New Test 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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Re: New Test Track

Post by *5 J's* » Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:11 pm

PhantomVirus wrote:Did you get the 1/4 x 1 1/2 strips @ the orange box also or did you cut your own?

Thx
R
Lowes actually. It is poplar sold as 1/4 x 2" with a 1/4 x 1 1/2" actual measurement.

Oh yea, and I just ordered the MicroWizard K1CSA (Cheap Kit with Computer Serial Interface & all the Data Options) with a remote start switch delivered for under $70.



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Re: New Test Track

Post by PhantomVirus » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:08 pm

The Orange Box store had the same ones - ridiculously expensive in the overall scheme of things. 4 foot sections were $2.69 and I needed 18 of them.

I was not able to get the melamine boards that you describe - it just seemed that the boards they had did not have enough 'bend' in them to work. I looked at the pure vinyl solution & for plastic it was ridiculously priced also. $30 for a 8' x 8 inch wide all PVC board so i would be in for $120 just for the track surface!

I picked up 3 Hardi-Plank pieces of siding that have a LOT of flex - almost too much and am going to try them ($8 each in 12 foot sections). The surface is not smooth like the laminate that you are using but I THINK that if I paint the backside with a 1/2 way decent paint it might smooth out for me.

Thoughts and gotchas appreciated - thanks
Ron in NJ



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Re: New Test Track

Post by habcdb » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:16 pm

I used 1/8" hardboard like peg board, but without the holes of course.


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FatSebastian
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Re: New Test Track

Post by FatSebastian » Sun Oct 03, 2010 7:37 pm

PhantomVirus wrote:The Orange Box store had the same ones - ridiculously expensive in the overall scheme of things. 4 foot sections were $2.69 and I needed 18 of them.
Re the Orange box, their large paint paddles are the perfect dimension and are cheap enough ;), but you'd need a lot of them. Yardsticks from the same place should work too; last time I checked they were much less than $1 a piece at our local store. Ultimately we went with a lath sold by the foot and bought long sections, but I don't remember the cost per foot.
PhantomVirus wrote:I was not able to get the melamine boards that you describe - it just seemed that the boards they had did not have enough 'bend' in them to work. I looked at the pure vinyl solution & for plastic it was ridiculously priced also. $30 for a 8' x 8 inch wide all PVC board so i would be in for $120 just for the track surface!
When building a test track, we went with a single-lane track and the money saved on construction materials we put toward a timer. (Other advantages of a single lane is that it is lighter, easier to maintain, and stows easier.) We used a 12' 1x4 PVC (Tuff-Board?) for a single lane track, which seemed to have the right amount of bend. I think we paid about $13 per piece for those (but they may be more expensive now?).



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Re: New Test Track

Post by *5 J's* » Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:23 am

PhantomVirus wrote:The Orange Box store had the same ones - ridiculously expensive in the overall scheme of things. 4 foot sections were $2.69 and I needed 18 of them.
I cannot remember how much I paid, but Lowes currently has them listed for $1.97 each. For two lanes I needed 4 per 8ft section. My track is 32' so I needed 16 sections, which today would be ~$32. Perhaps a bit pricey - but the edges of the poplar were milled very nicely. It was important for me to have a smooth lane guide with smooth transitions. Add the cost of the melamine boards for $24 (2 x $12), a couple of rolls of melamine edging to finish the raw edge (~$5 each), box of screws (~$4), hinges (~$3), and a dowel (~$1). So I think I have just under $75 for a 32' track - with a great surface (easy to clean also) and great lane guides - Not bad. Now I cannot wait for my MicroWizard timer kit to arrive. This will about another $100 once I buy the parts for the enclosure and misc. electronics to complete.

At that point I will have about $175 into a 32' two lane test track with MicroWizard timer - with serial output to a computer. Certainly there a different price points for each individual, each with it's own compromise. This was the right mix for me.
PhantomVirus wrote:it just seemed that the boards they had did not have enough 'bend' in them to work.
They seemed stiff to me at an 8' length - but once ripped to 7" wide and joined together at a 32' length - they seem to have the appropriate amount of flex without having too much.



