Medley Train Bank

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Project by Dick posted 08-07-2013 11:44 PM 1144 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a train bank for my nephew-in-law’s 2nd birthday. I didn’t get it done in time, but hopefully he’ll still like it. This was my wife-to-be’s idea as he is really into trains. She gave me three pictures of toy trains noting which parts she liked of each train. So, this is the result.

The build came from wood leftover from previous projects or wood that she picked out because it was “pretty” at one time. Either way, I scavenged my garage or the neighbor’s for the wood. This is how the medley came about. I did have to order clear acrylic for the headlight. The base is walnut. The cab is some type of rosewood. The top is padauk. The engine is purple heart. The smokestack is cocobolo. The push guard is spectra plywood. The wheels are yellow heart. The hubs are walnut plugs. The bumper stripe in the back is maple. The glass on the inside of the bank is sanded to prevent someone from getting cut reaching their hand in for some change.

The headlight works. I had turned the headlight lens and then a buddy commented it would be cool if it actually works (thanks Mark). It just so happens there’s a guy at work (thank you Gary) that is an LED expert. He hooked me up with and LED, switch, transistor, and battery pack. There is a hole through the center of the engine, which meets a groove cut down the back, which goes through a hole in the base for the wiring. The engine assembly is only screwed together to allow troubleshooting should there ever be an issue with the light. The headlight is secured by a machine screw that screwed into a drilled and tapped hole from the bottom.

The coin slot is wide enough to put dollars in. It’s hard to see from the pictures, but the slot is off center. The original plan was to turn a handle and put in the middle, which would mean the slot cannot be centered. Well, I changed my mind on that. So, now the lid can be turned 180 degrees to make the slot closer to the person inserting money and easier to access depending which way the train is “heading” on the shelf :)

One last detail that was in debate during the build, should it roll or not? Well, the wheels don’t turn. They are glued and screwed. The logic is that if it’s on a shelf, he can’t accidently roll it off and get hurt. Secondly, I think there’s too much money in wood for this to be a toy that would be rolled around and potentially colliding with other various objects.

I have to give a good deal of credit on this project to my neighbor and friend Junior. He’s always willing to help me out, whether I don’t have the tools or just getting advice from a veteran woodworker, when I come over with these odd ball projects. This was a joint effort as he pretty much did the square parts and I turned the round parts.

-- Dick

5 comments so far

View CFrye's profile


10483 posts in 2040 days

#1 posted 08-08-2013 05:07 PM

Great train bank!! Love all the little details (that, no doubt, lent to its tardy delivery lol). Details that will make it treasured for a long time to come! Thanks for sharing!

-- God bless, Candy

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2374 days

#2 posted 08-08-2013 08:26 PM

Very well detailed! So nicely made. I’ll love it more if the wheels will turn. It is still terrific and superb!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View hunter71's profile


3302 posts in 3387 days

#3 posted 08-10-2013 04:01 AM

Cool little bank. Did you add some change?

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Dick's profile


156 posts in 2393 days

#4 posted 08-10-2013 05:49 AM

Thanks for the compliments. Just gave this to the little guy tonight. Everyone seems to like it and he probably made a couple bucks. And yes I put a few coins in! Hard not too for this little man.

-- Dick

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2376 days

#5 posted 08-12-2013 03:02 PM

That’s the most great looking train bank I have ever seen. Like the great design wood combo and finish. Awesome idea on the headlights. Great job!

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