Balsa and Basswood Arch Bridge

By on March 16, 2009 -- Modified on December 8, 2017

This is an older bridge I came across when browsing through my old Science Olympiad photos. I used both Balsa and Basswood to build this bridge. This bridge was part of my design process which ended up with my SO winning bridge in 2004.

It is pretty easy to see how this bridge failed: the bottom fell out. This is a fairly easy fix, and might have been due simply to poor wood selection. Had I paid more attention to the quality of wood I was using, this failure might have been avoided.

I used two pieces for the arch. I had a square 1/16″ x 1/16″ piece of Basswood for the bottom of the arch. Then I glued a rectangle piece of Balsa wood on top of that to form a T beam. This method worked pretty well, but Balsa is harder to bend than Basswood.

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7 thoughts on “Balsa and Basswood Arch Bridge”

  1. HOw to bend the wood to make it a arch?

    By yash -- December 31, 2011
  2. Hey i like your design of the arch bridge.we’re making a bridge in my class and i needed to zsee an example of one to make it.

    By Brandon Breeden -- November 29, 2010
  3. hello…i like this design but i think tht it could have a stronger base.:)

    By molly -- January 7, 2010
  4. What process did you use to get the wood to bend without cracking?

    By Alex H -- December 21, 2009
    • Soak it and bake it

      By POPCORN -- April 20, 2015
  5. nice bridge,i have to build one for class and was doing some research

    By muhammad -- October 15, 2009

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