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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I generally run HO scale cars at home with my 9 year old son. Last year we discovered a 1/32 scale track in our neighborhood, and now have 6 cars we run frequently. We are really enjoying both HO and 1/32s.

One of the things I enjoy with the 1/32 is the ability to tinker more. We have started to bash/scratch build a couple cars. First I used slot.it chassis and parts/motors salvaged from toys we tore apart. I added a stock car body I got from a dollar store toy.

Now we are converting a couple of battery motorized cars we picked up, 2 for $6. Both have great bodies and motors. We are only adding guides and better tires and I think these will turn out great.

Now I want to go the next step and build a chassis. I am a pretty decent wood worker and have a shop full of wood working tools. I just purchased a nice scratch starter kit of tires, gears, brass tubing, bushings, etc. and I think I have all the right ingrediants. Now I want to construct a nice chassis out of wood.

I have seen the popsicle stick cars and in general, could produce something along the same design, but would love to kick it up a notch.

Anyone building chassis out of wood ? I would love to pick up any tips that might help me on this journey!

RL
 

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Hee hee! A man after my own heart!
I started on an ebony chassis for the low-cost car proxy, but got so involved I'm never going to get it ready in time. Same story with my Xylon, which is to have a boxwood chassis. Will keep you posted if you're interested, but progress is miiiiiighty sloooow. The Ebony one is to be a straightforward flat pan chassis with axle and motor mounts morticed in. Boxwood one a bit more ambitious hinged job.
I'd love to hear what you get up to. There are no problems which can't be solved with an exchange of ideas!
Main question is what sort of varnish to use? Oil or french polish? Whaddya think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea! I knew I was not alone here.

Do you have any pictures you could post? I have a few ideas, but I have not started yet. I am waiting until all my parts arive. I have a body from a cheap RC car I picked up at Walmart for $5. Its an older style Chevy S-10 pick up (yes I am from Texas). It will be about 6.5" long and will give me a bit more room for this first one.

I have a large Mabachi motor I took out of a Tyco RC toy that looks to be a real good motor. The truck shell will give me plenty of room for either in-line or sidewinder.

I bet the ebony will make a great chassis! I have plenty of scrap mahogany and great aged oak I intend to use.

I was planning on using a spray on varnish like Deft. I have humidity issues so I have to use something fast drying. However, since ebony is so dense, a penetrating oil would probably take more abuse.

Thanks for the reply, I am really looking forward to giving this a try!
 

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I can't believe you guys are talking about this...lol! But anyway...humidity or not, why not try Wiping Poly? It flows out nice and is extremely durable. Sand with 320 in between coats


John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Why is this so unusual? I figured it would be easier to try a wood frame than trying to bend metal without a bendbrake. Don't get me wrong, I am just looking for an excuse to add a few metal working tools.....

Wipe on Poly is a good choice as well. It stays tacky too long for me to work with. But lacquer and poly are both great choices, especially when you consider the need to waterproof it somewhat for cleaning (grease, dust, etc).
 

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QUOTE I'm surprised nobody mentioned popsicle sticks yet.
Huh!,what wood I know about those Eh!.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Actually, I mentioned that I have seen the popsicle stick chassis. Thats what originally got me inspired. That and a pile of wood scraps.

I really want to make one chassis out of 1 piece of solid wood (like a 2.5" x 5" x .5/8" block). I think it could be done but I would probably need to glue up one (like the popsicle frame) before I could get it figured out.
 

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I'll take some photos of the ebony one- but it'll probably look like plastic in the pics. It's just a flat board cross-laminated from some veneers.
Teak oil finish!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would love to see your apprach here Howmet. My son and I pl;ayed with wood scraps last night and came up with a few ideas. I can definately see a couple of different ways this could be done.

Hopefully, I will get my parts I ordered next week and can get fabricating.
 

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Al Schwartz
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For an appropriate precedent for these efforts, I refer you to the late Sir Peter Ustinov's "Grand Prix of Gibraltar" in which he makes reference to a 1905 racer know as the "S.A.A.C.V.B." which stood for "Societe Anonyme des Anciennes Constructeurs des Voitures en Bois" - with it's "revolutionary wooden engine"

EM
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I appreciate the pics T&F. I have a fealing, no matter how I approach this, it will still end up looking pretty much like a H-configured popsicle frame.

I was hoping to add some innovations like pre-mortised areas to add/reduce lead weights. An motor bracked that allows you to change motors. A suspension that allows you to lower and raise the frame height, etc. I think all these could be done in a simple light frame.

I will be weighing the chassis and comparing it to other chassis fom my Scalextric, Carerra and Nincos to keep me in check.

I have a larger size Mabuchi (from a Tyco RC toy) I want to use first, so getting the weight down will be a challenge!
 

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It would be cool to see a wood chassis with all of those features! As far as keeping the weight down with your motor, the one I built had a 16D in it. It was way too light when it was finished as pictured. The only thing that kept it moving was the foam tires and goop on the track. I used this car in a vintage class in our club. It was extremely fast in the straights, but lacked handling in the corners. The club rules changed last year and I sold the car.
 

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My ebony Lotus 23 chassis is nearly done.
What it is is two sheets of ebony veneer glued into a cross ply. This is very strong and light, and very flexible. I cut a slot down the middle to take the 18swg piano wire spine to stop it flexing down in the middle, and this runs in brass tubes which are soldered to the little plates you can see, which are simply slotted into the ebony. At the front the tube is soldered to the guide plate. Nothing is glued, it all fits under tension, and has a nice twisting flex.
Front axle runs in brass tube fitted into ebony 'Pillow blocks' which are morticed and epoxied into main chassis. Rear axle also runs in a brass tube which slides into an ebony block which is epoxied and pinned to the main frame.
The motor is a 'hot' HO motor in an old Pink Kar mount which I also epoxied and pinned to the frame. Brass SCD gears. Wheels and tyres are Supershells press-fit with (eventually) proper 'wobbly web' inserts all round.
Body mounts not decided yet.

 

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In a desperate attempt to keep this fascinating topic hot (- how you doing, Rocket Launcher?), my ebony-flex frame is fun!
First trials on Brands Howmet (very bumpy, very old 4-lane Scalextric 'Classic') were great. It's lovely and predictable to drive, driftable through the corners and very lively on the straights. Very responsive. With it's vac-form Lotus 23 body temporarily taped on, it weighs in at 42gm, and the little BSRT HO motor seems pretty happy. Skinny tyres, narrow track (43mm o/a) no magnets, but it hangs onto the guide very happily and can play keepy-uppy with most of my magnet-less cars perfectly well. A little weight at the back might help it dig in a little sooner on the exits. But it's fun, and I want to make a few more. Anyone got any spare Pink-Kar motor mounts? And some liquorice Rizlas?
 
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