View Full Version : Starting a New Build, Need Opinion on Track Designs

12-13-2010, 08:23 PM
Hi everyone, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself. I don’t know if this is the proper way for an introduction, but I am going with it. I am trying to kill two birds with one stone…..Introduce myself and need opinions and your assistance with my track build. I live in Central PA who has no formal slot racing experience. I have visited a couple local tracks, DT Hobbies and Keystone (near Hershey, PA). I am going to be building a flat track for my son and I that will be located in our basement. I have fooled around with 15 designs over the past year and have narrowed it down to 3; everything has been developed in AutoCAD. The three track designs should be attached in this post; track #1-#3 PDF files. I am attracted to the simplicity of the American yellow design (track #1), but I am concerned that overtime this track may get a little boring. Track’s 2 and 3 evolved from track 1. I need opinions on the three designs from experienced racer, please provide constructive criticism? I want the track to have rhythm more than anything else. I forgot to mention, we will be running BRM’s and Scaleauto cars (probably others as well).
Also, The track will be 6 lanes, 6” gutters and 4.5” lane spacing. The track lengths are, track 1 is around 82 ft per lane…track 2 & 3 are around 96 ft. The width of the track surface will be 34.5”. Please provide feedback. I look forward to all of your responses.

Greg N
12-13-2010, 10:04 PM

I am a flat track racer, and as such, I am biased, but my opinion is to go with the hardest, in this case, pretty clearly #2.


12-14-2010, 12:14 AM
Track 1 is in use at 132slotcar in Tacoma, Wa. "Mom" (Paul Kassens, owner of this site) has raced on it, done enduros (24 hr) and used to work there. Craig R. (Flyracing) also has raced there, among others on this site (not me though). Maybe they'll chime in or you can PM them regarding if they found it boring.
Tracks 2 & 3, where are you intending to put the drivers (ie so they can all see), give that some consideration and the turn over the straight almost eliminates a driver's panel there on that side. I know you mentioned that you are building this for your son, but you do have 6 lanes and some point in the future they'd all be in use. Also give some thought to "marshalling" in the event you end up with group races and have people that are available to marshall.

Good luck with your project!

12-14-2010, 12:35 AM
Track 1 is actually a mirror image of an American Raceways Windsor 8 lane track, originally made back in the 1960's. There are at least a few of them still in use around the country, including the one in Tacoma at 132 Slot Car Raceway, where I used to work. They race 1/32 scale plastic cars as well as BRM & Avant Slot 1/24 model cars there. The track has Magnatec magnetic braid, so you can race cars with or without traction magnets.

There is an active club of racers in PA racing BRM and other similar model cars... you might want to look them up! (I'll see if I can find contact or info online and post it here)

I believe Boogie Speedway in Michigan also has a Windsor (?), and I think there's another on the east coast... can't recall right now.

Before building, you might want to take a look through the Tracks For Sale forum. Besides the possibility of finding a used track at a good price, you might also see other track designs that inspire even more ideas.

Guy (MentalKase) made a good point about the driver visibility on #2 & #3. I like the layouts, but you always need to visualize where the drivers will stand, and make sure that they are able to see the entire track without drivers or marshals blocking their view. I am also biased towards flat tracks... and while the Windsor is banked on the end of the main straight, it's still a very fun track to drive. I like #2 & 3, but besides the visibility problem, I would not personally go for a banked donut.

Good idea to seek input here! Be sure to check my list of Track Building Online Resources in the Track Owners forum as well. Hopefully others will have some good positive feedback for you as well.

Welcome to OWH Slot Car Talk - and good luck with your track!!! Keep us posted on progress!

Paul K @ OWH

12-14-2010, 07:40 AM
Paul does have a great list of resources, among which is listed the Track Building section of the British Slot Car Racing Association's website. Within that section, there is a great discussion of design/layout. It covers many key points, among which is driver visibility. This is a crucial element of a satisfying, fun design. Here is the link: http://www.slotcar.org.uk/trackbuild/index.htm

In terms of inspiration, a great resource that is also fun and nostalgic to read is John Ford's "American Royal Family". It has diagrams and photos of several tracks that have shaped the slot car landscape over the years.

Did Paul mention something about driver visibility? ;-)


12-14-2010, 07:52 AM
Thanks for all of the input! I am gravitating towards Track #2. Like I mentioned before, I am really looking for something that flows nicely….Do you think Track #2 will accomplish this? Is there too many turns coming off the small back stretch? I have attached a PDF file with a sketch of where I am thinking of putting the driver stations on the 3 tracks. Let me know what you think…………I will have to post new drawings with the perimeter of my basement so you guys can get an idea of fit.

12-14-2010, 12:13 PM
I like track #1 layout the best, with the drivers stations as you have them penciled in.
This layout reminds me of an orange monarch, that has a great rhythm, together with a high speed section.
Make the banked turn about 20-25 degrees (not too steep so you can make the "S's" sit totally flat)
and do yourself a favor and make the "S's" all one piece of track with straight side walls. (really hard to bend
1/2" MDF in to a tight radius) Have fun and let's see some dust fly !

12-14-2010, 12:30 PM
The Track 1 is fine, classic position, mid way. The line of vision distance is about 1/2 what it is in 2 & 3, which is a good attribute.

(I think) 2 & 3 the drivers can see, but are bunched quite close together, eyeballing it I'd say about 16" each, and it looks like it's about 32' to the other end, perhaps for old eyes, not so good. I don't know your audience but I'm gonna guess it won't be all kids... A minor note - Lanes 1-4 are going to be putting their cars down onto the curve where the cars are coming thru, not always a problem but if a car is removed for adjustment it can get knocked by an on track car, its a minor annoyance though. You may also give some consideration (for CW rotation) if the overhanging track will compromise viewing & braking at the end of the straight. Some may consider this an attribute (drivers challenge) others may not. Notice though of the 3 of us that have posted, we all mentioned driver viewpoint.

It's yout track in the final outcome though.

You could lay the track out on the floor in chalk or cut it out of butcher paper and assemble some people and "walk" yourselves thru the sequences before you cut any wood too.
I'd follow all those links/suggerstions made by Paul & Jim. Jim just finished his track recently so a lot of these trade-offs are pretty fresh in his mind I'm sure. Along with his there was another track near me (search Green Hornet, Monitor, Wa.) at the same time being built, also posting on OWH here. Lots of talk/idea hashing occurred there too.

12-14-2010, 01:22 PM
I see why you like the design of #2, but the visibility is still a major problem. If you bunch up the drivers on the end (on #2 or #3), then it creates several problems. Not only is it tight, as Guy mentioned, but it would create a turn marshaling nightmare.

The drivers would be constantly reaching down to marshal their own cars in front of themselves - blocking the view of the other drivers. Even if you have a rule against drivers marshaling their own cars, then the turn marshal would be reaching in front or between them.

Another problem is that when you have the drivers on one end of the track, it makes it much more difficult to drive, especially for young or new drivers. On half the track, the car is going away from you, and the other half it is coming at you. It creates a bit of an optical illusion that can throw off your braking. This makes an added challenge - but to some people it just feels weird and harder to learn to drive the track.

I don't mean to sound negative - but I'm just recommending to explore many options before you start to cut up wood. If you invest some time in the design (which you already have been doing), you will have a great track that you'll enjoy for many years.

Check out those links and any track designs & pics you can find online. I like Guy's suggestion of chalking the design on the floor. You can stand in the driver positions and actually "pretend" drive to check the visibility... and even imagine driving the track layout.

I would mention that when I first raced on the Windsor track (a mirror of your #1 design) when it was at Port Angeles WA, and then moved to Tacoma WA... I was initially thinking the track might be a bit boring. I was glad I was wrong, because even though the layout looks simple, it was challenging enough to provide years of fun racing for 1/32 & 1/24 scale cars... and it is still in use now. I raced in a few 24 hour enduros on that track!

Here's a link to the OWH Photo Gallery - Track Pic Gallery... 3 albums full of designs & photos of tracks:

Keep doing your homework, and follow the resources and tips that have been posted in this thread, and you'll be on the right track! ;)

12-14-2010, 06:22 PM
Hi Derek. Welcome to OWH.

I’ve raced on a Windsor before myself, flat with little to no banking, and IMO it still got a tad boring after a while. Your #2 design adds a real nice rhythm section. Like Guy, I too try to imagine the track and driving it. But there will be visibility issues; and it is usually best to keep the drivers stand on a straight.

Is there any way you can change the configuration around, while still keeping within your space requirements, and get all the “twisty bits” on one side? Something like this:


I apologize if it looks like it was done by some nut case with scissors and tape… It was. Greetings from CMF3 engineering. :p But it does take your general layout and just moves things around. The idea would be to have a long straight with the drivers stand, a donut, and a twisty section, while keeping the visibility open for all drivers.

Good luck with your track, and by all means please keep us posted!

(I will now slink back to the rock in the Scratchbuilding section that I crawled out from under… :rolleyes: )


Scale Series
12-14-2010, 06:38 PM
Unless the long straight is going against a wall, the 17 X 32 layout takes up almost as much room as the old Speedshop MTT or Ramcat Larry's LTD that are for sale.

12-14-2010, 10:34 PM
FWIW - I built my own. Ranks right up there with the most satisfying accomplishments of my life. BUT! The cost of building it wound up being a little more that twice What I thought it would be. Either of the tracks above would be a fine track to have. A classic like the MTT doesn't come around very often. Just some more input to chew on ...


12-15-2010, 12:01 AM
Those are good points. It is usually MUCH less work to refurbish an existing track then to build from scratch... especially considering all those "first time" things that always come up.

CMF3 (Rick) - I like it! Your scissored up version of the layout seems like a good solution, to combined the best of #1 & #2.
(I'd still keep the donut flat - no real reason to bank it IMO)

The footprint can be a big consideration, but usually in a private track situation, you can have the track a "cozy" 3' from the wall. It gets a bit tight, especially for some of old fat farts, when passing to get our cars (at 132 Slot Car we usually raced "crash & dash - and the track was about 3' from the wall!). Also, a layout like this can often fit around poles or beams or other obstructions, where a more "square" track might not.

However... I don't know why I didn't think about this before... unless you plan on having a LOT of racers on your track, and you have plenty of space... I personally do not know why anyone would need an 8 lane track for home or club racing. I've raced on MANY home/club tracks, including many that fit 1/24 scale cars, even with large club race turnouts, that are just fine with 4 lanes. nearly all of the club tracks I know of in Washington & Oregon are 4 lane tracks. Oregon has a thriving club scene racing 1/24 hard body scratch built cars, and often has 10 - 20 racers. Nearly all computer lap counting systems are made to be able to run heat races, multiple mains, or round robins.

