Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

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gpraceman
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Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by gpraceman » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:44 pm

Well, my older son's den this last weekend built the storage crate for our pack's Piantedosi Freedom track. We used the instructions on their website (http://www.pinewoodderbytrack.com/stow.html) and it came out very nicely.

The instructions were easy to follow and measurements were right on. Though, I would recommend some alterations to their plans if you wanted to build one for your track:
  • Add a handle to each of the long sides. With the track in the crate (especially with our 48 footer) it is rather heavy. Having handles for 4 people to carry the crate would help spread the load.
  • Add casters. To save us middle age folk some back strain. At least two of the casters should be lockable to keep it from rolling around when not wanted.
  • Make the crate width 1/4" or 1/2" wider. It was pretty snug on getting the sections into it, especially with the thin rope loops we slung over the ends to aid in pulling them out. If the crate was a just little wider it would make loading and unloading sections easier. Length was not an issue.
  • Add cross pieces to the bottom, just like on the top. I do wonder if just having the two bottom runners, without any additional support, may lead to the bottom plywood sagging in the middle.
We couldn't find the finger joint boards they mentioned, so we just used 1" x 8" boards. We also couldn't find 36" piano hinges, so we settled for 30" ones. They seem to work well enough.

They mention having Home Depot rip the plywood to width, but I wouldn't do that unless you have no other alternative. You are lucky if they make a cut for you within +/- 1/4" of the desired measurement. It would be terrible to build a crate only to find out they cut the width too narrow.

I think the crate is a nice parting gift to the pack from the Webelos II den and is a great way to protect the pack's investment. We had all of the boys sign the inside of the lid so their effort will be remembered for many years to come.


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by dave4him » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:17 pm

I too built the box for our 40' Piantedosi using the plans from their website. It turned out really good but I 'll keep my day job. :wink:

Casters are definitely the way to go. I haven't put the extra handles on the sides yet, but plan to.

I added a piece of small chain at each end of lid to keep it from "bottoming out" onto the hinges. It's a little heavy and it was a nice added touch.

I used thin 1" wide nylon webbing to raise the sections from the box. Works really well.

I do wish that I had made it a bit deeper. Getting the start gate situated as to not come in contact with the lid takes a little effort. I used 1x8 spruce for the sides.

I can even store our finish line timer in the box which is great, considering that I was going to have to make another timer box as I had for our previous one. :)

All in all, I am well pleased with the box plans--just a tweak here and there.

Randy, I also replaced the #6 pan head screws with thumb screws to hold the start section horizontal cross-members. Makes for quick set-up and tear-down....and leave the screwdriver in the toolbox! I have another tip for the track, I'll start up another post for it later.


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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by gpraceman » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:32 pm

dave4him wrote:I added a piece of small chain at each end of lid to keep it from "bottoming out" onto the hinges. It's a little heavy and it was a nice added touch.
I forgot all about that. We wanted to do that as well. I just didn't have the right chain.
dave4him wrote:I used thin 1" wide nylon webbing to raise the sections from the box. Works really well.
Good idea. We just grabbed some rope that was handy. I can see that the webbing would make the width tightness less of an issue.
dave4him wrote:I do wish that I had made it a bit deeper. Getting the start gate situated as to not come in contact with the lid takes a little effort. I used 1x8 spruce for the sides.
Ours fits height-wise fine, but we haven't got the start gate in there just yet. It is still packed away in a box until our race (which is this Saturday). With our 48 footer, we do have one more section to fit in there than you do.
dave4him wrote:I can even store our finish line timer in the box which is great, considering that I was going to have to make another timer box as I had for our previous one. :)
We may try storing ours in there as well. There appears to be enough room. However, Micro Wizard now offers a carrying case for their timers, so we may go that route instead. We got one for the new K2 timer kit that was just received and it is very nice and provides good padding for the timer.

I'll actually be involved in building one more of these cases. I will be having custody of a 4 lane anodized Freedom track shortly. This track and the new K2 timer (and my GrandPrix Race Manager software, of course) will be a setup that is rented out to local Awana clubs. The setup belongs to our Awana missionary and rental proceeds go to his ministry support. I'll be going along with the track to make sure it is treated well and to run the software. This will be the second such track setup in use. The other is a BestTrack, with a Fast Track K2 Timer and GrandPrix Race Manager software and is managed by another person. It is all to help more of our local clubs have races, which means more opportunity to spread the Gospel!


