Wooden Matches

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by msh, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. msh

    msh Member

    Here's a good one.... I heard those wooden matches were great for HO lumber, so I bought two boxes of 'em at the dollar store - that's 500 matches. Can I build a rudimentary trestle out of these things and not have it look like, well, crap?

    Advice and warnings welcome. And if there's any other things that can be built let me know.
  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I've seen a few done with matchsticks and they looked great. Course they stained them dark brown to represent the creasote and they did use some diminsional lumber as well. :)
  3. billk

    billk Active Member

    Another good stain is India ink, diluted with alcohol. Stain before gluing, BTW!
  4. msh

    msh Member

    Yep - bought that already and can't wait to try it out.
    Since my trestle will be small (8 or 9" long, curved and 2.5" tall) any assistance with a general design to follow would be good.

    thanks you guys.
  5. billk

    billk Active Member

  6. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    MSH, I guess it depends on how prototypical you want the bridge to be. If you want the bridge to look as real as possible, you will need to learn the size of the timbers used, then measure the scale size of your matches. You may be able to use them for parts of the bridge, and use scale dimensional wood for the rest.

  7. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    msh we both live in the same area but of course that doesn't mean you are modeling around here. If you are I would suggest the following book:
    Tallulah Falls Railroad
    "A Photographic Remembrance"
    by Brian A. Boyd
    Fern Creek Publishing
    P.O. Box 1322
    Clayton GA 30525
    The TF was a very interesting shortline for a lot of reasons, one of which is it had more trestles per mile of any railroad that I know of. The book has tons of pictures including close-ups. Also interior shots (there is something you don't find everyday)! :D BTW at $7 this book is WAY under priced!
  8. msh

    msh Member

    Not concerned with prototype anything. I simply want to have a curved bridge or trestle that looks decent and adds some variety to my little 4x8. Anyone other than the most demanding RR Modeller won't (shouldn't) even care that it's not exactly to scale as long as it looks good and is a workable representation of the real thing - without attempting to copy it from the molecular level on up.
  9. msh

    msh Member

    I looked at shamus' trestle thing - I don't think thats going to work for me. I want one with the supports underneath, the crossbeams, etc and an open roadbed on top - a simpler version of this: http://www.traintrack.net/Images/Campbell/303.gif
    without having to cough up $34.

  10. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    These two trestle bridges on my layout were made using the method shown in my article on trestle bridges. Doesn't matter what size you want, the principal is the same.

    Attached Files:

    • hsb5.jpg
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  11. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    i've been seeing your instructions shamus, but something came up...

    what size should i use to buiild a trestle on N scale?

    i want to add one, because i will add a some interesting scenery to my layout... and i want some challanges.... :)
  12. msh

    msh Member

    Okay, but how about....

    Shamus, once again you're helping me out. It took me a few times but I read through your instructions and think I have a pretty close, but not complete understanding of what to do there.

    I guess it can't be made with matches, which was the original purpose of the post.


    All kidding aside, at the point it says, "Now here’s why you didn’t knock those track pins all the way home", I get lost. Not knowing some of the terms used, it's a bit hard to follow. Soooooo....

    What are the odds you could make a single, simple riser for us all, taking pictures at each step, so we can REALLY see how you work your magic? Just a thought
  13. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    That depends on what space you have available for a trestle bridge. I made one in N-scale that was 4' long and 12" tall spanning a river bed, so the sky is the limit my friend.
  14. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    i want to build one 40 cm long and 3 cms high. but can it be double track?

    somewhre there will be a river!!! yeap!!! i want to have great scenery layout!!!!

    msh, you had a great idea... let's make shmus post some pics showind how is done... hehehehe
  15. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    msh I wasn't implying you needed to build a perfect protype! I'm a free lancer myself. The pictures would simply give you a good idea of what a trestle looks like and how it goes together, that's all. I doubt if a single one (of the zillion in the book) built as you see them would fit your space anyway. If I offended you I apologize.
  16. msh

    msh Member

    Tyson - you didn't offend one little bit. You know how the written word can be misconstrued. Don't worry about it for a single second. This is supposed to be fun!

    And you're right - a big one won't fit. Gonna have to be a little one made for a little 4x8 like mine.
  17. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Glad you weren't offended. For the record there is nothing big about the "TF" :D :D :D . While some were tall and some were long a lot didn't do much more than hop over a drainage ditch! And all were single tracked.
  18. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    Hey msh (mish, mash, or mush)

    I'm building a logging road, not for operational logging, but just so I have an excuse to run my shays. I figured I wanted 12-14 inch timbers. I used my scaled ruler to find real size, then went to a craft store and bought that size dowels. I scratched an roughed them up, stained them then built individual units ala Shamus. I put mine on a curve, then used dimentional balsa wood for bracing. worked out real good

    Hope that helps a mite

  19. Vic

    Vic Active Member


    Hope you got some straight ones:D :D The ones I got with the same idea were crooked and to me weren't uniform enough for a trestle.....but...they make GREAT cribbing around bridge abutments and tunnel portals:D :D :D
  20. billk

    billk Active Member

    For N scale I found some Q-tip like thingies at work. Don't know where else to get them, they use them in our lab, for assembling electronics or something. The stick part was wood, about 5-6 in long, and scaled out to about 12-14 in diameter, which will make excellent timbers some day in a trestle, I've promised myself.

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