Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Another Train

It has been a little while since I have posted a completed  project.  I have been busy doing a lot of things, however I have been asked to build a couple of trains for Christmas.  I just completed them after 4 months.  I can't say they were all that easy even though the design was fairly straight forward.  In all there are seven cars and and and engine.  Three of the cars are "learning  cars", pictured below.  There is one train in walnut (shown) and the second is in oak.  I was hoping there was a little more contrast between the oak and the maple but it still came out nice.  The plans came from Making Toys that Teach.  I have done a couple of projects from the book (my favorite the dominoes).
The first car is a fraction car.  This consists of four dowels: one full length, one cut in half, another cut in thirds and the last cut into fourths.  The shape care has three shapes that fit into cut-outs.  The last car is the color car.  This car consists of ten slabs of five different types of wood.  Each wood is a distinct color.  I am proud that I could do this without any stains or dies.  The woods in order are: Purple Heart (Purple), Walnut (brown), Poplar (green), Oak (light brown), Maple (white).  
I learned a few things on this train that I would not have expected.  First, I love my airbrush I bought a couple of years ago.  It made finishing these trains less time consuming and easier.  In the past I uses a 1/2" paint brush and finish toys because of all the small parts and crevasses.  Very tedious and a pain in the neck.  Second, wood swells in humidity.  I knew this, however while making these trains I drilled axle whole 1/32" larger than the dowel.  I was assembling them this past weekend when it was rainy.  To my horror the axles had expanded so the wheels would not spin.  Cars are no fun if the wheels do not turn.  Since I only had one set of wheels on, it was easy to re-drill all holes.
My son also helped my assemble the trains. 
video
There is a better video but apparently it does not want to load.
He also had fun carrying around the hammer and eat glue.  He is also apparently vary afraid of my cordless drill.

And as always, leave it up to the 18 month old to find the flaw in the design.  Who even said a round peg doesn't fit in the square hole.  After that discovery, the square peg didn't have a home and the round peg took up residence in the square hole.  It even looks like he is saying, "Dad, this is not suppose to work!"  Got to love kids.

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