushed.

I don't have pictures of construction, I didn't think of it. I also don't have pictures of many of the small tests that I did.

Pictured with an U.S. Quarter (round circular blur laying on top).

I started out thinking that it wouldn't take much to crush it, figuring that the glued joints would fail quickly. I put the section on my mother-in-law's diet scale, which was capable of 2 pounds. Being only interested at the weight at which the trestle gave out, I did not keep any results as I added circular steel scraps that I got from my Dad. I do not know how much each weighed. I was able to pile all of them on without affecting the trestle.

I got ballsy and decided to skip ahead (bad practice, I know) and placed the section on the flat kitchen counter and used a cutting board on top of it for a flat surface on which to balance a 3 litre bottle of soda-pop. Based on water weighing 8 pounds per gallon, 3 liters = .792 gallons , therefor 3 liters of water = 6.6 pounds. This amount of weight also had no affect on the trestle.

Close up of 6.6 pound, 3-litre bottle on trestle.

Mid-length shot of soda bottle on trestle.

Long Shot of bottle on trestle, showing the weight being taken ONLY by the trestle. Getting this to balance was a task in itself!

Once I had proven at least 6 pounds, I skipped ahead even farther, and took the section outside to the front porch. I placed the section on the railing and balanced a 26.5 pound cement block atop of it. Unbelievably, this also did not seem to affect the trestle. I snapped a picture or two but my arms were not long enough for me to show that the entire weight of the block was being supported by the trestle and that I was only providing balance.

The only useful shot I was able to get of the cement block.

When I tried to maneuver myself to show that nothing other than the trestle section was supporting the entire weight of the block, I inadvertently produced a small amount of lateral twist which resulted in a catastrophic failure of the structure. In layman's terms, I squished it. NO, you sadistic pest, I do NOT have pictures of the aftermath!

I can't wait to build a trestle in G or O scale out of Western Red Cedar. The timbers will be 1/2" square and significantly stronger than the matches..

I eventually intend to build one out of bamboo skewers too, for the sake of crushing in another strength test.. When the time comes, I will post photos.

Till then, I hope you enjoy this batch!