Train on a Shelf

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Project by Owlcroft posted 12-12-2013 03:38 PM 1552 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My 2 year old Grandson Merrick is really getting into trains. So I decided to build one for him from a plan I found in a September/October 2002, Weekend Woodworker magazine. I liked this plan because it seemed age appropriate and it included a shelf where he can store his train when not in use.

I decided I would build it from scrap wood only. I have a ton of it from other projects and the wife is beginning to complain about the accumulation. The only thing I bought was the wheels. I had plenty of scrape for the rest of the project. The base of the train cars is walnut, the body of the cars is pine. I used walnut for the windows and roof detail on the Engine and Caboose. I used spalded maple for the roof on the Engine and Caboose. The logs are turned down cedar pen blanks. The shelf is 1/2” plywood with two slots routed as train tracks and soft maple sides to keep the train from rolling off. The back is stained Plywood to give it the dirt color. The trees are 3 shades of green so they stand out from each other. Finish is General Finish Topcoat Gloss.

All-in-all a fun project I hope he will enjoy for years.

-- Owlcroft

9 comments so far

View naked_wookie's profile


35 posts in 2473 days

#1 posted 12-12-2013 04:40 PM

Reminds me of a similar wood train I had as a kid that I played with till it finally fell apart.
I am sure he will enjoy and appreciate it as well.

-- nate.

View robdem's profile


380 posts in 2728 days

#2 posted 12-12-2013 05:44 PM

Very cool looking train . Grandson is going to have a lot of fun playing with it

View helluvawreck's profile


32073 posts in 2988 days

#3 posted 12-12-2013 05:58 PM

This will make a wonderful gift for your Grandson. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View davidmackv's profile


317 posts in 1769 days

#4 posted 12-12-2013 09:12 PM

Nice train set.

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 2504 days

#5 posted 12-13-2013 04:23 AM

Looks great. Well done.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View Hawaiilad's profile


3260 posts in 3143 days

#6 posted 12-13-2013 08:37 AM

Great looking train…and what a Wonderful Grandpa you are.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Roger's profile


20938 posts in 2926 days

#7 posted 12-13-2013 02:02 PM

Gr8 toy. Kids need things like this instead of all electronic gismos

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 3411 days

#8 posted 12-14-2013 06:23 PM

Another good job, I like the fact that it is all scrap. Many might throw away and use new – this way so much better. The wood selection adds a lot (good color). Like Roger I think this type of toy makes a kid use his imagination much more than any electronic toy.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View Owlcroft's profile


50 posts in 3235 days

#9 posted 12-14-2013 07:08 PM

Appreciate all the kind comments. I will be posting more as my grandson grows older. I made the commitment to my daughter to give him nothing but hand-made gifts for Christmas and birthdays. Should be no problem; in an earlier post I mentioned the 3GB of plans and over 20 years of WoodSmith and Shop Notes I have been amassing in preparation for retirement and a grandson.

Once he gets older it will be a combination of woodworking, computers (not games!) and electronics. A few years ago my daughter got me one of the books from the “Evil Genius” series. The great thing about the series is you build the gadgets and as you build them the theory behind how they work is detailed. Some examples from the Electronic Gadgets book I have include an Antigravity Project, Low-Power Electrokinetic Gun, Plasma Light Saber and more. I am currently in the process of buying the parts and studying the theory behind the gadgets so I will be ready when he gets a little older.

Everything from Grandpa will require imagination and/or learning! Looking forward to some great fun.

Search “Evil Genius” on Amazon if you are interested. The serious covers much more than just electronics.

-- Owlcroft

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