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  • eman-on 4x8 track

    ok so I got a start. can we have a talk about slot with tolerance? I'm not so good with the router. doing a lot for clen up.

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  • #2
    If this is your 1st time routing, you done ok. Practice make perfect...

    I like the layout. That banked corner is pretty creative

    For only a 4x8 layout, I think you got all you can into that space.

    You may want consider only running 8 volts for power, or run low power motors. Not much room to get a lot of speed...
    Dickie Pearson
    Canterbury, NH

    HOST - Home Operated Slot Tracks
    MSR - Main Street Racing

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by dungeonracer View Post
      If this is your 1st time routing, you done ok. Practice make perfect...

      I like the layout. That banked corner is pretty creative

      For only a 4x8 layout, I think you got all you can into that space.

      You may want consider only running 8 volts for power, or run low power motors. Not much room to get a lot of speed...
      yes, a variable power supply is in the cards. thanks, on the complement. so how muck over 1/8 is to much?

      Comment


      • #4
        I have some spots that are 1/32" over, that don't seem to be a problem. These are short stretches (6") in curves where I sanded them. On my first track I had more significant variance (1/16") for much longer distance than caused handling and deslotting issues. I think the guide blade is bouncing around too much.

        Comment


        • #5
          You have discovered what most first-time track routers have learned -- it is very much harder to line up slots than it looks, especially when mating up opposite curves such as esses. But I can also see you have figured out how to fix slightly misaligned slots with a 1/8" thick board and filler.

          FYI, I recommend 'Bondo' automotive epoxy filler. You can adjust how long it takes to harden by using more or less hardener. And it sands easily with a smooth finish.

          I am more concerned about the sharp vertical break going into and out of your banked corner. I don't think cars will tolerate that well. I think you would have been better to flex rather than break the MDF. It is much more flexible than most people think. I would have started the ramp as you come out from under the banked corner, including the short straight and 120-degree corner. Then use more of the main straight to decline. I think you still have the option to do both mods, although clearances will be tight in spots.

          I see you made the banked corner as a separate piece. You would need to join it level with raised sections from the original flat MDF. That can be done with a lap joint -- a piece of MDF maybe 8 or 10 inches long fastened underneath the raised track sections. Done right the joint can be very smooth, but sometimes you need to use thin shims to get the track surfaces exactly level with each other. Even a 10-thousandths mismatch can upset the cars.

          The gentler inclines will result in a lower banking in the 180. S'okay. Something folks often learn too late is that radical banking causes issues. A 10-degree bank is plenty. I would not recommend more than a 20-degree bank.

          I always recommend first-time track builders practice with a small test-track, to get their feet wet and familiarize themselves with the process of routing and the practical limits of track design. Many first-timers have taken on big projects and discovered too late that they've been overly ambitious. Fortunately in your case you started with a modest project. Your investment in material to date is small, although you have invested a fair bit of time and labor. Even if you have to start over from scratch you are not out that much money. Consider the time and labor tuition.

          My guess is you'll complete your track, discover what you should have done differently, and build another track. It will probably be a better investment than trying to fix this one.

          Don't be discouraged. You've taken a big step towards becoming a track builder. That distinguishes you from the run-of-the-mill slotter. Enjoy and take pride in the journey.
          Last edited by HO RacePro; January 25, 2022, 06:53 AM.
          Ed Bianchi
          York Pennsylvania USA

          Comment


          • #6
            Kind of what Ed said. That is a pretty sharp incline. Inclines work great with mdf, it bends pretty easy. A more gradual incline will probably work a lot better. One thing that will make it all easier is to get rid of that clunky router and maybe try to use a trim router in the future. They are much easier to handle. Not sure from the pix, but you always need to rout the corner completely until you are at the straight exit. That may be me not seeing the picture correctly. Looks good for first time. Might have been easier to just do a simpler flat track first time around. That track design looks like it will be hard to actually race on. It will require low voltage slow cars unless you are an ace driver.
            Matt B
            So. In
            Crashers

            Comment


            • #7
              A comment on track design...

              Having a curve tucked underneath the banked corner, while maximizing the space available, does make it hard to see the cars there. It will also be a bit hard to reach a deslotted car.

              Not so much an issue for a home track where you are just hacking around. More of an issue for a track used for organized racing.

