Built My Own Track

Discussions on buying, building or rehabbing a race track. Topics like plans, materials, tools, construction, finishing, commercially available tracks, and so on.
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DerbyStanger
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Built My Own Track

Post by DerbyStanger » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:31 pm

Using these guidelines:

http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/derby/track/

I have NO problems with cars on the joints. I will say that you do need some intermediate levle wood working skills.

I DID use the T nuts on the bottom instead of wing nuts. I would say the 32 foot track cost $200 in materials. I needed 2 sheets of the plywood...Each sheet gets 3 panels. I had Lowes cut each into 3 and kept the "best" 4 to make the track. I use stepping tape ( a tape that has a rough finish and is used on step letter, etc to keep from slipping.)

I dont know of anyone else yet that has actually built this. Just wanted to post this so I could be of assistance to anyone else wanting this track.


Thanks
RC


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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by chipcoder » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:01 am

Our 3 lane track uses the same cleat method to connect the track pieces except we do not have the sheet metal plate (shown as "H1" in the plans). Does this plate seem to help alignment at all?



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ranman106
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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by ranman106 » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:37 pm

DerbyStanger wrote:Using these guidelines:

http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/derby/track/

I have NO problems with cars on the joints. I will say that you do need some intermediate levle wood working skills.

I DID use the T nuts on the bottom instead of wing nuts. I would say the 32 foot track cost $200 in materials. I needed 2 sheets of the plywood...Each sheet gets 3 panels. I had Lowes cut each into 3 and kept the "best" 4 to make the track. I use stepping tape ( a tape that has a rough finish and is used on step letter, etc to keep from slipping.)

I dont know of anyone else yet that has actually built this. Just wanted to post this so I could be of assistance to anyone else wanting this track.


Thanks
RC
Got pics?


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DerbyStanger
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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by DerbyStanger » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:32 pm

ranman106 wrote:Got pics?
This is the best I can do for now...I have since replace the starting dowels with the red, rubber coated nails that you hang tools on...looks more professional.. I will take pics the next time I set the track up.
RC

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DerbyStanger
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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by DerbyStanger » Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:36 pm

chipcoder wrote:Our 3 lane track uses the same cleat method to connect the track pieces except we do not have the sheet metal plate (shown as "H1" in the plans). Does this plate seem to help alignment at all?
It does not help the alignment. What it does is put stress on the long connecting wooden rails, such that the rails curve up towards the track.. What this does is squeeze the gaps between the tracks closer together so the car does not ride over such wide gaps.. Kinda hard to explain, and not easy to understand until they are put on...I just used a sheel of 14 or 16 gauge sheet metal from H.D>
Thanks
RC


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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by SpinDoctor » Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:52 am

Your track looks awsome. I want to go out an build one now.



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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by Go Bubba Go » Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:10 pm

SpinDoctor wrote:Your track looks awesome. I want to go out and build one now.
I especially like the "water hazard" at the left on the end. :dance:

Is that for unwinding after a brutal "alignment" session?

ROAD TRIP!!!


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DerbyStanger
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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by DerbyStanger » Sat Jan 06, 2007 7:46 pm

SpinDoctor wrote:Your track looks awsome. I want to go out an build one now.
Thanks a lot...I felt a sense of accomplishment after building it, but then again, if I had worked my REAL job that day instead, I could have made enough $$ to just buy a "REAL" Track.

If somebody wants to pay shipping on this, I will sell it for the cost of the materials....I would just buy a 2-lane track for easier storage.


ANYWAY...appreciate the compliments.. The "water hazard" is to catch the cars that fly off the track. :wall:

Thanks
RC


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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by Jthompson » Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:34 am

We built a 3 - lane version of this track with a few modifications. We used T -nuts as you did, and we cut out channels in the wooden cleats that joined the lane in order for the sheet metal to fit flush. This worked very well. We used the sheet metal for alignment. We clamped the track sections together and drilled the holes for each section with the sheet metal in place. The sheet metal now helps align the track perfectly. We counterbored the top holes with a Forstners bit and sunk the bolt to below the flush level of the track. In addition, we modified the lattice and chamfered the lead in for each section so there was not bump in the guide rails. The track is absolutely flush with no gaps. 3 lanes are perfect for our small Pack and the track has a significant cost advantage over a 4-lane track. We used only one sheet of birch plywood and we used one less lane of lattice. The total material cost was less than $120.

We came up with a simple start gate solution that uses a spring and latch to open the gate. The gate swings open at a rate faster than the acceleration of the cars. It is very repeatable. We tightened the spring just enough to open the gate but not so much to cause an impulse against the track.

We bought a K-1 Timer kit with the microswitch package with a serial port output. We send the data to a PC and have the heats up on a big screen projector using GPRM software. With the K-1 timer and software, we were able to have a nice track, timer, and software set up for under $300.

If anyone wants more details on the modifications, I can email them to you.


John Thompson
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San Clemente, CA 92673

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DerbyStanger
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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by DerbyStanger » Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:44 am

Sounds Nice...I was REALLY careful with the assembly of the lane guides, but after that just "semi careful" with the rest, since mine is home use to tune the cars. If you are using it for real races, it sounds like you got everything nailed down.

Congrats!
RC


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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by BigDozer66 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:33 pm

Very nice track! :D

I was going to say the 'water hazard' was a landing place for the track jumpers but you have already said it! :lol:

Lynn


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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by 2slow4u » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:13 pm

Wha tkind of plywood did you use here



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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by JSG » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:50 pm

This is a 7 year old thread.



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Nitro Dan
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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by Nitro Dan » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:10 am

2slow4u wrote:What kind of plywood did you use here?
I realize this thread is old, but might be able to answer the question from looking at the picture. If he followed the plans he posted, the wood would be a 1/2" thick plywood. We can see at least three levels of the ply in the picture. If this was standard plywood from Lowes or Home Depot, there would be plenty of gaps along each level. His ply levels appear to be smooth and solid. I would guess that he is using a high grade American made birch plywood (probably finished on one side). This isn't the kind of plywood you can get from a general home improvement store (like Lowes or Home Depot). You would have to go to a specialty lumber yard, and they would probably have to special order it for you. This kind of plywood isn't cheap, so expect to pay around $100 for a single sheet. Hope this helps!

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Re: Built My Own Track

Post by Speedster » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:24 am

2slow4u, I'd like to offer a suggestion. The Piantedosi wood track might well be the best wood track ever built. Here's a bit of info. The wooden 'Classic Series' tracks are fabricated from a maple faced laminate with a solid (void less) birch veneer core. The track base is constructed from 3/8" seven-ply material and the lane guides from 1/4" five-ply material. This material is only available from one mill in the world. The quality of the material and fabrication are unsurpassed. This material is mirror smooth. It will not warp, twist, or delaminate. We guarantee it - forever! Micro Wizard Timers bought Piantedosi tracks in 2008 and no longer offer wood tracks. While you probably would not use the specific wood you still could make a great track following their construction. I store our Packs track for them and can explain their construction and send you as many pictures as you want. I can also send you pictures of the brake track I made. Very simple and always brings the car to a gentle stop without hitting anything. If this interests you, please email me at - scorpiofortynine@roadrunner.com and we'll get you to work.
Cheers,
Speedster



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