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I am starting a new track and as we know this starts with the table. In this project this part is a bit tricky. I want to have in my garage as many tracks as possible (hopefully without looking like a madhouse).

I already have a 5.5mx1.8m track for the 1/43 Rc cars (Dnanos). Definitely want to keep that one and now want to build a slot car track (maybe 2, but one for starts) and my daughter wants me to build a train track as big as the slot car tracks, YIKES!!!

The space I have is the free space in the garage which is 7.3m by 5m, but the Rc track is already there and I want to be able to park the car there in Hurricane emergencies.

So after some thought the solution I had was to put the tracks on wheels and have the slot car track above the RC track.

So here is the problem, my slot car track is 6m by 1.5m (is because it is already partially build) but can only have legs of the extremes of the length because it has to go over the RC track, a picture for you to see:



So you see the problem a 6m long track only supported at the very extremes, moreover the beams are just of 3 meters long so the 6m length has two beams patched together in the middle.

Now the situation is not completely terrible because I will have supports in the middle of the length when the track will be out (not on top of the RC track) and plan to build some kind of a support for the middle when the track is on top of the RC track.

But there will be moments when those supports will not be present.

So the track can crack at the middle or the legs at the extreme might just "open" and the track falls.

The next photos have the contraptions I already put together to prevent this but I need more. What else should I do? Remember that it has to go over the RC track so I am limited in options.

Contraptions for the middle (2nd photo show an extra 8 feet piece of wood screwed to the 2 beams to keep their connection from braking).





Now the contraptions at the extremes (this is where I feel things can go wrong).





Now the best part of the table so far, the wheels, this thing works and allows to have space in the garage when the track is not in use. The RC track is also on wheels.



So guys, any suggestions? Is the track doomed?
 

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Thank you Mr. Flippant.

By taller beams you mean instead of 4inches 6 inches and that would mean rebuilding the entire table? Okay, that is a type of a solution am not willing to do. Why? Because it is easier to make sure the middle is always supported than to rebuild the table. With a support in the middle the table is totally sturdy. You are of course right on your suggestion, I went against it because I wanted the table n ot too high and lighter.

I should have been more clear, I would like ideas to make the table more structurally stable that do not involve redoing it.
 

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Well without rebuilding with wider lumber(like 2x8's) I think you could
rip 1/2" ply the width of the horizontal pieces(2x4?) and laminate
(glue and screw) them staggering the splices,creating a gluelam.
At least two layers,I see you have already laminated a 1x on.
I would give the frame a slight crown before laminating.
 

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Is the rc track flat? Could you put diaganals (cant spell sorry) from the bottom of the legs upto the long beams? even if only on one side? Or maybe a stronger brace across the join made with steel angle or something similar?
 

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Thanks, Zook!

I guess I was laminating without knowing (I learn something). That will make the beam (here I mean 2 beams put together) not crack in the middle.

But what about at the ends? I feel that if I would put all my weight on the middle of horizontal beams that would make the legs potentially open and the entire structure would fall. The wheels being in the bottom make this more of a problem since it allows the bottom of the legs to move.

Please, keep the suggestions coming..

Meanwhile, I will be thinking of an easy way to keep the middle always supported.
 

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Greg Gaub
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Ah. Ok, then, go with the glu-lam idea, but along with gluing stuff to the sides, glue/screw to the top and bottom of the beams.
You might also get away with a "torsion box" idea, by not only glue/screw the table surface up top, but another sheet, or strips, to the bottom. Several cross members, of course.
Problem is, the more you add to try to strengthen it, the more load it will have to support, and you'll be undoing the good that is done just by doing it. :\
 

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QUOTE (rich67 @ 9 Sep 2012, 01:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Is the rc track flat? Could you put diaganals (cant spell sorry) from the bottom of the legs upto the long beams? even if only on one side? Or maybe a stronger brace across the join made with steel angle or something similar?

The RC track is not flat and the top of the trees are possibly 5cm from the horizontal beam.
Diagonals was one of my next ideas, my concern with that is that even though there is some space between the legs and the RC track to put those diagonals, I like that space since it allows an easy movement of the slot track on top of the RC track. I don't have to be careful I just move it on top, it is not a maneuver.

One thing I learned with my modular track is that if to run your cars requires too much effort to set up and dismantle you simply do not do it. So I want things trivial to operate.
 

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Do you want to be able to pull the other tables out from under you slot track or is your intention to move the slot track only. I'm asking this because if you are only going to move the slot track you can brace the front beam with some diagonally placed timber from the centre of your 6m beam down to the bottom of the 2 front legs, in theory creating 2 triangles and your main front beam will be level and not sag as it does at the moment. Not sure how you can stop the rear beam sagging apart from using a larger beam but then you will create the problem where the weight will increase greatly and the smaller wheels may fail (not sure how much weight your wheels can hold).

Matt

Same as what rich67 has just said, slow at typing and helping the kids at the same time. I was also thinking that the more you strengthen the structure the more it will increase in weight and I think your small wheels will fail. I had 10 castors (they could take 20kg ea) evenly spread over my 5.3m x 1.5m table and they failed, I upgraded them with larger ones (40kg ea) which have been fine for a few years now but they still could have been bigger. You have only the four legs to take all the weight where as I have the 10.
 

