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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

  1. What is in a Kit?
  2. What are Special Orders and how do they work?
  3. What are Back Orders and how do they work?
  4. What if I want a taller trestle?
  5. Can I use these jigs to build a curved trestle?
  6. Do I need two jigs?
  7. What is a 'zero clearance' bridge?
  8. What do you recommend for stain?
  9. What kind of glue do you recommend?
  10. What do you recommend for modeling On30 bridges and trestles?


 "What is in a Kit?"

A Black Bear Kit is comprised of -1- Black Bear Jig and -1- Black Bear Materials Pack.  To build a longer(bridge or trestle) or higher trestle simply buy an additional materials pack.  Materials packs can also be purchased separately via the Materials Pack Category link.

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What are Special Orders and how do they work?

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What are Back Orders and how do they work?

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"What if I want to build a taller trestle?"
All the Black Bear Trestle Jigs are made with open ends on the wood slots. All you have to do is extend the wood out the bottom of the jig. A weight placed on the wood in the jig will hold it horizontal. Or you can use a support under the legs.
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"Can I use these jigs to build a curved trestle?"
Yes. The jigs just build the vertical supports, or bents. The easiest way to build a curved trestle is to make a curved template that holds the bents in place while they are bonded into the scenery. The Midwest Products Trestle Buddy performs this function for straight or curved trestles. TIP: Make the template the same thickness as your stringers. You can replace the template with the stringers when you finish installing the bents and bracing.
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"Do I need two jigs so I can build bents faster?"
No. There is plenty to do finishing up one bent while the glue is drying on the bent in the jig.
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"What is a 'zero clearance' bridge?"
A zero-clearance bridge is one that sits flat on the floor or plywood table-top. The track never actually leaves the ground. It is a great design for modelers who are just getting started with building bridges. A river can be painted directly onto the plywood. There does not need to be a lot of scenery with mountains and valleys. It is also great for a layout that is put out for the holidays.
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"What do you recommend for stain?"

We recommend either using our Black Bear Stain of Hunterline Stain (alcohol based).  You can also use Minwax Oil Base stains. But these require some additional work: Apply the stain and wipe; Let it dry; Polish it with 0000 steel wool; Apply the stain again and wipe; Let it dry. For large quantities of wood I recommend a water based stain. Black Bear makes a good one that can result in shades of brown that range from dark to light with a hint of gray depending on how it is applied. Minwax also makes a line of water based stains that I haven't tried yet.
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"What kind of glue do you recommend?"
I have built a lot of trestle bents and I like to use CA glue. However, it is difficult to clean up a joint, so if you want a professional looking job I'd recommend a type of clear flexible glue like Wilhold RC56 canopy glue. It is not on the market anymore, but the same formula is sold under several other names. I'll fill in the details later.
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"What do you recommend for modeling On30 bridges and trestles?"
We currently have four On30 Jigs available. The two D&RGW jigs (TJ4-DOn30T and TJ4-DOn30S) are described on this web site. Two more are available, but not described in detail. TJ4-DRaOn30T and TJ4-RaOn30S are patterned after the RGS style bent. The two center legs are vertical.

I have also come up with Materials "Half Packs" that contain half the wood of the standard Materials Pack. The idea is to enable the On30 modeler to build a long trestle that is short in height. Please inquire about the pricing, which is very attractive when the Half Pack is combined with a short On30 trestle jig to make up a kit ($37.24 as of August 21, 2004.).

All these On30 jigs are made for O scale 12" x 12" (1/4" x 1/4") wood. If this wood is too large for your particular application, you might consider one of the other Black Bear jigs for your On30 trestle. I put together a Comparison Chart that shows the relative sizes of the Black Bear Jigs currently available.

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