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Model Railroading > Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds


Date: 11/30/11 10:18
Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: Inthehole

So I've been wanting to teach my kids to work in my shop and actually build some train cars. They always want to help in the garage, so I thought an easy car project would be just the thing. When we buy the occasional HO model, I demand they be blue box kits we have to build together. I mostly model in 1" scale, 4 3/4" gauge so these cars would be that.

I decided to build three skeleton log cars: one for me, one for Riley (5), and one for Daniel (7). It would be a group project. They would have to do all the work, except that which was just a little too dangerous such as using the miniature table saw with its open blade. I also had a few (read 18 pair) of trucks waiting for future cars, so I would just rob those for now. I may buy some from Lonnie at 1" Scale RR Supply for them to build on their own, depending on if there is any money left over from Christmas. All measuring, setting up for cuts, milling, drilling, tapping, nailing, and filing work would be them. They were stoked.

Here is some of the progress so far. I had enough wood for an extra three short-cars, so am building those as just a "what the heck" type of thing. The wood is all used garden umbrella wood...meaning it was free and came pre-weathered.

And by the way, these are all 1" scale and based very loosely on the Guy Wicksall design from Modeltec.


Matt Mason
Editor
The Home Railway Journal
www.homerailwayjournal.com



Photo 1: Setting up for cutting the main stringers.

Photo 2: The kids watching the stringers being cut.

Photo 3: Daniel drilling the bolster centers.I center punched then spot drilled to give him a little larger target, but he aligned it and did all the drilling. Riley I aligned the holes, but he did all the drilling. They then both tapped the truck mounting screw with a 1/4-20 tap. I helped Riley a bit with a little extra strength, Daniel didn't need any extra help.








Date: 11/30/11 10:20
Re: Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: Inthehole

Some more photos. The cars are between 28" and 39" long, and 9.5" wide.

Photo 4: Riley showing off his finished bolsters.

Photo 5: I'm building one car ahead of the others to check the design. This is the shortest of the six cars at 28".

Photo 6: The rest of the fleet being built. The top and second from bottom are the kids', the others are mine. You can see the varying lengths of the cars. Why different sizes, just 'cuz.








Date: 11/30/11 11:31
Re: Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: grahamline

Good job. I've found many young kids are fascinated by something they can get their hands on and create. They just need an opportunity and a patient teacher.



Date: 11/30/11 12:05
Re: Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: cslemp

That's really cool. I always liked working on projects in the garage with my dad. I'm glad to see kids are still into that sort of thing.

- Chris



Date: 11/30/11 14:40
Re: Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: MojaveBill

Beats computer games anyday!!

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 11/30/11 19:16
Re: Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: ArgyleEagle

You are teaching your kids more than 95% of your peers with kids in this age group.

Keep it up and they will make you proud later in life.



Date: 11/30/11 21:43
Re: Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: SandingValve

Nothing like 'Shop Class' taught by 'Dear Old Dad'!! What a great project and 'green' too!!

Awesome.
SV



Date: 11/30/11 22:36
Re: Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: RailThunder

Just a quick note to also thank you for teaching them about safety. I noted them wearing safety glasses and that is a great thing. Seems silly, but I've been hit more than once in this life with wood that kicked back into my face. Teach them to be safe and respect danger is always a good thing too. Bravo on getting them involved in the hobby too!



Date: 12/01/11 09:29
Re: Skeleton Log Cars by 5- & 7-yr-olds
Author: Inthehole

ArgyleEagle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Keep it up and they will make you proud later in
> life.

Too late. I already am.



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