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My new track.

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  • My new track.

    Thanks to everyone for all the help I got with my first track, especially the guys at Slot Car Corner. My new track is about 40% bigger with a lot more interesting elevations. The base is done and it's ready for routing the MDF. It's kind of crude looking because I couldn't find any good wood around here and what I did find cost a fortune. The 2 x 4s I found at local big boxes were $8 each and warped badly... great if I was building a boat. I had to buy 1 sheet of 4 x 8 x 1/2 plywood, it was $75. At least it was good plywood. So, mostly I used scrap wood I salvaged when I remodeled the house. The track is 6 x 16 at the left end and 5 x 16 at the right end. Oh, it's 3 lanes.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Bal r 14; July 6, 2021, 05:53 PM.

  • #2
    Looks good! I hear ya on the lumber. Added an extension to my table, $95 for the 3/4 ply and $10 a pop per 2x4.

    Excited to see the progress and completion photos! Never raced on wood, just had my dad's old afx set and my new policar track.

    Comment


    • #3
      The one advantage of MDF over plywood is the absolutely smooth surface of MDF. Don't get me wrong......I built a track on particle board and with a couple coats of paint and sanding in between, I got a good surface. So I am sure you will, too. Just be aware that rubber/urethane tires will wear more just because the surface isn't glassy smooth. Cars will definitely run on it, though.

      The track looks like it will be quite fun to run on, so keep at it!
      Come Race at The Trace!
      Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
      https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

      Comment


      • #4
        My first track was MDF, so I learned a lot. I should have painted it better, instead of one coat of sealer/primer. I should have painted the slots. I had a lot of traction issues due to MDF dust accumulation. I also got a smaller router and a better routing guide. The one I used on the first track would deform the guide material and I didn't really notice because it was so big and heavy. So, a lot of my routing was wavy. I also did not account for how far the cars swing out on curves. I gave the first track 3" on the outside and 2" on the inside. This track will have 5" on the outside and 3" on the inside. I also experimented with no-skid bathtub strips on some corners of the first track. It actually worked fairly well. I think with a little tweaking it might be fun.

        Comment


        • #5
          Don’t matter how big you build or what you build it out of if you can turn laps and put a smile on your face then that’s all that matters
          Dave
          Peterborough Ont
          CANADA

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a new router, a Milwaukee cordless finish router, with the base attachment that allows me to attach the shop vac. I purchased the lexan guide from a member here and it appears to be much more solid than what I was using. Am in the process of doing some test cuts on some scrap with this new hardware and I am very impressed with how well it is going. My brother told me to do the routing in 2 passes, the first about 1/8', the second at 5/16". That works like a charm. There is absolutely no tendency for the router to wander. I can even write my name in MDF and it looks as good as writing on paper. I suppose these is old news to many of you. But, if any other "rookies" read this, this setup with two passes really works! No dust, either.

            Comment


            • mattb
              mattb commented
              Editing a comment
              The router seems to be a great improvement over my old corded router or the trim router I bought. There is no way to control the routers I have used unless you have a solid guide. No way I could write my name. The vac and being cordless are a big plus. I still think you are better off to just make one pass 3/8 deep. If I tried to make 2 passes I'd probably have a slot too wide.

          • #7
            That adds up to a 1/4 inch rout. That's a fast track, not bothered by tight turns. You are on the right track.

            Comment


            • #8
              That looks like it is going to be a lot of fun!
              look forward to seeing your updates!

              Comment


              • #9
                Woodworkers will often run two passes (I do it for cabinet work all the time). Plunge routers have a step function that allows this but not all trim router bases allow that. You can hog out the whole slot in one pass, but it normally requires a carbide bit and balance between slowing the router movement to avoid bogging down, and then you can get burning. With a good fence, two passes will work just fine. And believe me, it's gotta be a pretty big bobble for the cars to even notice; we watch the cars come down a 16 ft Carrera straight and even the plastic track makes cars move around a little so a slightly wider slot in some places won't bother the cars at all.

                And besides....bondo fixes any mistake in 10 minutes, and it all disappears under the paint.
                Come Race at The Trace!
                Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
                https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

                Comment


                • waaytoomuchintothis
                  waaytoomuchintothis commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I always wondered if you and I were both cabinetmakers! I haven't been a pro, but I surely have built a lot of wood boxes!
                  As to getting a good line, we used a laser to line up the Carrera track for the World Speed Record weekend in Cincinnati and it was amazing how much a straight line wasn't straight at all. What that means is that a router with a guide is easier, better, and more dependable for building a track. And of course, Bondo is your friend that is easy to use.

                • chappyman66
                  chappyman66 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Not a pro here either, just another hobby I dabble in from time to time.

              • #10
                Here is the router I bought: https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Produc...outers/2723-20. Hooking up the shop vac to it makes it cut a lot smooth and fast, with no clogging or dust buildup. The router I used on my first track was a 20 year old Craftsman 2.0hp that weighed about 15 pounds and went were it wanted to go. The base of the new one is 4", old one was 6". New one is far more controllable.

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                • #11
                  You're off to a good start. Click image for larger version

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                  Comment


                  • slothead
                    slothead commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Very nice post to show the evolution from design to completed track. It doesn't seem to take up too much room, yet probably offers a lot of fun. Looking at this reminds me of my own builds and the lessons learned. Resisting cutting corners to save a few dollars or get things done quickly in the beginning will pay big dividends over time.

                  • Bal r 14
                    Bal r 14 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I saw your track a while back it got me thinking. I just didn't have enough room for that dog leg.

                  • jfuente
                    jfuente commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Really tempted to try and replicate your design on my L table. Really like how the straight sections are maximized.

                • #12
                  Well, I got two sections done, working on the third. Only one glitch, so far. Shop vac hose snagged on edge of table...crap! I have to use 4 x 4 MDF sections, it's all I can carry in wife's SUV. The section you see standing against the wall is from my first track. Notice lousy routing.
                  Attached Files

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                  • #13
                    Looks good. I was thinking MDF over the plywood would be a good idea. As for the glitch it's very minor and if smaller than the length of a guide won't matter at all. If you decide to fix it put a 1/8th" thick piece of wood or plastic in the slot and putty knife some Bondo or wood filler in the gap. I found 2 wooden coffee stirrers filled the slot perfectly. Consider putting oil or similar on wood you don't want the filler to stick to.

                    Actually, it looks like you're beyond needing more guidance.

                    Comment


                    • Bal r 14
                      Bal r 14 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      For filling the glitch, I do pretty much what you are saying, but I use wax paper to prevent sticking and fill with epoxy, or MDF dust and super glue. But, I have pushed cars through that spot at every angle possible and it doesn't seem to cause any issues.
                      Last edited by Bal r 14; July 9, 2021, 09:23 AM.

                  • #14
                    One more thing I would like to pass on...
                    I was always told that you routed to your right if you were pulling it toward you and your left if you are pushing the router away from you. That made some sense, due to the torque of the router. However, with this smaller finish router and two step approach, it doesn't have nearly as much torque effect.

                    I fashioned this little guide to use for the spacing between one slot and the next router guide position. So, all I need is to draw one slot and one router guide location, by hand. The other two will be created with this guide.
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Bal r 14; July 9, 2021, 01:22 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Yup, with the 4" base you can do the center lane first and then the inner/outer lanes are easy. Routing a track is really pretty easy, once you try it.

                      And the bobble makes the point for me....you would be surprised at how little the cars actually notice.
                      Come Race at The Trace!
                      Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
                      https://cults3d.com/en/users/chappyman662/creations

                      Comment

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