              In general I try to avoid curves under overpasses, for the reasons cited above. One of those "practical limits of track design" I refer to is how easy it is to turn-marshal a track. Complex tracks with hard-to-reach corners can cause issues in organized racing.
              Last edited by HO RacePro; January 25, 2022, 07:04 AM.
              Ed Bianchi
              York Pennsylvania USA

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HO RacePro View Post
                You have discovered what most first-time track routers have learned -- it is very much harder to line up slots than it looks, especially when mating up opposite curves such as esses. But I can also see you have figured out how to fix slightly misaligned slots with a 1/8" thick board and filler.

                FYI, I recommend 'Bondo' automotive epoxy filler. You can adjust how long it takes to harden by using more or less hardener. And it sands easily with a smooth finish.

                I am more concerned about the sharp vertical break going into and out of your banked corner. I don't think cars will tolerate that well. I think you would have been better to flex rather than break the MDF. It is much more flexible than most people think. I would have started the ramp as you come out from under the banked corner, including the short straight and 120-degree corner. Then use more of the main straight to decline. I think you still have the option to do both mods, although clearances will be tight in spots.

                I see you made the banked corner as a separate piece. You would need to join it level with raised sections from the original flat MDF. That can be done with a lap joint -- a piece of MDF maybe 8 or 10 inches long fastened underneath the raised track sections. Done right the joint can be very smooth, but sometimes you need to use thin shims to get the track surfaces exactly level with each other. Even a 10-thousandths mismatch can upset the cars.

                The gentler inclines will result in a lower banking in the 180. S'okay. Something folks often learn too late is that radical banking causes issues. A 10-degree bank is plenty. I would not recommend more than a 20-degree bank.

                I always recommend first-time track builders practice with a small test-track, to get their feet wet and familiarize themselves with the process of routing and the practical limits of track design. Many first-timers have taken on big projects and discovered too late that they've been overly ambitious. Fortunately in your case you started with a modest project. Your investment in material to date is small, although you have invested a fair bit of time and labor. Even if you have to start over from scratch you are not out that much money. Consider the time and labor tuition.

                My guess is you'll complete your track, discover what you should have done differently, and build another track. It will probably be a better investment than trying to fix this one.

                Don't be discouraged. You've taken a big step towards becoming a track builder. That distinguishes you from the run-of-the-mill slotter. Enjoy and take pride in the journey.
                Thanks for the hinsight and wasted MDF. I was feeling pretty good about it. But you and MattB. Yes I'm discouraged. Not going to spend more time or money to finish and track that you two say is 💩. In to the burn Pile. And no flat tracks even flat tracks aren't flat. I guess it is my Fault I when on the web looking for help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  So, before you torch your work...
                  it shows your skills to get this far with a fairly common track plan idea no matter the space.
                  Were you to run off-road trucks or something they might tolerate the transitions- only looking with the perspective of the pictures..I'm sure you've placed vehicles on it to have an idea.
                  Assuming your going with copper tape for this one which is fine.
                  If you backtrack on the elevated 180..I see you've the skill to move it back to where it was originally cut from, fill in the short stretches, and elevate some or even leave flat, use the ~20 bucks of tape, finish trying your hand at getting your cars on it,...run it some and have a bit of fun while you contemplate your next one. It looks like you have a start on something that'd be fun to run on..

                  Cheers,
                  Paul

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It can be done, MDF can be manipulated, but gently with smooth transitions.

                    Every bend in my track is banked even through the s's. Every curve is banked at least 5 degrees with the curves at the end being 10 degrees.

                    There are many different ways to go about this. What I chose to do was to set the track to the elevation I wanted with a block screwed and glued to the table then I screwed down the track on the inside of the corner. Next I cut a wedge shaped block and tapped them in next to the existing block raising the outside of the track the way I wanted it then screwed down the outside of the track.

                    To build a true banked curve like we saw in the old days the curve isn't cut in at 180 degrees, it is cut in at something less probably 160 degrees then bent around to 180 degrees, but this is hard for one guy to do by himself.

                    Don't give up, you're off to a decent start. There is a learning curve to building a track and you just learned a couple of things. Keep in mind the smoother the transition from one elevation to the next, the more your cars will like it.

                    Also of note, the more expensive race ready cars like NSR, Slot It, Thunderslot ect. will go around the corners just fine whether banked or flat. It is the less engineered cars like stock Fly, Scalextric, Ninco ect. that will get the most benefit of the banked corners.

