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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
As you may have seen I run a Scalextric Sports track at charity fun day events and have really enjoyed it. Have done 4 or 5 events this summer and they have gone great.
The biggest problem has been connectivity between the joints - an absolute PITA.

I really like having raised sections and I know this is a contributory factor in this problem as it all flexes too much but I think it really adds to the look and challenge of the event.

What I would like to do now is ditch some of the Scalextric track and go the routed route!

8x4 ft would still be the desired size as it would fit my frame.
What would be the best and lightest material I could use for this?

It would need to go in to 3 pieces (2.6x4) each to be joined on the day.
15mm MDF is just too heavy to lug about and damages the seats in the car.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Jack
 

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We have one at the club that is mounted on wall insulation blocks. You could route 6 or 8mm MDF on top of this and it would remain rigid and reasonably light for transportation.

Something like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That is the material I put the track on at the moment - covered by a green sheet - very light weight.
What thickness of MDF would I need - I thought I read that the slot needed to be 6mm deep so I expected I would need about 10mm MDF.
 

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Provided it is bonded on ok, would you need 4mm of material below the slot?

I'm about to experiment with 6mm poster board mounted on a 6mm hardboard (just because the hardboard was laying around). My idea being that although I have cut completely through the upper surface the underlying material should keep the upper board in place - hence no movement or deformation of the slot. Only time will tell once I have left it in direct sunlight to overheat and in the garage overnight to go cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good point - so I can use the foam as part of the slot.
Instead of my beloved elevated sections I might make it a very complicated twisty track with cross overs etc.

Saying that I have no idea on how to use a router. How you steer them to create nice smooth curves and then make a second lane to conform to the first is a bit of a mystery at the moment. Lots to learn!
 

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Hi,

If you go for MDF it is available in more than one grade as an example a 2440 x 1220 sheet of standard 12mm will weigh about 26kg but MDF Light will weigh about 20kg for the same thickness, this is the thinnest MDF light you can get. The only possible problem with MDF Light is that it may not give as neat a route as the standard board. I would suggest getting hold of an off cut first to test the routing on if you go the route
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One snag....a pretty major one is that the magnet in the cars won't have anything to pull themselves too on a routed track.
Given this is anyone can have a go type of event that could be a real downside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
QUOTE (snurfen @ 30 Jul 2012, 10:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>We have one at the club that is mounted on wall insulation blocks. You could route 6 or 8mm MDF on top of this and it would remain rigid and reasonably light for transportation.

Something like this.

QUOTE (beardy56 @ 30 Jul 2012, 12:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi,

If you go for MDF it is available in more than one grade as an example a 2440 x 1220 sheet of standard 12mm will weigh about 26kg but MDF Light will weigh about 20kg for the same thickness, this is the thinnest MDF light you can get. The only possible problem with MDF Light is that it may not give as neat a route as the standard board. I would suggest getting hold of an off cut first to test the routing on if you go the route

Thanks Keith. I do have a board of 15mm 8x4 cut in 3 that I can practise on.
 

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The slot depth needed depends on the guide depth of the cars you are using............the slot needs to be deep enough so the guides don't bottom.
The MDF needs to be thick enough so there's a reasonable amount of thickness left at the bottom of the slot.

Quite a few types of home set cars need 6mm slot depth, faster cars need at least 8 slot depth (a lot of tracks are built to 9mm depth). I suggest checking out if your cars are OK with 6mm slot depth.
The DIY stores round here stock 9mm and 12mm thick MDF, not sure how easy it is to find 8 or 10.
9mm would by OK for 6mm slot depth. Even with some supporting battens underneath, that'll still work out a lot lighter than 15mm MDF. (12mm MDF is often used for tracks with the deeper slots)

To get magnetic traction on a routed track, use magnabraid for the pick up rails.
If magnetic traction is not wanted, use copper braid or tape for the pick up rails.