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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by bthere » Thu Jan 12, 2006 8:56 am

We also built a case to donate to our Pack as a parting gift from Webelos II. The main deviations from the plan that we implemented were:

- Built the case about 2 inches taller to fit all of the miscellaneous items such as finish line, size boxes, car carriers, pennant banners, scales, etc. We have just about everything required to run a race in the box.

- Added about 1.5 inches in width so that we can reach in and lift the sections out. We put in a couple of pairs of 1x2s vertically on each side to keep the track from sliding too much horizontally. We installed the pairs of 1x2s with about 1/2" space in each pair and cut 1/2" plywood slats that go across the track and slide veritcally into the grooves between the 1x2s. The slats are held in place by the top and keep the track held down.

- Added addtional horizontal supports to bottom of the case

- We added extra handles on the ends and the sides (my daughter says it looks like a pinewood coffin)

- Used four draw latches instead of two

- Added casters

- Recessed the ends and installed chest lid supports to prevent the top from opening too far. Looking at putting one or two toy chest lid supports that have tension to prevent the top from closing accidentally.

- Cut some rounded 4" x .5" reliefs on the inside, bottom side of the long 1x2 top brace. These are supposed to be handles to open the lid, but seem a little tight.

I think that's about all. We finished it with a few coats of polyurethane. We are looking at the possibility of gasketing interface between the lid and top of the box to provide a bit more of a moisture barrier. I doubt that there is that big a worry. I'm looking for some large dessicant bags to throw in the box at this time.


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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by gpraceman » Thu Jan 12, 2006 9:14 am

bthere wrote:- Added about 1.5 inches in width so that we can reach in and lift the sections out. We put in a couple of pairs of 1x2s vertically on each side to keep the track from sliding too much horizontally. We installed the pairs of 1x2s with about 1/2" space in each pair and cut 1/2" plywood slats that go across the track and slide veritcally into the grooves between the 1x2s. The slats are held in place by the top and keep the track held down.
I like that idea. I'd rather be able to reach in an pull out a section than to use a rope or webbing.
bthere wrote:- We added extra handles on the ends and the sides (my daughter says it looks like a pinewood coffin)
We were cracking jokes about that too. We had thought about putting two handles on each of the long sides and carrying it like pall bearers. :lol:
bthere wrote:Looking at putting one or two toy chest lid supports that have tension to prevent the top from closing accidentally.
I was looking at that too, but until we got the track into it, I wanted to make sure there would be space for them.
bthere wrote:- Cut some rounded 4" x .5" reliefs on the inside, bottom side of the long 1x2 top brace. These are supposed to be handles to open the lid, but seem a little tight.
Ours seems to open up well enough by just grabbing the 1X2 cleat on the latch side.

These are all good suggestions. The second case that I help build will be that much better than the first.


Randy Lisano
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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by Mike Doyle » Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:04 am

I would hesitate to add gasketing to the lid depending on your storage conditions. If you anticipate daily temperature swings at your storage location (no climate control for example), you run the possibility of condensation forming within the box eventually leading to mold formation and hastening failure of the wooden crate (sooner rather than later).

You've got a lot of aluminum inside that box that will store thermal energy, if for example it get's down to 40° at night then heats up quickly to 85° during the day with high humidity, condensation can form within the crate.

If the box is sealed up tight the moisture will migrate into the wood. We're talking about a very subtle process, but you've built something to last and consider it will be unattended 360 days a year, it would be a shame to have it fail early.



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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by michael4262 » Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:05 am

bthere wrote:We added extra handles on the ends and the sides (my daughter says it looks like a pinewood coffin)
Hehe ... that's exactly what my sons all said when we added the 4 handles to the sides :mrgreen:

A toybox hinge sounds like the perfect solution ... the lid is kind of heavy and we don't have a stop for it yet.

I wish we had built it a little deeper however, it would be nice to be able to store a bit more of the setup gear with the track, flags & pennants etc.

Overall, pretty good plans though!


- Mike

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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by bthere » Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:25 am

Mike Doyle wrote:I would hesitate to add gasketing to the lid depending on your storage conditions. If you anticipate daily temperature swings at your storage location (no climate control for example), you run the possibility of condensation forming within the box eventually leading to mold formation and hastening failure of the wooden crate (sooner rather than later).
Even though we don't expect this to be stored in any worse environment that a basement, this is exactly why we didn't gasket. The gasketing would be of benefit if you had exposure to external moisture (fog), but not in an enclosed storage environment. I am trying to round up a couple of large dessicant bags to help stabilize the internal humidity. I used to get those sacks with about a quart of dessicant in each with shipments of CRTs for monitors, but can't seem to locate any at this time.