Keep in mind also - that you still need turn marshals. More lanes often means less people to marshal... You often wind up not using all 8 lanes. On a 4 lane track, it's much easier to take turns driving and marshaling (either by running 2 heats or a round robin).

You can fit a lot more track in the available space, and have a lot more room to get around it, as well as pit space... with a 4 lane track. Let alone the savings in cost & amount of work. A 4 lane track opens up a whole lot more possible track designs that will fit in the same or less space.

Not meaning to throw a monkey wrench in your plans... but something to think about before you decide! :)

12-15-2010, 01:31 AM
I also thought of switching the donut but I resisted re-designing his layout taking it as a groundrule....but now that CMF3 has broken that....how about moving this here and then that there and as long as we are here we can do this for a minor increase in cost and time and then we'll have this so why not do this too? Wait!!!!!! sounds like all my years of engineering, but I'm retired now so I don't think anymore. - - bit if I did then I'd .....

Truly the difference between 4 & 8 lanes from a venue standpoint as Paul says is dramatic. and does open up a whole new option study of layouts! but this is the time to do it, here on paper not in the middle of fab.

As the old saying goes - It costs $1 to fix it on paper, $10 to fix it in manufacturing and $100 to fix it in the field. (Multiply by 100 to compensate for the "datedness" of the anecdote.)

I've raced a home track 4 lane (with Paul to be exact) and it was great fun with about 20-25 participants. 4 drivers, 5 marshalls, 1 "director" and 1 track SW operator and 11 Tequila drinkers.

(6 lanes?)

12-15-2010, 02:19 AM
Here's a list I posted in another thread recently of slot car clubs in Washington & Oregon.
Take a look through their web sites to see several examples of nice club tracks. Nearly all of them are 4 lane tracks. No matter what the attendance, from just 4 (run "crash & burn" or "crash & dash" if no marshals), to a crowded event with 20+ racers, a 4 lane track is fine.

These are some examples close to home (Washington & Oregon) that I personally know of:

S.C.R.A.M. (no web site yet?) - pics of new 120' 8 lane routed track build project on these threads:

http://www.capehornspeedway.com/ - 6 lane Ogilvie wood routed club track
http://bryanboysracing.com/ - 1/24 & 1/32 4 lane routed club track in Spokane WA
http://pssra.net/ (1/32 club... several tracks... 2 of them routed, several plastic)
http://www.oscrsite.com/ - OSCAR races on several tracks throughout Oregon:
(NASTE races both 1/24 and 1/32 on several Portland OR area tracks - most also are used for PASER & OSCAR club races)
http://slotcars.saagervision.com/ (1/32 routed club track)
http://www.beavertonslotcarclub.com/ (1/32 club)
http://pelicanparkspeedway.com/ (1/24 4 lane routed club track - club has been around since the stone age!)

This is just a quick list from my bookmarks of club track tracks in WA & OR...
I know there are tons of club tracks in other states as well!

Scale Series
12-15-2010, 06:46 AM
For me a deciding on the number of lanes depends on how many racers your planning on having. If you expect 6-10 guys show up than I would have more like a 4 lane track so you have marshals. The club racing I do is on a 3 lane track and the owner usually has about 5-10 people show up depending on what people have going on in their personal life.

One important note. If going smaller than the traditional 8 lane I would suggest choosing lane colors based on what you can purchase cheap stickers for from your favorite discount box store.

We currently race plastic cars, and JK 1/32 Hyperslot chassis (C-11) with Falcon 2 motors. One would think running a Faclon 2 backwards wouldn't work, but they work supprisingly well. In the past we have run 1/32 C can Eurosport chassis on this track but that was like flying fighter planes in a hangar.

12-15-2010, 11:52 AM
Guys, please see the attached PDF file. This shows the fit of the track designs vs. my basement.....trying to maximize the available space, i'm finding out that it is easier send than done! Please take a look and provide opionions.

Also, i will reduce the number of lanes down to 4. I have a question, what is a good lane width for 1/24 scale racing.....3.75", 4", 4.25", 4.5"? I don't need the best, but what would be a comfortable width so i can try and reduce the foot print of the track. Thanks for your help!

12-15-2010, 12:09 PM
4.5" spacing (so you can run some hard bodies) 4 lane track, 22" wide track surface.
It looks like the long front straight is partialiy up against a wall ? Time to call Mike Holmes ! (Holmes on Homes) LOL....

12-15-2010, 01:02 PM
I don't think you need to go as wide as 4.5". I can't remember what the lane spacing is on the Oregon club tracks, but I'm guessing just 4". They race hard body 1/24 on all their tracks. The close spacing provides enough room for passing, but is still close enough to really make it challenging! Definitely a lot of bumping and rubbing, but I think that makes it more fun then if it was wider.

I could check on widths used by the Oregon & Wash club tracks if you'd like more info on that.

I can now see how the designs were made to just fit your room! #1 looks just like a mirror of the Windsor, and is still the most practical for visibility... although seeing the wall against the straight, I'd be concerned that the drivers can all see the top turn before the straight. This is where the chalk outline on the floor might really help...

I still recommend going to just 4 lanes, as it will save time, $ and space. It could enable even more options on layout, or simply allow more elbow room for your current designs.

Keep checking those links I posted... there's tons of good pics & info on those club sites & resources!


12-15-2010, 01:08 PM
I could check on widths used by the Oregon & Wash club tracks if you'd like more info on that.


If you don't mind, please check what widths are used on the Oregon & Wash club tracks! Thanks for your help...........

12-15-2010, 02:22 PM
Club S.C.R.A.M. in wash. The Green Hornet is eight lanes with 4.5" lanes. its more of a commercial track. The Pink four lane was our first club track and we raced on it for 3 years with tons of laughs. It has 4" lane centers. We ran everything from 1/32 hardbodies up to 4.5 FCR's. Room to pass but you hav to plan them. Nerfing is half the game. Hav fun with your build!!!!! I built both these tracks and what a exsperiance!!!!!

12-15-2010, 03:58 PM
Shown below is 4 lanes, 4.5 lane spacing, 5 gutters on straights - result is 23.5 surface width so you can cut 2 straights from 1 sheet of mdf. Elliptical routing on the curves so curve gutters are 6.5.

When running 1/24 on a track with short straights, the 4.5 spacing makes passing a little easier.


Scale Series
12-15-2010, 04:02 PM
Here's the basic layout of my friends 3 lane routed wood club track. Something like this on a larger scale could work ? The infield is very technical yet only 3 marshals are required and in a pinch we have got by with two making the small turn on the right hand side a track call.


I would do 4-1/4" or 4-3/8" spacing. Larger spacing is for more of a wing car track IMHO

12-15-2010, 05:05 PM

I figured there had to be some space and dimensional considerations. My earlier suggestion won’t work in this case. The drivers stand / track visibility issue is going to be a tough nut to crack.

Just for fun… So how much of the basement can “we” take over?!?!? Out of curiosity, I extrapolated your basement dimensions and got out the hi-tech graph paper and tried to see what I could shoe-horn in there, and still keep visibility and marshaling possible, at which point I came up with this ridiculous layout:


It’s a tad big… I did say “ridiculous”, didn’t I? :confused: But the lane visibility works even looking “around the corner”, and with the track off the wall marshaling the turns isn’t a problem. It’s just you need a bunch of ‘em… I added the esses on the upper “bridge section” where originally I had a straight, at which point I realized I was out of control…

I probably shouldn’t be wasting your time here, so I apologize. Cripes, I live in Flo-dee-da, I don’t even know what a basement is (I hear it’s like having a sinkhole under the house without the water…). But it was fun! Now I’ll return to the underside of my rock and try not to annoy anyone else (for a little while, at least…) There’s a bunch of folks and info on OWH here that should be able to help ya. Good luck!!

Rick (it’s nice and cool under here…) ;)

12-15-2010, 07:27 PM
CMF3, I like it......i would have never thought of this! It would be huge, but give me sometime and i will model it in AutoCAD. I really appreciate everybodies input, i have been getting frustrated trying to think outside the box.

Scale Series
12-15-2010, 07:37 PM
Not to throw a monkey wrench into it, but unless your running IROC races I would ACad in some pit tables and chairs.

The 3 lane track that I posted is in a 24' X 24' two car garage. The track is only about 3'6" wide and with pit tables and 10 people it gets real crouded

I would also suggest as Paul did to make do the track in Chauk or Tape on the floor. I worked as a Manufacturing Engineer for a large multinational company. Even though I would make any potential changes to the assembly line in ACad, I would still make them with tape on the floor on the weekend. Sometimes it looks like enough room on the computer, but with full size objects it gets tight.

12-15-2010, 07:48 PM
Here is track design #4.....what do you guys think? Do you think there will be a huge blind spot in the donut area.

12-15-2010, 08:45 PM

I think you're heading in the right direction. Now, speaking of direction, which way will you be running the track? Up the donut or down the donut? It does make a difference.

Now, if you want some 'outside the box thinking' have to stop using things like fixed radius curves. You did not state what kind of construction you are using, but I am assuming that you intend to rout this using MDF. If that is the case, why not do something very interesting on layout #4?

BTW - the addition of the 'blip and brake' sections in the donut make it much more technical in my opinion! Kind of like an Engleman - you go fast on one half of the track and then it's technical to get back to the go fast section! Different pace always makes the intensity more so.

If you were to come out of the donut (running down the donut is my assumption - counterclockwise direction) and put a decreasing radius turn leading into the 'esses' just think of the extra features you can add and still stay with your layout? Racers are going to want to 'hit it' as they come out of the donut, and the decreasing radius curve would get many of them to accelerate to a point where they might not be able to adequately brake for the 'esses'.

Both CMF3 and myself have raced at The Viper Pit in Thomasville Georgia. They have an 'Elongated Orange' without the 'esses' as you come out of the donut, going up the donut. The lane spacing is 4 inches. We race 1/24 flexi, Falcon Wing Cars and just about anything. As has been already pointed out, passing is something that must be earned, it can not just be taken. It requires a lot of skill to get by someone in certain areas of the track. BRM's should be a blast on your setup.

You might want to send a PM to RickB. He has an original Windsor in his garage and lives in Natrona Heights.

Let us know how you proceed.

