Practice 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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titanNV
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Practice Track

Post by titanNV » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:13 pm

Looking for options to have a personal practice track, 32-35' long, and have a timer on it, with 1-2 lanes.
Is aluminum the only option? Seems like it would cost me about $1,000 which is a little much for a hobby.
I do see Derby Magic and anther really cheapo one (without a timer) from ABC Pinewood.
I don't have the 80 hours required to build my own (even if I thought my time was only worth $10 and hour we are looking at $800 in my own labor and $200-$400 or so in materials, plus a timer!)

What are my options?



Speedster
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Re: Practice Track

Post by Speedster » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:51 am

I'd like to suggest you buy Troy Thorne's book, "Build a Winning Pinewood Derby car." You can get it from Fox Chapel Publishing for $9.99.
There are directions in the book for "Building your own test track". He uses PVC lattice strip and PVC trim plank. It includes a list of materials. If you want a two lane track you could use a sheet of 3/8" Plywood and cover it with any smooth surface, or just use the Plywood. One of the big box stores would probably cut it for you if you don't have a saw. You want something that will function for you, not something that has to be beautiful so it will sell to the general public. If you need a few basic tools, Harbor Freight sells them cheap. A 2 lane track for personal use could be put together in a day. There are multiple timer options available to you. Microwizard or Champ might be a better investment in the long run. They are popular brands and might sell more quickly than something that is unknown.
It's difficult to buy something from Derbytalk because the cost of shipping seems to stop most sales.
If you need Thorne's book immediately, email me.
I wish you the Best,
Speedster



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Vitamin K
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Re: Practice Track

Post by Vitamin K » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:01 am

Another inexpensive practice track option can be found here: http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/pinewoodderbytrack

For an inexpensive timer, you may consider building one with an Arduino: http://www.miscjunk.org/mj/pg_pdt.html

Good luck finding the right time/price balance!



titanNV
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Re: Practice Track

Post by titanNV » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:31 am

Appreciate the insight and ideas.

It seems one can get a Derby Magic one lane track, with a timer that can send info to a computer, and also includes their software, for $400 plus shipping. I am thinking this might be the way to go. I believe this track would remain stationary in our basement under the garage so mobility isn't really a requirement. Are these tracks worth the $? I really do not have a lot of extra time to spend building a track - and timers alone can cost close to what this track costs.



Speedster
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Re: Practice Track

Post by Speedster » Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:44 pm

That certainly is a lot of things for the money and shipping appears to be $28.00.
Best of Luck.



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Vitamin K
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Re: Practice Track

Post by Vitamin K » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:32 pm

titanNV wrote:Appreciate the insight and ideas.

It seems one can get a Derby Magic one lane track, with a timer that can send info to a computer, and also includes their software, for $400 plus shipping. I am thinking this might be the way to go. I believe this track would remain stationary in our basement under the garage so mobility isn't really a requirement. Are these tracks worth the $? I really do not have a lot of extra time to spend building a track - and timers alone can cost close to what this track costs.
Possibly a good way to go.

I have heard that Derby Magic tracks have a lot of side-to-side "give" so if you want accurate testing, you need some way to make sure that the track is set up straight each time.

If you can hurdle those issues, you're probably in the clear.



titanNV
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Re: Practice Track

Post by titanNV » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:03 pm

I'm thinking if there is side to side movement, maybe it can be mounted to a 1x6 or 1x4. I've never seen the track in person. I'm hoping, if it needs to be mounted for stability, I could use the existing holes that are used to connect the track, to the wood support. Just need longer bolts, I'd guess.
After measuring where it would go, a 25' track would work better for us. I'm hoping we could just omit a section of track to make it shorter.

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