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gazz

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Reply with quote  #16 
Another idea would be to put the magnets on a trailing arm but recess them so that one is above the other. When it comes to train coaches have the trailing arms one high (sitting on top) the other lower (sits below the top arm).

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toynut

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Reply with quote  #17 
After looking for train magnets for what seemed like forever, I finally found them at Casey's wood products. They have both the magnet with hole and the round head nail. IMG_2617.JPG  IMG_2618.JPG 
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #18 
Cherry Tree Toys has the magnets and nails. The nails pictured on the site are not the nails you get. The nails you get have a smooth shank. You can get these on ebay as well but its a difficult search. There are thousands of magnet postings and the Upholstery nail postings do not always tell you the head size the material the nails are made of. Brass nails will not work.

Cherry Tree Toys also have 3/4" and 7/8" flat wood wheels that should work with the trains. I don't have any experience with these because I only found them after I got my magnet order and was looking at the catalog they included.


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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toynut
After looking for train magnets for what seemed like forever, I finally found them at Casey's wood products. They have both the magnet with hole and the round head nail.


Very nice looking train. Clean and simple.

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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #20 
I received my magnets a few days ago. Got an experimental train put together. I studied a real Thomas the train engine worked and based my tests on this.

The way they get the train to track well in the corners is to use narrow plastic wheels on steel axels with over sized axle holes so the wheels can adjust to the curves easily. The plastic wheels are smooth and will slide easily against the sides of the track. The center block where the wheels are mounted is 1/2" wide and the axels are long enough to leave 1/4 inch of clearance between the block and the wheels. 

I used the same wood wheels and axles as you would use for the Play Pals. Play Pals built on 3/4 inch stock will fit on the track but they will not stay in the track in the curves because there is no play in the axle. Mine also drag on the track. The axle holes on my test train are 1/4 inch.

My wood wheels and axles are the same as those used in the Play Pals.

Magnets:  I tried gluing the magnets with a gel type cyanoacrylate (superglue). I wasn't happy with the result and switched to 5 minute epoxy. I soon discovered the five minutes is not very long especially if you have a helper (grandson). I like the epoxy much better (trust). I plan to get some better grade epoxy for this sor of thing so I can control the cure time. The cheap epoxy from Harbor Freight worked just fine but it would have gone much quicker if I could have mixed the epoxy all aat one instead of a couple of drops at a time.

Nails: Make sure you position the magnets high enough that the nails miss the axles. DUH! I had problems with the nails following the grain and decided that I should drill holes. I used a Dremel and I tiny drill bit I bought years ago for drilling circuit boards. This worked good but adds yet another step to the build. I roughed up the nail shanks with a file so the epoxy could get a better grip.

Wood wheels: You can do this with wood wheels, However, they will not track well the Play Pal wheels are the same size as the groove in the wood track and want to climb out in the curves. Thinner flat wheels would work better. The plastic wheels work best of all.

This is my test train. It works in the turns on the track even the sharp turns if your careful. Its rough and has no finish. Its not pretty because it was an experiment that might wind up in the trash. My grandson spied it and now its his. The engine has empty axle holes because it would not go atrond the curve track without coming out.

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Rod T

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thanks for sharing your findings with regards to the wheels and tracking on the corners etc. 

Something that comes to mind, would elongated holes work?
Drill the hole in the drill press and then move the piece slightly sideways and drill again.
Would need to clamp down the piece so it doesn't move I am guessing. 
So the axle can move forward and backwards (But not up and down) and kind of steer in a sense.
When the train reaches a corner the axels swivel a bit to allow it to follow the grooves in the track.

I haven't tried it, just something I thought of as I was reading your post and looking at the pictures. 

Would be interested in your thoughts on this.

Cheers
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Reply with quote  #22 
Rod T,

Drilling the holes as you described might work.  I can't thing of any reason why it wouldn't.


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Reply with quote  #23 
My first try at a regular wooden railway car. I discovered after it was to late that leading/trailing edge of the bed needs to be even with or shorter than the back of the magnets. If the bed is longer than the distance between the magnets it will hit the other cars in sharp corners and derail.

I'm still using 5 minute Harbor Freight epoxy for the magnets and nails. It works well but its messy mostly because the tube leak once the seal has been broken.


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ed357sw

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Reply with quote  #24 
Thanks for the working knowledge of these. This gives a nice insight on the usage of the magnets. I had been thinking about using them in a couple of toy's. Could not decide on these types or the little rare earth type embedded in the wood
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ctowne

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Reply with quote  #25 
I've been following this thread and appreciate you sharing your learning experiences.  Thanks
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #26 

I have a lot of rare earth magnets. I think that all but the smallest magnets would be much to strong for toddlers. Rare earth magnets the size of these would pinch the blood out of you if you got your finger caught between them.

I made pull trains years ago and used hooks and eyes on them. This all started with me looking for a better safer way to do it. Then the wooden railroads came along and muddied the water a little. Look something shiney!

I guessed that other people would be interested in this. Especially since the wooden railroads are such a hot item.

My grandson is having a great time with the experimental car I made.

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