How to make a wooden toy train with railroad

By Jonah Morrissey
A wooden toy train.

No matter how many electronic toys come out, children of all ages still enjoy playing with a wooden toy train. Toy trains have been enjoyed by children for generations. A wooden toy train allows children to use their imagination and be transported into a world all their own. Making a wooden toy train with railroad can be done with readily available materials. It will be something that can be handed down from one generation to the next.

Measure with a tape measure six inches from one end of the 25 by 30 by 200 mm (1 by 3 by 80 inch) pine board. Mark this measurement with a pencil. Cut the board at the pencil mark with a mitre saw. Do this five more times to make six, six-inch pieces from the 25 by 30 by 200 mm (1 by 3 by 80 inch) pine board. These pieces will form the train cars.

Draw with a pencil the outline of a train car on each 150 mm (6 inch) wood block. Be sure to include an engine and a caboose. Cut out the outlines of the train cars on the band saw.

Screw a hook onto one end of each train car, then screw an eye onto the other end each train car. The hooks and eyes will allow the train cars to be connected to form a train. Measure and mark one inch from the bottom edge of each train car. Mark the measurements with a pencil. Place a wheel on each pencil mark. Fasten each wheel in place with a small wood screw and screwdriver. Tighten the wheel so that it will just barely spin freely. You do not want the wheel to wobble when you spin it. If it wobbles, the wheel screw is too loose.

Position the 18 by 600 by 600 mm (3/4 by 24 by 24 inch) plywood panel on a work surface. Use a pencil to draw a loop for the railroad tracks. Use a router with 1-inch dovetail bit to cut along the pencil line. Move the router slowly along the pencil line until the train track loop is completed.

Sand all of the exposed surfaces of the train cars and the train track with 120 grit sandpaper. Use craft paints and a paint brush to paint the train cars and the train tracks. Add as many or as few details to the track and train cars as you would like. Allow the paint to dry. Connect the train cars by connecting the hooks to the eyes. Place the train on the track.

Tip

Paint in mountains, streams, a railroad depot, and trees along the railroad tracks. Paint names and animals on the train cars.

Warning

Always wear eye protection when working with wood. Follow tool safety warnings carefully for safe use.

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.