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    • May 20, 2019 7:07 PM EDT
    • I didn't pin nail my plastic bridge, but I did pin nail my cedar bridges. I used 23 gauge pins, and yea, you have to keep your fingers out of the line of fire. Also the air pressure needs to be dialed in, and it was a lot less then I thought it was going to be. My first shot I had the pressure too high, and I actually blew the end off a 1/4 inch square piece of cedar. If you use 2 pins at each joint, each set at a different angle, the pins will hold the boards without glue. But I am a glue and pin kind of guy.

    • May 20, 2019 11:12 AM EDT
    • Eric Mueller said:

      Colin,

       

      Thanks for the continued distance learning!  I have used spare time during the last week to reevaluate my strategy going forward.

       

      1.  The tool.  I bought this "saber saw" last year as the only reasonable fit to budget and available space.  I did go to YouTube, and, yes, it recommended clamping it as you described, with a slight 1/8 offset at the back.
      2.  The material.  Redwood is available, but not in pieces I can jam in my FOCUS!  I will check Lowe's later this week for smaller lengths and / or cedar.  I think I saw this in the garden section.

       

      In the worst case, I can use the material on hand and score it to look like individual timbers.  I did this last year for tunnel portals (pardon the recycled photo) and a bridge sort of thing:

      I have made smaller cuts of uniform width with this saw, the rest of the bridge would go together per the referenced 2003 GR article, using short lengths to form the cross bracing.  The bridge is far enough back that the detail will be lost.

       

      I cannot tell you how much I appreciate drawing on the experiences of you and others.  I don't mind learning from mistakes, but it gets tedious after a while!  I'll see what Lowes has and update accordingly.

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

      P.S. I've noticed most folks here use a tool not in my inventory called a "Brad Nailer." I am really hoping the hand powered ARROW brand ones are good enough for most projects.  My DREMEL failed, so my tool budget is in arrears.

      Either an 18 gauge brad nailer or a 23 gauge pin nailer.  Not sure what you mean by "hand-powered", but if that means squeeze than handle and a brad fires, then no, that will not be good.  You won't be able to hold the tool in the exact spot where you need a brad while squeezing.  Either an electric or air powered nailer will allow you to accurately place each nail exactly where you need it and speed up your work immensely!

       

      For my cedar bridges, trestles, etc. I prefer the 23 gauge pin nailer, as it will never split the wood.  Also, when I make a mistake, it's easy to pull the pieces apart if needed and start over.  Years-later retrofits are easy because you can saw right through the pins.  Not sure whether 18 gauge or 23 gauge is best for working with composites; hopefully David Maynard can chime in on that.

       

      Whatever nailer you get, please follow safety instructions!  Practice on a scrap of decking first.  Use a pencil to mark bullseyes on the scrap and practice until you can place a nail exactly where you need it.   Be sure you are comfortable with the tool before trying to fasten small parts on a bridge or trestle!  Buy 2 or 3 different lengths of nails and always select the right length for your project (a nail that's too long will extend through both pieces of the your project and out the back side - there should not be a finger there!) 

       

      Cute kid!

    • May 19, 2019 3:24 AM EDT
    • Oh, and Cliff, I use CINCHOUSE (Commander-in-Chief House) in lieu of SWMBO.  It's a Navy thing...

    • May 19, 2019 3:18 AM EDT
    • Colin,

       

      Thanks for the continued distance learning!  I have used spare time during the last week to reevaluate my strategy going forward.

       

      1.  The tool.  I bought this "saber saw" last year as the only reasonable fit to budget and available space.  I did go to YouTube, and, yes, it recommended clamping it as you described, with a slight 1/8 offset at the back.
      2.  The material.  Redwood is available, but not in pieces I can jam in my FOCUS!  I will check Lowe's later this week for smaller lengths and / or cedar.  I think I saw this in the garden section.

       

      In the worst case, I can use the material on hand and score it to look like individual timbers.  I did this last year for tunnel portals (pardon the recycled photo) and a bridge sort of thing:

      I have made smaller cuts of uniform width with this saw, the rest of the bridge would go together per the referenced 2003 GR article, using short lengths to form the cross bracing.  The bridge is far enough back that the detail will be lost.

       

      I cannot tell you how much I appreciate drawing on the experiences of you and others.  I don't mind learning from mistakes, but it gets tedious after a while!  I'll see what Lowes has and update accordingly.

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

      P.S. I've noticed most folks here use a tool not in my inventory called a "Brad Nailer." I am really hoping the hand powered ARROW brand ones are good enough for most projects.  My DREMEL failed, so my tool budget is in arrears.

