Make Your Own Wooden Train Track
Aug 04, · It's another Thomas and Friends TOMY toy train track build on Kids Toys Play! We've got our favourite Thomas the Tank Engine trains, including Thomas, Lady. Track Layouts: Missing your layout instructions or looking for some new layout ideas? You've come to the right place! All Thomas the Train track layouts are sized to fit on the Thomas Wooden Railway Playtables and Playboards.
However if you have or have access to a basic shop and common supplies you can build your own in an afternoon. I how to get a free computer for homeschool most official Thomas parts are built of maple, and if you have some laying around you can certainly use it as it doesn't tend to sliver and is very durable, but can be a bit pricey and it's a shame to cover such nice wood with paint.
I have chosen Basswood for the project as it is light, inexpensive, easy to work with and it does not give slivers, so is safe for little hands.
And I had some lying around. Materials needed for this project: Basswood 48" x 5" x 0. For the most part I adjusted my plans to fit the material I had, and in general I improvise a lot in my crafts, but here are the specs of what I ended up with: Riser- 2" x 7" Give everything a good sanding. The extra can be made into trees or even a tunnel see my next Instructable. Instead, I decided to make both ends female and build a small male-male connector out of dowel.
Besides being easier to fabricate, the double female arrangement is beneficial because it can be oriented either way on the track, however your layout requires. This is where having a reference piece helps a tonne as i was able to just mark the centre point. How to change boot image windows 7 that is left is to check your cuts with your reference piece and you are ready to move on.
Add some glue into the holes on the larger dowel what is obama doing for the economy right now and put the smaller dowel into place in both holes. Be sure to orient the larger dowels so they are facing the same direction.
Once More: If your child is prone to swallowing little things, these connectors can be replaced with a larger store bought or handmade male-male section of track. I believe the box would say not safe for children under 3.
Arch: Use your saw of choice to cut an arch shape out of the arch piece of wood. You can drill two holes and join them with a few cuts to get nice curved corners, or cut the whole thing out. A word of caution, when using basswood, hole saws don't work all that well and the teeth tend to get gummed up and you end up burning your way through rather than cutting.
Start by applying a coat of water based and child safe varnish on all of the finished pieces. After drying, polish all the varnished surfaces with a crumpled paper bag until glass smooth It sounds weird but it gives a nice store bought and finished feel Thanks for the tip Mom. At this point you can paint your station however you like, using the sharpies for details such as signs or the child's name.
I started with a faux plaster 2 coat, using a dark tan with a sponged on lighter top coat, then painted the corner and chimney bricks by hand with a highlights and shadows on top of everything. After that, I painted on signs, luggage, clocks, and a train schedule, using a painted antique white base and then sharpie detail on top. Finally, I weathered the look with a highly watered down black paint on the exposed upper surfaces. Finally, it is time to assemble all the pieces and do the final varnish.
You want to use enough glue, but not too much, so a nice even light coat and a half hour of clamping should keep this thing together even in the loving hands of a toddler. I used two coats of varnish, with a quick paper bag polish in between coats. I'm glad to say that the station was a huge hit, and my son has played with it for days now, which is more than I can say for many of the toys I have bought for him.
He even wanted to take it to bed with him for a nap, which is about as big a compliment a toddler can give. All in all a well spent 8 hours, although I would reconsider hand painting the bricks in the future. I love the design and the details are superbly done.
It's easy to forget the scale of the you're work piece. Those individual bricks are tiny. Well done. My boys have track segments from various manufacturers, and some of them have male connectors which are glued into the track, which they break or pull out and lose. I'd love to see an Instructable on damaged-track repair, too. Reply 10 years ago on Introduction. The track connector is all that has kept me from making a set of tracks for my own kids. I'd seen some ideas to drill a hole in the end and glue in a dowel and glue a wooden ball onto that, but I never even thought about making it a completely separate piece.
This is brilliant. Thanks for your comment. Its very easy to fabricate and it has stood up as well as any of the factory made ones. I haven't had any of our factory track break yet but I'll do an instructable if it ever happens.
Really cool station. Those bricks make it very special. I never knew about the crumpled paper bag trick. Quite impressive! By Crozier Follow. More by the author:. Did you make this project? Share it with us! I Made It! Aquaponics for Everyone! Garlic Gardening by DanPro in Gardening. Reply Upvote. Kozz 11 years ago on Introduction. Crozier Kozz Reply 10 years ago on Introduction. Makerinthehouse 11 years ago on Introduction.
Nice work! You should do more of these, I have 3 nephews and a how to get flash player in ipad months before Christmas! Handywurx 11 years ago on Introduction.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Aug 27, · The MLCS bits make the tracks that work with Thomas the Tank Engine sets — if you own a train set like the one in the Rockler picture above, you probably want their set. The individual bits will cost you $20 to $40 when purchased separately, but you can get kits with all four bits from Rockler and MLCS that’ll cost you around $ Aug 07, · It seems that most of these track manufacturers are building to the same dimensions (Brio, Thomas The Train, etc). I cannot however figure out the best way to build track at home and am looking for advice from you. To make the connector simply drill two 1/4" holes in the side of the larger 1/2" dowel with a drill press, but make sure you don't go all the way through. Then cut the dowel 1/8" above and below each hole making two 1/2" long pieces with a hole in each. Next cut a section of .
So you think you can make your own wooden train tracks for cheaper than buying them. You can create custom track pieces or build a track that fills a whole room — your toddler would be the envy of every kid on the block. To make wooden track out of the recommended white birch, maple, or European beech you need three different bits.
