|Project by KS_Sparky||posted 01-02-2014 03:27 PM||722 views||0 times favorited||3 comments|
I guess its about time I posted a project. I don’t see myself as a woodworker yet, but I aspire to be. So far, my projects have all been designed and built to fill a need, but hopefully the inspiration I get here will help push me to do more. I guess the size of my wallet plays a part in that too, though!
For my first project post, I suppose I should start with my first real project. A few years ago I built a train table for my son, Eli. Like many young boys, he took an interest in trains (Thomas, especially), cars, and trucks. At the time, we were renting a converted barn that featured much of the exposed timber framing and reclaimed siding as the finished wall surface, but was strangely carpeted throughout (except the tiny bathroom and kitchen areas). He needed a hard surface to play with his toys…a table, just his size.
I didn’t have any real plans for this, and I’ll admit that I kind of winged it. As such, I don’t have the exact measurements, but I think it was approximately 3’x4’x21”. The table sits 1” below the outer rim to keep the toys on the table. The top and sides are 1/2” MDF and the top sits on corner blocks and supports cut from a 2×4 I had. The top is not fastened down, with the intention that both sides could be painted and that it would be reversible. In reality it was too heavy, too tight (I didn’t consider multiple layers of paint and poly), and always too cluttered for this to be practical.
There’s no fancy joinery here. I just glued and screwed simple butt joints. It was painted so that the corners looked mitered, though. I countersunk the screw heads and filled the holes and board ends with drywall spackle. The piece was then sanded and primed. This is where Mrs. Sparky took over and painted. She did a lot of it free hand. The trains, tracks, and buildings where stickers, though. I think she finished with six or seven coats of poly, for durability.
After purchasing a small starter home and adding a second young one, we finally ran out of room for the table. It is now at my parent’s house, though, where my nephews play with it often. I can’t wait to see Owen play on it, just like his brother did. It didn’t turn out perfect (slightly out of square), it wasn’t made of any special materials, and it didn’t require fancy techniques. It was a simple project, but it was my first. I am proud because I learned a lot and because my boys have and will enjoy it!
-- apprentice Electrician, IBEW L.U. 226