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· Circuit Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been thinking about trying to make a lightweight alternative to 18mm MDF for a robust board for a portable routed track.

I currently lug around Scalextric track mounted on 12mmm MDF and 8mm of ply raising the track surround to track height.

As my 6 boards are around 1.2metres square they are heavy and unwieldy.

My next track will be routed and portable which would normally mean 18mm MDF with the slot routed to a depth of 10mm. Too heavy for large boards.

SO - given that the floor of my house is heavy chipboard sitting entirely on 75mm of polystyrene - no extra supports just polystyrene! - it occurs to me that maybe 6mm of MDF with 6mm of polystyrene and 3mm of hardboard underneath it all would be enough to create a lightweight board.

The polystyrene will need to be very securely bonded to the MDF.

PVA is the obvious choice but I am worried about delamination over time caused by the track being regularly moved between venues.

Any ideas what adhesive to use?
 

· Circuit Owner
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5,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Julian.

I will probably use some 6mm battening around the edges (to finish it off nicely) and a few cross members (but not too many because of weight) which will all be screwed and glued so that should help with stiffness.
 

· Circuit Owner
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5,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Mr Olufsen.

I have about 2 litres of PVA sitting without purpose in my office so that is a good option.

I also have some No More Nails in the garage.

I think I will glue some test pieces - one with each adhesive - before I commit to a few square metres of board!
 

· Circuit Owner
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5,961 Posts
Thanks for the suggestion.

The only problem is my track will be routed and the standard Slot.It wood guide is about 7mm deep which means the usual depth to rout is 8mm. If I routed a 9mm MDF board to a depth of 8mm there are going to be some major structural issues!

If I went to 16mm or 18mm I am back to my weight issue.

This is why I was asking about 6mm MDF laminated with polystyrene and hardboard as a backing. This would weigh half as much as an 18mm board.

Routing the sandwich to 8mm would give me 6mm of wooden slot depth and plenty of further depth to clear the guides. Rigidity would be provided by the bottom half of the sandwich and by the cross members and edging.

I will probably also paint the hardboard with laminating resin - it's cheap enough and would stiffen the backing board AND provide superb protection against damp.
 

· Circuit Owner
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5,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Mr Olufsen - oh yes - plenty of pressure - that's what I keep all those half empty paint tins and half bricks in the back of my garage for! I also have quite a few lengths of 2x4 (50mm x 100mm) and loads of clamps.

TeeKay - thanks - that's the effect I'm looking for!!!

Witness - thanks for your reply. I would go thinner than 6mm of MDF but I am worried about how that would affect the deeper wood guides (fouling on stray polystyrene for example). I could try 4mm I guess - that would easily accommodate standard plastic guides.
 

· Circuit Owner
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5,961 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Ember.

I can wait days if the result is the right one. Thanks for the heads up - my test pieces will be made and left in the warm for a week before I give them a bashing!
 
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