Our Track from Scout plans is warping

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pwrd by tungsten
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Our Track from Scout plans is warping

Post by pwrd by tungsten » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:02 am

We have a track from the scout plans. It is made with a wood with prefinished surface. The wood is a chip board. It is warping. Our mounting system of the sections is fairly basic. 5 screws through the center lanes.

Looking for idea to join the track together that may help with warping in the process... Thoughts?


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Stan Pope
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Re: Our Track from Scout plans is warping

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:27 am

Ouch! This is nasty... and frustrating!

Wood warps when moisture content changes and allows wood to change its internal stresses OR when storage allows prolonged deformation.

Two approaches:
1. For operation ... install struts crosswise under the track and extending 8 to 12 inches beyond track edge. Use sandbags (or other weights) to hold the struts flat against the floor. This is a brute force solution that we used for quite a few years.

2. For correcting during storage ... this will be iffy. I've never been able to "unwarp" wood. You are probably already storing the track flat and well supported so that gravity works to keep it flat. But internal forces create a curl. Storage "against the curl" might correct, but as likely will just add other curls or warps resulting in undulation. I'd probably end up replacing the warped sections. But I'll defer to the "wood experts" on the forum.

Good luck.


Stan
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pwrd by tungsten
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Re: Our Track from Scout plans is warping

Post by pwrd by tungsten » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:10 pm

Stan Pope wrote:Ouch! This is nasty... and frustrating!

Wood warps when moisture content changes and allows wood to change its internal stresses OR when storage allows prolonged deformation.

Two approaches:
1. For operation ... install struts crosswise under the track and extending 8 to 12 inches beyond track edge. Use sandbags (or other weights) to hold the struts flat against the floor. This is a brute force solution that we used for quite a few years.

2. For correcting during storage ... this will be iffy. I've never been able to "unwarp" wood. You are probably already storing the track flat and well supported so that gravity works to keep it flat. But internal forces create a curl. Storage "against the curl" might correct, but as likely will just add other curls or warps resulting in undulation. I'd probably end up replacing the warped sections. But I'll defer to the "wood experts" on the forum.

Good luck.
I like #1 and will evaluate #2 as we are storing the track finished surfaces together (I believe).

For the struts do they go on both sides of the joint? How do they attach to the track and do you leave them in place when you store the track? We have plenty of storage room....


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Stan Pope
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Re: Our Track from Scout plans is warping

Post by Stan Pope » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:16 am

pwrd by tungsten wrote:
I like #1 and will evaluate #2 as we are storing the track finished surfaces together (I believe).

For the struts do they go on both sides of the joint? How do they attach to the track and do you leave them in place when you store the track? We have plenty of storage room....
In our case we had 1" square tubing about 4' long attached at the join between sections. If this would cause your track to raise, you may have to add some 1" pieces at intervals between struts to prevent sagging.

You could permanently attach them to the connector plates. Counter sink the connecting bolt heads and drill an opening on the bottom so that the nuts can be attached without extending below the bottom of the strut. Pick up a nut driver to make assembly easier! You should be able to drill a hole large enough to reach inside with the nut already in the nut driver. :)

You could also temporarily attach using countersunk bolts through the center of the outside lanes.

Check with your highway department for some of the type of sandbags that they use to hold down temporary road signs and barricades during construction. You might get a donation.

For the sloping portion this won't work. If the warp causes the slope to differ across the track, try this: You probably have a riser at about the starting line and another close to the end of the first 8' section. Consider adding an approx. 8' 2X4 centered under the first section and connecting the two risers. From this connect flexible cables from the 2X4 to each side of the track. One or two sets probably is enough. The cables can be fixed on one side to define the slope and include a turnbuckle on the other side to allow you to match the slopes.

Another method you could use is to run each cable from one side of the track, through an eyebolt in the top of the 2X4, and on to the other side of the track. Then use a cable clamp to hold the cable at the eyebolt where the sides of the track are level with each other.

A "quick disconnect" for the 2X4 can be made from a hinges with removable pins. (Have a couple of nails handy for when the pins get lost!)

I'm sure by now your imagination has found other ways to accomplish the same result. Go with what looks right for you!


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

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pwrd by tungsten
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Re: Our Track from Scout plans is warping

Post by pwrd by tungsten » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:18 pm

Stan Pope wrote:
pwrd by tungsten wrote:
I like #1 and will evaluate #2 as we are storing the track finished surfaces together (I believe).

For the struts do they go on both sides of the joint? How do they attach to the track and do you leave them in place when you store the track? We have plenty of storage room....
In our case we had 1" square tubing about 4' long attached at the join between sections. If this would cause your track to raise, you may have to add some 1" pieces at intervals between struts to prevent sagging.

You could permanently attach them to the connector plates. Counter sink the connecting bolt heads and drill an opening on the bottom so that the nuts can be attached without extending below the bottom of the strut. Pick up a nut driver to make assembly easier! You should be able to drill a hole large enough to reach inside with the nut already in the nut driver. :)

You could also temporarily attach using countersunk bolts through the center of the outside lanes.

Check with your highway department for some of the type of sandbags that they use to hold down temporary road signs and barricades during construction. You might get a donation.

For the sloping portion this won't work. If the warp causes the slope to differ across the track, try this: You probably have a riser at about the starting line and another close to the end of the first 8' section. Consider adding an approx. 8' 2X4 centered under the first section and connecting the two risers. From this connect flexible cables from the 2X4 to each side of the track. One or two sets probably is enough. The cables can be fixed on one side to define the slope and include a turnbuckle on the other side to allow you to match the slopes.

Another method you could use is to run each cable from one side of the track, through an eyebolt in the top of the 2X4, and on to the other side of the track. Then use a cable clamp to hold the cable at the eyebolt where the sides of the track are level with each other.

A "quick disconnect" for the 2X4 can be made from a hinges with removable pins. (Have a couple of nails handy for when the pins get lost!)

I'm sure by now your imagination has found other ways to accomplish the same result. Go with what looks right for you!
I mentioned scout plans... I should have said scout plan inspired... :-) From 10 feet away it looks like a scout plan track. There are no connecting plates on the bottom.... There are boards but not plates. I think we need the plates to stiffen the track. If that makes sense? Perhaps we use the struts connected directly to the bottom surface of the track. Or perhaps we use real plates. I saw someone use a metal plate for one of the sections...


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Stan Pope
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Re: Our Track from Scout plans is warping

Post by Stan Pope » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:20 pm

pwrd by tungsten wrote:... I mentioned scout plans... I should have said scout plan inspired... :-) From 10 feet away it looks like a scout plan track. There are no connecting plates on the bottom.... There are boards but not plates. I think we need the plates to stiffen the track. If that makes sense? Perhaps we use the struts connected directly to the bottom surface of the track. Or perhaps we use real plates. I saw someone use a metal plate for one of the sections...
Metal would work, of course, but plywood would probably be a bunch cheaper. If you use a stiff plywood, e.g. 3/4" to 1" thick, AND extend 6"+ into each section AND connect the track to the plate at each lane guide about 1" and 5" from the end, you will make the transitions pretty good ... unless the end of a section has lost its adhesion and become bloated.

If you go with T-nuts (like used on Wood Piantedosi tracks, keep guys with power drivers away! Once run partway into the nut, they are almost impossible to remove without damaging the track. :(


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

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