12-15-2010, 09:00 PM

Just printed out #4 and drew some line-o-sights; looks like that corner is still making a big blind spot. I'll doodle some more later... I like the "non-donut donut". ;)


12-15-2010, 09:45 PM
CMF3, here you go.....check out Track #5! I really like this idea, but haven't yet calculated the lane lengths.....it's got to be over 100ft or close to it. I also have shown the entire size of my basement....i should have no problem with pit tables and chairs. Also, on track #4 i was thinking to go counterclockwise from the driver stations......i guess up the donut?

12-15-2010, 10:26 PM
Yeah, I kind of went berserk there... I think they're around 93'. :eek: Looks pretty cool though... impractical, but cool... :cool: I promise I'll try to come up with more realistic (awright everyone, stop laughing... :p ) ideas and do some more doodlin'...

12-15-2010, 10:31 PM
Why do you think it is impractical?

12-15-2010, 10:33 PM
Track #5... wow - now you're definitely thinking "outside the box" - but you may have gone too far now! I love the design as far as driver's challenge, but I think too ambitious on using up your space. I do like CMF3's design... but still concerned about space.

On Track #5, I'm afraid the "ess" turns going under the bridge would prove to be a nightmare. You don't want a design that cause wrecks under the bridge, if at all possible. On this design you would spend way too much time avoiding crashed cars under the bridge. Keep in mind, that (hopefully) you will also be having youngsters and other new racers visiting to play & race on the track... so don't make it too difficult to drive for newbees. A simpler track will still present plenty of challenge

It looks like you're still allowing for 8 lanes, judging by the size... but again I hope you consider 4 lanes. At a home track you rarely would have enough people to need 8 lanes, and even for big races, 4 works fine, with rotations and marshals.

Scale Series is right about leaving extra space. I've been to many club tracks where there is simply no room to set your box, let alone work on your cars. Pit space is not only nice for working on cars, but is also nice to be able to sit and talk with fellow racers while you thrash between races.

I have a funny story about a track I visited near Vancouver Canada several years ago... along with a van load of fellow Seattle club racers.

I'll give you the short version....

This 3 lane wood track filled the room sooooo tight, you had to crawl under the track on your hands & knees to get to the drivers stations, which were on opposite sides of the track. Once you got in, you had to squeeeeeeeze your body "up & in" to be able to drive, while then deciding if your controller hand would be above or below the track. A couple of the racers in our group were rather large guys, and they actually got stuck! It was hilarious, and I about died laughing! I thought we were going to have to call the fire department, or just leave them there and feed them.

I asked the track owner... "where do the turn marshals go?" to which he replied "turn marshals???". He had never thought of that, because he only played on the track with his son, and they used a "grabber" to reach their cars when they crashed. They had never planned on having actual races, I guess.

Learning that he had gotten the track second hand, I just had to ask him; "How did you EVER fit this track into the room??? It barely even fits!!!".

To which he replied; "Oh, I built the walls AFTER I put the track in!"

The room went silent in disbelief. :D LOL!

I guess my point is.... be sure to leave extra space! :)

12-15-2010, 10:52 PM
made it straight under the bridge

12-15-2010, 11:06 PM
Track #6 - I like it!

Now THAT is a challenging track that not only gets the most out of the available space, but also should have nice clear lines of visibility, even with drivers and marshals!

I like how the turn marshals can be across the track or on the ends, so they won't even block the view... and with the diagonal driver's panel, you should be able to see both ends of the track, yet without having to have the dreaded "end view" while driving. The only visibility problem might be the marshals reaching cars on the end of the driver's panel, but they can step in & out, or kneel or sit down if needed.

I see now that it looks like you have an extra space on the other side of the stairs... I didn't notice that before. If that is availble for pit space (?) - then maybe you have a winner!

Other then the question of 8 lanes verses 4 lanes... I think Track #6 is a very nice design.

12-15-2010, 11:26 PM
Comparing Rick's (CMF3) drawing to #6 now... I still like Rick's drawing a lot... other then I like how #6 is spaced away from the wall better opposite the drivers panel.

I think the extra squiggle you added to the left of the drivers in #6 might not be needed, as it would definitely slow down the flow and create more traffic there... same as on Rick's drawing - the squiggle instead of dogleg before (after?) going under the bridge...

I would probably try looking at it with the turn left of the drivers left the way Rick had it, and the rest as in #6. :)

Nice work guys!

12-16-2010, 08:13 AM
From what I've looked at:
Driver's view: excellent
Challenge: outstanding
Marshaling: very good-I see 5 to 6 marshals needed, depending on the patience and skill of your drivers.

Overall, you should have a track that will remain a challenge to you for a long time. Considering you are going to be running 1/24th BRM cars, I don't see this track ever growing old or ever getting boring.

Have you thought about the timing system you are going to use? From what I've been exposed to in the commercial world, I like LapMaster best of all. It has an awful lot of neat little bells and whistles that really pump up a home system. Go do some searching using lapmaster and do some reading, I think you will be impressed.

So, when do you propose to have this up and running? I have a couple of BRM cars and I'm available to come and race!

12-16-2010, 08:37 AM
I thought I had posted this link before, but now I don't see it... so maybe I forgot.

My list of online resources for track building is in the Track Owner's forum:

Track Building Online Resources (http://www.slotcartalk.com/slotcartalk/showthread.php?27236-Track-Building-Online-Resources)

12-16-2010, 11:41 AM
Did some more doodling under the rock. I’m trying to imagine myself in a basement I’ve never seen looking at a track that doesn’t exist… No problem. Anyway, maybe I shouldn’t have used the word “impractical” previously, as one man’s “impractical” is another man’s “looks good to me”. A better synopsis of my first doodle would have been “commercial sized six-lane behemoth in a basement requiring more time, money, space and turn marshals.” Personally I don’t see anything wrong with it. (Hell, I’d be happy if I had the room to do something like this…)

I’ve been keeping my doodles to your original six-lane size. You can always decide to go to four or three lanes later, and rescale the size accordingly. Sort of like cutting, you can always take more off, but it’s real hard to put it back on when it’s gone. (While fewer lanes are more “practical” in a limited space, it is also true the more lanes on a track the more dissimilar the two furthest lanes become.)

Anyway, I’ve been trying to imagine the drivers stand in the room and how the track(s) would look from various perspectives. Then I drew sight lines and tried to get some sort of layout to fit. So I’ve come up with three more layouts with the drivers stand at various points in the area.

The first is a simple “8” configuration to keep things on the “conservative” side, with a lower right drivers stand.

Next is a weirder “8” with the drivers stand in the lower left (which could also have the drivers stand in the lower right, just in case you aren’t confused enough already).

And next is a disfigured “8” with the drivers stand in the upper right. (This one doesn’t fit all that well, but it was more to get the idea across.)

I cannot for the life of me come up with one good idea for the drivers stand in the upper left; there is always too much limited visibility from back in the corner, even if I angle the drivers stand. If I come up with something I’ll let you know.

On all the layouts I try to make it so the bridge usually runs over a straight so digging cars out from under it doesn’t become a recurring PITA. I also try to make it so the layout can be run in either direction; sometimes one way is better than another, sometimes not. You get to decide. (Can’t say I’m a big fan of “stacked” tracks, but I’m sure others might be able to help if you want to go in that direction.)

Remember, these are just ideas to show you the different vantage points for looking at possible layouts, not actual suggestions for tracks. You’ll have to go down in the basement and try to picture it in your head. And that tape on the floor idea works great!

So I hope these give you some more food for thought. That was fun! Time to go burn my fingers…

Rick ;)

12-16-2010, 01:36 PM

Don't get too many burns on your fingers - remember most of the callouses have disappeared over the past several months and you're dealing with some pretty new skin there, Bubba!

Of the 3 track designs you put together, I must say although #3 and #4 are quite similar in layout, that my choice would have to be #4.

Let me begin by saying that #2 just looks too much like a track done with sectional track that I didn't even consider it.

Design #4 has the look of a real race track in that it 'fits the space' as provided. Yet it still incorporates just about all the features of the other tracks. The flow is nice, the racing should be good, visibility is excellent and there are 5 spots for 'blip and brake' that just separate racers from those that want to be racers. It's funny when you have sections like that and you're racing against good competition. You hear you opponent's motor change pitch indicating he is WFO, and then on the brakes in those little short sections. It might only be .001 seconds, but he can be faster then you are.

Yep, #4 is an outstanding design and I really like it. I am seeing about 4 marshals to do that function adequately. It's more efficient and yet retains the authenticity of a real raceway without giving up any thing. Good job!

12-16-2010, 02:28 PM
Here are some photos of what i have completed so far, I have been working on the prep. work for some time now, maybe 24 hrs total....mostly all last Jan. & Feb.! Spring came and outside stuff took over, had no time for indoor activities. Anyway, here are some photo's of my wall supports (a little over engineered), Roller jig for gutter or 1st slot, Tongue and groove design, and i have the triangle legs completed already. Everything is and will be assembled with 23 gauge headless nails (pin nailer)......works great! I can drive these pins in the edges of MDF and not worry about it splitting.....it provides a very strong joint with wood glue and the pins. If you don't believe me or are skeptical, go to the GREX website and watch some videos. You don’t even need to use wood filler! I will be using threaded rod, 1/2-13 thru the T&G joints (3 location per joint)....locknuts and washers on both side to draw the track surface together. The legs will have 1/2-13 bolts at the pivot point followed by MDF screws to lock them into final position. Enjoy.........

12-16-2010, 02:38 PM
Rick - those are some great designs!

Very ingenious use of the space, and especially in the positioning of the drivers for visibility. I have always loved the challenge of trying to design track layouts, but you seem to have a real gift for it!

If I was in Seider71's shoes... my head would be spinning from all the great design options you have both come up with to choose from!

Nice work!

12-16-2010, 02:41 PM

There is an underlying impetus for Rick. He wants a flat track to race on so bad, I know seeing this is just killing him! He has probably charted the mileage from his place to the construction site as he wants very badly to help in the testing phase of construction.

Did ou see the Awesome Lap Counter monitor in the 3rd and 4th photos in post #41? This is going to be a first class operation!

12-16-2010, 03:08 PM
Here is a cleaned up version of Track #6, I calc. about 100 ft of lane length!

12-16-2010, 03:32 PM
Thanks Paul & Marty for the kind words. Just practicing up for when those ding-dang lotto numbers finally hit (some people call it gamblin', I call it "my retirement program"... :rolleyes: ). I ain't plannin' no road trip as I'm too po' to get to the gas station. Derek, are you really going to go with #6 ?!?! :eek: You might just have to put in a parking lot too when word gets out, especially to the slot-aholics on OWH. Hmmm, I got me a garden hose I can cut up... Maybe I could do a road trip after all...

