Friday, August 10, 2012

Under the Bed Train Table Tutorial

Yesterday I showed you the new train table I built for Wild Man!
It's the perfect space saver, 
because it slides under his bed when he's all done!
 Which is SO much better than our before:
Can I get an AMEN? ;)

So do you want to build your own?
It's so simple, I promise!

MDF or Plywood (cut to the size of your track set up)
4 Caster Wheels
1x2's for the frame (again, depending on the size of our track)
Drill (with screw attachment and drill bit)
Screws and Wood Glue

*Notes before you start: I found my piecea of MDF in the "clearance bin" at Home Depot for $1.00. ALWAYS check their first, you'll be amazed at what you find! :) So that is also how I decided the size of my board, I just made my tracks fit.. However, if you buy a piece of board specifically for this project - I would check the measurements of your track and buy a board based on the length/width of that! I used 2x2's because it's what I had -  however, if I were to build this again, I would use 1x2's so that it is not as high off the ground. {Because of the added height, some of the larger train pieces have to be removed to slide under his bed. To solve this problem - I bought bed risers. Save yourself the trouble). As for wheels, I just used the wheels that come with those 3 drawer plastic bins I have in my craft closet, because I didn't want to buy new caster wheels! But you can buy them at Home Depot, Lowe's or even amazon! ok, I think that's it! Now let's get started!!

 1. The first thing is to make a rectangle frame with your 2x2's 
(or 1x2's if you are worried about height as I mentioned above).
 Make sure it's square - and then use wood glue and screw together.
 Now take your Rectangle frame and drill one whole in each corner for the 4 wheels. 
I used a 1/2" spade bit but yours could be different based on your wheel!
 I used a little glue to make sure they would stay and stuck them in!
 So this is where we are -- a frame with wheels!
Now don't walk away because when you come back,
 your wild child will be crashing it into walls! ;) Fun!
 Now we want to attach the "frame" to the main board.
 I just drilled eight screws from the top into the frame. 
(you're going to cover it anyway, so the screws won't be seen!)

Now it's one piece! Almost done! 
I told you this was simple! ;)
I used green felt for my base and attached it with a staple gun to the underside!

I know my boys -- and I KNEW they would be standing, sitting, jumping on this -
so I had Wild Man test it out for strength! ;)
It passed!
 Just add your tracks and you're done!
Wild Man requested some "water" for his battleship - 
so I just hot glued a piece of blue felt in the corner!

 There you have it! A simple train table on wheels!
One that you can roll into the living room ....
or the bedroom...
 and then slide under the bed when you're all done at the end of the day!
 Happy Training! :)
 oh and obviously, no train table would be complete without a "control tower" (Michael's clearance, $2) run by the amazing Buzz Lightyear.
Duh. ;)

Update: I had a few emails about the cost -- Mine cost me exactly $3.24, because I only had to buy the felt (I used a coupon) and the board ($1.00 in HD oops bin). I had everything else -- and I used what I had. However, I would say if you were to build this and had to buy EVERYTHING, you're looking at about $25-30. So still WAY cheaper than those crazy, bulky train tables! 

p.p.s In case you don't want to save yourself $200+ -- I found this on Amazon! ;) 
but I LOVE knowing that I saved myself that much money. 
Plus I had so much building it! ;)

Does my tutorial make sense?
Any steps I left out?
I'd LOVE to see pictures if you make one!!!!

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  1. This is fabulous!! Just found your blog and I'm your newest follower. We have to team up sometime or blog swap. I'd love to have you as a guest sometime on my blog or maybe do a giveaway together!

  2. Love this idea! thank you for the inspiration! What train tracks did you use for the table?

  3. This is AWESOME!! We have a small townhome and don't have a lot of spare room. Long before I ever had a son, I wanted him to have a train table. We now have our third baby and 2nd son on the way, and this is ther PERFECT solution to getting them a train table. THANK YOU!!

  4. Loved the train table info. We are going to take the idea and use it for my daughters lego friends sets. Instead of felt we are going to use a rubbery yoga
    mat and some lego base plates. Thanks so much for the idea and info on building it

  5. Just what I was looking for! This might be a dumb question, since I don't have much woodworking experience, but could you screw the frame pieces right into the plywood to begin with and skip having to glue/screw the frame together separately? Also, I love the felt idea, because you could make felt lakes and other features that can be moved to wherever the child wants them, since felt sticks to felt! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You definitely could! ;) and I love the idea of making it a "felt board" as well as a train table! I'm picturing cute little felt ducks in that pond - lol! ;)

  6. I'm so excited about this tutorial! My daughters love trains & they are going to LOVE this! I'll be sure to link back to you when I get ours built :)



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