Do you do this for a living?

No. I am a professional woodworker for a small furniture manufacturing firm. Building railroads and modules is a hobby for me, and occasionally a sideline.

You seriously expect other people to build railroads this way?

Why not? There’s no law that says a model railroad has to be ugly. Woodworking is a hobby even more popular than model railroading. A good presentation adds so much to a finished railroad, and it’s another avenue to explore. Look carefully at my work here, and you’ll notice that there’s not a lot of complicated technique. Most of my joinery is just rabbets and dadoes—easily done with the right tools.

I built a train table with plywood, and it’s warped. What did I do wrong?

Plywood is a fantastic material, but it has characteristics that need to be understood in order to use it properly. Check out my Guide to Plywood for the full story.

What is the best brand of [locomotive/track/DCC/whatever]?

There is no “best.” The hobby of model railroading is blessed with a number of dedicated suppliers who make high-quality hobby items, and are supported by serious hobbyists who can tell good from bad. There is always some junk on the market to avoid, but most of what’s out there is pretty good.

I do have my preferences, and if you keep reading the blog, they’ll be obvious enough. For those of you who are dazzled by the various brands of N scale track, I have compiled a buyer’s guide, in a convenient, easy-to-use flow chart.