This is woodworking

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by MrRon posted 01-14-2013 11:46 PM 2315 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MrRon's profile


5270 posts in 3482 days

01-14-2013 11:46 PM

On most of the woodworking sites, I’ve visited, I’ve found many people who build things like model trains, trucks, boats, etc. Some don’t acknowledge these projects as “woodworking” per say, but by definition, working with wood even a model, is still woodworking. Many of us, I’m sure have multiple hobbies and interests. My first interest is model trains, followed by woodworking and metalworking. They both complement my train interest. I’m not talking about a discussion involving the different coupler styles between the Pennsylvania and the NY Central or the placement of a handrail on an Electromotive diesel switcher. That type of discussion is intended for a trains only forum and not appropiate on a LJ forum. What is appropiate is working with small pieces of wood, regardless of whether they are for a model train or a piece of furniture, so I welcome any questions from modelists with model making concerns.

15 replies so far

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 3032 days

#1 posted 01-15-2013 12:00 AM

Hey Ron,
I have an old Lionel that’s about 60 years old. Found some smoke tablets on ebay. Still works great.
If it’s wood it woodworking to me.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3081 days

#2 posted 01-15-2013 12:07 AM

I have never built a model train. However, I hope to one day.
Actually, I don’t know. I think it is considered a model like what you’re referring to.
I have these plans.
I had high hopes of building it when I ordered the plans. I love trains and was excited about this project.
Then, as soon as I looked over the plans when I got them, I ran into trouble.
I can do all of it except one part, and it has stopped me from even starting it.
I knew I could handle the turning for the round part of the cab.
I did not realize when I ordered it though that I also needed to turn some tiny tires.
My cheap lathe, and my lathe turning skills, are not up to turning parts that small.
Also, my skills are not up to turning several indentical parts as exact replicas of each other, as I would need to for this project.
That is what has stopped me from completing, or even starting for that matter, my first train model.


View Purrmaster's profile


915 posts in 2332 days

#3 posted 01-15-2013 12:07 AM

Model trains are definitely nifty. I’ve seen some pretty elaborate model train set ups and they blow me away. If you’re making your models of out wood, I’d call that woodworking.

View JoeinGa's profile


7740 posts in 2246 days

#4 posted 01-15-2013 12:30 AM

There’s a post from today (or yesterday) from a guy who made a “skidder” ...

If THAT aint “woodworking” , then I dont know what is!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2427 days

#5 posted 01-15-2013 01:10 AM

If it’s made out of wood, it’s woodworking !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View bandit571's profile


22006 posts in 2922 days

#6 posted 01-15-2013 01:17 AM

Another take on this would be “Benchworks”. Even the kind with multi-levels of trackage. Figuring out what “grades’ to put where, High tight a curve should be. Did it for just over 15 years. And, it was before all that computer controled stuff they sell nowadays.

CEO, Springfield, Quincy & Northern RR. ( HO scale)

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3524 days

#7 posted 01-15-2013 01:25 AM

Is this what you’re referring to? I’m building the passenger cars now and have plans to do a coal hopper and caboose.

-- John @

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3103 days

#8 posted 01-15-2013 01:33 AM

Sorry for the double post. My laptop keyboard drives me crazy sometimes.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3103 days

#9 posted 01-15-2013 01:35 AM

From what I understand, model railroading is as much about crafting the scenery;buildings,landscape, and everything else as it is the trains themselves. Its probably the ultimate in scaling and modeling as a hobby. They use all kinds of materials besides wood.

Modeling is a whole subject unto itself. Whole forums like this one devoted to it. I don’t think anyone is going to complain about somone posting some modeling train project in here. If its wood, its relevant. I’m sure woodworkers could pick up more than one tip from some of those modelers. They probably have all kinds of neat tool and shop tricks for working with small and scaled items.

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 3103 days

#10 posted 01-15-2013 01:42 AM

@ Huff

Is that a kit or did you make it from scratch? Its awesome regardless.
If not from a kit,do you buy plans for something like that ?

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3524 days

#11 posted 01-15-2013 01:48 AM


I bought the plans about 10 years ago. Every piece is built from scratch. I designed the bridge myself to go with the engine and coal car. I’m working on two passenger cars right now ( I have a blog on my web-site that I actually cover the building of the passenger cars). I’ve designed a section of curved track to extend my lay out. I hope to post it here as a project later on when I have it finished.

-- John @

View MrRon's profile


5270 posts in 3482 days

#12 posted 01-15-2013 06:33 PM

Thanks to all for the positive response. I used to be involved with HO scale trains, but as the years went by and my eyesight got worse, I got into building large scale trains, ie: 1-1/2” = 1’-0”. At this size, I would certainly regard models to be woodworking. Some of the locomotives I build are 4’ long, 16” tall and 15” wide. I use every woodworking technique and tool to make my models. I also do metalworking and have my models operate using electric motors and batteries. So far I’ve built 3 models and planning another. There are no kits or plans available that I know of. No problem for me. Being a retired designer with CAD experience, I draw my own plans using profile photos of actual trains. Once I know a few overall dimensions (wheel diameter for example), I can create a proportional scale to draw the plans. Even a picture from a book can be used. Building large scale trains, like the ones used at parks to haul passengers is very expensive, as they are made from metals and use steam or gasoline to operate. I can build a locomotive like the park ones, but instead of $10K to build, I can build it for around $100. Although my models won’t haul passengers, they do operate on their own. I have been using motors from children’s street cars, so it’s possible the model might be able to haul a small child. Anyway, it’s a whole lot of fun and gives me the satisfaction of using my woodworking and metalworking and design skills. If anyone is interested in knowing more on how I turn a photograph or picture into a working scale model train, let me know. This also applies to models of cars, trucks, ships and construction equipment. I’m thinking I need to set up a website, but I’m a bit computer challenged. Here are a couple of locomotives


View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2743 days

#13 posted 01-15-2013 07:14 PM

Is this toothpick trestle woodworking? Whether or not, it’s cool.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3524 days

#14 posted 01-15-2013 08:24 PM


Awsome locomotives. What woods do you usually use to build them?

-- John @

View MrRon's profile


5270 posts in 3482 days

#15 posted 01-15-2013 11:23 PM

What woods do you usually use to build them?
I use just about any wood that I have from 2×4’s to hardwoods. I use hardwood for smaller details that require strength. I also use a lot of aluminum because it is easy to work with. Most of my work involves researching materials that I can adapt for my use. I try not to buy any material if possible. I always have enough scraps around that I don’t have to shop. About the only things I buy is thin plywood, fasteners and aluminum stock. I use titebond glue and epoxies as needed. Escutsion pins are useful as rivets. I find a use for old wire coat hangers for handrails. It’s just a matter of using your imagination. When I needed a bell for a locomotive, I paid a visit to a local “Hobby Lobby” and found bells of all sizes for a few cents. I try to work as close to scale as possible, but may use a little license here and there for parts that are hidden from view. I would like to build some model trucks in large scale, if I can find the dimensions and a good profile picture. There is a website that has drawings for sale, but I don’t want to have to buy. A good photograph or two and some dimensions is all I need to draw up a full scale drawing. I probably could make drawings and sell them, but I’m not the entepreneurial type.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics