Golden Gate Bridge Tower

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Project by klinkman posted 03-03-2021 02:45 AM 527 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Golden Gate Bridge Tower
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Here is my covid project, a 48” (1:186) scale model of one of the 746’ tall Golden Gate Bridge Towers — north or south, I think they’re interchangeable. This was executed in hard maple over about 3 months. Really what I love about the tower is the art deco design — that is basically the interplay of shadow and light. I drove across it the other day and I just have so much more appreciation for the designers attention to detail and proportion.

GGB was completed in 1937 and it’s center span is 4200 feet crossing the mile+ long straight. The deck is 220’ above water, it’s quite breathtaking to walk across (which I first did 45 years ago!). The center span is designed to swing 27 feet side to side. It was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world until 1964. It cost $35million at the time and was completed ahead of schedule.

The hardest part for me was getting the design right. I used many public photos to get the design on paper, and then I built a rough 36” prototype to try and understand what I missed. Anyway, it was fun and interesting and rewarding when complete. Finished with shellac (what a PITA that was, too much detail for brushing).

I weighted the base, it weighs over 10 lbs, so it’s not going to tip over despite the relatively small base.
It’s pretty cool when finished. Here are some details:


lower gussets:

cross bracing:

first assembly:

skirt detail:

And the original for comparison:

It was a fun project, a nice little piece of unusual art in my home. Thanks for looking.

-- Klinkman, hand tool enthusiast

8 comments so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


8767 posts in 3461 days

#1 posted 03-03-2021 02:53 AM

Pretty cool idea, love it.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View rtbrmb's profile


752 posts in 3440 days

#2 posted 03-03-2021 03:16 AM

I really like this project- a lot. Great idea & great execution…..

Makes me think about doing one for the Mackinac Bridge in my home state. It would look good at my work desk (if we ever return to work).

Thanks for posting and providing so many details (on your build and the actual GGB).

Bill in MI

View BigTiny's profile


1703 posts in 3940 days

#3 posted 03-03-2021 09:54 AM

When are you planning on completing the rest of it] at that scale it would be about 22.5 feet from tower to tower…

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Redoak49's profile


5177 posts in 3041 days

#4 posted 03-03-2021 11:39 AM

Interesting project.

View Eeyore's profile


106 posts in 268 days

#5 posted 03-03-2021 12:15 PM

Beautiful work, and you taught yourself so much while planning and doing it.

Walking across is definitely a fun thing to do. My wife and I did this a few years ago, on a beautiful sunny day, and had a great morning.

-- Elliott C. "Eeyore" Evans

View klinkman's profile


76 posts in 927 days

#6 posted 03-03-2021 04:01 PM

When are you planning on completing the rest of it] at that scale it would be about 22.5 feet from tower to tower…
- BigTiny

Good one. No room for that. Would have to put it outside, and that would necessitate paint (orange of course). And then for all we would know, it could be made of – gasp – plastic.

-- Klinkman, hand tool enthusiast

View klinkman's profile


76 posts in 927 days

#7 posted 03-03-2021 04:02 PM

appreciate everyone’s comments, thank you

-- Klinkman, hand tool enthusiast

View drsurfrat's profile


563 posts in 239 days

#8 posted 03-04-2021 01:17 AM

Wow, that is fantastic.
And next you can carve the Palace of Fine Arts dome…

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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