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Thread: Thomas The Tank Train Table for Grandson

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
    Posts
    499

    Thomas The Tank Train Table for Grandson

    This was my Christmas present for my 3yo grandson.

    The dimensions came from the various catalogs. the top is about 33 1/2" by 49". It is constructed from Russian Birch except for the top surface which is HD Chinese birch. The exposed edges of the Russian birch finished very well while the Chinese birch was a 2nd purchase and HD had it in stock. The edges of the Chinese ply have a lot of voids, but the surface was acceptable. (after looking thru several sheets).

    The design is mine. The construction is pocket hole screws with butt joints. Top and lower shelf are dadoed. Finish is 3 coats of MinWax poly with a coat of wax at the end. I needed to able to assemble it when it was delivered so I chose the Lee Valley bolts and nuts ( in the photo album).

    Take a look at the LINK for more pictures and description about the project.

    This was a fun project. As usual I learned alot and gained a few new skills along the way.

  2. #2
    Nice> Where do you get the Russian Birch? Hard to find good plywood these days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    409
    How do those nuts work. Do they get screwed into the one piece flush, then when you go to assemble it it lines up with the hole that the screw goes through?
    Rise above the rest

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
    Posts
    499
    I live in the Atlanta Area. This was purchased from http://www.peachstatelumber.com

    This was 5' x 5' so I think it is the real thing. The were NO problems with the exposed edges. Price seemed very reasonable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
    Posts
    499
    Ahhhhh.... you landed on the tricky issue for this project.

    I built the legs and the top 1st. Then clamped the legs in each corner. Then I drilled 5/16" holes. (Careful to mark which leg goes in which corner.... )

    Notice the "nuts" have a larger hex driver hole, so you can screw these in from the back of the leg and they do go flush. The problem is getting them in exactly straight in the hole. Some nuts were not exactly straight and had to be messed with. Since these are 1/4" x 20 standard threaded bolts I used a 6" bolt threaded from the back to convince the bolts to straighted up enought so I could get the bolt in. You can sorta see this in the album ( or in the picture below.

    I actually cut off an allen wrench and used my 3/8 battery drill to drive them in. This helped but the inconsistencies in the wood caused drift on some of the nuts.

    Next time I would experiment a little more maybe with a little larger hole. Maybe just a large hole on the leg side.

    I think the overall effect turned out OK and it is VERY sturdy.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
    Posts
    2,332
    Nice table Bartee and I am sure that Mathew will get lots of use out of it.

    I have been thinking of building something similar. Anything I build would have to come apart and go together often. How long does it take to assemble your's and how long does it take to take it apart?
    Last edited by Frank Pellow; 12-28-2006 at 04:12 PM.
    Cheers, Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Alpharetta GA ( Metro Atlanta)
    Posts
    499
    Frank,
    This is like ready to assemble furniture. It took 20-30 mins to assemble ( with my able helper !! ). The only difference is most RTA furniture can only be assembled once then things start breaking. This will not break since there is NO particle board involved :-)

    I think you could design a version of this with folding legs that could be stored easily if that is what you are looking for.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    Very nice. I'm sure he will enjoy if you and his father ever stop playing with it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    southwestern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    17

    Thomas the Tank Engine Table

    Very nice table, your grandson will get many hours, days, and years play time with the trains.
    Frank:
    I built my grandsons out of 1x6 poplar, with 2x2, 17 inches high, folding legs. It will stand on it's side (5-1/2 inches of balancing) against a wall.
    Bartee:
    You didn't purchase the play board, I bought it first and sized the table around the "play board." The play board is NOT necessary.
    Daniel

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