Author Topic: Building an N Scale Campbells Trestle  (Read 1244 times)

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Building an N Scale Campbells Trestle
« on: December 31, 2013, 09:59:06 PM »
Well , I opened up the kit today and the lumber is neatly packaged and cut and comes with a DVD (I didn't watch this as I am a man and real men never look at instructions).

I made copies of the plans and taped down to my glass table. I then covered with wax paper and used double sided tape to hold down the track supports and started gluing on ties ( yes 146 of them).

And this is where I ended up today. Now to start the bents.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.
 When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
 I wrote ‘happy’.
They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
 -- John Lennon

M.C. Fujiwara

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Re: Building an N Scale Campbells Trestle
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2013, 10:10:38 PM »
Looks good, but why not replace the wood ties with PC board ties every 1" or so?
Or were you just going to CA or pliobond the rails to the wood?
(Which pop off at just the right moment  :facepalm:)

If you do stick in PC board ties, use gorilla glue, as the CA will pop when heat is applied.
M.C. Fujiwara
Silicon Valley Free-moN


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Re: Building an N Scale Campbells Trestle
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 12:47:25 AM »
With the stringers under the rails, one could also drill holes and use Micro-Engineering's smallest spikes. 
N Kalanaga
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Big Train

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Re: Building an N Scale Campbells Trestle
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 10:53:41 AM »
Are Campbell's kits still in production? I haven't seen new kits for a long while.  I built several of their trestles and was always impressed with the quality of the material.

I've always used ACC to secure the rails to the ties. Never had a compelling reason not to do it. The ACC just works for me.

The oldest trestles were built around 1980 and the ACC has fixed the rails in place since then, except for the occasional failure usually near the ends of the trestle at the roadbed. Nothing a small drop of ACC can't secure again. These trestles are on NTRAK modules and have travelled long and travelled hard. Lots of vibration while driving and man handling during loading and set-up.

The white glue originally used in assembly of the trestles has done a remarkable job of "keeping it all together". The modules are always stored in the garage here in Southern Ontario: summer and winter. And in the car overnight before a show during the depths of winter (where it's -25 degrees C or -13 degrees F like today). Despite the rumours I hear from south of the border, summers here in Southern Ontario can hit 40 degrees C or 105 degrees F for extended periods. These are the kinds of temperatures I wouldn't keep my Gibson Les Paul in overnight!

For a home layout where temperatures are more or less moderate, I can't see any reason why ACC wouldn't as reliable.

I keep expecting to find a pile of sticks where the trestles once stood under a pair of suspended rails traversing the canyons on this particular module: the effects of thermo-cycling during this time. But the adhesives are still securing everything in place.

As I am in the process of building Free MoN modules, I might salvage these trestles for re-use on the new project.


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Re: Building an N Scale Campbells Trestle
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 11:28:15 AM »
If you're using any kind of white or penetrating type glue....STOP.....and get your component parts stained/weathered first, because whatever stain you're using won't penetrate the glue.   The glue will pentrate the stain OK after it is throughly dry.

I just bought another timber tunnel portal to match this one.   This is a modified Campbell, completely prestained before assembly.    RH corner, follow the track.

That entire module is scratchbuilt and most of it is prestained stripwood and basswood sheet material.   Even the shingles on the office (white house) are HO scale 1x2's prestained.  For a sawmill model you want a huge contrast between the freshly-cut lumber and the surrounding structures and weathered wood.

That's a portable module, and has been banged around all over the northeast since 1977.  No failures on the wood assembly at all.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 11:36:29 AM by randgust »