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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm setting up a fixed scalextric digital track on a board that we can lift on and off a pool table in our company staff room, with the rest of the time keeping it up against a wall. I'm a bit worried about weight of the track and board and thus would like to have some recommendations as to the type of board and thickness so it doesn't flex. I've not decided on the final layout yet, but am thinking about a 7ft by 5 ft that would sit on top of a 6ft x 4ft pool table.

Many Thanks,

Mike
 

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Alfie Noakes
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HI, assuming you're in the UK, standard board sizes (mdf/chipboard/ply) is 8x4 ft, with the possibility of getting 10x4ft and 10x5ft also, depending where you go. At those sizes, I would go for 15mm absolute minimum, preferably 18mm for a board on it's own. Go as big as possible with the table!
You could make a softwood frame, and then fix a thinner board (6mm) onto it, which might be a bit lighter.
I suppose it's a time vs money decision...
Cheers,
Richard
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Richard,

A softwood frame is a good idea with a thinner board. As for the single board 18mm mdf/chipboard is very heavy though, is there anything as strong but lighter that people use? The cost isn't really an issue.

Regards,

Mike
 

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Horlicks Hero
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Funny you should ask this, as I'm on my way to the timber yard tomorrow to check out 8x4 sheets and try and get some advice on what would work best. I'm expecting the winner to be 18mm thick OSB, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. I need something light enough for a two man lift (anyone trying to move an 8x4 on their own is asking for trouble) but that will hold its own weight without extra framing. I can report back here if the answer is of interest.

FYI, I used to have plywood boards, but I don't remember how thick they were.
 

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hi, Mike
we're having this same discussion elsewhere on the Forum at present. The short answer to your question is that you need to get two very thin (1/8") and stiff panels of wood and separate them by an inch or so to add much greater stiffness . We've discussed honeycomb panels and foam sheets as "separators", obviously gluing them together. Here in the US I believe the insulation foam come in 1" or 2" thicknesses. For only 5' x 7', I would probably go with the foam for all around ease and low cost. For larger sizes (in the other case 7' x 15' as I recall), the foam weight and wood combination starts to become too much for one person to maneuver comfortably.

best regards,
John

PS at 5' x 7', one could also join up two hollow-panel doors with epoxy and dowel pins
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great Replies,

Stoooo, I'd love to hear what you opted for.

John - That sounds like a great idea, sorry for being a bit lazy and not looking further into the forum. Do you think polystyrene sheets would work as well as foam?
 

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Horlicks Hero
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Buggrit ! Stuff got in the way today. Grrrrr. I'm definitely going to the timber yard on Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been looking for a source in the UK for the honeycomb pp or foam with wood on top and have only found one company who were lovely and responded to my enquiry:

http://www.normanton.co.uk/images/images.htm

However they wanted to charge about £250 - £300 pounds. Does anyone know of any other companies in the UK who might supply a one off panel.
 

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Horlicks Hero
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Oops, totally forgot to report back.

I looked at 11mm and 18mm plywood and OSB. The ply is definitely sturdier. The 11mm is quite bendy, and would certainly need framing to give it any sort of strength. The 18mm ply is around 32kg a sheet, while OSB was closer to 30kg, so not really much to choose from in weight. The one I think I'll be going for is something known as 'good one side' ply which has only one side fully finished. This is slightly cheaper than the one fully finished on both sides.

The 18mm still flexes a little bit, so I think I'd still need to have some sort of support under it while in use. And having a little bit of flex might help it get around doorways, which has been an issue in the past.
 

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I've got 8x4 18mm MDF on my dining table. Got a nice little rally track on it when the
misses isn't entertainig 14 to Sunday lunch!
Reasonable for a two man lift.

Without bracing, it will dip a bit in the middle, so a few strategically placed issues of Razzle would help support it (other magazines are available in staff canteens).
 

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Horlicks Hero
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How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood ?

I reckon if I can get a table for each end of the boards, and one to share in the middle, the 18mm will work out a treat. Now to find a friend with a 1:1 van.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
QUOTE (snurfen @ 14 Mar 2012, 19:02) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Without bracing, it will dip a bit in the middle, so a few strategically placed issues of Razzle would help support it (other magazines are available in staff canteens).

Now this is getting more interesting all of the time. Maybe forget about the table and have a 4ft stack of penthouse on each corner instead of table legs and the central support of Razzle (cheaper) as it wont be as accessible.
 
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