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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by Watch-out-for-that-frog » Sat Jan 14, 2006 11:52 am

I just built a second box to split the track so it can be carried by normal people. :)

The 4 handle is a MUST!


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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by Derby316 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:54 am

I just finished building boxes for our two four-lane five-section freedom tracks.
Before you build your box, ask this question "Do I need a box to safely transport the track to and from race events or do I just need a safe place to store the track year round?"

For me being able to transport the tracks from one location to another was important. After weighing each track section, cross braces, weights, stop ramps, etc. I thought one box per track would work. The box was built following the great plan located here http://www.pinewoodderbytrack.com/case.html" target="_blank. When completed the box itself weighed 65 pounds and picking up the fully loaded box (approx. 220 pounds) was out of the question. It occurred to me the plans are to build a great storage box but we need to be able to load and unload the box in a vehicle with two average strength adults.

If you need to build a box for transporting the track you might want to follow these modifications to the plans listed above. Again, our track is a four-lane five-section aluminum freedom track.

Instead of building one deep box I built two stacking boxes with the bottom of the top box serving as the top to the bottom box.

Image

Have the home center rip a 4' x 8' sheet of 1/2" plywood in thirds at 15 7/8" x 8'. The bottom box will use one piece and the top box with a lid will use the other two pieces.

I took a 1" x 8" x 8' (actual ¾” x 7 ¼” x 8’) primed finger jointed trim board and ripped it at 3 7/8". The narrower of the two pieces will build the bottom box and the wider to build the top box. You will need to rip one board for each side along with boards for each end of the box. I found it easier to measure and cut the all the pieces to length before ripping them down to size.

Use Simpson Strong-Tie A23Z steel angle brackets to reinforce the box corners with #8 x 5/8" pan head sheet metal screws.

Connect the top and bottom boxes using 2 ¾” x 1 ½” chest latches. The alignment tab of the chest latches extend past the bottom of the top box requiring the installation on a ¼” cleat on the bottom of the top box to prevent damage to the tabs when placing the top box on the ground. I would have preferred latches that did not extend past the bottom of the top box removing the need for cleats on the bottom of the top box but the home center did not have any other latches.

You may want to attach the top box lid via chest latches instead of the piano hinge to ease your fear the hinge might rip out if the lid flops open. I built one box with piano hinges and one without and both boxes function well.

Install four case handles, one on each end of the top and bottom boxes providing handles for transport.

I was going to use 1/8" nylon rope to lift the track sections out of the boxes but I discovered the home center had green plastic banding in the lumber isle trashcan. The plastic banding holds the lumber stacks together during transport. Ask if they have any in the garbage or look at the lumber stacks to see if you can scavenge some. I drilled a pilot hole in the end of the banding and used #8 x 1/2" screws to secure the plastic banding to the side of the boxes.

I reinforced the bottom of the bottom box using the same design as the top of the top box. Do not reinforce the bottom of the top box allowing the plywood to sit directly on top of the bottom box.

Fearing a single 2” piece of pink foam would get broken over time I opted to cut the 2” x 2’ x 8’ foam width wise on a table saw using four pieces of 2’ wide foam instead of a single piece. I used a 10” table saw and a router with a 3/8” straight bit hooked to a shop vac to machine the foam pieces.

Image

The bottom box filled with three track sections weighs around 100 pound. The top box with the 2 x 10 pound weights, two track sections, cross braces, joining plates, etc. weighs around 120 pounds. Carrying each of the two boxes was very manageable by two normal sized adults.



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Re: Storage Crate for Piantedosi Track

Post by knotthed » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:57 pm

The thought of short screws in the handles with so much weight scares the heck out of me.....so here was my big upgrade.

I used 1/4-20 bolts with T nuts on the inside to hold the handles - don't think there will ever be a problem there...and I can sleep better knowing there will never be a smashed toe/foot from the handle coming off.

link to a sample pic for those interested but unfamiliar.
http://t-nut.com/node-16410131-B0002ZPE ... uts_50_Pcs" target="_blank



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