How to make my own Brio Sky Train supports?
January 27, 2007 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone here know about the Brio Sky Train system?

My son was given a Brio Sky Train car for Christmas. We've got other Brio-compatible trains, but it seems that this needs the tracks to be up on special supports. These supports are no longer available in the US, and I've had no luck finding them on eBay.

Any suggestions on how to make my own? I have no idea what I'm doing, and am armed with little more than a hot-glue gun.
posted by The corpse in the library to Shopping (4 answers total)
They are a high, high, end toy company. I would contact them for a solution. You might pay, but I bet that they can fix your problem.
posted by caddis at 9:14 PM on January 27, 2007

Brio has discontinued their Sky Train line, so your best bet would be to find some used or make your own. Look at the pictures online and try to copy them. Be sure to use a wide base so they don't topple easily. Do you have the wooden rails that allow the track to change height, as seen here? Perhaps you could just remove the hanging sky car from the battery-operated portion so it could be used to drive the regular train cars? It seems the battery-operated car is targeted to those who purchased the Sky Train Transporter set before it was discontinued.

You could always show the images to a woodworker and provide him with examples of the wooden track so he can make some reproductions.
posted by chudder at 9:24 PM on January 27, 2007

Great, Now I want a set.
posted by Mitheral at 11:40 PM on January 27, 2007

Off the top of my head, based on nothing more than the pictures linked in this thread and our own knock-off set I suggest you take some existing track and adapt it.

It looks like the supports are a base with a curved upright, a short section of track with a male and female end and a thin flat piece under the track that supports the joined track pieces.

You should be able to duplicate this with spare track and clothes hangers.

To try this out quickly, use one of the short 2" pieces from the track you already have.
- Drill 2 holes small enough to grip the clothes hanger (3/32" maybe?) through the side of the track.
- Attach (though hot glue *might* work, Elmer's or similar is probably better) a piece of corrugated cardboard to the bottom of the piece so that it extends past the ends of the track by about 1/2 " on either side. (When you start making the final pieces, you probably want to use something more durable than cardboard for the flat support. Popsicle sticks might work.)
- Undo a clothes hanger and trim it to about 15" or so. Bend it into a 'U' and push the ends though the two holes you drilled. Then bend the wire so that it will hold the track up. This will take some experimenting.

Build a couple of supports and try to put track on them. Then put the engine on it. The wire may not be strong enough or stiff enough. You can either add more wire, use stiffer wire, or use scrap wood or hobby plywood and a few dowels from a craft store.

If you need help with this, go to a decent small hardware store with your prototypes and the train. There will be at least one employee there who lives for this sort of thing.

You can get knockoff Brio sets at Target and Ikea. One $20 set will give you plenty of track to experiment with.

Once you're comfortable using the existing short pieces, you can start building short pieces from the existing long piece by cutting them, drilling holes in the ends and inserting dowels.

Good luck!
posted by donpardo at 9:18 AM on January 28, 2007

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