Whatever you decide please take lots of photos and post them up, so me and the rest of the slot-junkies can get our vicarious fix!

Rick (ack! gasoline tastes terrible...) :p

12-16-2010, 04:56 PM

Gasoline does not taste terribly when you have the auto-magic handy dandy little powered siphon pump!

Do you want to make a ride up there - of course depending on whether or not we get invited! We can make the trip and have a blast. It's a shame when you don't have a flat track where you can go and play!


I really, really like rendition #6 that you posted. Getting rid of that 'squiggle' coming out of the straight in front of the driver's station. I think that really cleans it up!

One of my very most favorite tracks is one that is a 'replica' of the Daytona International Speedway, including a switchable infield. You car race on the high speed double banked tri-oval or on the two high banks and then dive into the infield road course, shaped of course in a similar manner to the one at Daytona. Each lap there is a high level of anticipation where you enter the infield, successfully negotiate the infield with all the 'features' and then head back on to the high speed section. You mind kind of relaxes, you get a sigh of relief, a thought like 'Wow, we did good that last lap, OMG, here comes another trip through the infield"!

Your track seems to have a very similar type of set of 'features'! To the right of the driver's station, is a technical section that should challenge most drivers trying to go fast. Once you are past the driver's station, the left side of the track gives you a momentary respite to relax, congratulate yourself and prepare for the next iteration of the technical side. Just that small break in the thought process is very rewarding and I love the way the track is. Hopefully you will continue to post photos of the progress as I am looking forward to seeing your construction techniques.

"Over-engineered" is a phrase you used. I think that is something is caused by the inclusion of the "Y" Chromosome! We are victims of our own genetics!

12-16-2010, 10:46 PM

I like the cleaned up version of #6, without the squiggle left of the drivers panel, however... you also changed the "donut" & esses, making it wider. I'm concerned that with it up against the wall like that, it makes it just too hard to marshal, and forces you to walk all the way around, with access cut off like that. (remember my little story about the track in Canada? LOL)

For that reason, I liked the way it was on the original #6 on that end, but without the squiggle as in the cleaned up version. (maybe you should number drawings like software versions... 6.0, 6.1, etc... ;) also could number or letter or name the turns... for discussion purposes...)

Are you still planning on 8 lanes?

One other thought... if you build it in sections, so it can be taken apart... it is a bit more work, but would make it much easier if you ever decide to modify it or (heaven forbid) move it. If you own your home and have no plans for moving, however, then it may not be worth the extra effort. Many tracks do get wind up getting moved sooner or later, and it's nice to not have to cut them up.

12-17-2010, 10:28 AM

I do not think the track is up against the wall (where have I heard that phrase before?) at any point.

Yes, there is a line that looks like a wall, but I think it is a leftover or perhaps some function of the drawing program he is using.

Aside from that, I think the layout is awesome and I can't see a thing wrong with it, other than it's so dang far away!

Scale Series
12-17-2010, 11:33 AM
It's not a wall, well sort of. My guess is he just "offset" the wall say 3' in his drawing program so he would know the box that the track needed to fit in. Probably just forgot to delete it when finished?

12-17-2010, 12:56 PM
it's just an offset for placement......i forgot to delete it!

12-17-2010, 01:53 PM
Here is Track #7, i wanted something like #6.....but with an actual long straight section. The straight area is 27 ft long.....i'm not sure of the visibility! I will try and tweek a little more, here it is.....

Scale Series
12-17-2010, 02:37 PM
I think #6 will be easier to race just because of the depth perception thing. You have two straights almost perpendicular to the driver’s stations. If you ever raced on a track like that you would understand? But then again it’s the same for everyone. If you do #7 I would also run it clockwise.

12-17-2010, 03:12 PM
Here is another version of Track 6! I will call it Track #6.1. I added 10 ft radius sections on the straights.....I will add a 6.2 this evening sometime....enjoy!

12-17-2010, 03:15 PM
I like #7 but would change the direction of travel. I would also change the corner on the bridge to be a large sweeping turn that effectively turns it into another straight. Having the donut be the lead on to the straight makes for a better racing line. IMHO. This track would have a really nice rhythm done that way.

12-17-2010, 03:26 PM
GearBear, I like your suggestion.... will design 7.2 with those revisions tonight!

Here is 6.2

12-17-2010, 10:28 PM
I like #6.2... but I like #7 even better! The long straight will really give you a fast yet challenging track with a little of everything, but in a not so big space. :)

I also like Gary's suggestion - making the top bridge turn into a sweeper. I know where his mind's at - that's reminiscent of the "Canadian White" track that was in Puyallup WA and now at Wade's Raceway in Nampa Idaho. Gary & I have both raced for years on that track, and the sweeper over the bridge is a key feature of that track.

I'm confused about the direction of travel comment, though. Gary said to reverse it from Drawing #7, but that the sweeper would then make the donut act as a lead-on to the straight. Seems to me that is the case now - with the direction left to right on the driver's panel (the way the arrow shows on #7 now). Was the arrow changed, or Gary, am I understanding you wrong???

Anyway - it would work great both ways, but I personally like the direction as shown: left to right on driver's panel, and with the sweeper added as per Gary's suggestion.

#7 also cures the problem of having a turn right before the driver panel (#6).

I don't see any real visibility problems (but the chalk outline trick is still a great way to check).

I now see by the driver's panel it looks like 6 lanes? Good compromise! :)

There are no "standards" on lane colors... but there should be. I would recommend the most common and most practical lane colors for 6 lanes to be - starting from outside: Red - White - Green - Orange - Blue - Yellow. (leaving off Purple & Black from "standard" 8 lane tracks). This not only works well with available commercial lane sticker or Dennison dot sheets, but also with most popular lap counter programs. Any former or current commercial track racers will also be familiar with the color order.

I'm looking forward to seeing 7.2! (that might even wind up as the final design?).

I'm really enjoying the results of good collaboration on the design in this thread! This is a great example of how racers from various corners of the country (and world! I'm in the Philippines now!) can share their ideas via an online forum like OWH. :)


12-17-2010, 10:29 PM
Here is 7.1

This going to be a PITA to choose which track to build! Please provide some input, it will help me decide.

12-17-2010, 10:41 PM
Now I'm more confused...

I had envisioned Gary's suggestion to mean the TOP turn on the bridge (purple lines) as the one to make a wide radius sweeper, I guess... rather then the "dog-leg" under the bridge. Still confused about the direction of travel. The way Gary described it sounded like the other way to me (left to right on driver panel). Maybe I'm calling the opposite side the "donut"??? (I'm calling the left side the donut).

I also liked the "button-hook" shape to the donut on #7 better then the figure 8 shape on 7.1. (you're numbers are off? you said 7.2??)

I guess I like #7.1... but I still like 7.0 better. I'd still like to see 7 with the TOP (purple) turn made into a wider radius sweeper.

I'm also not a fan of banked turns. Too hard to make, and I think they just make a home/club track too fast. I love the challenge of flat tracks.

Am I driving you crazy yet? LOL

What program are you using for your drawings???

12-17-2010, 11:04 PM
I am fine with all the suggestions and ideas! I actually got a little carried away with 7.1, kind of zoned out and lost focus of what was suggested. I'm not sure why you are thinking there is going to be banked turns, but i promise there will be no banked turns on this track.....it's going to be flat. I will draw 7.2 with a radius sweeper as the bridge for everybody to view.

I am using AutoCAD LT.........

12-17-2010, 11:20 PM

you envisioned the same thing I did. But I'm calling the donut the right end of the track. I still think going from right to left will give a better rhythm to the track.

12-17-2010, 11:36 PM
Here is 7.2....................this could be it!

12-18-2010, 05:06 AM

One of my most favorite tracks that I have ever put laps on is the MRCA Regal or "Black" track. It is a flat 90 foot per lap track that your track is now very close to. I like very much what I am now seeing. You have that nice straight to do the 'motor test' of acceleration, then you have an over 90 degree turn leading into a very interesting 'feature' that decreasing radius opposite direction sweeper that leads into a downhill donut with a reverse kicker at the bottom. I like downhill donuts as I think there is a more fine line between being in control and being out of control. I then see 2 'blip and brake' sections separated by an almost 90 degree turn of sharp radius that lead into the 'esses' followed by a more than 180 degree turn.

Here is a photo of a "UK Black", which was a 100 foot per lap track and the only differerence is an elongated donut (raced down hill).


Just a word of caution - as your track is starting to resemble one of these with regards to 'features' and actually adds a new wrinkle - that changing radius curve, I think you might have a new neighbor - CMF3!

I like it! Good job! This is a track that will challenge you and keep you busy trying to master it.

12-18-2010, 07:07 AM
I really like 7.2 - I think you have a winner!

I was on the phone with my friend Craig when you first posted it, and he really liked it too. After re-reading Gary's post, I'm glad that I did interpret his ideas right after all. The only thing I got wrong was the direction, since I was calling the "donut" the left side.

I personally like the direction going left to right on the driver's panel, but Gary & Craig like it right to left. The cool part is, that I think this track will be great going either direction! You'd be surprised at how it will seem like a completely different track when you reverse direction! With that in mind, I would recommend wiring in a direction switch. You can have races for a while going one way, then switch it and run the other way for a change of pace. You'll never get bored with this track!

Remember that with a 3 wire dynamic braking system, you can not simply reverse the 2 wires at the power supply, to do so would reverse the ground, and some types of controllers will not work, unless they also have a polarity switch. This is why it is better to wire in a polarity switch when you first wire it. You can choose to have 1 master switch, or switches at each panel. I'm a bit paranoid of the individual switches myself, because I'm afraid somebody might accidentally (or even intentionally) flip the switch between heats. :(

I have a link to some very nice wiring diagrams that show optional reverse switches on the panels.
(They also show optional brake switches - but you really only need that for HO - not 1/32 or 1/24.)

Drawing 1 - http://www.oldweirdherald.com/techtips/ho_atw_1_2004a.jpg
Drawing 2 - http://www.oldweirdherald.com/techtips/ho_atw_2_2004a.jpg

Click to view full size, or download to print out.

