I swear it's been something like five years since I ordered the steel to build a bridge. I actually started and built the track suspensions over my water feature. To please my girl who worried about trains falling in the water, I used my wood sides that was my first attempt at a bridge build. They were built for using indoors to cross my large ravine in the basement layout. Later I moved the O scale onto that benchwork and thought the bridge designed for G was too out of scale to use again. Since it was laying around I threw it over my outside water feature until I replaced it with steel.

 Now there's been a shipping tube full of steel laying in front of my garage work bench so that it bothered me enough to get used. Today I had enough and moved the tube up off the floor to my storage racks. I laughed because like I mentioned, it's been years and now I just move it. So what's behind the reason for not moving forward? Well …. I've never worked with steel. I never liked the dimensions of my wooden version. Hmmm, let me think of some more excuses....

 Last year I said I'd move forward and drew an actual size drawing of the sides of the bridge adding more angled sections on top and again couldn't seem to get the dimensions to look right. I see that template laying around and just laughed. So now I've wasted more energy typing this than working on the problem.

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So I did learn something else. When I welded the track support sections years ago, I had goggles and gloves on. Trouble is I got sunburn on my arms and face. So I bought a full helmet and thought I'd better wear more clothing. Maybe that's why I can't commit? 

So I guess if I go public, I'll have to move forward? Maybe someone can help with the look or the dimensions? It's crossing roughly 7' and I would go 1/30 scale roughly for ease to be in the middle of my desired 1/32 and 1/29 equipment I'm running.

I wanted the sides taller and here's where I left off last year...

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I couldn't even settle on the height! and number of angled side pieces...

The track roadbed pieces are around 1 1/2" inches tall and the boxed steel I bought for the sides is 1/2" x 1/2".

I'm guessing it would be around 16" to maybe 20" tall??

The wood sides are 13 1/2" tall but I didn't allow for the road bed support's 1 1/2" height back when I built them.

Anyone have a good side pic of a truss I could copy?

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

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I think it looks good, but kinda long for the footings. I think it needs a pier in the center. I don't think change of size would change that look. The good news is a pebble (stone) pier would look good there IMO. Use a full mask, wear a hat to keep debris from entering up higb after they bounce off your forhead. Debris getting between glasses/mask & your face are just as dangerous as they keep debris from traveling away from eyes. Grinders as cutters mean locking the piece down well too. My worst tool incidents were nearly all grider related. From new front teeth and stitches to countless trips to the eye doctor. (Many because I was wearing saftey glasses and they funneled debris into my eyes vs "saving them", but flying splinters and exploding discs still demand it. Better a scraping than an eye surgery. Light, tight cloths. (I've had a tie get grabbed by a drill, and a sleeve ripped off at the seems by a printing press after a cuff button popped and the sleave dropped into the ink rollers. My shoulder was black and blue....even after the ink was cleaned off it. Scary) Maybe better yet, they have this stuff called "sunblock" available at stores

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I know that in St. Louis there are three similar truss bridges crossing the Mississippi: Merchants, McKinley, and MacArthur. I believe all three are Pennsylvania truss. Each of them has three spans, and each span is over 500' long (over 600' on the MacArthur). I think the McKinley is the most elegant of the three, though no longer a railroad bridge.

Courtesy of Bridgehunter:

mckinley1

This dead-on shot of a single span may be helpful!

mckinley2

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Are you building a G or O gauge bridge?

The Atlas pratt truss bridge in O gauge with the double track expansion kit is an excellent O gauge bridge.  The bridge deck is UV plastic just like the Atlas track.  The bridge can be protected from sunlight by painting it.  The Atlas bridge is 40 inches long and comes in both a 2 and 3 rail version.  I know of several that been installed on O gauge garden railroads that have outside for about 3 years without any issues.  You might be able to modify an Atlas truss for G gauge.  NH Joe

It's done. I could have made more diagonal braces. They are just for looks here. There just isn't the forces involved in a scale bridge of this size. I'm happy anyways. We'll see how long it holds up.

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" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

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  I gotta admit, I wasn't expecting an arch either; bravo Joe.

 

  I'm also curious about your welds, flux or gas atmosphere and previous experience or how you're learning/type of welder your learning from. (I really enjoyed learning to mig weld, and did so from folks in various niches of the trade, pipe only, aluminum, stainless, heavy industrial, etc.. My buddy that taught me stainless has pieces in a few schools used as examples.  Always good, he got really good watching robot welding. It allowed him to watch the color changes in the beads closer. When you get past basics, if you move to a lighter lens for a few tries, you'll see varying shades of bright-red to med-red to red-black; which is heat spreading and contaminate working it's way out. Going back to dark lens well before you get itchy eye (weld flash) you'll know what else to look for. It's just hard to notice at first with a #12 lens

  If you did it right, the metal stock will give out before a weld does.

If you only did o.k. you're still likely never gonna have issue unless maybe you try to cross over it on the riding mower or something equally brilliant😂 

What's next? A yard crane?😯

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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