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December 2002 - Page 52


Pier Genius: If a Woodchuck could Chuck...
by Jim Mansfield

1 Seven steps for seven piers. Starting on the left, the seven-step process to construct the piers resulted in seven piers ready to receive the base coat of paint. These steps involve the sizing and cutting of the square, bar, trailing edge and sheet shapes used to build up the piers. The Pier Table on the piece of paper was a very handy guide during the complete assembly process.

2 The second set of side panels added to the piers was cut at the angle of the side-slopes of the piers (see figure). To keep from marring the surfaces of the first set of panels, duct tape was used during the rough-shape sanding of the ends of the second set of side panels. The thickness of the duct tape leaves a bit of stock for the finish sanding seen to the right.

3 O nce a base coat of the final concrete color was applied to the piers, additional random patches of spackling were applied, then the surfaces were sanded smooth. The purpose of this step is to remove the consistent smooth surfaces that are the result of the sanding sealer and sandpaper process discussed in the text. In back are pier 8 and the south abutment.


aving previously shown the results of two bridge pier construction methods: 1) kitbashing a plastic kit and 2) using printed papers, cardstock and pine 1x2s as the construction medium (see pages 52 and 53 of the October 2001 issue), I wanted to chose yet another method for constructing the seven older concrete piers being discussed this month.

Would a Woodchuck Chuck Wood?
Looking at possible materials available 4 The piers were painted once again and a final bit of surface texturing was done. At random locations a very thin coating of spackling was applied and drybrushed with additional darkened paint. Another technique involved the use of a painted string to apply bands of darker color on the piers. The result: older piers that are well into surface decay due to life in the city.



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