Jim's Trestle Building Video

Discussion in 'Structures' started by Jim James, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    I apologize in advance for the janky quality of this video but I wanted to share my super easy technique for making realistic trestle pilings. It's only a few minutes long and I use methods created by others but this shows how I put these techniques together. Thanks for watching and not making fun of me:)
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2012
  2. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Jim - Nice technique, thanks. I'm enjoying your progress reports!

    What vintage Chopper is the one you have? I had the original version which gave up the ghost some time ago. Never did replace it.


    SAFN SAAP Member

    Hey Jim,

    First, thank you so much for the video! Awesome!

    Second, here is a YOUTUBE Link for all you folks in Frisco Land: Building Trestle Bents on the Zalma Branch, Missouri, 1915


    Can you post close up pictures of the hand saw used to scribe the wood, including a close up on the blade, where you got it and all that jazz?


    What type of stain/dye are you using to weather/age the wood?


  4. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks. My Chopper is old as dirt. I'm sure it's the original version. I ordered a replacement board which should be here any day now. I have a very deep groove cut into this one.
  5. William Jackson

    William Jackson Bill Jackson

    Actually that was a great vidio!
    Nice use of every day, cost control items.
    Bill Jackson
  6. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks, Manny and thanks for tossing this on You Tube.
    I bought this Atlas Snap Saw many years ago and I don't remember from where but it's a very common hobby tool. The stain I use is cheap craft paint sold at Walmart, Hobby Lobby and lots of other stores. Costs less than a buck per bottle and I thin it with water to suite my needs. This entire bridge costs no more than 3 or 4 bucks. I'm cheap and try to scratchbuild stuff from cheap, common materials. I've had the NBWs for years because I bought a bunch and don't use them often.
  7. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks, Bill. I'm operating on a "branchline budget". Very prototypical I guess!
  8. Oldguy

    Oldguy Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Very nicely done sir!
  9. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Why thank you, Oldguy. I want to add some thoughts. If you're modeling a mainline trestle or something more modern you should not use the Dremel. I just do that to represent very rough tree trunks used for this ancient frugal trestle. I would still use the razor saw though.
    Also, this is the same method I use to make some of my "custom" tree trunks but I taper the ends. Exact same technique otherwise.
    And finally here's a shot of tonight's work. I'm basically making a trestle kit as I go.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2012
  10. renapper

    renapper Passed away March 8, 2013

    Jim, It is easy to fix your chopper so it is usuable again. Go buy to pieces of square tool steel blanks. Super glue two pieces of .010" styrene between the two pieces of tool steel at both ends. Now you have a .010" gap between the two pieces of tool steel. under the blade, align the gap up so that the razon blade drops into the gap between the two pieces of tool steel. using your dremel grind out the old chopper base, and epoxy the tool steel into the base level with the base top such that the blade again drops into the gap. The tool steel acts as the cutting edge against the razor blade, and they will never wear out fixing your chopper for good. I also added a General Stainless steel HO scale ruler to the base so I had a built in measurement.
  11. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Jim, thanks very much for sharing your technique. I personally like your method of staining. I've used some of my kid's watercolors in the past for line poles, but now that I've exhausted their supply, I like the idea of cheap and readily available diluted craft paint.

    I am going to have to ask you to define "janky." I never learned that one while growing up in SE Missouri.

    Well done, sir.

    Best Regards,

    SAFN SAAP Member


    Please forgive me but I'm a little confused about your explanation. My disabilities... Could you post up some pictures of what you are talking about? I am so disappointed in my Chopper. Doesn't cut straight for *bleep* and makes more work for me than not. Nothing that NWSL said made any difference. I feel like I got ripped off spending the money for these tools that makes more work and cuts crooked, wasting materials. Maybe the Micro-Mark version is better. I wish mine had a HO Scale Ruler on it.

  13. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Reminds me of two very good friends I have in Mexico, both chemical industry executives there, now retired. Both are big baseball fans - one liked the Yankees, the other the Dodgers.

    They had endless arguments about which team was best - the "Jankees" or the "Doyers". Me, I always argued for the "Cardinales".

    But I'll bet that's not what Jim's "janky" expression means.

  14. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Thanks for the Chopper fix tip! "Janky" let's see how I can explain my use of this word. Half a##ed, thrown together, less than desirable, homemade and very obviously so.
  15. renapper

    renapper Passed away March 8, 2013

    here you are, I think the photos will make the explanation clear, if not just ask me for clarifiaction. I have found that the Micro-Mark tools are all better than the NWSL originals, just my opinion.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2012

    SAFN SAAP Member

    I like the fact that an HO Ruler is in place. I don't understand why NWSL didn't do that to begin with. I may modify mine like you did. I'll check out Micro-Mark's as well. Maybe NWSL will exchange mine. I'll call them today and let you know of the results of the phone call.

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