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Piste Martini

11904 Views 33 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  a Bill
When I posted this shot in the Scratchbuilding forum as an excuse for my current relative silence, Swiss asked me to amplify a bit.

It is a 61', 4 lane routed track using 3/16" Magnabraid recessed about 0.007". On the right side you can see the dead strips for the timer/lap counter. I use a PC based system by SRT in California. It is a bit of overkill for a home track being designed for commercial use but it has a lot of nice features and has proven to be absolutely reliable (this track replaced a 4 lane Scalextric track that was dismantled and sold last March)

I promise to add some more shots as the work goes forward but right now I am concentrating on getting ready for the "Grand Opening" in about ten days time.

The material for my Armco barriers has just arrived and I will photograph and describe that part of the project (caveat - I have an idea but have never done it before!)

The track is routed in 1/2" MDF with a 1/8" slot. The track surface is three coats of flat alkyd enamel and is almost velvety to the touch.

Hidden from view at the far upper end are the "esses" that connect the starting straight on the right with the main straight angling down from the upper left. The hairpin at the end of the main straight is the only constant radius corner on the track - all of the others open or close.

I have done only a few laps on it but my initial impression (and the design goals) is that the apparent simplcity is deceptive!

To be continued......


PS - one last note - this is the first routed track that i have done. I assure you that the process is more tedious than difficult!
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Hmm, somehow I forgot about the track being new. I should still be there Thursday evening (Nov 11th) to corner marshall. This evening I'm burning up, err, testing the mods on the dinky motor and I'll try to remember to get my controller from that track to use on yours.

I had considered making a special base plate with 1/8" pins located about 1/16" in front of and behind a standard 1/2" bit

Fergy, that'll do the job just fine in the turns. For the straights you'll want to space the pins farther apart. The 1/8th inch pins *might* need to be thinned a fuzz. This is because of the nature of MDF being abrasive wearing down the bit plus the natural tendancy of wood to expand a tad so the 1/8th routed slot usually ends up just a little less than 1/8th wide. This combined with pins that are usually just a fuzz larger in diameter than 1/8th inch makes for a less than pleasant experience.

It is traditional to use routers with custom base plates. That's what all those holes in the factory base are for. Lexan, plastic, plywood or whatever will work just fine for base material. I used to be one of those carpenter thingies. Or was it a wood butcher? Guess it depends on who you talk to.

Something that is important to remember is that MDF dust is very fine and mildly poisonous. Formaldahyde is used in its manufacture. So any cutting of the stuff should be done in a well ventilated area and hepa filter masks are a good idea. I'm not saying this to scare anyone, MDF is great stuff for tracks and everyone wanting a track should use it. I'm just pointing out that it isn't good to inhale much of the dust while it's being cut. After it's cut and sealed you need not worry about dust anymore.
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Piano wire would work well. I tend to use roll pins myself but I'm weird like that
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EMs track is much larger than it looks in the picture. Runs well too. My only problem was running out of talent in turn one
I need to find a bulk supplier of talent somewhere and soon too
I have sooo much to learn, again. The track is great to run on and I hope to be better prepared next time.

As is typical with routed tracks, it is very smooth and quiet. While there are those on this board that believe real race cars power slide around turns and do so at every chance, I think you'll find you'd better get your act together racing here. Yeah, you can swing the back end out but you better straighten the car out before you attempt to exit the turn. You see, EM has a mean streak. He put in decreasing radius turns. It really makes it more interesting for the driver since you need to pay attention. The magnabraid supplies some grip for traction magnets but it isn't overpowering like some plastic tracks.
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I'll be there Sunday morning. I didn't break my car (the geezer mobile) at the dragstrip so I still have transportation

Now I'm off to Google to figure out what a couple of 30's Alfa monopostos are. Doesn't anyone drive Fords or Chevies anymore?
Monopostos, monopostos, they've got to be around here somewhere.
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Fantastic work Russell, thank you very much for the pictures.

I have some reeds soaking right now. Even if they won't let me back in the basket weaving class I could still try to teach myself
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