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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is all coming about because of having most of a sheet of 1/4 luan left over from a building project.

Groom Lake Hillclimb will be a single lane loop on a 3x6 table. The climb will reach a height of approximately 18 inches.


A 3 inch grid was drawn on the platform to aid in scaling up the track drawing


Track drawing. The lighter colors are higher elevations. None of this is final.


Just to the south and west of Area 51 is a lonely stretch of mountain road where the locals gather for some extra-legal street racing. Ranchers and test pilots brave the sheer drops, possibility of deadly force from Groom Lake MPs, and the occasional atomic mutant monstrosity in the name of pink slips.

-More to come.
 

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Hi Datto, that track looks like a lot of fun to drive.
With a track that windy do you route free hand, if so, how do you control the router? I find that when free hand routing, the router usually goes where I dont want it to, so I have to use some kind of guide.

Regards, Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lloyd, As far as routing, I'll be learning as I go. I have my eye on a Dremel tool that's arranged like a jigsaw ergonomically, and can be set up to do routing. I figure I'll need to make some kind of guide, because as you say, they tend to go their own way. I'll probably be hitting you up for questions
.
 

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Rich Dumas
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Before you do anything else look here: http://www.oldslotracer.com/
There are people out there that have built dozens of tracks and can give you good advice. Do not try to route a track with a Dremel, even if you work very slowly you will probably burn it up, A laminate trimmer is a cheaper alternative to a router. Do not use luan for the track surface, it will want to splinter when you try to route it. The stuff to use is MDF.
 

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Ask away, I use a dremel and find that there is usually some way of adapting it to do what you want it to. On my first test pieces I found that it was possible to do some complex turns freehand, but not following any pre arranged route, so it was all a bit hit and miss..
With the sections I am doing at the moment I am cutting the track out first and, using a round rubber doorstop as a guide wheel, just follow the track with the router. Over large distances this saves a lot of time, but cant be used for hairpin bends.
Just one thing to watch for, make sure that you have your router set deep enough. I did not do this on my zigzag section and am now having to run through it again. I should have paid more attention to start with!

Regards, Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The luan is not the track surface, It's just the platform surface. I was planning on MDF for the track surface (as much as I hate the stuff, it does seem to be the thing to use). Now I see I'll have to cut an inset in the platform for the lowest part of the track if I want it to be 'on grade'. Or build up 1/2 inch with scenic material.

Here is the dremel tool I was looking at: Linky

I have a full-size router, but man, it's huge and clumsy, and probably too big to do what Lloyd is talking about . Still, I'm open to all input, so keep it coming guys
 

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Giacomo
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QUOTE (Datto @ 1 Aug 2010, 20:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Here is the dremel tool I was looking at: Linky

Datto, first time I see the dremel trio. It seems is not yet here in Sweden

I have the same objection to the biiiigggg, heavy router I have. I was looking to get the accessory stuff of my dremel for routing but this "trio" looks perfectly up to the job


btw, interesting project
Cheers,
JamieG
 

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I have not seen this Dremel Trio before either, nothing about it on uk websites, please let us know how you get on with it.

I do find that the Dremel I am using is good for 1/43 track, and I dont tend to route long sections at a time, but I can see that it may not be man enough for a large multi lane route.

Regards, Lloyd
 

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Datto, I am using a regular dremmel to rout. I agree that one should be careful to not burn it out, but if you stop here and there I would say it is possible. It has been so far, (I am not routing mdf but plywood). I have been doing it with no guiding system, I just follow a path drawn in pencil!!! It is not perfect but it seems totally acceptable. The only possible problem is long term issues due to possible more stress on the guide system of the cars, but I hope this will not happen.

By the way, cool design.
 

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Marc, If you go to Harbor Freight in SA they have a decent Trim router fo less then $25. I used one and it's hard to beat for the money! Recently I have had a couple HF tools carp out on me, but for what they cost? I can just toss them in the bin and buy another!
 

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Hi Marc, I did all of my Little Monte track with a Dremel, learning as I went. I did once break a bit by having it extended out of the tool too much!

As for guiding the tool, I found that a straight piece of wood screwed to the board was good for the straights and used various methods of attaching the Dremel to a centrally located pin to allow me to make the small radius turns. This method was time consuming but it was the only way I found that could deal with these hairpin bends.

Regards, Lloyd
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Make a little headway on Groom Lake Hillclimb, actually made some sawdust this weekend. Really fine MDF sawdust. I don't have one of those nail in router guides, so I decided to try something. Curve Radii were plotted out using a drilled hole and compass pin for the Dremel Trio. For the straightish sections I decided to use the Trio's guide fence. So basically routed the corners first, cut out the track pieces, and routed the straighter parts. Made a couple oopsies, but nothing that can't be fixed with some plastic filler. I used a small trim cutting saw to make all the cuts on the underside of the track sections that allow the pieces to bend. That went off without a hitch. Then I ran out of MDF, so I fastened the track pieces I had together and added some pylons to establish some height.


DSC_0006 by Dattodesign, on Flickr
The Dremel trio worked really well. I realized after buying it that it takes proprietary bits, so I don't know if I can recommend it



DSC_0007 by Dattodesign, on Flickr
The little 4.5 inch trim saw was perfect for making the shallow cuts on the bottom of the track sections.


DSC_0014 by Dattodesign, on Flickr
A little under 1/3 of the track cut out.


DSC_0012 by Dattodesign, on Flickr
Climbed about 9 inches of the 16-18 inch total height so far
 

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MDF bits are slowly taking shape, but I had to take a little side trip to monster-land. Here's the miniature giant ant
Lucky for the TR driver it's still cold at dawn. This atomic mutant worker ant must have found itself outside he colony at nightfall. Best to just move on...


Dawn Patrol by Dattodesign, on Flickr

Looks like she may be waking up!


Big ant by Dattodesign, on Flickr
 

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I'm with you Zook. 'THEM' scared the willies out of me as a kid. I remember watching it late one night when the parents were out, long after I should've been in bed.

I think it needs desaturating Datto. But I love it!
 

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Lookin Good Marc!

What about Empire of the Ants, 70's movie I think, but the same concept. I believe it had Joan Collins in it, in a VERY tight Blouse!


Marc, are the Dremel bits 1/8" shank like a normal Dremel???
 
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