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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

As this is a major change of direction for the Westleigh Motor Racing Circuit I have decided to start a new post for it.

As anyone who has been following the original post will know the original idea was to build the layout using plastic track but with the rails removed and replaced with copper tape.
In the past I have used Artin track for my layouts but this limits any curves to either 45 or 60 deg although it is possible to get an outer 45 deg curve but this was made as a four lane track piece and I have not found any for sale.
I therefore decided to use Jouef track which has 45 deg R1, R2 and R3, 60 deg R2 and 90 deg R1 bends and also the advantage than the slot left by removing the rail is very narrow. I was also looking to make up some special track pieces.

However I think mainly due to the texture of the Jouef track the copper tape would not stick properly, I did look at using the later Jouef track and even leaving the rail in place but the cost of getting more of this track from France was proving to expensive as although I found a couple of cheap sets the sellers proved to be unhelpful and would not just send the track and cars. Removing the transformer, controllers and box from the postage cost can save a small fortune in postage.

So the only option would appear to be to start from scratch again and do a routed track. With this in mind I removed the hardboard, foamboard and the OSB board from the framework and started again with 12mm MDF. By pure luck it was just possible to get the baseboards cut from a single sheet of 8' x 4' (2440 x 1220mm) MDF and to a size I could get home in the back of my cars.

Using the final Jouef layout...



as a starting point I drew the basic shape on the MDF using the Jouef pieces. Then I broke some of the Jouef track pieces along the rail slots and used them to mark out the slots on the MDF

This is going from the left side around to the shed door end, the inner lane is in orange and the outer in red













I had been looking for a suitable item to use, as a profile for the router, at wotk and after trying several things that would all buckle if bent to tight I finally settled on this



15mm plastic plumbing pipe which comes in 25mtr coils and 3mtr lengths, which is what I have used here. It can be bent in to quite a tight radius, at least to a R1 with out losing shape.

and all screwed down ready for routing the first lane on the first board...



So now it's time to breakout the router, got a choice of two so will use the new one with a 3.2mm bit, I haven't done any routing for years so will need a little bit of luck I think...

 

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Bob Chapman
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6,969 Posts
Best of luck Keith, and keep the pics coming.
I am following Westleighs progress with interest.
Im not sure if this is of any help, but I was taught to do the curves first, and then connect them with the straights next.
Bob
 

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Prof I T
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11,196 Posts
Hi
Once you start to look into chopping plastic track up it means that you are at the point of going routed wood as It's easier and cheaper and looks better,you also get exactly as you want without compromise.

Looking forward to seeing your build grow
 

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Hi All,

just a few quick replies

Lloyd... the pipe works very well and can be bent to a very tight radius and is quite cheap as long as you buy from a trade outlet and not a DIY store.


Chappy... If I was just using the profile or a compus for the bends I would do them first but I am using the profile for the straights as well so I am going from straight to straight.


Ade... I was not really ready to do a routed layout yet and if I could have got the last version of the Jouef track cheap I would have used that but postage from France is a killer.


Bobby... Yes its to late to change things now as the router hit MDF yesterday, will post a full up date later to day or tommorrow depending on available time.


Kev... so am I as a lot of this is going to be unknown territory for me
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi All,

So main update and yesterday I had a go at routing the track and it went good and bad.

I started to route the inner lane first and with a router bit that came with the router, I did a few test cuts in the edge of the board to get the correct depth and then started to cut the slot. Everything mostly went ok, a couple of small hickups, until I snapped the bit with about 18" to go on the first board. This proved to be a good thing as the replacement bits I bought proved to be much better.
The bit that came with the router left a rough edge to the slot and a layer of burnt dust in the bottom of the slot. The replacement bit gave a smooth clean cut and plain dust in the slot, not that there was much dust as I had my Aqua-vac connected to the router and this removed most of the dust.
I made a few small error and one big error, this was partly due to having to do the routing with the boards in place and not a lot of room to work in. Also I was pushing the router against the profile guide and at times I couldn't see if the router was in contact with it and it wasn't.

When I came to cut the outer lane I had to fix the profile guide towards the middle of the boards which meant that in the more hard to see areas I was pulling against the profile and this proved to be a lot easier to do and only ended up with one small error in the lane.

For some reason I did end up with a major problem in that along the two main back straights I have cut the lanes to close together, still don't know how this happened as I had a template that I used to position the profile guide all around the lanes. There is one plus to come out of this as I need to re cut about half of the inner lane again with the correct spacing. As most of the errors are in this area that needs to be recut they will be lost when I fill the original slot before cutting the new slot.



One of the errors



and here it all went wrong



and here



and here you can see some of the burnt dust in the slot



and this shows the wrong spacing of the slots



So I now need to fill the slot from the right hand end of the front pit straight all the way round to at least the end of the second back straight. then hopefully next weekend I can recut the slot and then get ready for some painting.

I will be posting some more, and larger photos on my web site...Link here

Till next time....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi All,

Just a little up date...

Filled the slot last night case of now you see it...



now you don't



more pictures on the wedsite here for those interested.

Ade ... yes two part wood filler is what I have used and just as well we sell it where I work as I have used a whole 250gm tin. If I had to pay full pricee for it or buy car filler it would have been cheaper to replace the MDF.

It would have been a lot easier to replace the MDF as I now have a lot of sanding to do, might try to get some done tonight.

