Train Layouts

Bridges & Ascending Track

After seeing a few other wood train hobbyists work on their own bridge/ascension pieces, I set out to work on my own. There are a few various designs I have tried, each with its own merit. Some necesitated that I purchase the double groove router bit for the concave pieces, but I'm happy overall with the results. At some later time I will post better/closer photos but these will give you an idea of what I have tried.

bridges

The 45 degree pieces are great for ascending heights of stairs but really need a transition piece at the top and bottom. These also can be made easily with a simple 1/4" straight router bit.

The 'curved' pieces required the special router bit, and I just used 2x4 and 2x6 lumber. I made a few to level 1 height, and the others to level 2 height.

Bridge support pieces are wonderful for maintaining a raised track. 2x4 lumber is easily converted into these supports which are far superior to what you will receive in a standard train set. I still have intentions of adding stabalizing supports for the sides and extra base support; again, I'll have to add photos later when complete.

cable bridge

By far the most exciting pieces I experimented with were my flexible cable tracks! These were cheap and easy to make. Unfortunately I don't have very good photos to give a visual, but if you look on the right side of the photo above I'll try to explain. I cut out a straight track on a router and ran the bottom side of the track over the table saw to provide a shallow groove. At this stage I cut the track into pieces approximately 1" long. Then take 1/16" or 3/32" cable the length of your intended track and use hot melt glue to secure the cable into the narrow groove underneath the track. Once it dries you have a flexible track!

There are 2 options when making this cable track depending on how you want to use it. If strictly for ascending to new levels, cut 2 grooves (side by side) under the track and run a double cable. This will prevent the track from flexing to the side and have added strength for the rise. OR you can run the single cable down the track which will allow the track to flex right/left, up/down as desired. It is not quite as strong as the double cable but will hold up just fine if the children playing with it don't try to bend or twist it apart. Experiment with different lengths. Mine are about 6", but I want to make a few 12" long for more versatility.

By the way... you can buy premade male adapters online which helps making tracks that much easier. I got mine from Ebay at around $0.40 each in packs of 5. Nice quality oak adapters which you can see on the part above.

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