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  • Lost in Space

    My new Carrera track is all but complete with just the finishing touches left to do. This beast is around 70 ft of four lane technical road course. I can run both digital and analog so I don't have to tell you guys that I have way too much money in this already. That's why I need some advice. Looking at this track, it isn't difficult to see that shoulders and fill in areas are going to cost me a fortune and I need an alternative to buying several hundred dollars of shoulders from Carrera. There was an interesting article written here on HRW a few years back suggesting rubber strips purchased at McMaster-Carr, I believe; but I can't locate it, I have been all over M-C and can't find anything that I would consider .. cheap. I need some advice on cheap durable alternatives to my situation. I would just use MDF but I don't have a way to split sheets with any accuracy and I can't justify purchasing any tools to do that. I need you suggestions Slot Masters .. what can be done?

  • #2
    Many years ago I used black foam core on my old Ninco track and it worked rather well. Inexpensive and easy to cut to shape with a hobby knife. It was about the right height for Ninco track, but I don't know if the height is right for your Carrera track.
    Team SCANC
    Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
    OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
    Leadfinger Raceway

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    • #3
      Thanks Fast Co; I have tried foam core in the past but it just doesn't hold up. I have four, six or more guys racing two or three nights every week and that is a lot of wear. The digital cars are magnet babies but the analog cars are really hard core racing so lots of sliding onto the shoulders.
      On my old Scalextric track I used foam core and even cut up rubber exercise mats (what else are they good for?) and was always replacing bits and pieces all the time. Not going that route again.
      A buddy of mine uses leather in his especially difficult areas and it works fantastic but leather is quite expensive so that is out.

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      • #4
        I have tried foam core in the past but it just doesn't hold up. I have four, six or more guys racing two or three nights every week and that is a lot of wear.
        So, just me being nosey, and reading the below:

        This beast is around 70 ft of four lane technical road course. I can run both digital and analog so I don't have to tell you guys that I have way too much money in this already. That's why I need some advice. Looking at this track, it isn't difficult to see that shoulders and fill in areas are going to cost me a fortune and I need an alternative to buying several hundred dollars of shoulders from Carrera
        If you have that much invested already, and have that active race program...the cost of borders seems like as sound investment?

        You can make them from all sorts of material. But the TIME and effort to create them really doesn't save anything IMHO. Regardless of material cost.

        Get them small sections at a time? Perhaps ask the many racers you have to chip in? With that many racers every week, it would be less on yourself and better for all?

        -Harry

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        • #5
          For a Tyco HO track years ago I used the cork strips that go under a model railroad track and it worked great. When new it's very flexible and will wrap around the track nicely. Not sure what it costs these days and you may need 2 strips to make wider borders for 1:32 scale cars.

          I agree that borders are ridiculously expensive but Harry might be right since it's a one time expense/investment. But, if you are open to experimentation I'm sure options exist. Make sure what you decide on is a perfect match for the thickness of your track. But you still might have to invest in an inexpensive tool of some sort to cut the material for a good fit. I still have the corded Jig Saw and power drill I got at Sears years ago for less than $20 each.

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          • #6
            I’ve used carpet underpad for borders. It was the perfect thickness for Scalextric Sport and cuts easily with scissors or a knife.

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            • #7
              I go along with Harry. After spending as much as you have and having a top notch track, why not spend a bit more and do the aprons right. I've been thru the same deal and over a year or so, I ended with aprons all the way around my Carrera setups. It may be possible to cut aprons from 1/4 inch plywood and space them to your track height. I guess the correct height is 5/16 and maybe there is a wood product available in that thickness. If you have carpentry skills aplenty, you might be able to cut very nice aprons, and paint them and shim them to your track height. Probably would be easier to just buy what you need.
              Matt B
              So. In
              Crashers

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              • #8
                The only concern I have making your own borders is the sliding quality of a dissimilar material. You can't have a material that bites better than the track itself. I bit the bullet and bought the borders too. $$$$
                Dave
                Dave
                Saginaw Valley Raceway
                Only Rule: Just enjoy who you are racing with.

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                • #9
                  If your track is permanent, "back in the day", I made up some small forms & poured plaster-of-paris to form borders/runoffs....can be painted or left natural.

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                  • #10
                    WOOD!
                    Seriously, take a section of track to Lowes or HD or where ever and find some cheap plywood for borders. Use thick construction paper to make a template. Transfer the template to the wood. Cut it to size, seal it, paint it and screw it down. Make them as wide or as narrow as you want. You only have to make them ONCE! Have fun!

                    Let us know what you come up with.
                    Scott
                    Why doesn't my car run like that?

                    Scott

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                    • #11
                      Thanks Scott. I believe MDF is the route I will take. Painting the curves and shoulders, I'm thinking, will bring more interest to the look of my course and not just have all that red and white everywhere (there is way too much now). My wood working skills need a bit of polishing up and I can probably get all the materials AND a new jigsaw for around the same money as new Carrera shoulders. I'm fortunate enough to have plenty of help just for the price of a few pots of coffee.
                      I have to say that strangebrew has got me thinking about plaster-of-paris for some very interesting track side accents.
                      Thanks to everybody for your 2 cents.

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                      • #12
                        The first post in this thread shows how I did mine. Easy peasy.

                        https://www.homeracingworld.us/viewt...p?f=32&t=16976

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                        • #13
                          That looks real nice downtown! Of course you can combine different building styles into you own creation. The only wrong way is to not do anything!

                          Scott

                          Why doesn't my car run like that?

                          Scott

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by noddaz View Post
                            Transfer the template to the wood. Cut it to size, seal it, paint it and screw it down. Make them as wide or as narrow as you want.
                            I'm a little late to the party, but I recommend you make the border for the whole turn, not just the section of Carrera track. In the long run, it will make for a smoother corner.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eric P View Post

                              I'm a little late to the party, but I recommend you make the border for the whole turn, not just the section of Carrera track. In the long run, it will make for a smoother corner.
                              And the track will look better if the aprons follow the whole curve and then taper back to the straights. I actually like borders all the way around.
                              Matt B
                              So. In
                              Crashers

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