The ongoing blog of the Tomchak family, in Wheaton IL USA

Thomas Da Train

By on October 20, 2010 in Text Post, Video Post with 0 Comments

It’s fun to see what things your kids become interested in as they grow up. At the age of 2, it’s pretty simple. Cars, Fire Trucks, and Trains. At least for Andrew. He is obsessed with them all, but Trains is probably in the lead right now. A few months back we took him and Max on a train ride to Chicago and he still works it into a conversation unexpectedly as the mood hits him.

More recently it’s been all about Thomas The Train. He would play with his Thomas The Train set by the bay window, while watching Thomas The Train on TV. I think for me that’s like watching a nerd show on how to build a computer while sitting on the couch on my wireless laptop or iPad. So I understand. The male species can be an easy read.

Because he loves it so much and gets so excited, Brenda and I have wanted to add to his excitement by expanding his train set with more engines, cars and maybe an expansion pack with more tracks. Those are all great, but then we noticed that they actually sell a table specifically for setting up the train. I liked this idea a lot. It would be kind of nice for him (and Max when Andrew allows it) to have the train setup it a place that didn’t get knocked on the floor multiple times a day, sending Andrew into a rage yelling “No Train Sydney, My Train… Time Out Sydney!”.

Anyway, after looking at a few tables and seeing how crappy they were made, especially for the price, I decided to make one myself. A quick google search turned up a link on some very basic plans that I thought I could handle since I’ve been home this month. So one day I had the idea, the next day I was at Home Depot with the Little Sydney picking out lumber. What’s really amazing to me is that I’ve had a top notch woodworking garage for the last 7 years, and never made a single project aside from remodeling the basement. But the first summer after I sell all of the machines, I decide to make something where the machines would have actually be useful!

My original plan was to make the table at a much higher quality, and for less money. In the end, It probably cost me twice as much when you count the glue I had to by, the name tags, clamps that I needed but didn’t already own and the fact that the materials list given on the website actually had 2 extra pieces listed that I didn’t need. But, it is personalized and much better made. My hope is (and I do know this is a long shot) that 20 years for now Andrew is able to give the table to one of his boys (or girls) and adds another name tag to it.

I had an idea to shoot a time-lapse video of building it. I have a camera that’s very easy to mount anywhere that can take a suction cup, and has a very wide angle lens, so it was pretty easy. Looking back at the video now, I’m really glad that I did it (both the table and the video). Hopefully it will be a nice memento for the boys in years to come.


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