Here's a link to another very good wiring how-to guide:

Slot Car Corner - Disclaimer and Copyright Notice (http://www.slotcarcorner.com/pages/Track-Wiring-Disclaimer.html)
- - Plastic Slot Car Track Wiring.
- - Read disclaimer & click on "agree" to proceed to download page
- - (free download - donations to charities encouraged)

It was fun to see so much great input and so many cool designs. There were several I like - but I think 7.2 has everything you could want. That one gets my vote! :)

I look forward to your final decision, and following your progress!

Paul K @ OWH

Scale Series
12-18-2010, 07:53 AM
I really like 7.2 - I think you have a winner!
I personally like the direction going left to right on the driver's panel, but Gary & Craig like it right to left. The cool part is, that I think this track will be great going either direction! You'd be surprised at how it will seem like a completely different track when you reverse direction! Paul K @ OWH


I believe right to left will flow better and also result in less "off's" or deslots in the sweeper especially over the bridge. If running right to left one will be accelerating over the bridge or at minimum if they do come off they will slide past the bridge toward an easer to marshal location? If running as you suggested (left to right) the racers will be attempting to reach max sweeper speed at about the bridge and are likely to come off in a difficult to marshal spot.

12-18-2010, 08:54 AM
Good points - and exactly what Craig said as well. Gary also likes it that way. I still think it would be fun to have the option to change directions.

I remember at South Hill Slots with the American Black track, they ran it one way for a year, then reversed it the next year. It was like a whole new track. On the Canadian White track, however... the track was a disaster when we tried the opposite direction - mainly due to all the crashing that went under the bridge. At least having a switch wired in does give the opportunity to reverse it for the fun of it. Just something to consider. :)

12-18-2010, 02:11 PM
Yup, that is exactly what I envisioned! Going left to right will result in cars flying right at the drivers panel. Not something I think would work very well. But the sweeper adds in a nice flow that will confound people new to the track as they won't realize you can simply treat it as a straight away if your car is tuned properly. This track will have a very nice Rhythm to it and I don't think you will ever get tired of running it. There is JUST enough difficulty in it that you will have to work every lap to get the perfect lap. But it should also be easy enough to get decent laps times after a short time on the track.

Scale Series
12-18-2010, 05:09 PM
We ran a couple of races backwards in the Scale Racing Series. Yes it was fun and different, but it was hard on braid. Both on the car and track. As the track braid wears it forms some little "hairs" but when we ran reversed they were got bent the oppisite direction and tore up car braid until they broke off. Seemed to me we left the track braid ruffer than when we first got there. I'm sure in time it would wear in again?

We ran an LTD backwards and to make a King more of a road course we ran that backwards.

12-18-2010, 07:43 PM
i think you have a great design with 7.2. i like our twister, but the shape of 7.2 enables the perfect drivers area. i drove my mouse around your track, ha. good luck on your build. ps, i use garden hose to rough outline designs. yrs. truly, leonard strand, still trying to catch the gearbear!

12-18-2010, 07:55 PM
Leonard, Mice? Garden hoses? What the?...................................Happy holidays!

Sieder71.............7.2 looks like a winner! Good luck with your build.

12-18-2010, 10:32 PM
I concur, 7.2 looks awesome! The track looks drivable in both directions; different rhythms. Ought to give years of challenge and fun. :cool:

Last suggestion. I was concerned about the visibility of the far right driver panel seeing the “upper” turn without any blockage by the HVAC. If this is Red lane (which at the drivers stand is always the closest lane) there should be no problem (that puts the car on the inside of the “upper” turn).

Wow! I want one too! Keep us posted!


12-19-2010, 06:30 PM
I am going to build 7.2, but i have a few more questions. What is a good track height? What is a good height for the bridge? Do you guys recomend magnabraid or regular? I would like to use regular ($$) unless the BRM's or the scaleauto cars need the magnetic type traction. Please let me know..........

By the way, I made new bottom triangle pieces today to get more height for the track.

Scale Series
12-19-2010, 06:59 PM
I am going to build 7.2, but i have a few more questions. What is a good track height? What is a good height for the bridge? Do you guys recomend magnabraid or regular? I would like to use regular ($$) unless the BRM's or the scaleauto cars need the magnetic type traction. Please let me know..........

By the way, I made new bottom triangle pieces today to get more height for the track.

I like the height of Mike Swiss's flat track it's probably 36-39" off the floor. Works well for adults. With that being said if you have a lot of kids that will be racing I would suggest it to be lower so they can reach black or whatever the far lane color will be.

As far as Magna braid, we don't use it at the club I race at. We only race cars without magnets. Even though it seems a contridiction depending on the cost I would use it. It just leaves more options for racing and future resale.

Greg N
12-19-2010, 08:12 PM
I like ver 7.2 a lot! My experience with now several atypical donuts is that they are great and definitely the way to go.


12-19-2010, 11:14 PM
I recommend the Magnatech braid. Even at the higher cost, it lasts much longer then standard braid, plus it basically doubles your options of running with or without magnets. This opens up the whole range of 1/32 scale plastic cars that can be run either way. The magnets are great for kids or beginners, or big kids that love to go real fast. I have raced the BRM cars with and without magnets, and they are fun both ways, but the magnet does add a little bit of extra handling to those cars.

Although my personal preference is to run without magnets, I enjoy racing either way - and the ability to run either just increases your options.

Another option to consider is using the VHB double stick transfer tape instead of contact cement, to secure the braid. Again, it will increase your cost, but it can save a lot of work, and if done right it really sticks good, without the mess. See "Slapshot's" article on "Rebuilding a NW Track Icon Hillclimb" for more info on the VHB tape, etc...


I'll let others chime in regarding track height, since I have none around to measure now. My main concern about bridge height, is to be sure there is enough height to easily reach under to retrieve cars without your arm getting stuck! A bit of extra room makes life much easier for marshals! :)

12-21-2010, 07:28 PM
Anybody have any information on the following........
- Track Height?
- Bridge Height?
- Track Surface color? I would like to run a creame color on the track surface, is there certain colors that work better than other for the surface? I am concerned with contrast of the cars to track surface.

12-21-2010, 10:05 PM
I really like the light gray color of the Canadian White track surface. It is more compatible with all car colors than any other track I have ever run on. It also helps brighten up the room. As for bridge height, as high as you can make it. Same thing on the track height. The higher track height will make marshalling easier so long as it isn't too high.

12-21-2010, 11:11 PM
Most commercial 1/24 tracks are built down low, about knee level. The advantages (I guess) are increased visibility for a large track, and more reachable for smaller kids. The disadvantage is that you need to either bend down or be on your knees to turn marshal.

The "Twister" at PSCR in Edgewood, WA

The "Canadian White" track at South Hill Slots in Puyallup (now at Wade Raceway in Nampa Idaho)
(this was taken during the 2004 Flat track Worlds - the big bearded guy in the middle is "GearBear", and the other bearded Old Weird Dude on the right is me) The Canadian White track also hit about knee level.
You can also see the light gray track surface that Gary (GearBear) was referring to.
I like gray surface also, as just about any color of car shows up well (unless it's gray! LOL)

BTW - another feature not mentioned yet, is the white "Puckboard" used around the sides of the Canadian White track. This is the stuff apparently used around hockey rinks, and works great for track siding. (above pic)

The Canadian White track also used the VHB transfer tape for securing the braid. We practically never had braid problems.

Most HO & 1/32 club tracks, as well as many 1/24 home/club tracks, are built at a standard "table height" of 30" (or close to it). As Gary said, it is easier to turn marshal standing up (or sometimes even sitting on bar type stools). The disadvantage would be for youngsters. Kids often need to stand on a milk crate to see, and it can be harder for them to reach to marshal cars. If you will be having a lot of kids racing on the track... something to consider. If mostly adults, then 30" might be good.

Bridge height - need plenty of room so you don't risk life and limb to retrieve wrecks under the bridge.

I wish more home track owners could chime in here with some actual dimensions they use for table & bridge height. :)

You can look through the OWH Photo Gallery (http://www.oldweirdherald.com/gallery/main.php) in the "Raceway (http://www.oldweirdherald.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=14635)" albums for pictures of both commercial (http://www.oldweirdherald.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=36613) & club (http://www.oldweirdherald.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=15815) tracks for examples.

"Tom's World" club track in Bend OR seems like a good height, hitting just below the crotch at about 26" ?

Rapid Raceway - a Silky 4 lane club track in Portland OR looks to be about belt high or 30" on the drivers straight:

but the main straight is higher, so the lead-on marshal needs to stand on a step (which I managed to fall off of more then once)

Checkered Flag Raceway in Aurora OR (just south of Portland) looks to be just below belt level:
Notice the bridge height... fortunately not too many wrecks under the bridge, as it is a little tight.

Sorry about the links to photos, I'm still trying to figure out how to fix the new gallery so I can insert images directly from it like I used to.

01-14-2011, 07:03 AM
I know this is an old thread but was wondering if you ever finished the track or have pictures of your progress?

01-14-2011, 07:17 AM
Paul, you mentioned VHB. Do you know which one? Saying VHB is like saying CA, there are MANY types. I've used the stuff in the past for making huge plexiglas displays in stores (20' high division walls) and was really pleased withthe performance. In fact I have a little left from the last project, I have to look up the specs of it but it is white...

01-14-2011, 08:42 AM
Phil - Did you click on the link? :)

Another option to consider is using the VHB double stick transfer tape instead of contact cement, to secure the braid. Again, it will increase your cost, but it can save a lot of work, and if done right it really sticks good, without the mess. See "Slapshot's" article on "Rebuilding a NW Track Icon Hillclimb" for more info on the VHB tape, etc...

http://www.slotcartalk.com/slotcarta...ad.php?t=22496 (http://www.slotcartalk.com/slotcartalk/showthread.php?t=22496)That's a HUGE photo journal by Slapshot, of the entire rebuilding of the old WSSH Hillclimb track. The VHB tape is discussed on post #27, with direct links to the vendor, along with step by step through the entire re-braiding process.

Good read and a great reference! :)

I'm very interested in hearing more from Sieder71 on how his track project is coming along!

01-15-2011, 09:45 AM
Track progress is coming slowly. I milled the slots in all of the legs, drilled holes in all the track support pcs, and drilled holes in the upper section for the fasteners. This was all completed right before Christmas. I have been working on re-organizing my basement so i can begin the assembly process. I have to install about 6 more 8ft lights in the ceiling and touch up some paint on the walls and floors. I will post pictures in a few days......my legs and support pcs are at work (www.mcfcorp.com). I still need to deburr the slots and some minor sanding. I came up with a name for the track...........i will post shortly!



