Toy Construction #43: Coal Train Build #1

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Blog entry by htl posted 05-01-2016 12:30 AM 3067 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 42: Combined Car train build #4 Part 43 of Toy Construction series Part 44: Coal train Builds #2.5 »

Well the plans came in and it’s full steam ahead. Yahoo!!!
Starting the Toys And Joys Coal train.
I started on the boiler, my thoughts being this is the hardest part everything else can be adjusted to suit it.
Here’s what I got done today, I know it doesn’t look like much but this is a big part to this project.

Nothing is glued up so may go back and make the walnut rings thinner but we’ll see.

Lets back up and start at the beginning.
Remember there’s a hundred ways to do any thing this is what worked for me with what tools I had on hand.

Most builders would use the lathe to make the boiler but Little black Duck and I got to talking about it and it hit me I don’t need to use the lathe lets try something else.
Another blogger gave me the idea to use a bolt to get every thing lined up and it worked like a charm.
He used the lathe and a dowel for his build..

One other thing to note the wood on the plans goes from front to back while the one noted above goes side ways, I really liked the look of his but it needs to be some really nice wood to work.

First I needed some wood to glue up but then it hit me I got some scrounged oak bed posts gathering dust, I almost throw them out last week end. lol

Remember I made my miter gauge work with the Dewalt saw well this was the best way to cut these posts, they needed to be really cut right or we’d have some ugly boilers.
Here’s that post.
I usually use 7 1/2” blades on my saw but wanted it to be cut in one pass so loaded up the big guns and used a 10” blade for this. Man I can really feel and hear the difference in the saw having to turn that bigger blade.
With the big blade the saw has to work to cut through but with the smaller thinner blades it cuts though stuff like this like a knife trough butter.

Next I resewed some walnut on the table saw for the spacers then planed it.

Now’s when thing start going in a different direction.
I mark the centers of the four oak blocks that will be the boiler and drill a hole for a all tread bolt to go through.
Then I sand the blocks round and to size on the SS just like when I’m making wheels.
The bolt is a tight fit so there will not be any sliding around when I finally do glue them up.

Now bolted the wood up and turned the grains to match up and tightened the bolt.
Now chuck it up in the drill press to sand it smooth and get the 4 blocks to match up perfectly.
I should note here that it is a long bolt so clamped a 3/4 piece a scrap under the bolt and drilled the bottom end of the bolt into the wood.
This worked great for the short time I needed it but it did make some noise, I guess I could have oiled it but it worked with out for me.

Now take it all apart and sand the walnut partitions now that we know exactly how round we want them.

This looks like the hard part for this build so it’s all down hill from here, I do need to turn the smoke stack and another dome but shouldn’t be to bad.
The wheels sure look thin to me I wonder what some thicker ones would look like on there?

You may have noticed I added a little more shape to the boiler so we’ll see if that works out.

That’s all folks!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

8 comments so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


3445 posts in 1428 days

#1 posted 05-01-2016 03:43 AM

“One picture says 1,000 words” (surprisingly is not an original quote.. I stole it from somewhere…).

When you build the wood burner (I’m sure you won’t be able to stop after this one), maybe a small 1/8” dowel between adjoining segments would stop slip just if/in case the nut did not give enough pressure to prevent movement.. that way you could use a rasp to speed things up (if it could/need be). May need dowels on opposite side to counter balance (just picturing what may go wrong if I did it). In a past life, for something totally different, I used a 8mm threaded bolt with a skateboard bearing (actually 2-3 for greater stability) on the bottom end. The commercial bearings are 8mm ID (close enough to 5/16”), 22mmOD and 7mm thick. This prevents the thread from wearing away the timber and the base and reduce chatter and friction. I use these bearings a lot in my workshop and when bought in bulk (pack of 20) are about 50p (Aussie cents) each.

Back to the model… I am impressed, job well done.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


3445 posts in 1428 days

#2 posted 05-01-2016 03:44 AM

You Yanks are weird… Is that a heater keeping the old bed posts warm????

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2614 days

#3 posted 05-01-2016 11:27 AM

You Yanks are weird… Is that a heater keeping the old bed posts warm????

- LittleBlackDuck

Funny that. I was gonna ask the same question ! You beat me to it!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1767 days

#4 posted 05-01-2016 11:43 AM

Hey you wanting my heater, you can’t have it buddy!
I know it’s getting cooler down under but up here in the south it’s getting warm so my not a heater is blowing in my direction while I’m sanding the boiler. LOL!!!
The post just haven’t found it’s way back to the corner from which it came, still trying to find a project to use the middle of that post in I have two of them.
Been thinking of redoing my table saw table one more time kinda like Bearatwood did his out standing work table but probable not.

Ducky I’m glad you mentioned the all thread in the drill press it really could have got interesting if I had been using a cutter or some thing that really put some pressure on the bottom. [it was over an inch in the wood]
I had sanded them so close on the Shopsmith that all I needed to do was sand out the deeper marks from the SS”S course sand paper.
Probable didn’t use it like that for 5-10 minutes.
The sander you see near it in the pictures was used as a sanding pad to level out any small rounded out areas.
Then with the drill turned off sanded out the really small marks.
And like you had said else where can you imagine trying to sand this after it’s all glued up,would be a real pain.

I’ve scrounged up some inline skates awhile back and need to check them out for this kind of project.

You probable right about building another one, this is a 2/3 size build and just might want to make one full size so I can put in more details.

Joe I didn’t see you post till after I posted the above.
Hey your in my neck of the woods so don’t start hanging around with him he’ll get you in trouble.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View toyguy's profile


1711 posts in 4445 days

#5 posted 05-01-2016 12:40 PM

Interesting way of attacking this build. Just goes to show you that there is more than one way to skin a cat. But honestly, I’ll stick with my lathe. :-)
Good luck in the rest of the build. These trains from T&J are great conversation pieces when done.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1767 days

#6 posted 05-01-2016 01:38 PM

Toyguy not everyone has a lathe and just thought I’d give it a try before buying any more tools.
I needed a live or even a died center before I use the SS for a lathe and even looked at making one[Got one on order but won’t be here till the 15]
Went to HF and Sears but lathe tools are not fast sellers so no joy.
The plans came in and I have the technology so get er done even if it is a little different..
I wonder how many wood workers have built something else because of not having a lathe when they really wanted to build a train.
So here’s another way using a disk sander and a drill press which is a tool most wood workers will get before they would have a lathe.

30 or so years ago I had all the tools needed to use my SS as a lathe and turned a train but sad to say it’s one of the toys that didn’t survive my son’s play time. lol

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View htl's profile


4872 posts in 1767 days

#7 posted 05-02-2016 03:28 AM

So today I went and sanded the walnut rings a little closer to the boiler and sanded then buffed it out.
I had two pieces of all thread so glued up half the boiler with one so I wouldn’t have as much to worry about while I was bolting it up.
Man the bolt worked great just tighten it up and no worrys.
So finished one then glued up the other.
Waited an hour or more and took them apart and then put it all back together gluing up the center, so the boiler is done till I sand the bottom flat and drill holes.
I’m using scraps off the two train cars and truck for wood so this is going to be a really mixed up train wood wise. Cut out the frame and cabin so tomorrow should be a really fun build.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3474 days

#8 posted 05-03-2016 04:08 PM

Nice work. Your jigs look great and your work is very interesting.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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