With two playsets built, I figured I would attempt to make some actual train cars for my lad's ever growing train track which currently fills a high percentage of our coffee table.

As with all my homemade 'Thomas' stuff, I have started with Basswood. My former supply of 1/2" thick stock has been used up, but I did manage to find a woodwork supply store that had nice pieces of 3/8" thick boards for about $1.50 each. They also stock the wheels and axles needed for this project, I would recommend buying 100 of each as they are only 4 cents each and then you won't run out and have to reorder or drive halfway across the province to get more like I did. I had originally used some rare earth magnets and holders from Lee Valley (Shown in some of these pictures) but they turned out to be WAY too strong for a child's toy and so I ordered and replaced them with some ceramic Magnets and Round Head Nails from Cherrytree Woodworking. These magnets were far cheaper than the Rare earth ones, and would only cost about $0.45 per car except for the cost of shipping them to Canada (now about $1.50 per car with shipping). In total for a single 6 wheel car I used about $1.70 in parts, and most of that is in shipping the magnets.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

The tools required for this project:
Drill press
Drill Bits - 11/64", 1/4" and 5/16"
Sandpaper (Medium & fine  - 100  & 220 grit)
Dowel Points
Scroll, Jig or Band saw, whichever you prefer...or a coping saw if you are oldschool.
A piece of wooden track for testing

Materials needed for this project:
Basswood 12" x 4" x 3/8"  (this will make at least 4 or 5 trains)
3/4" Wooden Wheels - 4 or 6 per train
5/8" Axles - 4 or 6 per train
3/8" Magnets and Cups  - 2 of each per train
Thin Hardwood (I used some offcut from some wooden blinds)
1/4" dowel 4" long (the small wood pegs from Ikea furniture work well, if you have any leftovers)(optional)
1/2" dowel 9" long (optional)
Acrylic Paint and Varnish
Acrylic Gel Medium
Sharpie Markers (thick and thin)
Wood glue
Brown paper bag
<p>Thanks for the great instructable. Made a great gift for a friends son and now I'm hooked on making more. Great link to woodwork supply store! My wheel and axle order (and they have great magnets too) arrived in less than a week.</p>
<p>I love your Thomas stuff! Have you done any more?</p>
Thanks for all the work Crozier! Your work is what first inspired me to work on some of my own Thomas stuff (though I have since found some other great info out there as well).<br> <br> I'm in Canada as well, and the site where you order your wheels and axles also sells <a href="http://store.workshopsupply.com/catalogue/ceramic-magnet-14mm-5mm-thick-29mm-hole-p-3050.html" rel="nofollow">ceramic magnets</a>, which is where I will be getting them. They are a tiny bit larger, but should still fit fine. For the round head nails, they are sold as tacks for upholstering furniture and should be available at any local fabric store, as well as some of the big box home centres (though I have found that the fabric stores have better prices and selection). I got 25 of them for $1.50 and the spike part is a good amount longer which should make them more secure.<br> <br> Keep up the great work, and I hope to see more from you!<br> Darren Brewster
These are absolutely stunning! Your attention to detail is remarkable. I've been a wood train builder for a few years but lack your skill and/or patience to create such wonderful details. &nbsp;The logs alone are a masterpiece.<br> <br> I know you posted this several years ago so I'd love to see any additional trains you've created. &nbsp;I've got a site here that includes some of my trains as well as some ideas for wheels and axels that have worked well for me.<br> <br> <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/handmadewoodentrains/home" rel="nofollow">https://sites.google.com/site/handmadewoodentrains/home</a>
Thanks for the comment. I have made many more trains, but I have given most of them away to nieces and nephews and didn't take any more pictures of the production of them. I will be making more this year, and I might have to use some of your designs as well, they look amazing.
I love the little books on the train. So cute! Your son is a lucky boy :)
Very nice work, I particularly like the single axle nuclear waste transporter.<br><br>How about a &quot;Candy Cane&quot; truck (they're like logs), a Tank Truck for &quot;Christmas Cola&quot; (or some other suitable beverage), Livestock Truck for &quot;Magic Reindeer&quot;, not to mention the first class &quot;nice kids carriage&quot; and the much less opulent &quot;naughty kids truck&quot;...
Very good.<br> <br> L<br>
lucky kid/s ! the only problem I see is that as your kid/s grow so does your need to come up with cool toys
Those are great! And it's a project simple enough for beginners or kid-participation as well...
Very nice. These would make great ornaments for a tree, as well as toys for a young one.
Very nice. I will be eager to see your engine when it is ready.

About This Instructable




More by Crozier:'Thomas the Tank Engine' Style Train Cars Wooden Tunnel for Thomas the Tank Engine Playsets Handmade Station for Thomas the Tank Engine Wooden Train Set 
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