Folks with Train Tables

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Forum topic by Tyler posted 12-10-2011 04:07 PM 3476 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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174 posts in 2115 days

12-10-2011 04:07 PM

I know, not really wood working, but I know a lot of you have experience with this….

For those of you who have train tables, did you glue or secure the tracks to the table in any way? Just wondering because my kids are getting one for Christmas and I just figured the tracks/buildings would be everywhere and unusable unless they were secured.


Thanks everywhere

8 replies so far

View SamuelP's profile (online now)


782 posts in 2068 days

#1 posted 12-10-2011 04:13 PM

My daughter is 3 and we did not secure them. She likes taking them apart and rebuilding them.

-- -Sam - FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

View CoolDavion's profile


419 posts in 3246 days

#2 posted 12-10-2011 04:20 PM

What type of trains are you talking about?

Am I correct in thinking you are asking about the Thomas type wooden trains and tracks?
The one problem I see with attaching the tracks to the table is that you would limit your children to playing with the trains in the same configuration every time. Part of the benefits of the Thomas trains is that they are able to rearrange the tracks every time they play.

Just my $.02

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2115 days

#3 posted 12-10-2011 04:26 PM

As cool said I agree but my grandkids have sooooooo much track it goes everywhere but its fun. Enjoy you will have more fun than the kids :-)

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View Tyler's profile


174 posts in 2115 days

#4 posted 12-10-2011 04:32 PM

Cool – its a set of wooden train tracks, similar to the Thomas stuff.

All good points. I figured if I did attach the tracks, I could make the table interchangable for legos or drawing or whatever.

I’ll have to look at the set to see if it can be set up in different configurations. If so, changing it around every so often could keep the interest up.

Thanks and keep the comments coming.

View MrRon's profile


3892 posts in 2665 days

#5 posted 12-10-2011 06:07 PM

Place a curb around the perimeter of the table. That will help keep stuff from falling off.

View MrRon's profile


3892 posts in 2665 days

#6 posted 12-10-2011 06:10 PM

A real fancy way would be to tack a sheet of steel sheet to the table top. Bore shallow holes in the bottom of each piece of track and epoxy a small magnet in the hole.

View BobAtl's profile


49 posts in 2115 days

#7 posted 12-10-2011 07:57 PM

I “helped” (read: “constructed while he watched”) a friend build one for his son about 3 years ago. He and his family moved back to New Zealand and now the table has come back home to me and will greet my great nephew Christmas morning. A real treat for me!

My suggestions, based on that experience:
1. Definitely put a curb around the perimeter to keep things on the table, as MrRon says. I think that’s standard.
2. Install a fixed or permanent table top without anything attached to or painted on it. My buddy clearcoated the table I made to match some other items in his son’s room. Makes for unlimited play and it can be used for other play such as Legos, Lincoln Logs, etc. Greatly increases the table’s versatility.
3. If you want painted scenes or attached items (e.g., train track, roads, lakes, trees buildings, etc.) on the surface, you can paint them on or attach them to a secondary panel of 1/4” MDF or ply (well rounded/sanded edges, of course) that you can set in and remove from the curbed permanent top. This creates options for future birthday or Christmas gifts for the child. Just make sure your curb is deep enough to accommodate / rise above the inset and still keep items on the table top.
4. When the time comes for your little one to move to the next level of toys, pass the table on to another little one to enjoy. It’s really exciting to know this basic table will be enljoyed by another child – and hopefully more I’ll never know about!

BTW, I saw a train table with a painted top a couple of weeks ago for $245. That’s what made me think about the inserts to increase the versatility of the table with other toys. Materials for this one cost less than $50. What a deal! Of course, that doesn’t take into account all of MY toys used to build it!

-- Bob, Atlanta

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Dan Lyke

1509 posts in 3547 days

#8 posted 12-13-2011 06:11 PM

I’m with the “build a curb around the perimeter” crowd: Building different track patterns is a huge part of learning play. Watching kids discover reversing loops and switching is very cool.

On Bob’s suggestion for interchangeable tops, I got to thinking about a whiteboard-like top. I don’t think it’s a good idea for kids to be sniffing whiteboard marker fumes, but even if you could come up with some sacrificial material that they could draw on (Heck, Luan ¼” ply is only 12 bucks a sheet…) to let them do their own paintings/drawings I think that’d be cool.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

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