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(Guest)    J&C Studios O Gauge Archive    Andrew Foster    Riveted bridges
 
 
My website:   http://gnomengineers.com/
 
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Topic: Riveted bridges
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Andrew Foster
Joined: Jul 16, 2014
Topics: 1   Replies: 9
posted on Jul 24, 2014 03:52 PM:
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Hello - I'm new here, so I'm still finding my way around and will start by introducing Gnome Miniature Engineering (http://gnomengineers.com/). This is a (very!) small business building riveted bridges for 0 and larger scales. We started out with the intention of building turntables, but a good friend said that what the 0 scale market really wanted was an operating bascule bridge. He was nearly right... The market talked about bascules, all right, but wasn't much interested in buying them. We still have some parts in stock and will assemble them if asked, but really, the plate girders and trusses are what most people want. Because they are hand built from many standard parts, they are easily customised, and almost everything is altered one way or another for the customer. We've had a few completely special projects, including a steel bridge to display a 7 1/4" gauge live steam engine, now in Istanbul, and some specials based on existing designs, such as a 25 ft long elevated viaduct for a large 0 gauge railway.





Most bridges are in alumnium alloy with stainless hardware for outdoor use. The rivets are real, and the latest special has about 10,000 of them, which is why delivery can sometimes be a bit slow.

I find that a lot of people "borrow" the outlines from the website, and they are very welcome to do that. If you don't need a riveted metal structure and want to build your own, then there's no reason why you shouldn't base yours on something that appeals to you. It will surely cost less!

I'm always interested to hear comments and opinions on the GME bridges, as feedback makes for better products.
 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 508
posted on Jul 25, 2014 07:24 AM:
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Outstanding Andrew, thanks for sharing with us. I hope you will post more photos over time, it sounds like your group has a really great inventory of bridges.

Are the bridges riveted by hand?
 

   

Andrew Foster
Joined: Jul 16, 2014
Topics: 1   Replies: 9
posted on Jul 25, 2014 02:41 PM:
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Thank you! Every rivet is set by hand. Perhaps it's a bit like knitting, and it's more enjoyable than it sounds. The slow part is preparing the parts and placing the rivets before squeezing them - sometimes there's a lot of work involved. Even with laser cutting, parts don't always match as they should, due to the skill of the programmer who has to understand thermal effects, material properties and the configuration of the part. It's easier when I'm building for an order rather than for stock, and I have the customer in mind while I'm doing it. The picture

shows a riveting press based on the frame of a small drill press that has set many thousands of rivets. It's almost as quick as an automated machine and much safer for the operator. Many rivets are hard to reach, so there's an assortment of special anvils, drifts, punches and so on for them.
 

   

JohnBoy
Joined: May 14, 2008
Topics: 81   Replies: 508
posted on Jul 26, 2014 05:06 PM:
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Labor of love, for sure. I'm sure most of us in the Hobby can appreciate the effort that goes into this.

You mentioned laser cutting, is that the aluminum you laser through?
 

   

Andrew Foster
Joined: Jul 16, 2014
Topics: 1   Replies: 9
posted on Jul 28, 2014 05:00 PM:
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Yes - they are nearly all aluminium alloy, though good experience with one large steel bridge may lead to a few more specials in steel. This picture

shows the parts for a TR24, laser cut and ready for bending and assembly. Deburring is the worst job of all, but easier with steel, as the cut is much cleaner. The real labour of love will come when I finally get to build my own railway!
 

   

Andrew Foster
Joined: Jul 16, 2014
Topics: 1   Replies: 9
posted on Aug 18, 2015 08:24 PM:
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Here's a little display made for a show recently, with Bruce the elephant again deputising for a locomotive. He attracts a lot of attention from the smaller visitors.

 

   

Andrew Foster
Joined: Jul 16, 2014
Topics: 1   Replies: 9
posted on Jun 15, 2016 04:01 PM:
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I had a request for a pair of extra height bridges that would take double stack container cars, and had to drag myself into the 21st century to do it. I used a good number of existing parts to try to keep the price under control, so they are taller versions of the double track bridge shown earlier. I think this is the limit of this design without considerable rework. Good thing they are all built using underpaid and abused immigrant labour!

 

   





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