How to Make a LEGO Train Table

By Grahame Turner
How to Make a LEGO Train Table
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Lego has been making a series of train toys and tracks for years, and as much fun as it is to build, set up and run your own railroad, it's also nice to have a more permanent location for the tracks. That way, you can play with the trains instead of building the world around them each time. For this, a lot of Lego train enthusiasts build themselves a train table onto which they can attach their tracks, often permanently.

Layout and Design

Step 1

Lay the plywood out and plan how your train table will look when complete. You can either make a single rectangular area or build some modular tables to make an L or C shape. Begin by measuring the surface(s) of the table you will use. Recommended size is about 3 feet by 6 feet, or 3-by-3-foot modules.

Step 2

Cut out the train surfaces and set the excess plywood aside. Sand the play surfaces down, first with coarse sandpaper, then with fine sandpaper.

Step 3

Diagram your track layout on the table surface. Lay out the train tracks you'll be using for the project and trace the outlines onto the surface of the wood in pencil. If you plan to add water features to your track, do so now--you might need to move the tracks to draw under them. Erase any mistakes and put together your final track layout.

Step 4

Ink the final track layout and water feature designs with your marker.

Assembly

Step 1

Measure pieces of 1-by-2-inch wood to cover the perimeter of the train table surfaces. Make the pieces an inch shorter than the dimensions of the table, so they will fit together. For example, the side pieces will be 5 foot 11 inches or 2 foot 11 inches. Make two sets for each surface. For 6-foot rectangles, you should also make a center brace, which should be 2 inches shorter than the table, or 2 feet 10 inches in the example.

Step 2

Sand the frame pieces.

Step 3

Flip the table surfaces over and dry-fit the pieces together. Place the right-side piece of wood along its narrow edge so that its corner meets the top-right corner of the table surface, and line up the other sides accordingly. Place the center brace if you have one. Lay the second set of wood flat across the tops of this, making sure the right-side meets the bottom-left corner.

Step 4

Glue and nail the frame onto the train table surface.

Step 5

Cut the legs out of 2-by-2-inch wood. Make them as tall as you want your table to be--the recommended height is about 3-1/2 feet. You need at least four legs. If you have modules, you'll need two legs for each module, plus two more. Sand all of the legs

Step 6

Cut angled leg braces out of the excess plywood. Start by cutting the wood into rectangles about 7 to 8 inches by 16 to 18 inches, one rectangle per leg. Cut the wood into angled braces by measuring from the top-left corner to 1-3/4 inches above the bottom-right corner. Repeat for each leg.

Step 7

Cut 1-by-2-inch leg supports, making them about 7 or 8 inches long. Cut two for each leg, lay them flat on their backs and sand the top two edges to make a slight angle.

Step 8

Glue and nail two leg braces to one of your legs. Attach them so the 16- to 18-inch sides meet at one corner.

Step 9

Nail and glue two leg supports to the top of the leg so they align with the 7- or 8-inch section of the leg brace, facing away from the leg.

Step 10

Repeat steps 8 and 9 for each of the legs.

Step 11

Sand the table again and paint all of the pieces. Make the top surface of the table green and any water features blue. Paint the outside of the frame and legs white, leaving the leg supports unpainted.

Step 12

Fit the legs into the corners of the table, using the gaps in the outer frame to align them. Drill through the outer frame and the leg supports, making two holes for each leg. Make sure to use a bit that's as wide as the bolts you have. If you are attaching two modules together, line them up in their final positions and drill holes through their outer frames as well.

Step 13

Bolt the legs and your modules into place.