Andy's Circus Train

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Project by Planeman40 posted 03-17-2018 05:11 PM 4940 views 5 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are the things you do for your grandchildren. I decided to make a circus train for my grandson Andy. Little did I know it would be such a time consuming project! But here it is. Finally finished!

It consists of six pieces made of two woods, aspen and rosewood for contrast. I like aspen for models as it has a pore-free close grain and holds detail. The design is to represent the old circus trains around the end of the 1800’s. I carefully tried to make it as breakage free as possible using bamboo dowels and tenons to join breakable parts. The cage bars are also made from bamboo (nature’s carbon fiber). The train consists of:

1. An engine with a nameplate of rosewood saying “Andy’s Circus” using Presstype.
2. A tender
3. A calliope car with a clown playing and a music box playing “Over the Waves” when you wind it up using the clown to wind.
4. An animal car with circus posters on both sides, one with a clown, the other with an attacking tiger. I used vintage Ringling Bros. , Barnum and Bailey posters copied from the Internet and put through Photoshop to erase the name and put in it place “Andy’s Circus”.
5. A cage car for the tiger and lion, bars made from bamboo as mentioned above.
6. And finally a caboose to which applied Presstype gold lettering saying “Andy’s Circus

A circus train needs animals of course, so I carved an elephant with her baby elephant, a zebra, lion, tiger, a zebra, and a giraffe.

Not being content to have the train left on the floor to be damaged, I decided to make a way of displaying it on a wall. This ended being a combination hanging display shelf and storage case that is six feet long. All of the painting and graphics are mine and the case is lined with red felt.

As there are so many pieces, it will have to be presented on Lumberjocks in two separate parts noted here: **

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

22 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


15605 posts in 3507 days

#1 posted 03-17-2018 05:36 PM

You made so incredible train toys- so detailed and colourfull.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View americancanuck's profile


447 posts in 3249 days

#2 posted 03-17-2018 05:54 PM

This is incredible. I simply cannot come up with enough superlatives to describe this. Andy is a very lucky boy.

-- Retired and lovin it

View Redoak49's profile


4430 posts in 2628 days

#3 posted 03-17-2018 05:56 PM

These are unique and wonderful.

View ralbuck's profile


6380 posts in 2905 days

#4 posted 03-17-2018 06:05 PM




-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Joe's profile


525 posts in 1726 days

#5 posted 03-17-2018 07:02 PM

That is an awesome circus train, I’ll bet it did take a long time to complete with such precision and detail. Wonderful Job!

-- CurleyJoe, "You only learn from your mistakes"

View tyvekboy's profile


1967 posts in 3652 days

#6 posted 03-17-2018 07:49 PM

You did a great job on that toy. Definitely an heirloom project. Hope the grandchild appreciates it.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View 67flh's profile


106 posts in 1920 days

#7 posted 03-17-2018 08:29 PM

Incredible detail, great work.

-- Brad

View jeffswildwood's profile


4286 posts in 2616 days

#8 posted 03-17-2018 08:47 PM

This is the most detail I have seen. It’s just incredible. This one deserves the EDITORS CHOICE award!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View ElroyD's profile


134 posts in 1227 days

#9 posted 03-17-2018 08:48 PM

Wow! Being a train, circus, and woodworking fan, I can’t like this one enough! I love the idea of using the vintage posters on the sides of the cars. Brilliant!

-- Elroy

View GR8HUNTER's profile


6968 posts in 1352 days

#10 posted 03-17-2018 08:58 PM

your grandson Andy is a lucky little boy to have such a talented Grandpa …this train has a lot of fine looking details that make it the perfect gift …..also GR8 choice of woods they are simply beautiful together …this is going into my favs …GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3506 days

#11 posted 03-17-2018 09:07 PM

This is a wonderful piece and beautifully done. It’s a real eye catcher.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 1287 days

#12 posted 03-17-2018 11:00 PM

Great work, Rufus. I’m sure Andy loves it!

View crowie's profile


3442 posts in 2590 days

#13 posted 03-17-2018 11:27 PM


That’s was my reaction to seeing the photo of your beautiful train sir and the carriages too, exceptional….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View htl's profile


4926 posts in 1798 days

#14 posted 03-18-2018 12:03 AM

That is one super nice train and the cars O yes the cars!!!
There’s so much beautiful detail and one really build with love we can tell.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View therealSteveN's profile


4902 posts in 1213 days

#15 posted 03-18-2018 03:33 AM

Favorite Grandpa are 2 words you may hear. Awesome work.

-- Think safe, be safe

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