wooden train

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Notes from the Workshop: Dumb-Ass Edition

Maybe the cold has frozen my brain or the stress of the Holidays has made me crack, but I've done some dumb things in the shop this week.

Mold

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I found some mold under a piece of plywood on the shop floor.  What I didn't mention was that I also threw away a drawer that had been sitting on the floor.  It too had developed some mold on the exposed chipboard bottom.  After I a while, I dug it out of the trash because I had thought of a use for it.  So I cleaned it up and hit it with some Concrobium to take care of the mold.  Evidently, Concrobium doesn't work so well on porous surfaces.

A few days latter I went back into my shop and noticed the mold smell again.  I had left the drawer sitting on my workbench for several days, probably still slightly damp.  When I picked it up, I discovered mold had transferred itself to the top of my bench, Ugh!  Well the old bench needed a little resurfacing, so I grabbed my jack plane and hit the bench top with a few passes then went back over it with some sandpaper.  I made sure that I vacuumed up the shavings and the sawdust, lest the mold find somewhere else to grow.  I threw out the stupid drawer.

Flying Debris

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Tools: jig saw, router table, safety glasses

Tags: notes, toys, wooden train

Creating Wooden Train Track

We bought my son an Imaginarium train table for his birthday this summer.   We've all had fun playing with it and making new and interesting track configurations, but the table was missing one critical piece to finish many of the layouts -- a female to female piece.  Usually are you progress along the track all the pieces got from male to female or vice versa, but if you use the roundhouse, or switches sometimes you end up trying to connect to male or female ends together to complete the loop.  The set came with a male to male piece, but no female to female piece.

Now I know that i can buy specialty pieces either online or at the store, but I though it would be fun to try and reproduce a piece of track.  Companies like MLCS, Rockler, and Hartville Tool sell special bit sets, but they cost quite a bit and would be overkill for producing one piece of track.

On the following pages you'll see the process I went through to build the special piece.

Update: Making the double female track is now just one section of this project; I've added a new section about creating a double male track connector.

Tools: router, table saw

Tags: Hartville Tool, Imaginarium, MLCS, Rockler, Thomas and Friends, toys, wooden train