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Through Arch Bridge

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This review appeared in the June/July 1992
issue of "Outdoor Railroader" and was written
by Russ Reinberg

Everything he touches is terrific. The man is an artist."He," "the man," is Mark Smith, the proprietor, designer and chief craftsman of Lone Star Bridge. No, I have no prejudice. If Mark built mediocre stuff, I would tell you. Unfortunately, if I am to add zing and color to this review, I will have to be creative. Mark has left nothing to criticize; his work is flawless.  Look at the wood-to-wood joints. If you can find them. The arch on the bridge has six layers, but the lamination is so tight and the finish so outstanding it looks as though it is a single piece of wood. Try to find a nail hole. You may find some wood filler, but no hole. And even the filler joins seamlessly with the hand finished, teak oil treated mahogany. No bump. No depression.

It's disgusting. Yes, I even sighted down the guard rails to see weather the nut/bolt/washer castings lined up. They did. Perfectly. Nor do the little countersunk holes in the arch where the truss rods terminate have any evidence of chipping. And the paint on the metal parts is perfect. And Mark put a nut and washer everywhere one belonged. What's a reviewer to do?

Mark purposely cut the ties too wide to form a platform for sectional track. We might nitpick, but we also must recognize such a choice belongs to the artist. Besides, he now says scale cross-timbers will be available as an option.

Let's go to the demensional stuff: The bridge measures 8 inches wide, 36 inches long, and at the apex of the arches is 8.375 inches high.

Finally, as much as I hate to pull the rug out from under any further attempts at criticism, Lone Star has made no attempt precisely to duplicate any particular full-size bridge. The through arch and its deliberate approximations are about as accurate as most of the model trains that will cross it. As a consequence, their character melds beautifully with that of most outdoor



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