Unlike the dumper truck and fire engine - this is not a toy I made from scratch. It had been passed down through Caroline’s family and whilst only about 40 years old - was in a sorry state.
Most of it was just well worn - but the front end piece had actually been damaged at some stage. I decided to use my router table to copy the back piece so as to make a new front one. The original looked like 9mm beech - so 9mm ply was a handy choice.
I wasn’t happy about the fittings - especially the wheels - so all the metal work and wheels were replaced. I added new strips of wood to strengthen the chassis and to ensure the wheel screws did not break through. For this I used cheap white wood (probably pine) which I cut into strips on my little table saw.
After that - it was a lot of painting. All the paint came from Hobbies except for the varnish which was a water based acrylic gloss varnish bought from a local artist supplier. As this was designed to protect paintings and not toys - I wasn’t sure how durable it would be - but I applied 2 coats and these have held up very well.
The finished model. I found the screw cups new at a car boot sale - but all the other fittings were bought new. The rubber bumpers and brass screws came from a local ironmongers and the wheels and wheel screws came from Hobbies. I also decided that the wheels looked better (and might be better protected) with washers between them and the screws.
A 100 years ago I expect any 5 year old boy would have been happy to own a train like this - but not now. Benjamin feels he is too old for it - but our youngest son Rupert regularly ‘drives’ it around the house! :-)
Since writing the above I have in August 2011 just finished a tender for this train - complete with computer controlled whistle and steam noise! More details to follow: