How to Make a Large Wood Train

Written by jennifer mullett
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How to Make a Large Wood Train
Wooden trains can be created in many different sizes. (wood train track image by sonya etchison from

Whether you choose to build large individual wooden trains or a train with many cars for a lengthy chain, an abundance of woodworking projects are available. Patterns can be adjusted with careful attention to detail, if you wish for a larger train. Work with a pattern you can comfortably complete and move on to more challenging projects when you are ready. Choose a pattern (many can be found online and free) or create a plan yourself. If children will be playing with the trains, procure non-toxic materials for safety. Large wooden trains can be played with or without a track and will provide hours of entertainment to any child.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wood
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint
  • Wood glue
  • Dowels
  • Wooden wheels
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Varnish
  • Rivets
  • Metal screw eyes
  • Brushes

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  1. 1

    Measure the body of the train and mark for cutting. Cut the rectangular section of wood for the base of the train. Cut a smaller block 1/3 of the size of the base. Cut the dowel into strips 2/3 the length of the train to look like logs or other train cargo.

  2. 2

    Sand all edges of each piece for a smooth finish. Paint the pieces (including the wheels) in a visually appealing pattern. Simple is best for this application. Solid colours or stripes can be painted on side of the trains.

  3. 3

    Glue the smaller block on top of the bigger block. Glue the dowelling into place. Let it dry completely. Varnish the whole train and let dry.

  4. 4

    Measure for wheel placement. For an average train you will want three sets of wheels per train car. Evenly space your marks and hold your wheels up to the train to double check your mark.

  5. 5

    Drill three holes straight through the body of the train. Wiggle the rivets into the newly drilled holes and attach a wheel to each end. Test the wheels to make sure they have enough room to turn.

  6. 6

    Measure for the eye screws in the front and back of the train car. Screw in the eyes and open one of them to form a hook so it can pull another train car easily.

Tips and warnings

  • Larger trains can be built for play outdoors but will require appropriate weather resistant paint or stains to prevent damage from the elements. Experiment with blocks and dowels to create a variety of train cars to complete your train. Create coach cars, engine cars, coal cars and flatbed cars. Paint the trains with non-toxic paint and set a train or two aside to allow your kids to help.
  • Some experience in working with power tools may be required for this project. Work within your skill set to prevent undue frustration. Small pieces on the train may not be suitable for younger children.

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