WESP 17 – ChooChoo Train

This week we are building a train created by our lead designer, Chris. We called it the ‘ChooChoo’ train because that’s the sound he was making while playing with it.

Don’t believe me? Watch the video at the end of this post.

The Project Files

This project is designed for the Emblaser range: LINK

Download the project files here: LINK

The Build

Since we designed this project ourselves, it’s perfectly setup for the Emblaser and easily fits on one 300x500mm sheet of 3mm plywood.

LightBurn project ready to cut on the Emblaser.

A very cool feature Chris included in this project were support tabs that prevent the parts falling out after cutting.

For a project with so many pieces, creating support tabs in LightBurn is normally very time consuming, unless you use this process.

To explain the process, we will use a simple circle, but this will work with any shape.

Basic circle shape.

In the Cut settings, we enable ‘perforations’. By default, perforation mode would create a set of dashes as shown in the image below.

Default perforation settings.

By adjusting the perforation ‘cut’ and skip values, we can force LightBurn to create a single tab for each part. The key is to set a large perforation ‘cut’ value. In our case we used 500. Since none of our parts had an outer edge longer than this, only one perforation will be created. The width of the tab was set to be 0.35mm. This was just enough to hold the piece in place.

Perforation settings to ensure only one tab.
One section missing in the circle which will become the tab.
Resulting tab in laser cut parts.

I used our 3mm Poplar plywood for this project because it cuts so nicely.

Laser cutting and engraving done.
With the Emblaser air-assist on during the cutting, there is very little over-burn.

Even though the cut pieces were very clean, I gave them a quick sanding with 240 grit sandpaper. This wasn’t entirely necessary, but was easy since the tabs held all the pieces in place.

Pieces given a light sanding before assembly.

The only other parts needed before assembly were some axels cut out of dowel.

Dowel axels.

As always, I lay out all the pieces before starting assembly. It’s a habit of mine that helps find mistakes before starting.

The assembly of parts went very smoothly. As usual I used a superglue instead of wood glue, since I am very impatient with waiting for glue to dry.

Wheels and axels assembled.
Engine upper and lower assembled.
There is some nice engraved detail.
Upper and lower engine and carriage parts ready.
Everything put together.

This a great project to spend an afternoon building. It would also look very interesting with some paint.

Chris (our lead designer) playing with his design.

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