01-15-2011, 10:01 AM
I know I'm definitely not the only one watching this thread... I still have my printout of "7.2" next to my computer! Looking forward to seeing your progress! (And drooling over the pics...) Good luck!!

Ricmf3k ;)

02-20-2011, 06:56 AM
After looking around fo a track designfor a month now your design 7.2 looks like the one i can put in my basement. If you do not mind i think iam going to copy it the best i can. Reading all the replies is of great help to me a novice in this sport.The one thing i have noticed is everyone seems to be in favor of a flat track. I would like a banked turnat the 8' dia. turn just before the sweeping 10', Iknow this will be very complicated to build but will this ruin my flow and rhythm of the track. I respect all your opinions as we all have one goal, to have great racing and to grow this sport. My last request is to sieder71 since you have this up in auto cad is there any chance i could get a more detailed blueprint on 7.2 design? Alot i think i can scale out but a big shortcut for me is to have a few more dims. to make layout easier. Thanks everyone for some valuable help. WOOD RULES vtwin

02-20-2011, 06:46 PM
Frankly putting a bank there wouldn't work IMHO. You don't have enough room for the transition from the bank to the next turn.

Remember the only reason to have a bank is to extend your straight.

07-11-2011, 12:44 PM
It’s been a long time since I have posted on this forum. I have made a decision to scrap the idea of 7.2 track design. I like it a lot, however, I can’t come to grips with taking up that much floor space. I also have realized that a 4 lane track will be much more cost efficient. I have come up with several more designs that I would like to get feedback on. Also, I do have all the legs and track joints completed and ready for whatever design I decide to pursue. Let me know what you guys thoughts are! I really like the design and challenges of 7-7.

07-11-2011, 08:30 PM
Derek, how ya been?

The 7.7 layout looks like it’ll work. It still has your high speed and low speed sections. I’m not even sure if you’d need the esses; either way it should be fun. Also looks like it would run well in either direction. Looks like it is marshal-able, though a marshal in the “inner loopy-turn” (probably help if we numbered them… :p ) would be an obstruction to viewing that turn. As far as driver visibility, as long as the inside lane (at the drivers panel) driver is at the left of the panel it should be good.

Now that I see the space you’ve decided on, if I get the chance (and you don’t mind) I might try to come up with another doodle or two. ;)


07-12-2011, 04:46 AM
I vote for 7-6, but shorten the top most short straight and put a little bend in the main straight to allow better excess to the "s" section. (marshal-able)
Also make the side walls straight through the "s" section, it is really hard to bend strong walls that tight, especially the inside radius.

07-13-2011, 01:23 PM
CMF3, Please add any DWG's............i don't mind. It helps get my mind thinking outside the box, I am open to any and all sugestions.

Thanks for your help!

07-13-2011, 07:33 PM
here is 7-8! I like this better than 7-7.....what do you guys think

07-13-2011, 09:55 PM
I think you will be very glad that you decided on just 4 lanes - that is all you really ever need for a decent home/club track. If you have more racers, then you simply run round robins!

I really like #7-8! By keeping it off the walls, you will make it MUCH easier to have turn marshals, or especially to get your own car when practicing. As long as their is enough room to get around the tight spots between the corners and the walls, it will be worth it. You will also need to be sure that in an inside "dead man" turn like turn #5, that there is enough room for a turn marshal to kneel down without wedging his hips (been there done that), and needing the "jaws of life" to extract him (not quite, but almost).

The marshal at turn #4 may also need to either run up or kneel, so he doesn't block the driver's view.

The track would work nice in either direction... but if you race left to right (drivers panel), you might have dog-leg (or "kink") crashers in front of the drivers, that can cause problems. If you run the other way, the dog-leg crashers would go under the bridge - but I think they would wind up making it through where the turn 5 marshal can reach them (or if no marshal in 5, the marshal in turn 4 can run in). Be sure to leave enough bridge height for knuckle room just in case.

You could add back in some slight "squiggle" esses on the back straight between 3 & 4, but I would do as @KC suggested above and keep the walls straight. Just make squiggles more like on an 7-7, or American Windsor, American Orange, or on Chicagoland "Two" flat track... not full esses like on 7-5 or 7-6.

It looks like it would have nice "flow" to drive it - plenty of challenge AND speed, without being too cramped for space.

I like it - but I am also a bit curious to see if CMF3 comes up with any more ideas as well. :)


07-14-2011, 10:21 AM
Derek (and everyone else),

Here’s a doodled track layout for your perusal.


I tried to keep the drivers stand angled for better viewing to the track/lanes at the far left; this meant decreasing the far right turn (here as turn 9) radius from others you had drawn. Turns 3, 6 and 7 have larger radii.

I tried to keep at least 18” off the walls, but it gets a little smaller at the tightest spots along the back walls (turn 9, turn 2, straight 5-6). The walking space between turns 3 & 5 (access to turn 4) is 2.0’, which is kind of tight, but about as big as it can be with this kind of layout.

The turn 8 esses were thrown in just for fun; a longer straight could just as easily run from turn 7 to turn 9. This layout was mostly to see just how much track I could cram in there. If my math is correct (which is not so much a given) it looks like it might be about 96’.

The track should be drivable in either direction. In the direction as numbered (right-to-left at the drivers stand) there is a 2’ gap between turn 8 esses and the bridge, which should keep most de-slots out from under. Whatever, you get to choose which way you want to run it.

Everything seems to be a variation on this theme, with the twisty bits in the left-hand portion, and the high speed / drivers stand on the right.

If I get any other ideas I’ll let y’all know.

Rick / CMF3 :cool:

08-18-2011, 11:28 AM
Please see the attached PDF file of 7-9. I am moving forward with this track, I started the construction a few nights ago. I was able to get turn 1 cut out of ½” MDF. My goal is to get all of the turns complete in the next week. I have the leg’s and track joints completed also. The driver station will probably be hinged so all racers have a clear view of the track. The track width is 24” and I am planning on 4.25” – 4.5” lane spacing with 4 lanes.

Question about roller and pin jigs, what distance between roller centers and pins do you guys recommend?

08-18-2011, 02:02 PM
Looks like you are on your way!

BTW: I would highly recommend doing the joints like shown in section G on this link...


08-18-2011, 03:10 PM
The link does not work

08-18-2011, 05:20 PM
This is Chris's complete compendium on track building. Maybe what Gary wants you to see is in here?


08-18-2011, 07:23 PM
Wow, that link even works from my IPad.... but yes, the second link has the same link as what I posted. It is called "Building the track surface". At the bottom of the page it shows how to do the tongue and groove joint using MDF. I would really suggest doing that. Doing the seams that way will give you the smoothest possible surface. It will also allow you to move the track at a later date. Also, since the MDF is the same as the surface of the track, it will expand and contract at the same rate as the track surface. This is very important! Using dimensional lumber will actually cause buckling over time due to the different characteristics of the wood.

08-18-2011, 08:24 PM
GearBear, I have all the joints completed......I made tongue and groove joints out of mdf. My side supports are mdf as well. Here are two pics of turns 2 & 3, tongue and groove joints, and side supports. The entire track will be MDF except the sides.

08-19-2011, 08:35 PM
turn 4.....one more turn

08-19-2011, 09:13 PM
i want to add a chicane to the track, please see the 3 attached options. What do you guys think? Which one?

08-20-2011, 09:07 PM
I am leaning toward 7-11! Here is two pics of the chicane. I also have turn 5 complete......all turns and chicane are complete. Now onto the straight sections. Good night.....

Greg N
08-20-2011, 09:19 PM
I say 7-11.


08-21-2011, 07:10 AM
Good morning,

I'm with 7-11 too. A variation on this would be to take the upper straight short section and put it between turn 1 and the chicane, which may be better reversed at this location. It adds a quick blip between the chicane and turn 1.


08-21-2011, 11:59 AM
Does any body know what distance between roller centers and pin is recomended on the slot jig? Please let me know.......

08-21-2011, 03:47 PM
Does any body know what distance between roller centers and pin is recomended on the slot jig? Please let me know.......

I set mine at 6" - your question made me curious though. I found this - if you enjoy details. The relevant chart is bottom center on index page 4:

08-21-2011, 06:15 PM
7-11 will give you the best flow and rhythm. I would definitely go with that!

08-23-2011, 06:25 PM
I have attached a picture of the track sections laid out on my driveway. I am a little confused as how my bridge area will not line up with eachother........all pieces where cut to exact size and angles. I even left the last piece out untill the end to determine final length. Does anybody have any ideas of how this could happen? let me know..........


08-23-2011, 08:24 PM
leg pics......

08-23-2011, 08:52 PM
Not sure how it got that way, but FWIW, you could slightly shorten/lengthen the main straight until the edges of the pieces on either side of the gap (where the bridge should be) are exactly aligned and then cut a new piece to length for what will be the bridge. It doesn't seem like a big problem to overcome. If you have to lengthen the main straight, you might consider taking out the shortest piece of the straight, cutting the bridge from it, and replacing it with a new piece cut to accommodate the lengthened main straight.

Looks good!


Chris Dadds
08-24-2011, 04:55 AM
How could it happen? Brain fade of course! If you're making this into a guessing game for us, I'll guess that you forgot to add the one section back into your cut list when you made the chicane change.

Your most important questions at this point are: How big is this track? Will it fit where I want it to be?


08-24-2011, 05:28 AM
I purposely left the bridge section out for final fitment once assembled, the problem is that the edges of the track are off by 1-2” going over the bridge to the other mating section. All angles and cuts are within .030”. I will have to lay this out on concrete in the basement before I start thinking of a fix……..I probably can just force the 2 section to line up but I do not want to introduce any positive or negative camber anywhere. A simple solution is to make a slight adjustment with the angle coming off turn 1 right before the chicane area. I will keep you guys posted with progress. Has anybody run into this situation before? thanks for the input......

08-24-2011, 06:11 AM
Remember that elevation will also change the final geometry.
You should really wait cutting the length of the last section until you have the track on its legs.
Also you might need to adjust the exact length of the long straight to make the two ends of the bridge sectionin line with each other.

Chris Dadds
08-25-2011, 04:39 AM
Carsten is right. Wait till you've got the rest of the track standing and walled before you worry about that last piece. I'd say that you did a pretty good job of cutting your pieces if you got it to line that well on your first attempt. I'd also be willing to bet that if you layed it all out again starting from a different point in the layout, your error would appear to be different due to the unrestrained joints. Something else that could have caused this error is that your MDF board has probably been laying in a stack and this is summertime here in north america. The edges of the board have been exposed to a higher than normal absolute humidity and have swollen a bit. When you cut out the arcs for the turns, or cut the straits from one edge of the sheet, you exposed a fresh part of the sheet to the air and it's picked up a bit of moisture and swollen a bit more on the fresh edge. I've seen 10' sheets gain 1/8" in length over the weekend once they came out of the middle of the stack of board.