(It's a matter of opinion if magnetic traction is a good or a bad thing)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I can't seem to find much about magnabraid online (apart from a few dead links). Does anyone know of a good supplier?
Thanks,
Jack
 

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I've read about HO tracks routed in plastic.
Some users say they have trouble with the slots slot wearing.
I guess exactly what sort of plastic and how much it's used make a differance.
Can any HO racers fill in some more details please?

That polycarbonate sheet looks like it has quite thin top and bottom skins - any idea how much is left once the braid recess is routed?
 

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QUOTE (Hugh C Davies @ 31 Jul 2012, 11:28) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Has anyone tried using polycarbonate sheets like this http://www.wickes.co.uk/twinwall-polycarbo...5m/invt/246000/


I was thinking of trying it for an outdoor track. Obviously it would need some framing underneath, but it would be much lighter than MDF.

It's light strong and UV stable - that's the stuff used on some conservatory roofs isn't it?

Do you mean use it as the baseboard?
 

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You could probably rout it. Copper tape would remove the need to rout a recess for braid - the polycarbonate is simply too thin to recess.

The only potential problem I can see would be guides catching on the upright wall part of the board. You could possibly get around that by using a dovetail router bit if you could find one thin enough for the top part to rout the slot (obviously setting the depth very carefully) or using needle files where the guides are fouling.

One issue with this material is that it is rigid in one direction and flexible in the other - because the "walls" all run in one direction. You could laminate two sheets of twin wall at right angles to each other but that would be tricky and very expensive.

It's good to explore options but my feeling is that this would be very tricky and some of the wall insulation boards might be a better bet.

Mind you - you could do amazing things with LEDs under the track - especially if it was painted a translucent colour to diffuse the light
 

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Copper tape would remove the need to rout a recess for braid, but it would remove the magnetic braid option.
No problem for those who don't want magnet traction.
Jack155Q4 has said he wants magnet traction
 

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QUOTE (300SLR @ 31 Jul 2012, 13:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Copper tape would remove the need to rout a recess for braid, but it would remove the magnetic braid option.
No problem for those who don't want magnet traction.
Jack155Q4 has said he wants magnet traction

Using tape over magna braid would be an awful lot easier but I wonder if I would regret it at the events. 99% of the people who use it won't have any experience and I am not so keen on putting cars back on track more than I am now. Is it a huge difference?

The force from the magnets in the new cars is pretty big compared to my old 90s cars I imagine it would be pretty difficult for people!

Copper coated steel tape - does it exist?
 

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Copper coated steel tape would be too thick to bend (at least in the thickness required to offer sufficient attraction for magnets).

I run events on Sport track and I run magnets and non magnets. I find the non magnet cars will deslot more if you give them full power BUT if you limit the power I find the deslots are no more frequent.

Here's an example - I run a Super Resistant F430 at 100% and most people deslot a couple of times on the first lap. I run it at 65% power and it only deslots on my R1 hairpins if they hoof it.

I run some Scalextric Taurus NASCARs without magnets and with Urethane tyres at 30% power and they will deslot but only on hairpins and if you make a determined effort to crash elsewhere. The non mag cars do 11 second laps and the mag cars about 7 seconds.

The non-mag cars are more fun as they will slide but in a controllable fashion but they do require a smoother driving style and borders everywhere (or room to slide on a routed track).

If you used the polycarbonate without painting it I think the grip offered by silicone or urethane tyres would be amazing and probably make up for magnets. If you painted then gloss paint or a gloss varnish over an emulsion or undercoat base would be good for grip - be careful though because polycarbonate can react badly to some adhesives and oil based paints and would have to be sanded to provide a key for most coatings.

If you used one of the insulation boards that Snurfen mentioned earlier in your thread then they would be much easier to paint.

I came across a very interesting wall tile insulation board in B&Q yesterday - it has a rigid foam core about 6mm thick and a very rigid outer skin about 2mm thick on both sides. It seems to be made from some form of resin held together in a fabric open weave mat - a bit like how you lay up fibreglass. I have no idea if it could be routed but if it could it would be very stiff and very lightweight. It was about £5 for a board 900mm x 600mm.
 
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