Mom's Train Table

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 12/09/2010 - 08:53
Difficulty
Beginner
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DIY Coffee Table with hidden train table storage inside.  Special thanks to Christy for sharing her photos with us.

Thank you for your beautiful comments and positive feedback on our Lego Table. We all are special in our own unique way.  But I am truly blessed because you are giving me an opportunity to follow my dreams, and I can't express how appreciative I am.  Truly, thank you for your support.

After posting yesterdays Lego Table, I thought it only fair to then post the matching Train Table

The train table is double the width of the lego table.  You just need more room for trains to make their tracks go round.

But you need that extra space for train tracks to wrap around.  We tried a small track on Grace's Lego Table, and there's just not enough room.

For this train table, you won't need a whole lot more supplies.  Just a full sheet of plywood instead of a half, and a few extra feet of 1x6s and 1x3s and 1x2s.

Dimensions
Dimensions are shown above.

Preparation

Shopping List

1 – sheet of 3/4″ plywood or MDF cut into strips 31 7/8″ wide x 48″ long (you will get exactly 3 strips) 1 – 1×6, 8 feet long 1 – 1×6, 6 feet long x – 1×3, 8 feet long x – 1×3, 8 feet long 2″ screws 1 1/4″ screws Finish nails Wood Glue Wood Filler Finishing Supplies All visible edges will be finished, so no need for edge banding on this one.

Cut List

2 – 1×6 @ 48″ 2 – 1×6 @ 30 3/8″ 2 – 3/4″ Plywood or MDF @ 48″ x 31 7/8″ 4 – 1×2 @ 17 1/4″ (Side Legs) 4 – 1×3 @ 17 1/4″ (Front/Back Legs) 2 – 1×2 @48″ (bottom shelf supports) 2 – 1×2 @ 28 7/8″ (bottom shelf) 6 – 1×2 @ 28 7/8″ (trim) 6 – 1×2 @ 44 1/2″ (trim) 2 – 1×3 @ 34 7/8″ (top end) 2 – 1×2 @ 48″ (top sides)

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Level
Drill Bit Set

Instructions

Step 1

Build the Box Screw the box together as shown above with 2″ screws and glue. The measure across diagonally, checking to see if the measurement matches the diagonal above. Measure the oppostite diagonal. One diagonal will be longer than the other. On the longer diagonal, push the two opposite corners together, decreasing the distance between the corners. This is how you adjust for square. When the diagonals match, you’ve got a square box!

Step 2

Put the Bottom on the Box This diagram really should be upside down. Just lay one of the sheets of plywood on top of the box and screw down with 1 1/4″ screws. Of course, you should always predrill your screw holes and use glue.

Step 3

End Legs Now just screw the legs to the short ends (these are the 1×2 legs) with 1 1/4″ screws and glue. Super easy. Keep things flush to the sides and top.

Step 4

Side Legs Now simply screw the side legs to the end legs and the box sides with 1 1/4″ screws and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Attach Bottom Shelf Get some help on this one or turn the table on it’s side. Predrill holes and attach the bottom shelf. What I would do is to cut 2 1/2″ long spacers and screw to the inside of the legs on the underside (with the shelf in place) flush with the bottom of the legs. Then let the bottom shelf rest on the tops of these spacers as you predrill holes and screw the bottom shelf on. You could even leave the spacers in.

Step 7

Trim Now the fun part . . at least if you have a nailer. Attach the trim to the sides as shown above. You can use screws or a good ole hammer and nails too.

Step 8

Top Trim Now the top trim. The top trim does not get screwed into the 1×6 sides, rather the legs and the side trim pieces. What I would do is layout the tabletop pieces (see below diagram) and trim around them so you have a nice tight but removeable fit.

Step 9

Top Inserts And those are the top inserts I was talking about. Sand them to get a nice fit. You may wish to drill a little hole in the center (half on each insert) to have a spot to pull the inserts up with. For those of you concerned about sagging, I checked the deflection and you should be able to put 70 pounds on each inset with no noticeable deflection – that’s as much as any preschooler would weigh. But if you are going to stand on it, make sure you put a foot on each insert

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Refill holes with a second coat and let dry completely. Sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum with a soft bristled brush and wipe clean with a damp cloth. Prime and paint or stain as desired. Finish with a top coat for added durability. How about decoupaging a train mat to the bottom?

Comments

Patti (not verified)

Sun, 12/12/2010 - 10:35

I had just been talking to my hubby about how I would love to have a coffee table that can turn in to a train table. Thank you so much for these plans

Kelly (not verified)

Mon, 12/13/2010 - 02:42

I love the idea of this and the lego table, but am not jazzed about the style. I am totally new at this building stuff, so not that great at my own modifications. Any plans in the works for something similar but a little mid-century modern? A little herman miller, art decor, in that range. Thanks so much!!!!

kellie (not verified)

Wed, 12/15/2010 - 20:51

Thanks Ana!!! I cant wait to make this for our boys! I plan to modify a little by putting a couple of hinges on the backside and adhering the train mat to the other side...it will be more of a kids table than the intended mom table, but looks sturdy!

KD (not verified)

Thu, 12/16/2010 - 14:21

This is good for toy trains like wooden thomas the train type of sets. Not really model electric trains. Although if you were using model trains you are right N-scale would be the biggest size to use realistically.

Matt (not verified)

Wed, 12/22/2010 - 15:49

Just a note that your shopping list is missing any reference to the 1x2's that are called for in the plans. I think I used 9 - 8' 1x2's to complete it.

Thanks for the plans -- this is a huge table and will serve our kids well.

Ana White (not verified)

Thu, 12/23/2010 - 07:07

Wanda, it's several layers of espresso. My finish is beautiful, but it took 2 WEEKS to dry! Not recommended to put stain on that thick. What I would do is go for semi transparent stain in espresso with high gloss poly over it.

Jenny (not verified)

Tue, 12/28/2010 - 08:51

Any ideas on how to convert this to a dining room table? (Rectangle shaped, say 80 or so inches long?)