Hacker dads often have great plans for all the fun projects they’ll build for their kids. Reality often intrudes, though, creating opportunities for hacker grandfathers who might have more time and resources to tackle the truly epic kid hacks. Take, for instance, [rwreagan] and the quarter-scale model railroad he built for his granddaughter.
Taking inspiration from a 1965 issue of Popular Mechanics, grandpa hit this one out of the park. Attention to detail and craftsmanship are evident from the cowcatcher to the rear coupler of this 4-2-0 steam engine replica, and everywhere along the 275 feet of wooden track — that’s almost a quarter-mile at scale. The locomotive runs on composite wood and metal flanged wheels powered by pair of 350-watt motors and some 12-volt batteries; alas, no steam. The loco winds around [rwreagan]’s yard through a right-of-way cut into the woods and into a custom-built engine house that’ll make a great playhouse. And there are even Arduino-controlled crossbucks at the grade crossing he uses for his tractor on lawn mowing days.
The only question here is: will his granddaughter have as much fun using it as he had building it? We’ll guess yes because it looks like a blast all around. Other awesome dad builds we’ve covered include this backyard roller coaster and a rocketship treehouse.
11 thoughts on “And The Grandfather Of The Year Award Goes To…”
It sounds more like it´s the grandpa´s ego having the fun there.
I doubt the granddaughter will have fun for 1/10 of the time the grandfather had building this.
And for the same price he could have bought her a real horse 1/4 size, aka a pony.
Much more fun than an electric sheep…
Electric sheep produces way less manure than real 1/4 size horse, though.
But burying down old batteries in the garden does not help growing electric carrots…
Omit the “but” and “not” words and there you have it – name for a HaD prize project.
Need to procure me some electric potatoes. Companion planting FTW!
A “real horse” would have to be fed & groomed every day but you only have to feed the iron one when you ride it. And you don’t have to clean up after it either…
While the time playing with it may only be a fraction of the time building it the memory of it will greatly exceed the time building it.
I probably won’t live to see my grandchildren so I’m trying to make the most of time as a father :)
I’ll have to add something similar to my list of possibilities. Getting my boys to help build it would be the way to go.
It’s times like this that I regret not being a father. Not that I couldn’t do this kind of project with my nephews, but then time and travel become problems.
I was actually reading Popular Mechanics in a waiting room this morning, it’s still a good magazine. The issue had a sort of flashback to one of their 1950’s articles which was pretty cool.
So, you run this from the sidelunes? I saw noplace for the engineerez to plop her caboose. Yet, 350w motors. Sit on the bkack curved roof? And put feet where for balance? I’m sure it’s all there. Noone does this and flubs up that much, lol! Good job! Maybe a cow guard so little brothers cannot get fingers cut but metal wheel track-guides?
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)