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Track planning - digital, routed or plastic...

1689 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Damo
Hi there. I've decided my 2 week old son needs a hobby when he's old enough
and as such I'm thinking about ideas for a track in my garage. I have done some reading and it seems slot racing is massively different to how I remember! I have some old track and bits in boxes in the loft, so I'll get some of it down at some point soon to give me more ideas. I don't expect any of it to actually work though, so am deciding my parameters for a track based on:
  • My garage is a single garage, with power and light. It's not clogged up with stuff, but I can't let the finished circuit take over the whole space. So, I intend on a hinged lightweight base board (polypropylene?) with a 6mm MDF 'top'. The hinge will attach to the wall at waist height and legs will 'fall' out as it's lowered into place. At the moment, I'm thinking of one, maybe two boards in line, so a maximum of 16x8.
  • I would like digital, it makes perfect sense to me.
  • I love the idea of best racing line too. Not sure quite how to achieve it yet though.
  • I also see the benefits of a routed track - no magnets to do the work for you, cheaper construction and so on.
  • Digital in wood - I'm likely going to get Scaley stuff to butcher and transplant, as the majority of tracks I've seen are built this way and the availability of bits looks to be greater.
Since I'm starting from scratch I think it's good to get people's opinions (and please do share your mistakes!) so that I get the plan right before I buy anything at all.

My ultimate plan is to have my son's mates over racing at the weekends, and both my father and father in law to help out with modelling duties. Hope that it's going to be a kind of focus point and hobby we can all enjoy!
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Welcome bazzer to this unique hobby! I hope you do decide to become a crazed slotter like the rest of us, its a fun hobby! Beware though, you may easily become obsessed with it and spend large amounts of time and money before you know what hit you. Like a lot of hobbies (and addictions) I suppose. And like most hobbies, do it for yourself first, then find some like-minded enthusiasts. There are plenty here! Asking questions before taking the plunge is a great way to get your feet wet first, and get the most out of this experience too, in the long run. Anyway, to answer some of your questions:

Don't choose to go routed because you think it will save money, it probably won't. There is still lots to buy, including tools, mdf, copper and braid and don't forget your time investment, it's a lot higher. Mistakes here will cost you some too. Instead, choose routed because you like the idea of a complex, original layout, and a smoother ride. 16X4 is a great size for a track.

I hope your family gets involved, that would be cool. Your son and his mates likely won't get too serious about it until age 7 or so, then up until they leave the nest (if they enjoy it), so you have at least 7 years to build, ha Good luck and have fun!
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