View Full Version : WIP - Train Table for the little boy

5th August 2008, 11:12 PM
Time for the next project. This one's got to be quicker than the last one as its his birthday on the 21st.

We've bought him a 100 piece wooden train set and it needs a table to keep it on, and in. It'll sit on the deck which is covered, but still gets a bit of weather, so I'm making it out of exterior ply again. It has to have a drawer to store the spare bits in, but fortunately I have one spare which I made for something else, so I'll use that to base the table around.

We also try to keep the deck an adult space as much as possible, so its going to have a lid to put on top and cover up the train set, so the train layout is set inside the carcass of the table about 100mm. That also means they can use the table to eat at or do painting and other stuff.

I actually have drawn a rough plan of this one, so I'll scan it as soon as I can.

11th August 2008, 06:31 PM
Sounds like a good idea. Just a thought... you could paint the inside walls of the carcass of where the train goes with background scenery; trees, hills, houses...

Carry Pine
11th August 2008, 08:50 PM
Bet you can't outdo 2 sheets of 6' X 4' chipboard held up by 14 removalist's packing cases. That was ours for 2 years until we got organised at home. The kids loved it anyway.

Carry Pine

11th August 2008, 10:01 PM
Bet its like the Cubby House rule - the amount of time the kids play with it is inversely proportional to the amount of time and money you spend making it...:rolleyes:

22nd August 2008, 11:35 PM
Well I got carried away and didn't take any WIP photos, so we'll jump straight to the (virtually) finished article.

Its Sams birthday tomorrow so I had to get it to a stage where he can play with it, so some of the finishing touches won't get done until next weekend, but I'm sure Sam won't care. The drawer is done, and I'll cut the lid and finish it next. The lid'll have to be foldable as the outside measurements of the table are 1080x980 and I want to be able to put the lid away when we're not using it.

Its made from cheap and cheerful 16mm CD ply. I painted it with Solaguard the same as one of the house colours since we'd got some and it'll match the colours around the deck. I'll do the lid in one of the other colours I think, either cream or black ("Licorice"!). My wife takes the credit for the roads and scenery etc on the table. 2 coats of polyurethane should look after the playing surface.

Photos of the little boy playing with it tomorrow...

Using the drawer I'd already made meant packing out the carcass, so it ended up 3 layers thick in some places, so its very solid. I jumped on it and it didn't budge, so the kids should be able to abuse it without any problem.

Looking back, using the old drawer made the build more complicated, probably didn't save any time, or any cash, so next time, I'd just build it all from scratch.

Carry Pine
23rd August 2008, 12:25 PM

Well done.
My neigbours bought one like this and paid mega dollars (Brio) for it and said to me,'You could have probably made something like this for half the cost'. (probably 1/10! ) Theirs did not have a drawer.
I sugggest you refine your design (although it looks pretty good already) and when other kids are using the table (birthdays etc) offer to make one at a price. people like the collapsable idea if that is built into it.



23rd August 2008, 12:45 PM
Thanks Graham. It cost me a sheet and half of ply, so aroun $100, but it is 50% bigger than the ones in the shop and ten times as solid. To make one I would charge material +10% and time at say, $40 ph, so, materials $150, labour, even if I could make it in one day is $320, so getting on for $500! The table doesn't fold up, only the lid.

Here's a photo of the kids playing with it.