    • May 16, 2019 8:50 PM EDT
    • Rooster, it is not a band saw, it is a reciprocating saw (better known as a saber saw) flipped upside down and mounted under the table.  It would be useful as a scroll saw but not so much as a table saw.  A band saw should give you straighter cuts that this saw.

      FWIW,

      Colin

    • May 15, 2019 9:23 PM EDT
    • Colin Criswell said:

      Eric,

      Looking at the saw you have it is basically a reciprocating saw turned over and placed in a table.

      Thank you for explaining what I was looking at. Never seen a critter like that before! When I looked at the picture of the saw (thinking it was a circular table saw) and reading Eric's comment about having trouble running through the safety guide I thought "Good Lord" NO WONDER! The whole thing looked rather scary to me as a circular saw but it still looks scary even as a band saw (to me anyway).

      It's all good and keep up the work Eric as I personally enjoy your posts. Especially the pictures as they say more words than you can write.

    • May 15, 2019 9:12 PM EDT
    • CONUS=Continental United States

    • May 15, 2019 8:44 PM EDT
    • Haha, that's a good one Bruce! I had to look it up, but worth it. 

       

      And yeah, carry on Eric! I've got nothing useful to say, but I really enjoy your posts and family involvement.

       

      I forget, what's CONUS again? Related to SWMBO? 

    • May 15, 2019 6:35 PM EDT
    • Good advice, Colin.   "Illegitimi non carborundum"

    • May 15, 2019 4:50 PM EDT
    • Eric, thank you.  I hope my post helps.  In my opinion when you purchase a tool, purchase the best you can find for the budget you have.  Also tools that say they take the place of other multiple tools rarely are as accurate as any one of the tools they replace.  And yes Family does come first.  I have really enjoyed your posts of your railroad and the involvement of your children.  I wish I had had the time and money when my children were growing up to start a project like a garden railroad and get them involved as well.  My kids are now 34 and 30.  It wasn't until they were both grown and out of the house that I really started my garden railroad.

      Also thank you to both you and Rooster for the "thanks" for my post.  I have expressed my experience and wisdom many times before only to be shot down by someone that thinks they know more on the subject at hand.  That is why I do not post very often.  Only when I do have an opinion that I think will help.  What I dislike the most is confrontation.

      Anyway good luck with your bridge and railroad and keep the kids involved.

      Colin

    • May 14, 2019 10:11 PM EDT
    • Colin,

      I wanted to acknowledge your post and the sharing of your experience.  I am still using the excuse of visiting family to put all the above information into a way forward!  I'll put that here before committing time or cash.

       

      Thanks again,

      Eric

    • May 20, 2019 4:59 AM EDT
    • At least I had a breeze. Getting the irrigation back working again. 

    • May 19, 2019 9:24 PM EDT
    • Steve Featherkile said:

      65° F, 15 Kts wind, 40% humidity, scattered clouds, here in beautiful Deer Park.   

      Now, that’s some nice working weather...it’s 80 right now (at 930) and high humidity, although no breeze to speak of...

       

    • May 19, 2019 7:32 PM EDT
    • 65° F, 15 Kts wind, 40% humidity, scattered clouds, here in beautiful Deer Park.   

    • May 19, 2019 6:26 PM EDT
    • Ken Brunt said:

      Don't feel bad Bruce, it's muggy here too...............;)

       I just wish I could figure it all out.   It's only May, but LAST week we had the heat on!   Now, it's like July...I'm so confused...  

       

    • May 19, 2019 1:29 PM EDT
    • Don't feel bad Bruce, it's muggy here too...............;)

       

    • May 19, 2019 11:41 AM EDT
    • Maintenance, maintenance, and yet more maintenance.

      Today I went to work on this little spur that comes down from Green Springs.

      It doesn't look TOO bad in the picture, but what you can't see is the Tufboard under there.

      Well, there USED to be TufBoard under there, but it has completely rotted away.   Well, to be fair:  it IS a wood product.  (To be UNFAIR: why call it TufBoard???)

      Anyway, time to replace everything - this time with some PVC!

      It comes VERY white, but I toned it down with some primer.   I'll let that dry...plus it is very muddy from last night's rain - so I'll wait until tomorrow to finish it up.  (Gad, is it MUGGY out there today!)

      Hopefully this will last a LOT longer. 

       

    • May 15, 2019 7:26 AM EDT
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      you imagine insults when there are none, you say you are curious when your post tells people they are wrong. if you don't see this i feel sorry for you

       

      Are you the Pot or the Kettle in this one?

    • May 15, 2019 3:20 AM EDT
    • you imagine insults when there are none, you say you are curious when your post tells people they are wrong. if you don't see this i feel sorry for you