This instruction set will teach you how to design and construct your own bridge made out of balsa wood. This is a fun, intriguing project that will entertain an individual for hours. Many high school and college science and engineering classes will have projects similar to this one. Keep in mind for those individuals building high school projects that if this design does not meet the particular project specifications, for example truss height and bridge length that is ok. For these individuals the main concept to take from this project is the truss design and how to put the bridge together.
Step 1: Supplies
.The supplies required to complete this project include the following
• ¼ X ¼ inch balsa wood. This project used five 3ft long sticks
• Hot glue/hot glue gun or wood glue
o Hot glue gun is highly recommended as it dries much faster
• One 18 inch ruler
• One xacto knife
• A cutting board
• One pen or pencil to mark measurements
Step 2: Step 1: Base
Measure and cut a 14 inch piece of balsa wood and label it the base. (Tip: when cutting balsa wood it has a tendency to fray at the ends leaving an uneven finish. To prevent this, cut the balsa wood by pulling the knife toward you similar to cutting a steak with a knife. This will leave a clean cut.)
Warning: keep your fingers away from the blade of the xacto knife as can cut the skin.
Step 3: Step 2
Use a ruler to mark one inch in from the left end of the base. Then, mark every two inches after that mark. This will indicate the location of the vertical truss supports. (Note: If a ruler is placed next to the base the marks should be read at the 1,3,5,7,9,11 and 13 inch marks.)
Step 4: Step 3: Vertical Supports
Measure and cut 7 two inch pieces of balsa wood. These will serve as the vertical supports for the trusses.