Choo Choo!: Tiny Train Carved Into A Carpenter's Pencil

December 23, 2015


This is the teensy train carved into a carpenter's pencil by artist Cindy Chinn. Although the train engine was actually carved from a piece of lead she removed from the pencil, then glued back in. The rest of the train is carved into the pencil though. Me? I was carved out of Play-Doh.

This is a one of a kind pencil carving. I started with a regular carpenter's pencil and carved away some of the wood, and used the lead to create a train. This piece was designed using straight lead pieces for the rails, with the tiny carved train placed and securely glued on top of the rails. The train engine is only 3/16″ of an inch tall. The pencil is 5-5/8″ long and mounted in a wood shadowbox frame as shown in the photos. Check out my other pencils - or order a custom made carved pencil. They make great gifts!

I've always joked with a good friend of mine that my final words are going to be 'Choo choo'. It's like Citizen Kane's 'Rosebud' except way more deeper and meaningful. "What's it mean?" I really liked trains as a kid. "That's it?" Since when are you here to judge how meaningful something is to someone else? "Isn't that what you were doing with Citizen Kane?" Okay that is what is called a MOVIE, that's not a real person. You do realize Star Wars isn't a found-footage documentary from outerspace, right?

Keep going for a bunch more shots, then try carving your own pencil and stab yourself like I did. I think this might be too big for a band-aid.






Thanks to Ashraf K, who tried carving the lead of a mechanical pencil but gave up on the way to the store to buy the pencils when he realized how impossible that was gonna be.

  • JimmyJam

    And here I though that choo-ing on your pencil was a bad habit.

  • Andy Green

    If you like this, visit Micro World in Jersey (Channel Islands) for more of the same.

  • If I tried to do something like that my eyes would fall out!

  • dlb

    Sometimes I need to remind myself that I just turned thirty. I still have plenty time to complete this senior yr wood shop race car and turn it in to Mr.Sharp for credit so I may finally earn this HS diploma.

  • dlb

    Show the work.

  • Meh

    This is nothing compared to antique netsuke or ivory carvings but its pretty impressive.

  • Bling Nye

    Did they glue the pieces together?

    This is still impressive, but given parts are glued together instead of carved of one piece is a bit of a let down.

  • Jason Christopher

    I'd love to see a timelapse of how this was made. These pencil carvings always interest me. I just don't have a steady enough hand.

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