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I want to build a track, is Race Maxx still around?

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  • I want to build a track, is Race Maxx still around?

    I want to get back into slot car racing, just for fun. I was looking at all the info and was trying to find out more info on the Race Maxx track by the Slot Workshop but seems like their website has been compromised. I do have the ability to route MDF as my profession is a cabinet maker and I do have a CNC that I could cut track parts on. But does anyone have any info on the Race Maxx track parts first? Max table size will likely be 5'x18' for a two lane track. Located near New Haven, CT if anyone is around this area.

  • #2
    I was unable to locate a website for Race Maxx or Slot Car Workshop, there is a Facebook page for the latter that does not seem to include the track system. There are a number of YouTube videos about the system. The main claim to fame is that the racing surface is part of the MDF, not a paint or epoxy. The claim is that such a finish is smooth and easier to clean, I am not convinced that is a great advantage. If you are not inclined to route your own track Brad's Tracks can make one out of Sintra, which is easily cleaned and is not affected by water.

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    • #3
      I know nothing about Race Maxx, but I am curious why you would bother with a commercial track supplier when you are so eminently qualified and equipped to create your own track.

      With a CNC router available to rout and cut-out the track sections the big tasks that remain are design and assembly -- both jobs you'd be left with if you go the commercial route. Not to minimize those tasks, but certainly nothing daunting to a cabinet maker.

      And if you are looking to have a non-painted racing surface, I can recommend laminating a thin sheet of melamine (Formica) to the MDF. I had that done by a cabinetry shop who routed six custom tracks for me. But again, nothing foreign to a cabinet maker.

      Puzzled I am.

      Ed Bianchi
      Last edited by HO RacePro; January 6, 2022, 08:49 AM.
      Ed Bianchi
      York Pennsylvania USA

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      • jcwoodwrx
        jcwoodwrx commented
        Editing a comment
        I know I know...sometimes I just get too busy with the regular work load, that I get lazy and don't want to route it myself. Just have to give myself a kick in the pants and start planning I guess.

      • slothead
        slothead commented
        Editing a comment
        There are sources for having the CNC track created for you. I assume Ed (above) can do this and I know Brad Bowman (Brad's Tracks) can because he did this for my latest track.

        ED - love your idea about laminating melamine to the MDF, wish I'd thought of that. My first oval has a Masonite (hardboard) surface that silicone tires love (when clean).

    • #4
      I am fully capable of making my own track once I learn all the measurements I need to run my old Parma 1/24 scale and some of my father's vintage cars. I found all that same info you did. Just couldn't find anymore. I will definitely look into Brad's Tracks though.

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      • #5
        I can understand why you'd like to farm out the routing. Too much like your everyday job, yes?

        This may sound silly, but you might want to try something I recommend to all the first-time track builders I talk to -- build a small test track just to get your feet wet. Certainly nothing challenging here for you, but it might get you off the dime.
        Ed Bianchi
        York Pennsylvania USA

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        • #6
          JC, I would think seriously about building a three lane track. You could do it easily in a 5' x 18' area. To do three lanes you only need an 18" track surface. Six inch outside gutter, four inch lane spacing (8" total) and four inch inside gutter. Maybe even do some sort of Hillclimb with an over and under straightaway. You can race 1/24 or 1/32 scale on it.
          Butch Dunaway
          Oxford, Ohio

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          • #7
            I can't recall what the lane spacing for commercial 1/24th tracks is, 4 inches would probably be the minimum lane spacing that you would need. You could build a simple 5X18' two lane oval track using copper tape to start with. You could also route a track from Sintra yourself, but Sintra is more expensive. Brad's Tracks can also supply you with just a CAD program.
            Last edited by RichD; January 6, 2022, 05:49 PM.

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            • #8
              Click image for larger version  Name:	20200510_092938.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.89 MB ID:	140967 If you have the tools and a bit of experience just build it yourself. At first the idea seemed a bit intimidating but after doing a couple it was pretty simple even for an old framer/concrete guy like me.
              The best piece of advice I can offer it to draw the table that will fit your space to whatever scale fits your paper then draw layout after layout until you are sure you love it. Then figure out the radiuses your corners want to be and write them on your drawing. A nice drawing makes all the difference in the world.
              Last edited by Mitch58; January 6, 2022, 02:52 PM.

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              • #9
                +1 on Ed's melamine suggestion. I did a small test track on an old melamine countertop and it was easy peasy, and simple to keep clean.

                Sounds like you mostly need to decide on the layout since you have the CAD and CNC capabilities.

                At that point it's all about how often you will have guests and competition, vs racing by yourself. 2 lanes is adequate unless you can expect a larger group, then 3-4 lanes is better. You have enough space to do some interesting things.
                Come Race at The Trace!
                Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
                https://www.thingiverse.com/chappyman66/designs

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                • jcwoodwrx
                  jcwoodwrx commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I've got an unfinished basement that we will be completing or at least framing out hopefully this year. The area that I am taking will have a golf sim area on one side and maybe this slot car track on the other. I need to map out the room and figure out the exact layout, but right now it seems like the room will be roughly 19x19. I could make a nice L shaped track area which would open up the side of the room where the door is going to be. Might just have to make it 3 lanes.

