Train Table

This is one of my first project in the Fergus house. Both Gregory and Andrew became big train fans and they got numerous Thomas train sets (similar to Brio trains) for Christmas 2005. One problem was that the setups would routinely get destroyed when on the floor. We noticed that, for a ridiculous price, many companies sold "train tables" that were designed to put this Brio-like setups on. The Thomas edition even had removable table tops that one could replace with decorated tops with rivers and roads and the such. One quick trip to Toys-R-Us and we knew the dimensions of those table tops (they require a 48" x 32" opening, in case you're interested) so that if we ever found one for a steal on eBay, we could buy it and put it on the train table I made.

The table is about the height of a coffee table. It is made out of oak and was varnished to have a similar look as both the toy box we have and the cabinetry with have throughout the entire house, which is also all oak. Although much of the edge routing was designed to match the look of the cabinets, a couple compromises were made on the edges most likely to have a toddler's head impact them.

Overall, the project went pretty well minus a few lessons:

1. When a table saw throws a piece of wood at you, it WILL leave a bruise the shape of the 2x4 you were ripping on your stomack and knock the wind out of you, scaring your wife to death.

2. The opening for the drawers must include the width of the rails if you expect the drawers to open.

3. Varnish in an arosol can is VERY expensive despite the weight to volume conversions that suggest it isn't much more expensive than a quart. (I used 4 cans at a cost of $25 for what a $9 quart could easily have covered.)

4. It is wise to have a strategy for how all edging is going to blend into the piece it butts up against (the bottom edge was flat and went into a piece with a routed edge. It took a copping saw and some significant sanding to curve the edge in to meet the routed edge properly.)

5. It is best to hide mating surfaces that are ripped because it is difficult to cut them precisely enough to prevent any gaps.

5 oversights isn't bad...

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