Your lumber of choice for building

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by paceway, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. paceway

    paceway New Member

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    Hi all,

    I am doing some market research and I would like to find out what type of wood you would choose for building bridges and structures for your railroad. I am working in #1 gauge in the dirt and using mostly Western Red Cedar.

    I am looking at using Cypress in the future. Any input will be helpful.

    Thanks

    Bob
  2. Geno

    Geno Member

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    There are other species of wood that are also known for durability in exterior use- Jarrah, Teak, Ipe. Teak is less costly than the other two, which I see used in alot of high-end marine cabinets. Teak holds up well, but greys out if you don't treat it.

    Cypress would be a good choice, especially if it's less costly than any of the above. Redwood and Cedar are softer, but less expensive per board ft.- still good choices for a model train bridge or building.

    What kind of pricing are you getting on Cypress?

    Geno
  3. paceway

    paceway New Member

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    Geno

    Thanks for your comments. I'm in Florida so cypress is a native wood here. I am paying less then $2.00 a bd. ft for it rough cut. I'm getting 6/4 boards it random 6-12" widths.

    Cedar here is about the same but I can't get it rough cut, only finished.

    Thanks

    Bob
  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Red cedar will work, IF. The big if is did you get old growth cedar when you bought it or second growth? The past 20 years or so, a lot of second growth cedar has come on the market. For some reason known only to cedar trees, they don't develop the rot resistant characteristic until they are a couple of hundred years old. Canada is still cutting old growth cedar but most of whats in the US is in the national parks.
  5. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    I use Pine exclusively.

    I built a dollhouse out of oak and maple and it was hell, but damn does it look good
  6. Geno

    Geno Member

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    paceway,
    I've heard that Cypress is better than Teak for exterior use- it's alot more expensive out here on the west coast. Sounds decent pricewise- random boards work out better, since you have to run them through a joiner and planer anyways.


    What radius curves do you use?


    Geno
  7. paceway

    paceway New Member

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    Geno,

    Minium 10' dia track.. I have a half acre to play in..

    That leads me to another question for the experts.

    I want to build a long curved treatle the question is do I build short streight sections with the ends cut to the right angle and assemble them, or do I build a continous curved trestle bending the stringers as I go?

    I can do it either way but what is prototype practice?

    Thanks

    Bob
  8. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    Just a suggestion - try a fence company.

    Both methods are prototypical. There is a bridge in the Rocky Mts on the old Phantom Canyon route that is still in use that is sectional as part of a large switchback loop.
  9. Geno

    Geno Member

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    The 3-rail club I belong to (AGHR) in San Pedro, CA has a curved tresle with a 096 curved track on it. I believe the stringers are short straight sections.

    Geno
  10. paceway

    paceway New Member

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    It makes sence that they would make streight sections in short lengths. I can't imagine trying to bend an 8"x12" or larger timber while standing on top of a high trestle while building a full size trestle... even at a protptype radius...

    I have been looking at photos of tresltes all over the internet and none show enough detail that you can tell how the stringers are made.

    The search goes on...

    Thanks

    Bob
  11. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

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    I am sure that prototypically they would have been 16' - 20' board/logs soooo........

    as in the sections each trestle standard would be started from each end meeting in the middle the curve is created through small straight section standard to standard. Much like an octagon curves.

    We built a circulular stai recently for a guy who specified for solid wood stringers. We usualy veneer plywood that has been formed on a jig. This time we made the oak stringers 4 foot peices octoganally it was a challange but looks beeeutifull and very circular. Reinforcement was a B***H but thats all hidden. When we installed it we all had to take the next off to heal our wounds.
  12. paceway

    paceway New Member

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    Thanks Ron,

    That's what I figured on a curved trestle. Streight stringers between the bents with stringers large enough to support the rail through the curve of each section. I don't know if I would aline the ties to be curved or leave them straight like the stringers. I'll have to think about that and see whitch way looks better.


    Stay out of the snow up their...

    Bob
  13. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

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    The prototypes that I have seen photos of curve the ties and track, regardless of the way the bridge curve itself was contructed.