                • GTI
                  GTI commented
                  Editing a comment
                  As they are suggesting with the melamine you can also get a thinner sheet of sintra and do the same thing. The guys at slot car corners would also have a lot of the supplies and the know how to do this. Have fun!

              • #10
                Good info above. 3 lanes if possible, but not a neccessity. 1/24 cars, 4 1/2 inches is good, 5 is better. On a smaller/shorter track cars spend more time side by side then on a big track. It's nice to not be constanty putting cars back in the slot. I always say the same thing about complicated, twisty track designs. A simpler, easier to drive track is a lot more fun for most people than a complicated road course that they can't make a lap on. Use tape, make a quick track. Maybe do braid when you know what design will make you happy and if you really want to invest in a track for the long term.

                If I have a cnc, I would definitely do it myself. Gee, just do two sheets of 4X8 or 5X10. Get two folding tables or a couple saw horses. Order some copper tape and you could build a track in one day or less. This would be so easy. Minimum framing underneath. You will quickly find out just what you would want for a more permanent track. You can probably do a simple 4 X16 track for under 200. You can probable even turn the mdf over and rout your final design on the bottom and re-use the first track.

                If you have the ability to program the cnc, it is even better. You can squeeze straights down to 4 inches and ex[pand the lane spacing as you get into and drive out of the corners. Having a cabinet shop and associated skills, a cnc, that is the dream for a lot of us.

                The wiring is a no brainer also.
                Matt B
                So. In
                Crashers

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                • jcwoodwrx
                  jcwoodwrx commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Its my father in law's shop. I am the only one that runs the CNC in our shop. Just have to figure out if I do a banked corner, I need to slot some reliefs in the back before I route the top of the track. I've got a 4x8 CNC table right now, we have a 4x12 coming at some point this year. Probably just route the track out of 3/4" MDF. I can cut my plywood base structure to hold a banked corner. I've taught myself everything for the CNC...just need to trial and error once I get a design together.

              • #11
                You have to consider racers obstructing each others view when designing an L shaped track with controller stations on the inside of the L. Don't ask me how I know.

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                • jcwoodwrx
                  jcwoodwrx commented
                  Editing a comment
                  shouldn't be too bad for a two or 3 lane track

              • #12
                If you want any banking at all and I mean even the slightest banking, do not use 3/4" MDF. 1/2" MDF works great and you can bank it. 3/4" MDF you are not going to bank.
                Butch Dunaway
                Oxford, Ohio

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                • #13
                  Butch is right on, use 1/2, you don't need or want the weight of 3/4. Here is an 8 foot wide 180 degree banked curve in 1/2. This shows how easy it is to bank 1/2 inch. Instead of 180 degrees you make the curve about 170 degrees and pull it to 180 and you have serious banking. No need for under cutting. Access to a cnc, that's nice.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  Matt B
                  So. In
                  Crashers

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                  • #14
                    Mattb has it right. No need to cut the underside of the MDF when making a banked corner. Do use 1/2" thick material. FYI, the force needed to bend MDF goes up as the CUBE of its thickness. That means 3/4" MDF takes more than 3 times the force to bend than 1/2".

                    You don't need much banking to be effective, and too much can be an issue. I recommend no more than 20 degrees of bank (and 10 degrees has been popular). Otherwise cars can get seriously sideways going into and out of the curve. If I remember right (and I might not!) 178 degrees should give you a 10 degree bank and 176 degrees a 20 degree.

                    When designing a track with a bank I recommend making a scale model to test out the design. I have found printing out a drawing of the banking at 1 inch to the foot, gluing it onto poster board and cutting it out will allow you to test the banking. Just pull the model the way Mattb shows. If it looks good it should be good. Actually modelling the entire track this way can be a worthwhile exercise, especially if you plan to include an overpass or elevated section.
                    Ed Bianchi
                    York Pennsylvania USA

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                    • #15
                      Given your 5' wide table size I suggest 1/32 scale lane spacing for 3 (maybe 4) lanes. There are so many 1/32 scale cars and products available you'll have plenty of options, plus you could still race 2 1/24 scale cars using the inner and outer lanes if needed.

                      Making a model is a great plan and will pay dividends. Draw out your track design to scale on graph paper and cut out of construction paper and attach to poster board scaled to match your table size. You can draw, cut out, and patch in changes as desired. You can also experiment with banking.

                      When it comes to creating an actual banked turn I recommend having someone like Brad Bowman write the CNC code for you. He did this for my oval based on what I wanted and once CNC routed all I had to do was pull the straight sections after the corners in to be parallel and that was that. He knew exactly how to design the corner angles so I got the banking I wanted (10 degrees) with no fuss on my end. With 1/2" MDF no relief cuts are needed on the back side.

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