Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thomas the Train Double Riser

If your children are fans of the wooden Thomas the Train sets, I am sure you have plenty of experience with their wooden risers - both the good and the bad.  They allow your children to build bigger and better, AND they are also not particularly stable, especially, if you double stack them.

I revealed how I solved a few issues in this post, Thomas the Train Bridge Tutorial, involving permanently attaching a track section to 2 single wooden risers.  Simple and yet so very helpful.  I am not sure how much my boys appreciated this change, but I sure appreciated it as it stopped a lot of whining and crying because the track broke, yet again.  Screws and glue are good for that.

So, when my oldest recently started combining the single risers to make double risers (which they are meant to do, unfortunately), I experienced a similar problem as before - the track broke.  Grrrr.

Boo.  Real stable, right?

  • Screws or nails to fit the wood chosen
  • Scrap wood for riser, 2 x 4's are easy
  • Scrap wood for riser sides 
  • Sand paper
  • Wood glue
  • Miter saw
  • Drill
  • Clamps if desired

Well, if you also build wooden furniture or any wooden project, I am sure you have a pile of scraps like I do.  Or you may know someone who does.

You don't want to throw them away, because you just know you will find a use for it.  Here it is, for some of those scraps anyway

I took my scrap 2 x 4's and measured the height of 2 Thomas risers against my scraps and cut them to fit.

Next, I needed some scraps to keep the track on the riser.  This can really be any wooden scrap.  My scraps were about a quarter of a 2 x 4.  Since I rescued them from my father's trash pile, I am not sure of their origin exactly, but they were about 8 inches long and approximately a 1 x 2 in size.  I cut them to about 3/4 of an inch to one inch in length.  I didn't measure these guys, as being precise did not matter.  They would be used to just keep the track on the riser.

Make sure to sand all your wooden pieces to remove any splinters!

It is my opinion that the track should have some flexibility to wiggle so if my kids jostle the track it does not disturb the track on the risers.  Again, there is no exactness to this.  I gauged how much wiggle room I wanted to use by putting a piece of track on the riser and placing the side rails where I wanted them.

That looks about right.

I applied wood glue and clamps to the side rails.

When the glue set, I removed the clamps and predrilled 2 holes on each side rail.

Then I added the screws.

I made about 4 in 40 minutes, and my boys were ecstatic.  I love making them so happy.

I hope this helps some other parents of Thomas fans!


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