Lloyd this is what I get of the shelf at B&Q - Trend T-Tech Straight 2 Flute Router Cutter TT/01 x 1/4"TC EAN: 5027654035771

Kev... hardest thing is finding time, I've still got a car to photograph and post on the website and here. Trouble is as soon as I sit down late evening I'm in the land of zzzzzzzzzzzz
 

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Bob Chapman
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Looking alright Keith.
I reckon my first routing attempt emptied the local hardware store of filler. I had slots that were more like rivers.
I should have taken your advice and bought more mdf in my case.
Your right about the bit ,, it makes a world of difference, when you have a decent one.
if I went out to do a track again now,, id still have to look at the directions to see if I go clockwise or counterclockwise on my cuts .
Either way , when you get it the way you want it you'll be happy with the end result.
Keep, the updates coming, very interested in your build.
Cheers
Bob
 

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Hi Keith,

If I've got this wrong, then my apologies. But it looks to me like you are going to your full required depth in one go? You will find it easier, and the result will be much better, if you go down in smaller bites, so you are only removing a small amount of material at a time. It'll make the whole process easier, and more manageable.

PS, don't take any notice of nik kerswill on this matter
 

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Routing can be such a pain. When I was doing my track, I thought I was going to buy the local store out of Bondo.
I like the idea of using two part wood filler instead, it's probably a lot less stinky. I do find it easier to route the straights first with just a piece of straight wood as a guide, then connect them up with the curved guide.

I find the key to smooth routing for me is getting where I have a good view of the router so I can see that it is touching the guide. So many times, I kept going along and didn't know the router had left the guide. I had to focus on paying attention, going slow, and thinking about managing the router cord so that it didn't get stuck mess up my slot. I find it is not something you can do in a hurry, or just have to redo it anyway.

Good luck with your track. I know how hard it can be to find time to work on things.

Heath
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi All,
Thanks for all the comments and advise.

Nik B… yes you are correct I am cutting the slot in one go as this is a 1/43rd scale track the slot is only about 5.5mm deep. Also I am using Caberwood Trade MDF which as is like a sandwich with full density outers and a lighter less dense middle. If you look at my first post and the first picture with the cutting guide in it you can just see the different texture on the edge of the board. At router bit is cutting the slot very easily and no pressure is needed to move the router, in fact I think if it was harder to cut the slot I would have had less problems.

Heath… I know what you mean as that was my problem. As I am very limited for space I am having to rout the boards in place and it is not easy to see if the router is against the guide at the back of the track. When I cut the first slot I was pushing the router against the guide and although I was sure I was against the guide I was in fact way of it in places. Due to the board sizes and slot position I was pulling the router against the guide when cutting the second slot and this proved to be a lot easier and I had only one small slip. So when I re-cut the first slot I will position the guide so that I will be pulling the router against the guide.
Due to the length of the tube I am using as a guide I can cut from one straight to the next straight all the way around the track. I am overlapping the guide on the straight by about 6" and using the router as a spacer when I screw the guide in place to start each new piece. But I think everyone has there own way of doing the routing.

Ok now just a little update and I started to sand the filler last night and it sands by hand a lot easier that I thought it would but I will probably use a sander for the larger area at the back of the layout.

Till next time….
 

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QUOTE (beardy56 @ 30 May 2014, 08:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Nik B&#8230; yes you are correct I am cutting the slot in one go as this is a 1/43rd scale track the slot is only about 5.5mm deep. Also I am using Caberwood Trade MDF which as is like a sandwich with full density outers and a lighter less dense middle. If you look at my first post and the first picture with the cutting guide in it you can just see the different texture on the edge of the board. At router bit is cutting the slot very easily and no pressure is needed to move the router, in fact I think if it was harder to cut the slot I would have had less problems.

Good point well made re the Caberwood Keith, sorry, I hadn't realised that's what you were using. It's a bit like a "Hot Knife Through Butter" I suppose...............easy to do, but not much control.


Well, have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Nik

If I was able to get all around the boards then control would not be a problem but to use the guide I as require I have to have the boards in place which means I am stretching when cutting on the back of the central area and the two far corners This is why I will set the guide up to pull against it when doing the re cut.
The board is so easy to cut that if it was a single lane rally track I think you could set away with doing a lot of free hand cutting, could be a idea for a future project on a small board.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi All,

Got back out in the shed on Sunday and first thing was to sand the filler and this was started by hand. When I got to the area at the back that I got the orbital sander out as there was a lot of filler in this area. All was well but slow going as I was using fine sanding sheets so I put a course sanding sheet on the sander and within a few minuites I had smoke coming out the sander. Don't know if it was the MDF or the filler that it didn't like but it didn't do it a lot of good so I finished the sanding by hand.

Next up was to change the electrics as the power comes into the shed under the track so I fitted a board by the shed door and moved all the electrics here and also fitted a dimmer for the spotlights



This took a lot longer to do than I thought so it was getting to late afternoon when I got round to doing the re-routing. The re-routing all went fine until I got to the last bit which was the tight corner at the end of the board by the door and the routing was ok but I had a bit of trouble getting the tube guide in place and in the end had to take it around the outside and here I goofed and didn't fix the guide down properly and due to this it moved a bit and the slots didn't meet up. So more filler, taking a bit of chance here as I had used all the two part and so used a one part wood filler.



I also go around to filling the screw holes that would be in the racing line.

Yesterday I re-routed the last part of the track, it looks like the filler has taken the routing ok. I also sanded the screw holes, using a palm sander then vacuumed all the boards and wiped them down with a damp cloth to remove as much dust as possible.
Still got a couple of small imperfections to fill but I'm hoping I can plug the slot and just fill the small gap left.
Next up is to get the paint out and start painting the road surface but as I looks like I am on shopping duty next Sunday I may be a little delayed.

As always lots more photos on the website Link Here
 

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Thanks for your clear description Kieth, showing where you went wrong and how you rectified it is a great help for anybody trying routing for the first time.

I have routed a single lane rally track in the past, but multi lanes are more of a challenge. On a rally track I can say I meant it to be wobbly!

Regards, Lloyd
 
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