He has several different sizes and types of train toy, but by far his favorite are his wooden trains. They are mostly Thomas the Train toys, with some Brio and other compatible ones mixed in. When he was about 2, Max received a huge hand-me-down train track collection from his Uncle David. Since they're his favorite toy, he's been adding to that collection steadily since then. Birthdays, Christmases, special treats, allowance money; most of it goes towards train stuff. The collection is massive by now, which poses some cleaning issues. One of the biggest challenges is the trains themselves. He wants to be able find the specific one he wants so he dumps the bin all over the floor. Constantly. It was finally driving me crazy, so I decided to make some nice display shelves for them. Now you can too! Here's how...
Train Rack Tutorial
Supplies (per rack)
8 8" straight wooden train tracks, Brio compatible
~20" wooden trim board 1.5" wide, mine was 3/8" thick
16 #18 3/4" wire nails (or similar)
picture hanging mounts and nails for hanging final rack
level (for hanging)
Maybe an hour, start to finish
Total cost if you buy all supplies new (instead of stealing tracks from the kiddo's collection) is about $20 per rack, give or take. Much less if you find used tracks.
Here's the hardware I used.
Once the glue is dry, put the rack up on one end, and nail each shelf in place through the side pieces. I used 2 nails per shelf per side.
Now secure you hangers. I used picture hangers attached to the side pieces (it is wicked hard to nail into those tracks!), then secured with a nail.
My 5 finished racks.
Hung and waiting! Don't mind the messy room. :)
Racks full of trains! Trains not on the floor!
Max loves them. The horrible part? I have to make more! Ack!
Anyway, there you have it! Now, I think if you tried hard enough you could find the wooden track material without the male and female ends so you wouldn't have to do the cutting and gluing, but I went with what's readily available. You could also make these with just flat boards, but I know from experience the trains don't stay on very well. They also make road-style tracks if your little one is car-crazy instead of train-crazy.
I hope you enjoy this and it helps your house as much as it's helped mine! Send us pictures!