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1/32 Vintage Revell comes back to life

13814 Views 66 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  MrFlippant
I'm reviving my 40 year old 1/32 scale Revell set. 55 feet of track on a light weight 5'X12' torsion box table in my garage. The table will be on an electric winch that will raise up to the ceiling. I've selected a layout and am now about half way finished building the table.

Track layout

Test of 1/4" Ventura tape on track

Test of soldering brass strip into track for power tap

I pulled the stock Revell contact rail out of the track and cut a notch in it

Brass strip under track. From here I can solder a wire on

Track numbered and awaiting table

Baltic birch plywood for table top and bottom

Taping tool for laying down tape. Sweet!

Pins on bottom of taping tool slide in track to assure easy alignment of tape on track

Laying out the 5'X12' torsion box table

Ripping the ribs for the torsion box. I don't have a table saw so I built a sled for my circular saw. Now I get nice straight consistent cuts

Pile of ribs. Main ribs (2 - 12' and 5 - 5') are 1X 1 3/4" KD pine. Secondary ribs will be 1/4" ply.
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excellent design, well-executed...and very nice to see such a nice Revell layout. As for "Torsion box", I agree it's commonly called by that name...but one might as well call it a "Shear Panel" cause it does that too. The point is, actually, that it is designed to resist bending in 2 planes, efficiently...and a natural by-product is that it resists torsion and shear. If a "Torsion box" were actually idealized for torsion, it would have a square cross-section (even more idealized, round). Just like if it were optimized for shear, it would be thinner. *grin* My 2 cents.

Meanwhile, to bring this back to Slot applications, the point can do this even more efficiently for a routed track...where the table top is a thin material (1/8"-1/4" sheet) and the upper layer is the routed mdf itself. The trick is to elevate much of the track to a greater or lesser extent and allow the track supports to act as your middle ribbing and carry the shear (between top and bottom). I've done this on my own layout and it creates a remarkably stiff track layout with very little weight or material cost.

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Just a thought...that bottom panel is in tension when lifted by cables later. So, whichever direction you cut the webs you are greatly reducing your bending stiffness. So, if possible, don't make long runs but rather isolate individual areas that require access. I forget if you've said anything about your wiring plan yet, but if you use copper tape you won't need power taps...and you can easily keep all your wiring in one small area where the main power attaches (and also you might consider two way switches nearby on the side for reversing direction).


PS you've done a really fine job so far...very classy!
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