One bit makes the female connector with a single pass, another makes the male connector in two passes, and the third makes the tracks themselves. The single-track bit works well for both straight and curved tracks, but if you want to spit out straight tracks in one pass, you want the dual-track bit. The MLCS bits make the tracks that work with Thomas the Tank Engine sets — if you own a train set like the one in the Rockler picture above, you probably want their set.
I cant really get my head round what sort of jig you would need to make up to do say a tight 90 degree curve? Cool idea though, a custom made one with a battery train pack would make a much better present than a off the shelf trackset. The cost? Heartache and Pain? Love your ideas. My solution for making rolling stock has been to buy the super cheap sets at the dollar store and rob the wheels from there.
Magnets too. Why is there nothing available for use as decent wheels? If anyone comes up with something post it up, I would appreciate it. I no, tell me too, i have been looking on how to make these, and so far my idea has been, go to the thrift store, buy some old trains, rip the wheels off, and build on top. Here is the result:. I was thinking of using steel washers and small steel bolts though a slightly larger hole for the axial.
Has anyone tried this? I use 4 round head screws that have a short smooth shank as the axles. The wheels vary from round to slightly out of round, but they still roll OK. I have also tried to get wheels for Thomas and friends. No luck, the manufactures do not want you to have the wheels. I was going to modify Henry and I needed black wheels. They said they could not help. They have lots of plastic buttons and discs that work great.
You need a jig and a press to ensure that you get good centering though for the axle hole. Use a router table and make a jig for the curves, have a look around the net, there are quite a few ideas. I am using ply wood and the router knocks bits of the ply off which is a problem, if I were using solid timber then it may be a different story. I think there are many that would work for wheels if you were willing to drill out the inside. For wheels, get wooden wheels from a craft store.
I used them to make a train locomotive, tender, and three passenger cars for my son for his birthday one year. The idea being that I could store all the trains in the switch yard instead of having them thrown all over the floor, etc.
Im thinking its easier to make with those are they even sold by the pack does anyone know? Yes, those plastic pieces would save time. Has anybody found them? Anyone know where to get magnet couplers? I got tired of the cheapness that is used to mass produce the store bought track sets. I tried many different ideas to build track pieces in my workshop. The first idea was to use the wooden dowel idea. The next idea was to use a wooden dowel on the lathe and create one piece. I also used a drill press and a jig to drill the female hole.
I also used a jig to cut into the female end on a band saw. However you could use a 14 inch diameter curve and just cut the quarter circle out. This would be equal to two of the ordinary curves. This should be in the middle and let the pieces overlap in opposite directions. Need help just ask me. I have started using discarded styrofoam large pieces are best and a soldering iron to create structures with track melted in.
The fumes are toxic, so this must be done outside with a fan blowing away from you. Multi-level buildings, bridges, and tunnels are fairly easy. He then decorates them with markers and stickers. Both male and female ends are melted in to allow for connection to the rest of his wooden tracks. It seems you need a router to cut from the end instead of the side? I made a switch by first making the curved section…I describe how I did that elsewhere in this blog…and then taking a pieces of wood exactly the right thickness and width to make a straight section.
THEN, I carefully cut a curve in that straight section to match the outside of the curved section. Not that the curved section already has the grooves routed in to it. I glue the curve section to the curve cut out of the straight section. A bit of sanding and fitting was necessary. Then when it dried, I set up my router with a straight fence and routed the two straight grooves…which meld with the curved grooves making a passable switch. Sorry a typo adds confusion. The curved section already has the grooves routed in to it so all that needs to be done is route the straight section to the curved section and route the straight grooves.
I make the female connector by marking the hole and channel from a purchased section then drill the hole and cut the channel with the band saw. You can go in just as ways or all the way through depending on preference. I glue it with slow drying glue so I can insert it, fit it the female end of another section. My method is not automated so each piece is cut, sanded and fit.
How well do your cars roll with dowel axels? Take a look here. Just to recap on the DIY train wheels ,in similar situations I have used tap washers glued ogether, it seems to work. SO am interested in making my own wooden train tracks, however I just cannot seem to wrap my head around how to make a piece with more than one curved track on it, i understand using a router from the outside radius, but to do it from the inside radius is eluding me, any tips??
Think of the curved track as a chunk of a piece of pie. All of the arcs that make up the track have the same center — the outside edge of the track, the outside groove, the inside groove, the inside edge. I just cut out pieces exactly the same size as the curved pieces on my purchased set. I made a jig on my router table that matched the outside curve of the track and clamped that to the rail so that when I pushed the track section around it on the inside curve of the jig it made a curved groove.
It automatically makes the curved grooves parallel, exactly matching the purchased groove track. I can make a section with ANY degree of curve just so long as I make a corresponding jig to match the outside curve of the track section. Complicated pieces like switches can be made using hardboard which is cheap templates and a flush cut bit with the roller on the end. A jig saw makes this easy, but you could also use a Dremel and files or cut it freehand along your marks with a straight bit.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most wooden train sets end up lost or seldom used because of the time needed to set up the track, especially complicated track. You can always mount the track to the train table with screws, glue, or dowels, which also eliminates the need for connectors. I would rather buy a dollar rockler finger joint bit that I can use for tons of things than buy 2 40 dollar bits that only work for trains.
It all comes down to whether the child gets more enjoyment from putting trains together or playing with the trains themselves. Just starting about making a set for my new grandson seeing all you comments just a thought I wonder if you can adapt cloth buttons for the wheels?
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