Friday, April 22, 2011


Reuben self-taught a deep and abiding passion for trains via Thomas the Tank Engine and that love is deep and true. Most days, he spends at least an hour building tracks and pulling an assortment of engines and cars around, and loves for us to join him. I think building toys are especially nice because they give older siblings and parents something to DO when trying to play with I-still-prefer-parallel-play toddlers. We acquired some fancy tracks for Christmas and a whole bin full of extra tracks in a miracle-of-a-hand-me-down, and the more complex set-ups that these allow often leave us with this situation:After some browsing, I found short attaching segments to purchase in a couple of places online, but decided to wait awhile. Their price alone wasn't too horrifying, but when you add shipping...a familiar dilemma. I thought I'd wait until there were additional things we wanted to purchase from the shop. Or a holiday for the giving. I remember kind of wishing in passing that I had a router so I could try to make my own matching tracks. Then one day it occurred to me to work with what I had: lots of tracks!

On one 8-inch straight track segment, I could trace out 4 joining pieces, using another track as a pattern: two each of male/male and female/female segments.I tried to wait until I purchased finer-toothed blades for my scroll saw (I only had some 12ers from a thick-wood project last Christmas; the poor saw has been neglected...), but then decided one afternoon I would be happy with rough results and cut just one.
The blade I used didn't make 90 degree turns very well, but after a little sanding work with my Dremel, it fit neatly enough.
Heady with success, I purchased a new set of blades...well, a week later. Busy along with heady along with forgetful. But the next cuts were cleaner
and up to the challenge!
* actual basement action shots make up in cool what they lack in photographic excellence ;)

At Audrey's request, I tried cutting a curved segment into two shorter ones as well, but centering the link placement correctly was more difficult than I thought (ie, they only fit with a good shove. More Dremel action! Or a do-over). Just thought I'd let you know in case you want to try ;).

1 comment:

Mindy said...

Wow! You are amazing!