How to build model wooden bridges

Updated November 21, 2016

People compete all over the world to see who can build the strongest wooden bridge model. These wooden bridge models are usually made out of balsa wood. You can choose from many different designs of bridge to build your model bridge after or you could design your own model bridge. Balsa wood is very light and flexible. Because of its light weight, balsa wood can be glued together to form a structure in no time. Balsa wood can be purchased at any local hobby store.

Use a pencil to sketch a design of the bridge that you would like to build on a sheet of paper. Draw three different views of the bridge to get a better perception of every angle. Your design plan is very important. The better design your design is, the better your bridge will be.

Use the measuring tape to measure the pieces of balsa wood that you will need to build the bridge. Use your pencil to mark the measurements on the wood and the hobby knife to cut the pieces out.

Start building the base of the bridge first and work your way up. Connect the pieces of wood with the wood glue according to your design specs. Use a small amount of wood glue at each joint on the bridge. If you can see the glue when it dries, you are probably using too much.


If you cut shorter piecesof wood, rather than longer ones, the pieces will be much stronger. Graphing paper works very well for drawing rough bridge designs. Mixing the glue with water will help the glue saturate the wood and create a stronger joint.


If your hands are oily, it could ruin your glue joints. Wash your hands before starting to construct the bridge. Use caution when working with the hobby knife. Misuse could result in serious injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Measuring tape
  • Balsa wood
  • Hobby knife
  • Wood glue
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