Portable One-Sheet Track

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  • #14931
    chapracer65chapracer65
    Participant

    Once I cleaned an open area in my garage I decided to set up my one-sheet slot track.  I built this nearly 20 years ago, before the club.  My goal was to make an easily transportable and storable track.  I started with a ¾” sheet of 4’ X 10’ plywood.  I ended up with a 7/8” thick
    track with no external wiring.  For the last several years it has been stored up against the ceiling of my garage, using a pulley system.

    Settling on a two lane track which could not have a
    crossover due to the flat track requirement, I routed the slots.  In order to decrease weight, I routed out nearly ½” of the underside of the plywood, except for the 8” width of the
    track. 

    I had always planned on using copper tape for the track power but then I decided that I might want the option of using magnets on the cars.  I routed an additional 1/8” slot on each side of the guide slot.  I then ran 1/8” steel cable in these slots and bondoed over them, before applying the copper tape.

    I wanted a grippy track surface so I mixed some fine blast sand with the paint.  This proved to be a little too grippy so after the track was complete I power sanded the surface and put on another coat of paint.  The track still has a good level of grip.

    I routed out space for several ½” thick plastic project boxes that would provide all the connectors, fuses, and switches on the edge of the track.  Each lane has its own power connector, using ¼” phone plugs.  There is a master switch for track polarity as well as a polarity switch at each controller.

    I painted the track surface gray and masked and painted the curbing.  The rest of the track was
    painted brown and a couple of colors of green “grass” was sprinkled on the wet paint.  I covered the bottom of the track with 1/8” Luan plywood.  The final step was installing ¾” X ¾” aluminum angle around the perimeter of the track, leaving a ¼” space where the foam-board borders could be inserted.

    The track has a good smooth flow, resulting in a muscle memory rhythm when driving laps.  The grippy surface works well with a variety of cars.  Cars will drift out in a smooth, easy controllable slide but will still hook up to accelerating out of the turns.  You don’t get a chance to stretch the legs of the cars, but you can push them to their limits with less risk.  By comparison, when cars get loose or the tires get dirty on the HQ track, the cars seem to lose all traction. 

    Without the high speeds of the HQ track, this track works well with more delicate/vintage cars.  In addition to current slot cars I have been driving a number of 50-year old cars, primarily with vintage silicone tires.  I also have vintage cars with current rubber on BWA 1/8” axle wheels.  All of these work well and are fun to drive.

    I do not yet have a timing system on the track.  This would be the next step.

     

    #14934
    porsche917porsche917
    Moderator

    Great story about your simple yet beautiful track.  Really enjoyed reading about it.

     

    #14935
    AutoramaAutorama
    Keymaster

    Russell,

    Impeccable work; as always.

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