balsa/basswood articles

5 Steps Bridge Video

Here is the model bridge featured in my ebook, 5 Steps to Building a Model Bridge. This is the bridge seen in the photos of the step by step process of bridge construction. This video shows the last bit of the testing process in which the bridge comes to an explosive end

Balsa and Basswood Arch Bridge

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

Balsa Bridge

This balsa bridge was built by some students of mine for a Science Olympiad competition. It spanned 14 inches, weighed 8.1 grams, and held 29 pounds. That puts its efficiency at 1630.

Balsa Bridge Videos

Highlighted balsa wood bridge videos from More videos to come.

Balsa Wood Bridge Statics Project

I like this video because it is very systematic and well documented. The video shows a Balsa wood bridge built for a statics project. The bridge ended up with an efficiency score of 514.

Balsa Wood K Truss Bridge

Here is a bridge using the K truss design made from Balsa wood. This bridges uses a combination of end and lap joints. You can see that where the slanted members of each K join together at the vertical member, there is an end joint. At the top and bottom chords, the joint is a lap joint. This bridge does not have any lateral bracing on the top, which is something I would highlight to change. The performance of this […]

Bates Tech Balsa Wood Bridge Competition 2011

Here are the video results from the Bates Tech Balsa Wood Bridge Competition 2011. This simple video footage of the competition makes for a good learning opportunity. This video includes a variety of designs that are interesting to observe if you are looking to build a balsa wood bridge.

Booth’s Bridge

Yes, this is one of the coolest bridges I have ever seen. Built by J.C. Booth Middle for the Science Olympiad Georgia State Finals in 2003, it placed 3rd. For those of you who don’t know Booth, keep reading. Booth Middle School has won the Georgia State Finals as a team for longer than I can remember, except for one year. They always have an excellent team, and provide much frustration and motivation for the rest of us. When I […]

Chamblee’s Bridge

Chamblee has always done well in Bridge Building. In 2001, they won the State finals in this event. This bridge is from the 2003 GA State Tournament, the same tournament the Booth Bridge is from.

Classic ‘K-Truss’ Bridge Design (Balsa Wood)

For this balsa wood bridge, I used a ‘K-Truss’ design with seven vertical members and 6 ‘K-Trusses’ per side. The K’s were the most challenging part of the build, because I had to calculate each ones length, and the approximate measure of the angle I had to cut into each one. All in all, the bridge took around 10 hours of work over a three-day weekend (plus glue-drying time, of course). This website is where I originally found the ‘K-Truss’ […]

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