|Project by Thepps||posted 12-31-2012 04:49 AM||4063 views||11 times favorited||14 comments|
Built this roundhouse for my 3 1/2 year old son. This is compatible with the Thomas wooden railway tracks. The roundhouse holds up to five engines and includes a turntable. No plans, just looked at different ideas on the web and this is what I came up with. Started off much larger, but kept changing the design as I built it. Always too big! This final design is about half the size that it started out as.
There is a ramp in each stall for the engine to rest on. At the back of the ramp, there is a spring loaded staff with a 5/8×1” square of sheet metal glued to it. This piece of sheet metal allows the magnet on the front or back of the engine to connect to it and ‘park’ on top of the ramp.
When you press the staff down, the magnet on the train no longer contacts the sheet metal, and the train is released. The train moves down the ramp, out of the roundhouse, and on to the turntable.
Staff is pushed and releases the train:
Train rolls down ramp:
Staff springs back into position:
Used router with circle jig to remove material for turntable.
Used birch, walnut, and purpleheart. Finished with danish oil and a clear lacquer over that.
One of the most difficult challenges with this project was figuring out all of the angles. The turntable is part hexakaidecagon (16 sided) and part octagon. I tried using different shapes for the hexakaidecagon, but the angles would never work out correctly.
This is a prototype that underwent a lot of changes from design, but all in all, I’m pretty pleased with the overall outcome. Most importantly, it works properly and my son likes it.
Thanks for looking!
-- Thepps - Freeburg, IL