# wood coaster construction question?

Friday, August 29, 2003 10:04 AM
Just wondering how they shape the curves and bends in the wood on an wooden coaster.
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Friday, August 29, 2003 4:41 PM
I cannot answer this question in its entirety, however...

If you look at the tracks on any wooden coaster, you will see that the wooden part (the part to which the steel strips are attached) is made up of a number of 2Xn boards bolted together. I suspect that the builder places the boards in place (with lots of excess sticking out), bolts them together, then cuts the excess away, leaving the curved track structure in place.

If anyone has a better answer from firsthand knowledge, I also would be interested in seeing it.

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I am the TickTockMan

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Friday, August 29, 2003 4:44 PM
I don't know, but I would suspect that they would bend the wood. exactly what method they would use to do this, I again don't know, but, basically, you wet the wood, then put it in the shape you want, and let it harden...or at least that's how a few people in my physics class bent the wood for their wooden bridges.

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-Bob (formerly Coaster Jedi)

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Friday, August 29, 2003 4:54 PM
I suspect that the complete answer lies somewhere between my guess and SFGA Bob's. Anyone actually KNOW?

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I am the TickTockMan

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Friday, August 29, 2003 5:28 PM
its magic

/ --------------------------------------
http://www.eightdotthree.net

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Friday, August 29, 2003 6:00 PM
If you have ever looked at the turns, it's made up of a lot of smaller pieces of wood which are bent a little bit. You could actually make a turn out of all strait pieces if you wanted to. All you would have to do is angle each piece a little bit more than the last and smooth out the places where the wheels touch the track

I know they bend steel track by putting each piece through a "bender" several times to gradually get the curve. I'm sure there is a special bending machine used for wooden coasters too.
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Riding on top of the world with Cedar Point

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Friday, August 29, 2003 6:13 PM
Ride man..............care to chime in?
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Friday, August 29, 2003 7:14 PM
Curves are formed using a long bending stick. It is about 50 feet long from what I'm told. It is laid out along the ledger tops after the first track laminate is installed and formed into a smooth curve on top of the first laminate. Then the laminate is cut to conform to the curve and the second layer is installed and cut. It's crucial to get the first layer exact or the rest of the layers will be off. The pieces of wood cut off to form the inside of the track guage are simply installed along the outside of the laminates to give the rail its curved appearance. There may be other ways to form the initial curve, but I'm not familiar with them.

Wood - anything else is an imitation
*** This post was edited by Thrillerman 8/29/2003 11:16:16 PM ***

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 5:24 AM
I'm not familiar with wood coaster construction, but based on looking at the finished product; the horizontal curves are produce by cutting such as Thrillerman descrebes, while the vertical curves are produced by bending. From the construction photos that I've seen, I think that most of the bending is done in place by the brute force and lots of big bolts method. Soaking or steam can also be used to bend wood.
Saturday, August 30, 2003 10:07 AM

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http://coasterfuge.vze.com/

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Tuesday, September 2, 2003 8:45 AM
Ahhhhh, so thats how its done.......thanx

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Tuesday, September 2, 2003 11:46 AM
That's all pretty interesting, but how does one construct something along the lines of the GCI fan turns? Seems to get a bit tricky when vertical and horizontal curves are put together.

On a side note, this is a great topic. I've been wondering about this for a while.

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Mike Anderson

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Tuesday, September 2, 2003 12:52 PM
If I remember correctly, coasterquest.com has a section on how they build wood coasters, it shows the Son of Beast.
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I am one.
I am Turbo.
Top Thrill in the front row... anything else is lame
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Tuesday, September 2, 2003 2:34 PM
I've seen that link before. It's pretty interesting, but doesn't really go into the nitty-gritty of track building.

On a side note, if I'm on the same wavelength as you, the coaster they're constructing is Hercules, not Son of Beast...

...though from what I think/hear, neither are good examples, heheheh.

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Mike Anderson

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Tuesday, September 2, 2003 4:45 PM
Acording to "Roller Coaster" by David Bennet, all curves are bent via large C-Clamps.

The book has been known to err, however, so take it with a grain of salt, I suppose.

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I hear America screaming...

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