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Modeling the B&O’s St. George float bridge


one of them twice. My plans gave me an overall truss length of 98′-6″ (I had done my original field measurements with a six-foot folding rule), but a return visit with a 100-foot steel tape a few months later showed that they were actually 100′-0″ long.


After sorting through the stripwood


in the box and checking the partial plans in it for the Campbell bridge, I determined I could use the grooved material provided in the kits for the upper and lower chords since both the Campbell bridge and the B&O float bridge had chords made up of four tim- bers. Some pieces would need to be spliced together to get the correct length because the upper and lower chords on the B&O bridge were of equal length; the Campbell bridge had shorter upper chords.


While drawings show the bearing support on pilings, the author remembers standing on the finger pier and looking down on seaweed covered stone blocks, so that is what he modeled. Here, the assembled bridge bearing seat is shown nearly complete. The granite pier is built of plaster blocks, courtesy of CC Crow, purchased many years ago and saved for just such a deserving project. Note that some of the raw wood where cuts were made still need to be touched up with stain. The lower parts of the pier were dry brushed with flat, dark green paint to represent seaweed growth in those areas that are covered at high tide. This color was carried all around the model. The author made sure to keep a level line and hit every pile and brace. As New York Harbor waters are not the purest in the world, barnacles were not modeled on the pilings, as they need clean water to survive.


The pre-cut material for the diagonal members turned out to be just a bit longer than twice the length of what I needed for my model. In the interests of making life a bit easier, I just cut these in half. This resulted in a fin- ished truss length of 104′-0″ and a truss height a scale two feet or so too high. I have learned to live with these discrepancies.


I had a friend who owned a small


62


DECEMBER 2011


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