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Bridge Abutment Kit

(click on photo's for a larger image)

Glue Tips,
Use waterproof glue suitable to your climate and available in your area. As with all glues excess is best cleaned up before it sets. If you will be doing a clear finish, we have found that small glue mistakes don't show if clear setting glue is used. Still it is best to clean up, especially areas where a hardened glob interferes with further construction. (Easier to remove a soft lump than a hard glob)
Cutting Tips,
A razor saw or band saw with a fine tooth blade works well. For fine tuning a piece of sandpaper laid on a flat surface works great, holding the piece vertical and giving it a few strokes with light pressure across the sandpaper will shorten a board up just fine. With all tools, caution and safety is important. Remember this is a real wood product. There might be some warping. Material if not being used for a while (overnight) should be wrapped or bundled together. So when you stop for the day, wrap it up. If you do get some warped pieces, carefully bend them in the opposite direction and you can temporarily remove some of it. Once it is glued together as a composite structure it will become stable. Most material is shipped in 18"-20" lengths, that is equal to 36-40 feet in real dimension. I don't think you will find many real boards that long without some warp. Always cut longest elements first and use the leftovers for the smaller items.
Work area,
Use a flat smooth surface to work on. We recommend you use wax paper laid on the plans and on your layout board to keep glue from sticking. So on with the show!

Overall dimensions of the main section (full size) are 22' wide x 24' tall, which is 11" x 12" tall in scale size.
Overall dimensions of a single wing (full size) are 24' wide x 23' tall at the tallest point with the lowest level being 8' tall, which is 12" wide x 11 ½" tall at the tallest point with the lowest level being 4" tall. Use layout drawing for dimension reference.

This kit is built in 6 separate parts, two main sections and 4 wings to create an abutment for each end of your bridge. The 3 parts of each end are built separately and then will be attached together later after you know how they fit your application. The drawing size we have supplied is an average of what we have seen on layouts. Make sure to cut the longest parts first and use the leftovers for the shorter ones. Especially if you decide to do a diagonal application of the 4 x 12 backing material.

Use a sharp pencil to mark material for cutting. Most elements can be cut with no measuring at all by marking them from the drawing.

Start by laying out the frame with 12 x 12 for the main section as well as the side sections. Make sure to keep things as square as possible. Work on a flat surface. Waxpaper laid on top of the drawing will keep glue from sticking to the plan sheet. Notice the upright 12 x 12's extend 2 inches below ground level for burial in the ground.

Add elements a few at a time, weighing them down with wood blocks as shown here or whatever you have to hold things in place.

All frame elements in place for all 3 sections of one abutment. Remember don't attach the side wing wall framing to the main section at this time. Make sure no extra glue squeezes out of the top element of the side wings wall allowing it to stick to the main section.

For the 4 x 12 backing material, the drawing shows one wing with horizontal application and the other with diagonal application. This is your choice. I have only seen one layout with the diagonal method, but it did look great. We are showing the horizontal application. For the diagonal method, the center section, I would recommend going up to the center 12 x 12 upright beam one direction from one side and the other direction on the other. Carefully check your framing for excess glue on all sides then choose the best looking side for the front and apply the 4 x 12 to the backside.

Using 4 x 12 with the framework laid back on the plan we started at the top. Applied a liberal amount of glue. Continue down the wall, placing the boards as tight together as possible.

Work as many pieces as you are comfortable with. Wood blocks shown to hold things down until the glue sets up. Make sure the framing doesn't flex throwing off the width at the bottom. This is where working over the drawing is very helpful.

Same on the side wing walls.

Completed to ground level.

Top view showing bevel of backside 4 x 12 so the walls fit tighter together. A flat sanding block made fairly quick work of this, or you could have left the 4 x 12 about 1/8" short. Attach the wings at whatever angle works best for your application.

All 3 parts of one end completed. Now you need to make another set for the other end of your bridge.

Shown here in a simple application with our Howe Truss Bridge kit sitting on top. The use of separate boards give a great realistic appearance.

Another angle. We recommend all parts that come in direct contact with the ground get a good sealing with any clear sealer that works in your area. If you stain the wood, do that first then seal. If you want to have a natural gray cedar finish, seal only the ground contact areas ( footings and all backsides ) and let mother nature do the rest.


Good Luck and Happy Railroading!



Mark & Sue Smith
Smith Pond Junctions Railroad Products

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