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Re: New Test Track

Post by habcdb » Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:54 pm

I have built two wood tracks. The first I used the 1 3/8" x 1/4" strips, but they were so inconsistent in width. I also did not use a very good alignment process. The second track I bought Whitewood 1x2's, 1x8's and 1/8" hardboard 4x8 sheets. I ripped the hardboard sheets into 7 3/4" wide strips since the 1x8's are 7 1/4" wide. I routed an 1/8" grove 1/4" down the side of the 1x2's and 1/4" deep to allow the 1/8"- 7 3/4" qide hardboard sheets to slide into. One 1x2 on each side of the 7 3/4" hardboard srips. I then cut the 1x8's into 2'-0" and 6" lengths. They fit below the 1/8" hardboard at 2'-0" centers with the 2'-0" lengths at the end of each 8'-0" section. The 2'-0" sections are lapped from one section to the other. I used a planer to to plane the 1x2's to the same width. Then I ripped each 1x2 into two 3/8" x 1 3/8" strips. I then planed each strip to exactly 1/4" high. I could provide drawings if anyone is interested. Image


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Re: New Test Track

Post by habcdb » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:06 pm

Let me try this one.
Image

[moderator edit: you need to use the direct link]
Image


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Re: New Test Track

Post by PhantomVirus » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:17 pm

nicely done - too bad you are not my neighbor - excellent work - looks fantastic



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Re: New Test Track

Post by *5 J's* » Thu Oct 07, 2010 7:30 am

nice job!

Can you post some pics of the underside and start gate also?



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Re: New Test Track

Post by habcdb » Thu Oct 07, 2010 8:45 pm

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

I am going to apply three coats of Minwax Polycrylic this weekend then rubber stop strips. From my research the Minwax Polycrylic is the best product to use. Any suggestion?


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Re: New Test Track

Post by PhantomVirus » Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:02 pm

Love it, absolutely love it.

I ended up returning the Hardi-Plank and bought 1/8 inch x 4' x8' hardboard - I ripped it into 8 inch sections on the table saw which gave me 5 perfect 8 inch sections and one that was narrower due to blade thickness which I am not using.

The Q - is length - to build a 'good' track that closely mimics the track that our plack uses is 40 feet but it takes up SO much room....I wanted something I could put up and then let the kids have fun year round with it but 40 feet is bigger than it sounds (as you all know).

Thoughts on 32 footer? Sufficient lower straightaway to properly mimic the larger track?

Also - how did you guys cut out the holes for the starting gate? Router? Drill and jigsaw? Thx

R



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Re: New Test Track

Post by FatSebastian » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:29 am

PhantomVirus wrote:Also - how did you guys cut out the holes for the starting gate? Router? Drill and jigsaw?
We used a router table, with the results looking like habcdb's above.



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Re: New Test Track

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:27 am

PhantomVirus wrote:Thoughts on 32 footer? Sufficient lower straightaway to properly mimic the larger track?
The factors that produce excellent results on a 32' track are almost identical to those which produce excellent results on a longer track. The key word is "almost". Fine tuning factors like fore-aft weight distribution may give misleading results. But you will be close. For most competitions, you can get in the fastest group with short track testing unless you tune so finely that the car "comes loose" on the longer track.


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Re: New Test Track

Post by habcdb » Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:32 pm

Yea, I used a router. I clamped two guide boards to the top of the track to run the router down. You have to be make sure you run the router the right direction and also do not cut as deep as I did on each pass. Make multiple passes only removing around an 1/8" deep. That is with a 1/2" router bit. I did apply polycrylic finish today. It is a water based product unlike polyurethane. It is supposed to be good for light colored woods. I applied three coats and will sand with 320 grit one more time before the final coat. This track is 5 - 8' sections. It has one start section, one curve section, two flat sections and one stop section. The stop section is half track and half stop section.


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