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Routed oval track sections connections

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  • Routed oval track sections connections

    My 'this is taking forever' remake of Shepherd Speedway is making slow progress. I have a surface paint I like and the sections are being painted. The 4 straight pieces will be preassembled into 2 complete straight sections to be copper taped, wired, and tested. Several issues still to be resolved include how to do the jumpers and how the sections will be assembled.

    Track assembly will require a unique solution because the track will be mounted on a frame instead of a table and both the back straight and turns 3 and 4 will be against walls and inaccessible without the use of a grabber. The frame, made from 2x4's and 1x4's will be attached to walls and the track sections slid in place on it. I may end up doing this solo so the sections need to be light enough for me to lift and put in place, then connected.

    Here's my idea for a self-locking joint connection.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	SS2 locking joint 2.JPG
Views:	306
Size:	2.15 MB
ID:	65770

    Yes, this design does need a guide to ensure the 2 sections align. The braces, locking board, and locking triangle will be held in place with screws and glue from the bottom. The racing surface will not be effected in any way.


  • #2
    You are going to have trouble getting the track joint level. The racing surfaces need to be level to within thousandths of an inch or you'll have a noticeable bump.

    You need to fasten tongue-in-groove blocks under the track sections to get a level joint across the full width of the racing surface. I'd forego the snap action.

    Do you have a router? Cutting the grooves in the blocks after assembly to the track sections, using the surface of the track to guide the router, will give you the best chance of obtaining a truly level joint. Cut grooves in both blocks, then add a tongue that is a tight fit in those grooves.

    Slip close-fitting strips of wood or MDF into the slots to achieve horizontal alignment. Pull the two sections together with clamps across the blocks, then run screws through the tongue-in-groove to fasten everything together.

    Yes, a bit of careful work required, but you'll end up with a strong, smooth track joint that will be trouble-free.

    Ed Bianchi
    Ed Bianchi
    York Pennsylvania USA


    • #3
      Looks like Rocket Science to me. Actually screws work to hold wood in place.
      Matt B
      So. In


      • #4
        How thick is your track surface. If it's 3/4" you could use miter bolts but you'll need a router to cut the recess for the bolts to lay in.

        There's video's on how to install them on the net.
        Butch Dunaway
        Oxford, Ohio


        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback. Yes, the alignment issue, both horizontally to ensure the slots line up, and vertically to ensure the surfaces line up, is vital. The issue the self-locking joint connection addresses is how to connect the straight to the corner from 6 feet away across the width of the track and 10 feet away across the length of the track.

          Using this early sketch as a reference, the task will be to attach back straight (C) to corner section (D&E) once the corner is in position against a wall and the frame will keep me from getting closer than the outside of the front straight (F) or the other corner (A&B). If I attach the back straight to the left corner in advance I may not be able to lift them into place as a single piece due to weight or risk of breaking the joint. The completed track will be 6' wide by 14' long.

          Click image for larger version

Name:	SS2 V2 raw sketch.jpg
Views:	221
Size:	1.15 MB
ID:	65845

          When the time comes for final assembly there will be 4 sections and 4 joints - where the straights connect to the corners. The track surface is being painted and sanded now. I do not want to put any more screws down through the surface so all connections will have to be from the bottom up and I really don't trust screws that can only go half way into 1/2 inch MDF. The braces in the initial post will be screwed and glued in place and held there with clamps till secure.

          I'll be able to get at the frontside joints where F connects to the corners, but the backside ones may need to be self-aligning and self-locking which is what I'm trying to figure out. This exchange is helping think through ways to do things in advance.