Although it doesn't seem like it when you drop a piece on your foot, MDF is pretty soft, compressible and flexible. Over the length of this track, I don't think you'll have any problems pulling the straits into alignment when you're done. And if that last piece you cut is the right length you won't introduce any banking into the turns when you do.

Looks good!


08-25-2011, 07:13 AM
Chris and Carsten....thank for the input.

09-04-2011, 07:09 PM
more progress.....

Kyle H
09-04-2011, 09:11 PM
Lookin Good!!!

09-06-2011, 03:03 PM
Very nice work!

09-06-2011, 09:02 PM
I made some good progress tonight! I will post pics in the AM..............i am pleased with the results so far. I'm not sure when to start raising the track to the bridge area, in turn 1 or after in the chicane area. Please provide input after you view the pics

09-07-2011, 06:51 AM
Here are the pics.....enjoy

09-07-2011, 06:52 AM
3 more pics!

09-07-2011, 09:47 PM
Chicane installed.....here are some more pics

Kyle H
09-07-2011, 09:53 PM
Its looking pretty sweet!

09-08-2011, 07:54 PM
working on the bridge area.............

09-08-2011, 08:03 PM
Looking great!!!

Be sure to leave enough clearance under the bridge so you don't scrape your knuckles when you reach for a car in a hurry!
(I hate it when I do that!)

Thanks for taking the time to share your pictures & progress with us here on OWH! Those who are also planning to build a track can learn a lot from this thread... and those of us who WISH we were building a track can enjoy it vicariously through your posts! :)

Paul K @ OWH

09-08-2011, 08:34 PM
I am shooting for 4.5"-5" clearance to the bottom of the tongue and groove joints......should be plenty of room. Thanks for all of the support.........

09-11-2011, 06:04 PM
Here it is completely assembled!

Kyle H
09-11-2011, 09:54 PM
Tight fit, but looks pretty cool!

09-12-2011, 06:09 AM
Tight fit, but looks pretty cool!

Kyle, yes it is a tighter fit; however, the pictures are deceiving. In the tightest areas of the track (chicane entrance, turn 2, 3, and 4 (running left to right)) there is 2-2.5’ of clearance. Plenty of room for myself to navigate and I am 6’-8” and 290 lbs. I have not been able to provide a picture that truly represents the size and depth of the track.

09-12-2011, 10:10 PM
Initially I thought the "chicane" should have been on the other straight. You had enough input w/out mine however, so I made no comment.. Now that I see the photos, track as built and the actual restraints of the building you are faced with, I think you have done as good a job as any and you don't need to spend the next 6 months polishing the skin so to speak.. Looks great as is and in the long run, the details you have sweated are only known to you and to be honest don't make a hillO beans. YOU HAVE YOUR OWN TRACK TO RUN ON!!!!!!!!


09-25-2011, 07:17 PM
Started routing the slots today.......the depth of slot is .360". My jig allows me to go from 5.25" gutter on the straights to 6.5" gutter in the turns. I had to break out the bondo on two turns, one turn the jig got away from me because i was routing in the same direction of the rotating bit and the second turn i forgot to move the rollers to the other hole location on my jig designed to compensate for the tighter turn. Both roller hole location are designed for 6.5" gutter, just depends on what turn you are cutting.....i just forgot to relocate the rollers. BONDO stinks really bad.....the entire house smells like crap!

Kyle H
09-25-2011, 08:54 PM
Looking good! Looks like you have a LOT of gutter... Planning to have a fast track? :) Cars will be drifting around those corners.

Chris Dadds
09-26-2011, 05:53 AM
Looking good! Looks like you have a LOT of gutter... Planning to have a fast track? :) Cars will be drifting around those corners.

Yeah Seider, I like the line you chose for getting through the chicane. Also, if you have any problem with, or want to avoid any later problem with the bondo chipping off the edge of the slot, you can seal the edge of the MDF with super glue before packing in the bondo. It gives the bondo the smooth, hard surface it's designed to bond to.

09-26-2011, 05:56 PM
Need input before I continue with routing. I am a little nervous about the slot depth that I choose. .360” deep seems like a lot to me, it only leaves .140” of wood for strength. What is a typical slot depth of commercial tracks? Please provide input…..

Chris Dadds
09-27-2011, 07:05 AM
Need input before I continue with routing. I am a little nervous about the slot depth that I choose. .360” deep seems like a lot to me, it only leaves .140” of wood for strength. What is a typical slot depth of commercial tracks? Please provide input…..

Even when I have the slots cut on the CNC machine and have to move the sheets around before I get the ribs and joints glued on I cut to at least that depth. It works out fine! Just use common sense and don't let the bigger girls wear their stiletto heels when they dance on it. :)

09-28-2011, 10:27 PM
Even when I have the slots cut on the CNC machine and have to move the sheets around before I get the ribs and joints glued on I cut to at least that depth. It works out fine! Just use common sense and don't let the bigger girls wear their stiletto heels when they dance on it. :)
Chris, good to see you on the boards lately. Any new track builds in the works ?

Chris Dadds
09-29-2011, 09:04 PM
Chris, good to see you on the boards lately. Any new track builds in the works ?

Hi Alan, My schedule's taken up with home repairs and remodels right now, but I could easily work another track into the schedule if anyone needed a new one. I'm going to build a four lane for *my* basement sometime in the next few months, once I decide what I want to build. :D

Whether it's a track or a home remodel, deciding what the client wants is usually the hardest part! I can relate to what Sieders been going through with his design here, and I've designed a lot of tracks! The building part is easy after you've done it enough.

I'm going to come up with a track design for my basement that will be a continual challenge for a scale car but could still have the hypnotic rhythm of a winged wedge on a hillclimb. All in a nine by twenty foot space!

03-21-2012, 08:08 PM
Guys, it has been a long time since I posted…..I believe the last time was early fall of 2011. I got lazy with the project during the fall season into early winter. Christmas came along and the wife wanted toy boxes for the kids. So I spent 1.5-2 months working on the toy boxes. Finally about a month ago I began immediately working on the track again. It has been a ton of work (late evenings), especially working on it by myself for the entire project. I must admit it has been rewarding seeing a design come to life. Enjoy the pics and I will continue to post until I am done.

03-21-2012, 08:11 PM
here are more pics of the track

03-21-2012, 08:13 PM
here is 1 more track pic + toy box pics

03-21-2012, 08:15 PM
Boxes took 1.5-2 months due to making 2 identical boxes....his and hers

03-21-2012, 08:34 PM

Glad to see that you are "back on track" with the track building! I figured life's other priorities might have side-tracked you for a bit.

The toy boxes look great - and the track is looking fantastic! All the major work is done, now just the details.

After the track's done - you'll have to build a new "toy box" for dad!

Thanks for sharing all the great pictures and progress report! I'm sure there are many readers (myself included) following along and wishing we could be building our own home track like you!

Paul K @ OWH

04-16-2012, 07:58 PM
Please see the pics of progress since the last post. All walls are trimmed and sanded. I filled all holes in track surface used during construction with BONDO. It will need a final sanding on track surface before routing the gains. I have some questions about the gains:

Do I have to compensate for paint thickness when figuring the gain depth?

I am thinking track surface to braid @ .015” + braid thickness around .029” + 3M double sided @ .005; does .049” - .050” sound correct for gain depth?

04-17-2012, 07:40 PM
:cool:Hey glad to see you are still alive and making progress. After you get done with your track "WE" think you should make slot car boxes. :whistling: I'd suggest they be a bit smaller than the toy boxes though. (Maybe not for some people though.):lol:

04-20-2012, 06:24 AM
Anybody have information on the Gain Depth?

Chris Dadds
04-21-2012, 09:02 AM
Precision takes time, how right do you want it?

The wire companies were thinking of ground straps when they made the braid so their production tolerance on braid thickness is relatively broad when viewed from a racers perspective. I'll suggest getting your braid first and then practice your whole finishing technique on a scrap piece. The way I build and paint tracks is to cut the recess (don't know where the term "gain" came from, it's technically called a rabbet. but I'm and old school woodworker. As you seem to be. And I digress...) then sand it lightly with a sanding sponge then spray paint the surface and the recess with an oil primer, then spray the finish. Since there's as many coats of paint on the recess as the surface, and the oil primer doesn't raise the grain of the MDF enough to matter, I just add the braid thickness to the desired braid recess below the surface and cut the rabbet to that depth. The thickness of the stripe paint and the glue under the rolled braid are about the same so it works out. At least with the measuring tools I have. (most of which came from Starret or Mitutoyo)

If you're planning on using the VHB tape, or multiple coats of contact adhesive, your mileage WILL vary... So I suggest trying it on a scrap first.

05-16-2012, 08:38 PM
Getting closer to paint! The actual depth of recess is .041" +/- .0025".....so when braid and VHB is added it should come out to .015” +/- .0025” below track surface.

05-17-2012, 09:39 PM
Driver station finished!:p

05-17-2012, 10:17 PM
Anybody know what size paint roller/ nap I should use?

05-24-2012, 07:57 PM
I measured the lane lengths this evening and all lanes are equal @ 100 ft.

Can anybody answer my previous question about roller nap! Let me know…..

09-12-2012, 07:58 PM
Back at it! Here are some pics of the track with primer.

09-12-2012, 08:08 PM
The primer was applied last weekend. I just finished the 2nd coat of black on the inside walls. The track surface is a Sherwin Williams Waterbased Tile CLAD, Graphite 4017 color. 2 coats of epoxy. The outside and top edge will be a yellow enamel. I will need to re-apply the primer to the top edge before applying the yellow.....i wanted to make sure i have 100% black coverage. Enjoy! It's been alot of fun.....ton of work!!!!

09-13-2012, 04:43 AM
Beautiful work! You should be proud of it. I like the layout. How hard is going to be to spot (marshal) that inside hairpin? I love the way you lowered the walls where they don't need to be normal height. Can't wait to see it with lane colors and braid. Great job. MJ

09-13-2012, 08:55 PM
Two lane colors complete! Primer on top edge. Lane colors are Red, Green, Yellow, Blue. The green is not showing up correctly on my camera. I will finish the Yellow and Blue tommorow. Waiting on a special roller for the outside walls and top edge. Enjoy!

