How I made the coal

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Project by FrenchGoattoys posted 02-04-2019 07:42 PM 1274 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I would have put this on a blog, but I could not get the photos to upload. So, I hope posting gets the same results.

when I show people pictures of my train, generally speaking, nobody asks me how I made the lantern, the ladders, or the bell. Most are interested in the coal. Therefore, I, prompted by Little Black Duck, thought I would share the details. After much todo about nothing, it actually turned out to be an easy process.

You can obviously shape the wedge in several different ways. I shaped mine by cutting different angles on 3/4 stock; the first block was the sharpest angle so it had a longer taper to create the ending coal flow.

I did a clue up, obviously, longest block on bottom, shortest on top. The end result was a wedge with varying angles.

Again, several ways to create definition. The point is, I thought it needed it because my first attempt was not random and chaotic enough. I used a forstner bit to get the definition. I used the spindle sander to remove the sharpness, create a random coal flow end, and create more flow overall; I followed up by hand sanding.

There are a few different makers of the product, as well as different colors. I also used this product to create dirt around home plate in a baseball coffee table display case. So, keep it in mind; it is not just for coal.

I sprayed the wedge with a product designed to add a stone texture. I added several coats to create a build up, which gave it more definition in the end.

So, there you have it. That is how I made the coal.

-- KJ, Spokane, WA.: Don’t count the days; make the days count.

10 comments so far

View htl's profile


5266 posts in 2047 days

#1 posted 02-04-2019 08:23 PM

I like that idea, as I had it in my head O My what a mess. LOL
That’s one way cute train set too!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7934 posts in 1600 days

#2 posted 02-04-2019 10:04 PM

thanks for sharing your secret :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View PaulDoug's profile


2394 posts in 2591 days

#3 posted 02-04-2019 10:32 PM

Thanks, I did not know such paint existed. I will have to remember that. I an going to try to make some items that may need a rock like backer. This would make it very easy.
You little train is great!

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View htl's profile


5266 posts in 2047 days

#4 posted 02-05-2019 01:14 AM

I know Home Depot has it.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View swirt's profile


5586 posts in 3860 days

#5 posted 02-05-2019 02:20 AM

Thanks for sharing your method. Petty clever.

-- Galootish log blog,

View therealSteveN's profile


6490 posts in 1462 days

#6 posted 02-05-2019 09:06 AM

I heard somewhere “it’s all in the details” Proof positive of that here.

Thanks for the explanation, and sharing it.

-- Think safe, be safe

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


5834 posts in 1709 days

#7 posted 02-05-2019 10:25 AM

Green Bum (grassy rrrs) F’G’. Love it…

I often ponder whether to blog or project… however, I think you chose wisely… the project page gets better exposure and I’m sure more enthusiasts will be inspired by your method than have it hidden away amongst the blogs.

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

View ralbuck's profile


6600 posts in 3154 days

#8 posted 02-05-2019 05:35 PM

A superb build and a very helpful tutorial too.

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

View robscastle's profile


7447 posts in 3092 days

#9 posted 02-06-2019 06:37 AM

Stone effect paint.

Some more information:-

I did some tests with it Oct 2011 I used a paintable product called Stone effect, bought a couple of tins to experiment with after seeing it, much the same as the coal tender.

Here is a example of a couple of pieces of board painted to replicate tombstones.

I also found rust-oleum metal effect paint about the same time.

I am not sure where they are now, I think a Mickelburg may have nicked them

-- Regards Rob

View FrenchGoattoys's profile


105 posts in 638 days

#10 posted 02-06-2019 07:29 AM

Rob, Versatile product, right. I love the gold brick.

-- KJ, Spokane, WA.: Don’t count the days; make the days count.

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