Arriving at the point in my trestle build where I needed to add the posts, railings and toe boards so I made up a couple of really simple jigs to help me position these items. Jigs are a necessity for a project like this to keep parts aligned as well as make sure all pieces are uniform.
I begin with the risers. These posts need to be vertically aligned in both the X axis and the Y axis and I will need a jig to make sure they are straight. The post jig consists of a piece of wood notched out so there is a small flange that sets the height of the post above the decking. This notch also serves to align the posts vertically. Additionally, stripwood could be added to the sides of the jig which would allow you to rest the post into the notch as you align them.
As you can see in the photo below, I can now use my jig to position my posts and make sure everything is square before I add my railing. Now you can be sure that all your posts will be straight and the same height.
Toe Board Jig
Once the posts were dry, I can glue my toe boards in place, 4 inches from the deck. To create this jig, stripwood is glued to a scale 4 inch square post (see illustration below).
Now we can move on to the railing. The railing jig was created to clear my toe boards and align my railing across the length of the trestle walkway. As you can see, the notch at the top both supports the 2 x 4 inch railing at the correct height. The back of the notch acts as a shoulder to press the railing between the post and jig. This keeps the railing level and securely in place while the glue sets.
So as you can see, jigs don’t always need to be elaborately machined or store bought to do the job. However, they are an important tool for all of us when building realistic models.