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QUOTE (MrFlippant @ 9 Sep 2012, 01:17) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Problem is, the more you add to try to strengthen it, the more load it will have to support, and you'll be undoing the good that is done just by doing it. :\

Exactly!! I have been thinking about that and estimating if the net result is positive. You are still mainly worried about it cracking in the middle. Do you think that is the main issue? Don't you think the legs can be a problem?

It is true that if the horizontal beam would not flex at all, then the legs would not have any force making them open but they flex a bit I guess.
 

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QUOTE (mattcrackers @ 9 Sep 2012, 01:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Do you want to be able to pull the other tables out from under you slot track or is

...but then you will create the problem where the weight will increase greatly and the smaller wheels may fail (not sure how much weight your wheels can hold).

Matt

I want all the tracks mobile. The track I want to run I will push it on front. This system is great. I have been playing with it and is very easy and the fact that you can easily move both tracks gives a sense of space that I never had before with static tables.

The wheels are each a set of 3 connected (these sets work much better than an isolated wheel) and have a weight load of 200lb, so it seems I could have a track weighing 800lb. I confess never thought of how much weight a track this size weighs. Any estimates of the weigh of a 6m by 1.5 m track? Clearly will depend on the material used but what you think is a reasonable range? It must be below 800lb.
 

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You guys are being extremely helpful, Thanks.

You are making me realize faster that I have to find a way to support the table in the middle. I can do that with a rectangular box again on wheels that I just put under the table at the middle. When the track moving over the rc track I will have some horizontal beam resting in one side on a structure I will fix on the wall and the other end will rest on some vertical beam.

The question then becomes on the moment I want to move the RC track from under the slot car track, now this vertical beam can't be there!! I think I can support it from the ceiling just during that operation.

Thanks again, now I am going to sleep, talk to you tomorrow.
Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
 

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Tony
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You could try and build a slotcar track and a railway layout on the same base. It has been done and it will leave room for the second slotcar track. Sorry but can't help with the carpentry.
 

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I would put in angle beams to stop the legs from splaying. Then build drop down legs for the main beams set at every 2 foot. This way you can store the track with the legs up. Or even with them down, then lift the legs when you want to move the track out or want to use the R/C track.

Good luck
Gaz
CB
 

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Mmm... given your circumstances, wishes and conditions, you need some way to reinforce both the long beam and, to prevent splaying, a way to connect the table poles directly to eachother.
To fix this, i'd go for a separate wooden lattice-like structure, on both long sides of the table.
When you connect this to the table with hinges, you can use the lattice in two positions: vertical up when moving the table, vertical down when table in use.
In both positions, the long beams under the long side of the table are reinforced. In vertical down position, you also strenghten the table poles (when fixed with a removable screw or bolt), securing them from splaying.
I'm an architect, so i thought i'd better upload a quick sketch of it:



Good luck,

Merc
 

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Hi,
One problem I can see is that you appear to be using punched strapping for some of your bracing, under loading this will move and flex you need steel angle straps.
Here in the uk building have 5x40mm steel straps used to stop the wnd wall bowing uot from the roof trusses the have a 150mm turn down and can be from 600mm to 1800mm long,. If you have something like this where you are I would replace all the strapping with them.
Also as you put the cross members in place I would use timber frame building corner braces at every angle and add some timber bracing possible as a W in each end box and at the middle. also X bracing for the legs at each end to stop a leg moving on its own.

Is anything going over this track, if not you could always support from above when stored.
 

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Targa Freak
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Hello RallyP ...very, very large wingspan compared with the load they have to carry! Take care for the total wight especially with the scenery! I totally used the sum of about 50kg plaster, 7.5kg steel (Reinforcement of the table, screws, brassmesh...) 70kg wood (table and track) and about 10 kg sand, stones etc for scenery, thus giving a relatively small track about half as big as yours! Just a thought, not to frighten you!
One thought: What about a little steelrope every 2 or 3 meters to a sliding construction at the ceiling?

Looking fwd to see your trackplans! Regards Jens

@MercA: ...once more learned something by browsing this forum... Thanx.
 

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Coldblood and merc,

I had not considered solutions with drop down legs or the stabilizing frame because the track will be on top of the rc track when the tracks are not in use. I have to say though that the stabilizing frame idea did not cross my mind very ingenious. I might try to incorporate it some of that in the future

Also merc thank you for the drawings they fully describe the possible issues and explain your idea perfectly.

Keth, you are right about the flexing properties of the strapings. I am going to homedepot today and will look for stronger metal strapings. A problem with this is the price maybe, the stronger metal strapings I saw were significantly more expensive. I also can't see myself removing the ones I have now I would take a looooooong time since many are nailed not screwed. But one side of the table has many missing so I will try some.

Jens,

A moving structure on the ceiling is being considered. Any ideas on how to do that?

The garage ceiling has a beam transversal to the track very close to the middle, so that makes things potentially feasible. But I am not to keen on putting a big load on the structure supporting the roof now, because I am already using it to support some shelves with boxes.

Again thank you all for the exchange of ideas some will be absorbed in this project and other in later projects.
At this moment I am inclined to support the middle with a movable structure and do the best I can to reinforce
the connections at the legs with diagonals.

But please keep bringing more ideas on.

I have a naive question about duck tape, is it strong enough to be used to reinforce the structure in anyway?
 

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Can you hinge the top track off the wall?
That would take car off the loading on the rear and the front could have drop down legs.
 
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