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Alan Tadd
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK Guys...Here is something to get your teeth stuck into.

I'm a realist and I have to face facts that the Housing Authority, (namely my wife), is not going to allow me to build a permanent layout in the house so I am forced to look at alternatives.

I'm considering erecting a 12 x 8 shed in the garden to house my layout and my slot car collection.

Some of the problems I can see are as follows: -

1) Security - Garden sheds are not known for their ability to withstand break-ins. How can this be improved?

2) Temperature Variation - I assume I will require some form of insulation to maintain a reasonable environment.
Suggestions for temperature control would be handy.

3) Heating....I was thinking of some form of electric heater with a frost stat. Any suggestions?

4) Anything else that may be relevant.

Oh and why have I called this thread "A Summer Project", well if you think I'm going to put this shed up in the Winter you can think again!

Regards

Alan
 

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Alan, I wish I could answer 1, 2, and 3 for you but 4

QUOTE Anything else that may be relevant

Damp. I used to have a Scaley Classic in our old garage (now demolished). The rain didn't get in too much but it was pretty drafty. The track started to rust quite badly within a year. I replaced it and brought the track into the house (a move reluctantly approved by housing authority
).

I don't know what type of track you have but if you're going to put it somewhere damp and drafty you might think about one of those stainless tracks they're going on about in that Argos thread


Maybe Sport is better though?

P.S. just noticed that your location is Bath. It would be very wet in there


P.P.S. just noticed you made a similar joke about Tropi's bath in the "classic scalextric track and rust" thread. Not original then I guess, sorry.
 

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I have always had a track in a garage and rust has not been a problem on the rails with good maintenance. I use a sponge or similar and dampen it with a WD 40 type of product every couple of months. I do this about every 8 weeks or so depending on the weather. If your track is on a table you may want to cover it to stop dust collecting on it. Dust will absorb moisture in humid weather. If you use a garden shed make sure its not drafty.

In Australia cold is not the problem but heat is. It can reach 60 degrees C in my garage during the day but I dont have any problems with the track warping . I set it up in the heat of the day to allow for expansion. In winter it can reach zero C so it has to cope with a wide temperature range.

I imagine a 12 by 8 shed would not be too expensive to insulate. Just remember to wear protective clothing if installing glass fibre insulation.

For security I would suggest keeping cars in your house. I couldn't imagine someone carrying off a permanent layout and trying to be inconspicuous. You could always strengthen the door and frame with steel or have it done before you buy it. Just depends on how much you are going to spend.

Don't worry about being kicked out to enjoy your hobby as it means you can't hear when she calls Ha Ha. You can personalise it into the sort of place you wamt for your hobby.

If it is winter where you are you have plenty of time to plan.

Vince
 

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Warping and brittleness can be a factor if any part of the track gets direct sunlight, such as next to a window. I've got a mix of really old and new Scalex Classic, SCX and Sports in my garage in Sydney and the only pieces that caused problems are the ones that get direct sun -- they get very very hot. Some track parts cracked near the connection pins & lugs. If there's the potential for large temperature variations, there are a few articles around (none of which fall to hand) about fixing track so baseboards to that it can expand/contract.

For maintenance, the best thing is regular use of both lanes. I use a little Parma braid cleaner or sometimes just plastic-friendly oil, a few drops on the rails at several spots and run a car around. And a track cover if dust might be a factor.

For security, everyone I know with tracks not in their house store the cars indoors. That way they're covered by household insurance.

Don't forget you'll need power to your shed and this might be pricey. Cost of electrical circuits for lighting, heating and track power plus almost mandatory bar fridge (in Aus at least) might convince Housing Authority for a local amendment.

 

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This is where the track lives. It is 6metres x 4metres (20x10 roughly in imperial measurement). Ceiling height is 9 foot. It was originally planned as a music studio but.........

It is treated pine on a concrete slab and all walls and the ceilings are insulated with fibre bats. Wooden construction was preferred over a tin shed for heat/cooling reasons. Haven't had any problen with condensation or the like.

Roller blinds (and deadlocks) on the windows, double deadlock on the door handle security (aided and abetted by a rather large Blue heeler/Rottweiler/Newfoundland cross).

The walls are lined with 9mm MDF sheet to 1200mm high with 6mm MDF on the upper walls. This strenghtens the wall and takes hard knocks (and the occasional tool abuse outburst...). The ceilings are "cathedralled" with random groove ply (Tres 70's!!). At each end, the trusses have been made into loft storage.

5 double power points, separate circuits for lights and power outlets and all runs on earth leak circuit breakers. (The electrician though I was insane!!)

As it was designed for housing musical instruments, the ol' shed is pretty cosy, dry, warm in winter and not too bad in summer. The high ceiling helps.

Recently withstood a severe hailstorm that hit Melbourne a while back. We were in the path of the storm.

Trouble is, it's not big enough!


Steve
 

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DT
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Think about how many people you can fit in at one time if you're going to race. You would also need a little space to work on the cars, so a corner table would be handy. Perhaps you might need to go one size up.

Insulate with aluminium foil and foam roofing insulation to save space. 10 mm foil is equivalent to 20 cm glassfiber in thermic insulation.
 

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A 12 X 8 shed seems a bit small for a nice size layout if you want to be able to walk around the track. Well, maybe you could go with a 5 X 12 layout. Construction could be difficult on the part next to the wall. Maybe if you put your table on casters you would be able to roll it out from the wall to work on the far side of it. I would definitely have a track plan you are satisfied with prior to construction. A track plan you have actually tested say setup on your living room floor.

Stuart
 

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Alan Tadd
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4,034 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all your replies, it has certainly given me food for thought.

Steve...If I had a "shed" like yours I think I would rent it out to tourists!.

I have received final approval from "she who must be obeyed" and the project will go ahead in the Spring.

I think a 12' x 8' will be OK for my home setup, as I really only want a small track, in an L-shape, so that I can use the shed for storage of garden items as well. (this was the deal I had to strike up in order to get permission in the first place!). Plus I do have access to a 150' 4 lane wooden track, providing I don't mind dodging "Winged" wonders. (I hate those things!).

Once again many thanks for your assistance.

Regards

Alan
 

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Scott Brownlee
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4,275 Posts
I have a classic/SCX/Sport track in the garage and it appears to withstand most things quite happily. I switch on a small domestic electric radiator in sub zero weather, but not sure it makes much difference. The garage never gets that cold or hot. Last Christmas got a cheap and nasty temp gauge which shows it raged from 4 to 24 last year.

Biggest issue in cold weather is not track damage, but lack of grip. And cold feet and fingers!

I take the cars into the house every night just to be safe. I think temperature variations can cause havoc with tyres, causing splits.

Getting constant access to the track, even in its semi-permanent state, was a fantastic step forward for my slot obsession, but I have been fantasising about a dedicated building as you plan. My thoughts would be make it as big as you can, make it as warm as you can, keep windows to a minimum, but ensure/plan for lots of artificial light and keep the actual track layout as flexible as possible to fend off boredom with one layout.

Finally, if you're like me, you'll start spending money on trackside buildings/people/cars and have as much joy from them as new slot cars.

Hope it goes well and look forwarded to hearing how you get on. Don't be put off by feeling it won't be expert enough. Most of us never get past track on living room floor so will be happy and envious to see whatever you do.

Scott
 
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