                    Continue on, enjoy the project. BWT way I was told they are never actually "finished" and so far they've been right. Click image for larger version  Name:	20200604_123046.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.94 MB ID:	145357

                    Comment


                    • sivad
                      sivad commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yeah I did 170° the bank was about 1/2in wider then the the slots. I didn't Expect as much banking as I got. I did use a cardboard template.

                  • #11
                    If you haven't tossed the track yet I think it can be fixed. Screw the banked turn down on each end so it's level with the sections it connects with, then slowly raise the center of the corner up a little at a time so it doesn't crack.

                    Since this is a small track that I assume is just for fun, many of the comments don't apply. Get it going and improve going forward as you see fit.

                    Happy Slotting!

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      FINISH THAT TRACK
                      Use the advice here and what you are learning to finish that track. Even if you just finish one lane, use some tape and wire it up. You'll find out real quick if it meets expectations. You'll have experience on how a track races and what is desired for happy slotting. You can get one lane running in a few nites probably. I think we all like to give advice that the first track you attempt shouldn't be your forever track. Do something pretty simple, learn the skills and figure out what design would meet your long term goals. You are off to a good start.

                      You can feel free to disregard anything I posted. Sometimes I get carried away.
                      Last edited by mattb; January 25, 2022, 09:43 AM.
                      Matt B
                      So. In
                      Crashers

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I'll echo what others said...FINISH THE TRACK! You are going to learn so much by doing it that only comes with experience. Not just about track construction, but all of the design elements that make a fun track. Things like sight lines, controller station locations, marshalling locations and lots more. You can create a track that follows all of the conventional design parameters, but it may not be fun for you. I have seen many very well designed tracks that would bore me to tears in 10 minutes. You have to learn what works for you and that only comes from experience. My first track was like yours, only worse. I used a big honking router (like yours) that went where it felt like going and free handed all the curves. It looked like it was done by a drunken sailor! My second track was much better, but I still had a long way to go. On my third track, I used a cordless trim router and bought a lexan guide to layout my track and do the routing. It came out perfect. But, after a fair amount of use, I found a number of design elements that need improvement. Next time! Here's my second and third track.
                        Attached Files

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          Sivad,

                          You can see Bal r 14's evolution in skill and design from his second to third track. (Dunno why he thought he could free-hand rout his first track. That's a mistake you didn't make!) There really is value in finishing actual tracks.

                          That is why I am in agreement with the posters above who encourage you to finish your track to the point where you can run laps on it. Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours. More time waiting for the paint to dry than anything else. At least you'll gain some experience working with copper tape. That's another skill that takes some practice. (I recommend 3/16" wide tape -- 1/4" is much harder to lay flat around corners.)

                          Track building, in theory, is dirt simple. Like anything else it is the details that require care and planning. And like anything else it gets worlds easier once you have spent some time actually doing it.

                          I doubt there are more than a few HRW folks here with track-building experience who stopped at their first track. Those who have one track behind them are almost certainly thinking about their next track.

                          Don't give up now! At worst you've only wasted about US$25 in MDF. You have a cheering section here, capable of giving you more good advice than you probably want to listen to. And we have all been through that learning curve. No shame in it!

                          Ed Bianchi
                          York Pennsylvania USA

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Lol 25. Not in Arizona 48.59 for 1/2. I will work those it.

                            Still need to name this thing. Suggestions?

                            Comment


                            • HO RacePro
                              HO RacePro commented
                              Editing a comment
                              " Lol 25. Not in Arizona 48.59 for 1/2. I will work those it. "

                              Translation please?

                              Ed Bianchi

                            • sivad
                              sivad commented
                              Editing a comment
                              The price for 1/2in mdf. On Sunday was $48.59. In Arizona. I'm going to finish the track. I need to come up with a name for the track. Eman-no is No name spelled back words.

                            • HO RacePro
                              HO RacePro commented
                              Editing a comment
                              How about DC-1?

                              The Douglas Aircraft DC-1, built in 1933 was their first attempt at a commercial airliner. Only one built. Followed up by the DC-2 and then the DC-3. On the third try they got it right. Over 13,000 DC-3 were produced for both civilian and military applications and some are still flying today! A shining example that you shouldn't give up on a good idea if the first try isn't quite right.
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