Sometime earlier last year we were given a Zoomster Racer, like the one you see in the picture on the left. Our toddler absolutely adores it and scoots all round the house with it. There is a little box under the seat to put toys in which is obviously always full! One day my wife suggested making him a little trailer for it so he could carry more toys around with him. The company who make it don’t seem to make a trailer, but it does have a convenient hole cut in the base board at the back, which would make it easy to attach a trailer. Hmm, this sounds like a plan then!
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I pondered what shape to make it and how to construct it for a while and then settled on the following. I took it apart – thankfully it was all screwed together – and traced the bottom and one of the side panels onto some card to use as templates. I clearly didn’t need the bits sticking up for the handles, therefore I just mirrored the side panel about its middle, so the front and the back were identical, and the same as the curve on the front of the Zoomster itself. Then I would simply get the base and the sides cut out and sort out some end bits. You can see the card templates over on the right. Next I took them to the friendly guys in my local wood merchant, Thomerson in Crouch End. Between us we selected a nice bit of 1″ thick ply for the base and some 10mm MDF for the top structure. The guy in the shop had the idea of cutting notches in the sides and the end bits so they sort of slot together, which made things strong, and because he cut these out on his saw, much easier for me!
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The two pics above show the component parts of the top and the base. The small bit above the base in the lower picture is what I’d come up with as a connector. I planned to cut two holes in this, one at each end, then using some 1″ diameter dowel and some wooden cupboard door handles fashion a couple of connectors. A picture will explain it easier than I can explain it! The first pic is of the removable connector to allow him to detach the trailer from the Zoomster, as you can see I just glued the handle onto a short length of dowel. In the second pic you can see I did the same for the trailer end, but trapped the connector in place by glueing another handle on the bottom. Sorted!
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Returning home I started off by gluing the four bits of the top, clamping them to ensure a good bond.
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I gave this all a couple of coats of undercoat, and a couple of a nice shiny grey topcoat which I had lying around (ok, ok, it was left over from painting the front door!).
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Last bit of prep was to give the base a few coats of varnish, to save me the time of waiting for one side to dry and then doing the other, I simply hung it from a nearby washing line and did it all at once. I ended up giving it four coats to ensure a good tough finish.
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With the addition of some carstors from eBay, and a few screws to hold the top to the base I was finished. We even found some Thomas stickers on eBay to jazz it up a bit.
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And that was it done, it was filled to the brim with Thomas trains almost immediately and has remained that way and attached to the Zoomster ever since!