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Routed MDF Tracks

1761 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Martyn_
Hi all,
I see some people route a track into mdf and line it all to make their own tracks.

Is there a market for a service where track designs could be emailed to someone who uses a cnc router to precisely rout that track and then send off to the client to lay all the track in etc?

Or does that already exist?

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i think that this service is usually found out by those that need it or the track is done at home using a cheap router.

I opted for the at home route and routed all mine by hand using a palm router and home made fences and parallel guides,once you have the first slot completed it's just a case of making a base for the router and use a stylus to follow the first slot while the cutter routes second one.

One of the larger players in the cnc market seems to be a firm called slotfire who do advertise on here.
I looked at this some time ago but found short runs and one-offs too expensive. I designed a modular track system which I wanted to form into a semi-permanent layout but as I only needed short runs or one-offs the programming and set-up costs made manual production much cheaper.

Only thing is time constraints and lack of skill have meant that I've never got the project off the ground.
There are a number of businesses making routed MDF tracks.
Some use CNC, some don't.
Some offer a choice of standard layouts or building to the client's design or work with the client to develop a design.
Some offer tracks at various stages of completion (so for example a club can braid and wire a track themselves, thus making a cost saving by using unpaid labour to do this part of the build).

Or of course you can build a routed track yourself
All comes down to cost.
And location. Shipping to another continent could be expensive


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Cnc machine costs are to expensive, far cheaper to do it by hand and usually the build is part of the fun for most.

We have a Cnc but choose to hand route in the end.

The Cnc takes a while and is not very cost effective. Our track was hand routed and legs fitted in about 3-4 days, 17m in length.

IMO use the hand router option.

Some pro tracks in the states etc have them done on Cnc but costs are different there, along with space to put the track in!
If you do the router work yourself that's going to be a lot cheaper than paying somebody else to rout it for you.
The cost of pro built tracks where they've used CNC and not are fairly similar.
(I hesitate to say hand routing, the jigs used to guide the router are critical to getting a decent job)

There have been wide variations in CNC costs reported in different threads. Some are very expensive, some very reasonable. Depends what a nearby CNC shop wants to charge. The costs of shipping can outweigh the savings when having the work done a long way away.
I wouldn't mind someone who could turn a design into something I could take to a cnc place to get it routed. A digital track so would require lane changer regions to be cut out. I was hoping I could use Scorpius lane changers. I see we have the attention of injectorman can your lane changers just the changer not the wireless bits be used with ssd?
Yes SSD, Carrera or Ninco digital systems.
If I were able to buy something along the lines of a scaley XLC routed kit for a reasonable price, or a racing line lane change section, it would probably tip me over the balance into having a go at a routed track myself.

I'd expect to have to tape up myself and add all the gubbins like solenoids and flipper pivots myself.

Three or four standard designs, easily knocked out from small offcuts of other work, may be a nice little sideline for a CNC bod.
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