Dream steam train build!

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Hi to everyone, after introduction in newbie section on this forum I'll proceed to details of my train project.
At this stage it is nearly finished, just few touches on details and finishing has to be done to complete.
Basically I started to work with wood just over 1 year ago with passion in cars and big fat 0 experience in scratch building or wood working etc etc.
Just decided to try making scale cars from wood. So bought some cheap tools, broke few of them in short time, started 2 car projects, broke more tools, never got chance to finish cars so far.
With some tools still functioning decided to make and finish something different - train. So with no drawings, no special planning for end result, no experience in train building, with few months self thought beginners experience I started this....For rough guidelines used various pictures of steam engines from around the world.

Started away by cutting some hardwood that I got from my friends building site. He had his Indian sandstone delivered from India in hardwood crates. They where made to hold very heavy stone load all the way from India to Ireland. Basically 90% of train is Indian hardwood. As I don't have bandsaw or wood thickener everything is cut with cheap scroll saw. So cut in slices, joined together, sanded on bench sander, 3 other same wood strips cut and steam bent to hold cylinder together. Cylinder base is made from pinewood.

front end cover has a lot of drilled toothpic size holes that are filled with toothpics and sanded smooth

sides added with windows cut out and more tiny filled holes

stay tuned...


Engineer in Training
AWESOME! Now that to me... is a work of art. I can't wait to see more. Carry on!
Last edited by a moderator:


cabin, wheels, chassis

Cheers Tony and Kevin. Have few pictures here to share with you from last years Hobby and Diorama show in Dublin. Keep an eye for new post opening up soon.

and here it continues....
roof top and front wall of the cabin added

before adding side walls I managed to create door for boiler and some logs painted in red color showing that it's burning and hot :)

after many many hours of work managed to turn my first wheels from wood plate you see on one side. As I don't have lathe they are turned on my rotary tool and stand freehand.
Spokes are made from toothpics and glued on individually etc.

more wheels

and my own designed chassis :)



Engineer in Training
This is gonna be good. Thanks so much for letting us follow along with you while you build it. Can you share a photo of the stand you are referring to that you turned the wheels with?

Sent from my SPH-D710BST using Tapatalk



my pleasure to share lads, thank you so much for comments, I promise it'll get super cool towards end ;)

so, this is my Dremel workstation, most expensive and best asset in my inventory, I turn on it, I sand with it, cut, detail, polish etc etc

toothpick pins added to wheels

cutting out parts

had good few attempts in designing it

removed some wood to lower train

one of designs that I liked in start, got bored of it so changed it after

tried to come up with partial cover for wheels/bridge for little people to walk :D well that was changed as well



cylinders, pistons

progress on cylinders and pistons...there will be minor changes on how pistons, cylinder, coupling rods will look later in build as my 2yr old got his hands-on on weakest parts and tested strength of them :D



front platform added and other bits on cylinders

work on side bridges begins

tiny steps added and extra platform made

found interesting name for this part, so let it be....cowcatcher being made :D



Well-Known Member
Great work! I really appreciate you sharing it with us.

You are quickly progressing from beginner to master craftsmen!


Engineer in Training
CHOO CHOO! That thing is so awesome! Can you do me one favor? I really want to see a video of it moving when you get done. I bet it looks amazing. I really love this thread. Keep the pics coming!


rails and more

@ Bruette - no problem, still learning, plenty of hours gone into this train ;)
@ NScaler - cool, there will be video at the end from start to finish and things working...

started work on rails, they are more for display purpose

looking good

when rails are put together, starting work on some extra wheels

making sure that my wheels spin as straight as possible on my state of the art wheel balancing system :D

just checking out how it will look together

time to add some more detail

and coming together from more parts

officially attached to the rest of the train


Engineer in Training
I agree. Doing this with the tools you have is making this very interesting. I think hand made things just have that look of "made with love" ya know?

I worked in a custom cabinet shop for a really cool guy named Roger. We made molding on a single tooth planer with custom ground knives. The stuff looked really wavy until we sanded it all out. When we built custom kitchens and mantles and such all of the molding looked hand made. Everything left the shop looking like a work of art. I then went to work for a CNC equipped wood shop a year or so later. The boss there bragged about how his stuff looked better than Roger's because it was so precisely made. I laughed and said "no, it doesn't".

I think the ever so slight imperfections of a piece of wood being worked by hand make for a much more pleasing look to a piece. Knowing how you are making this stuff and the way this is turning out is simply amazing.


I'm the one

Just a side note (sorry) commercial operations do not hand make anything, machines do. All anyone does is push buttons. Therefore, I totally agree with about legitimately hand made items, such as this train.

Cheers, and back to the movie....


Very classy locomotive. Great wood working skills. Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing your project with all of here on the forum.

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