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  • Human access spacing between track table and room walls

    I have a moderate sized room in which I hope to be setting up my first routed track. I want to maximize the room size so I was wondering what distance is ideal between the track/table and the room walls? I have been to many slot racers routed tracks and think that 18" would be a minimum, with 20" maybe being more ideal.

    Thanks,
    Peter
    PetesLightKits

  • #2
    Admittedly, I am a moose, but I require at least 24 inches to walk to do marshalling without skipping along sideways which is far from dignified at my age, not to mention it tends to put people off their supper food. Also, think twice about what you hang on the walls around the track. Many nice framed posters and artwork have been scrubbed off the wall by slot car guys rushing to get to a deslot. Also, think about what you will put under the track. Its easy to hook a shoe on a seemingly benign wire or box when in a hurry.

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    • #3
      This is from construction of my track a few years ago. It's in a bedroom, about 10 x 12 so the track is roughly 8 x 10. I have about 18" on the back side, and a marshall back there does have to go sideways.
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      I hardly ever have visitors though, and I have driver stations on two sides of the track so it's not a big deal.
      I would say it really depends on how much you are going to have competitive racing at your track, and the size of the drivers.

      And yes....get everything in under the track by at least a foot.
      Come Race at The Trace!
      Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN
      https://www.thingiverse.com/chappyman66/designs

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      • #4
        I would think 2' would work on every side but the drivers side. I had 3' on the drivers side of my old track so the drivers could pass another driver when going after a car.
        Butch Dunaway
        Oxford, Ohio

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        • SlotCat
          SlotCat commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed! Great comments about keeping items back under table by at least a foot all around, stuff hanging on walls, shelves etc. Yes, at least 2', but as a tall slender guy I'm still a lot more comfortable with 3' on drivers side.

      • #5
        Thanks for the feedback guys. The room is small - about 12'6" x 11'6" so I don't think access is going to be more than 24" - I would really like to keep it down to about 20". The track will be "peninsula'ed" up against one wall with access around three sides. There will be a lower shelf about 6" off the floor the same size as the table top, so everything under the track will be up off the floor. And, yes, I know from experience at other tracks to not hang stuff on the walls where drivers and marshalls are going to be.
        PetesLightKits

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        • #6
          Consider putting the track on a moveable table. This can be easily done with casters. My road course, Shelby-Hendrix Speedway, is on a 6' x 14' tabletop mounted on a 4'x8' table with 4 legs on casters. The track surface overhangs the table by 1 foot front and back, and 3 feet on each end. Everything is firmly supported using an "L-girder' design from model railroading.

          The casters allow me to place the track with the back straight and left side against walls, and pull it out when needed. The track was designed so that places where cars are most likely to come out of the slot are easily accessible. There's only one turn that is normally somewhat out of reach, the turn that leads into the back straight, which is the safest turn on the track. I only need to pull the table out to work on things around the track.

          In addition to thinking about table design, think about track design so the challenging parts are most accessible. With a routed track you can put features where you want them and have control over everything from lane spacing and placement to corner radius.

          Comment


          • PetesLightKits
            PetesLightKits commented
            Editing a comment
            The table legs will sit on plastic sliders/coasters (the room is carpeted) so it can be moved around, if need be.

            Table will be about 8' wide with access from both sides, so marshalling should not be a problem.

          • slothead
            slothead commented
            Editing a comment
            Sounds like you got it all covered. Happy slotting. My last 2 cents worth, marked down to free, is design some elevation changes into your track. MDF is flexible enough to incline and twist more than you think if you take your time.

        • #7
          I would recommend at least 3 feet of clearance. I consider that the minimum for two people to scootch past each other, which does need to happen during organized racing when folks need to go from marshaling to driving stations and back. Even that requires rather intimate wiggling among those of us who wear plus-sizes.

          You can have a narrower space at a cul-de-sac, where a marshal station is at a dead end. But I still wouldn't go narrower than 2 feet. As hinted above, not all of us are svelte.

          Ed Bianchi

          PS - This reminds me of a classic US government study I have a copy of, done for the military, showing body measurements of people ranging from the smallest 5% to the largest 95% of the population studied. It includes measurements for the minimum hatches and crawlways for things like submarines and aircraft. Some of those specs make me claustrophobic just looking at them. The study was done in the 1940's or the 1950's. The general population -- especially the civilian population -- has gotten porkier in the intervening decades. That study probably needs to be updated if it hasn't been already.
          Last edited by HO RacePro; January 30, 2021, 04:42 PM.
          Ed Bianchi
          York Pennsylvania USA

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          • PetesLightKits
            PetesLightKits commented
            Editing a comment
            The room is only 12' x 11' so if I use 3' of clearance that gives me a track layout area of 5' x 9' - a ping pong table!! That's not going to work well at all.

        • #8
          'Kay, here is a relevant page from that government study, 'Dryfuss 1959-1966', paid for by your father's Cold War tax dollars.

          I photocopied this entire study, in violation of the copyright, back when I was in graduate school, sometime in the early 1970's. You'd be surprised how useful this study can be to your average engineer. Helps a ton in designing stuff for those funny animals we call 'humans'. But it is important to remember the numbers are for the 90% of humans that were cut out of the middle of the study population. There really are ladies on the production floor that top out at 4 feet even.

          Ed Bianchi

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          Last edited by HO RacePro; January 30, 2021, 12:09 PM.
          Ed Bianchi
          York Pennsylvania USA

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          • Fast Co.
            Fast Co. commented
            Editing a comment
            Great stuff right there Ed! Thanks for posting it!

          • SlotCat
            SlotCat commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes great stuff, thanks!

          • mattb
            mattb commented
            Editing a comment
            Double those numbers and I'll be happy.

        • #9
          Hey Peter,

          Have you checked with Larry to see how much space he has on the back side of his track? I don’t think he’d be able to squeeze himself in, if it was much narrower than that.

          Looking forward to see the build progress.

          Take care
          Scott

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          • PetesLightKits
            PetesLightKits commented
            Editing a comment
            Maybe if I keep the clearance to a minimum it will give some of us slot racers the incentive to shed some extra lbs.
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