09-15-2012, 09:32 PM
Last two lane colors completed + 1 coat of the Yellow enamel! I think i am going to have to coat the outside walls another 2-3 coats, total of 3-4 to get the depth i am looking for.

09-16-2012, 01:13 AM
Wow! Looking very nice! I'll bet you can hardly wait to run some cars on it!

09-16-2012, 07:50 PM
2nd coat on the walls and top edge! I am going to paint 1-2 more coat with Purdy Parrot roller. It is a woven mohair 1/4" nap roller that should provide a mirror like finish. We will see........

09-19-2012, 07:51 PM
3rd coat on walls

09-19-2012, 08:37 PM
It has been a pleasure to follow all your progress throughout the design, planning, & construction of your track!

Thanks again for taking the time to share your efforts through your posts and pics! It is inspiring and informative!

I'll bet many of us will be excited for when you take the first laps... but not as excited as YOU will be!


09-20-2012, 04:26 AM
I also like the "feet" on the bottom of the legs. I'm afraid I'm gonna' have to copy those if I ever build another track. :) Very nice job all around!

09-20-2012, 08:01 AM
Great job. After seeing the toy boxes you made I wasn't doubtfull of your woodworking skills!!

09-20-2012, 09:40 AM
Guys, thanks for all of the feedback. It has been a challenging project but very rewarding seeing it come together. I am defiantly proud of the workmanship and quality of the product. I am going to have to research best wiring practices. Any good sources/ articles?

09-20-2012, 10:37 AM
Here's links to a couple very nice wiring diagrams: (click on for full size, right click to save)



The 2nd page shows panel variations with & without reverse switches and brake switches. These are sometimes used for HO tracks, but brake switches are not needed for 1/32 or 1/24 tracks. Reverse switch is optional, but not needed (also potentially a bit hazardous on a track that kids will be using).

Here is a link to download a very detailed set of wiring instructions by Steve Sawtelle of Slot Car Corner, who also sells wiring kits:

NOTE: The track wiring guide book appears to be missing right now... I don't know why, but you can probably email Steve Sawtelle to get it... it used to have a bunch of copyright pages to go through before you could download it... so maybe he is changing that or planning to charge for it now. (if not, I have a copy)

Here's another web site with wiring instructions:
(warning - hit stop on the music player if it bugs you like it did me :rolleyes: )

There are several more good resources on my Online Track Building Resources List:

Track Building Online Resources (http://www.slotcartalk.com/slotcartalk/showthread.php?27236-Track-Building-Online-Resources)
(I can see now that I really need to update my resource list - many links are moved or gone :( )

09-20-2012, 08:51 PM
2nd coat on bridge section + assembled

09-25-2012, 01:40 PM
I need your help on power supplies and driver stations.

Power Supply:
I am probably going to use a Mastech/ Volteq Power supply, either a 15V 30 amp or 15V 20 amp. I will be purchasing 2 supplies (1 supply per 2 lanes) so I can enjoy a higher voltage and my kids can enjoy a lower voltage while running at the same time.
• Has anybody used either one of these supplies before?
• Do you think it will work?
• Which supply do you recommend? 30 AMP or 20AMP?
• Links to both
o 15V 30 AMP: http://www.mastechpowersupply.com/dc-power-supply/switching-power-supply/volteq-power-supply-hy1530ex-15v-30a-over-voltage-over-current-protection/prod_105.html
o 15V 20AMP: http://www.mastechpowersupply.com/dc-power-supply/switching-power-supply/volteq-power-supply-hy1520ex-15v-20a-over-voltage-over-current-protection/prod_77.html

Driver Stations/ Wiring hardware:
My 1st thought was to contact SlotcarCorner and get all my supplies there for my wiring needs. I will use them for the 3m tape, braid roller, etc. However, while researching the timing system on Trackmates website I came across their driver stations and mini relay. Since I will be using Trackmate for timing I may consider buying their driver station and mini relay. It looks like they have come up with a user friendly system to wire tracks. I have some concerns, please see the questions below!
• Has anybody used or driven on a track with Trackmate driver stations and mini relay?
• I talked to Trackmate on the phone and they can add a higher circuit protection, I think 8 amp circuit protection instead of 2.5?
• The only other issue I see with the Trackmate driver station is that it can only accept up to a 16 gauge wire? Will this be enough to get current to a 1/24 scale track?
• Do you guys think the Trackmate driver station and mini relay will work for 1/24 scale racing? I am only going to run BRM’s, scale auto car, 16D, Falcon, etc…….i don’t think I will be running any high amp draw cars on this track.
• Links
o Driver station: http://www.trackmateracing.com/shop/product.php?id_product=37
o Mini Relay: http://www.trackmateracing.com/shop/product.php?id_product=36

Let me know……your input is greatly appreciated!


Sam pan
09-25-2012, 08:59 PM
Great job on the track.Thanks for taking the time to post for all to see.One thing I have not seen on any track building threads is how much did it cost and total hours invested.
If you don't want the wife to know,PM me. $ + time invested 000.00 Time spent racing slot cars with friends PRICELESS

09-25-2012, 09:44 PM
I'm no expert but i don't see why a 16 gauge wire wouldn't work. although i would try to get down to a 12 or 10 gauge just to be safe. i have heard about wire adaptors for car audio products but never found any, with car amplifers they usually want you to run a 10 gauge wire depending on the draw of the amp but the amp + or - connection usually only accepts a smaller gauge wire i'm not sure what gauge if i had to guess i would say around 18 or 20 and i've seen people shove a 0 gauge wire the thickness of a nickel into that hole. usually what i do to overcome this it remove the insulation and cut a couple of the exposed wires till it fits.

I have also seen the pre fabricated driver panels and relays i think on slot car corner but i haven't used them but i might go that route during my rebuild just to refresh/update my driver panels.

you could probaby get away with the 16 gauge wire depending on how many lane taps you have. more lane taps means the less that power has to stretch means the less your power supply has to work.

i think you did a great job building the track i wish i had seen this post earlier i would have tried to give you the great idea of making interchangeable track pieces granted it would have been more time, love, money, and brain power would have had to have been invested but it would have always kept thing's interesting. i've even considered this idea with my basic oval and perhaps in the future i'll still do it.

Your track looks great and i think you did a great job i hope you and your kids enjoy it very much.

10-10-2012, 09:02 PM
Sam pan, I am going to be honest with you about the costs. I tried to keep track of costs and I pretty much gave up, but if I had to take a guess….see below:
MDF, Plywood, etc = $1,000 - $1200
Hardware = FREE
Paint and Stripping Tool = $500 - $600
¼” Braid = 1500 ft @ $195
Slot Corner Stuff (braid roller, 3M tape, TrackMate, Driver Stations, Wiring kits, etc) = $730
Mastech Power Supply 0-15V 30A (2x, 1 per 2 lanes) = $420
My Time = have no clue, if I had to guess 175 hrs + (say $35/ hr) = $6125
Total = somewhere around $9720

I started laying the 3M tape……time consuming! I have about 5 hrs in less than 50 ft of track, not fun. See pics below:

10-11-2012, 07:21 AM
Great Looking Track! You did a heck of a job!...................As far as the cost of building one of these things I think your right ther! Two years ago we built the "Green Hornet" which is a bit bigger(eight lanes & 120 foot) but had donations of a bunch of wire and the 3m tape but our cost of the project came in right at $4000. It took us working part time at it 9 months to complete. Tons of labor and lots of learning curves to manuver.Great feelins when you pull the trigger the first time!!!!! Let the smile & Giggles begin!!!!Hav Fun! Hillbilly

10-11-2012, 12:12 PM
That track looks awsome! What a beautiful job! Your first laps will be something you won't ever forget :)

BTW: That has to be the nicest lane roller I have ever seen.

10-13-2012, 10:02 PM
Thanks for the feedback! I just spent 3 more hrs applying tape, my back is numb......this phase of the project sucks! The good thing is I have about 20-30 ft left, prob. 2-3 hrs.

10-17-2012, 08:13 PM
I have about 12 ft of taping left. I have a question about cleaning the braid. How long do I have to let it dry before applying to the track? I will be using naphtha. If anybody has experience with this please let me know.


10-21-2012, 08:34 PM
some more pics:
- orginizer with keyboard shelf, 24 car capacity, 2 misc shelves, desktop space
- braid pics

10-22-2012, 11:33 AM
I can see car storage, comp access, power supply access, controller storage too??
Ready for the owner to practice, tweak voltages, swap cars w/out moving a foot (literally).

10-22-2012, 01:29 PM
I have about 12 ft of taping left. I have a question about cleaning the braid. How long do I have to let it dry before applying to the track? I will be using naphtha. If anybody has experience with this please let me know.


Hopefully it's dry by now!!! :lol:

I guess nobody saw your last post with that question... but I'm assuming you figured it out and got it done (looks done in the pics!).

VERY nice track!!! Excellent workmanship and attention to detail. Every bit of extra effort you have poured into the track is going to pay off for many years to come!

Now comes the fun part... wiring it up and making it go! Hopefully the track wiring supplies you got from Slot Car Corner should make that job fairly painless... except for the crawling under the track part... that can always be hard on the back! One thing that helps is to use one of those "Jeepers Creepers" (that's the brand my dad had) type mechanics creeper carts to make it much easier moving around under the track.

I'm sure that many people will benefit from all the great photos and details you have shared here, when planning & building their tracks.... while many more of us will have to settle for drooling over the pics of your tracks and dreaming... "some day!" :)

Paul K @ OWH

10-22-2012, 01:46 PM
I decided to not use the Naphtha and switched to Isopropyl Alcohol. Good for cleaning oils and evaporates quickly (we use this at the shop all the time)…..has been working very well. I have two turns laid with braid and the dead strip section (12-15 ft length). I must say the braiding goes much quicker than the taping. Also, I have the dead strip wired up and soldered. It was a real bare doing this underneath the track. I was thinking of disassembling the track and flipping over to work on it. However, I decided to attempt while the track was assembled. I have many more hours of braiding left……should have this done in the next 2-3 weeks.

Big thanks to Slot Car Corner for the braid roller, 3M tape, and all wiring and timing accessories. Please see attached pics of controller panels that Slot Car Corner has constructed for me. They look awesome!!!!! Can’t wait to receive these…..

10-22-2012, 02:07 PM
Very Nice!!!

Looks like the Slot Car Corner panels and wiring kit will make wiring the track a LOT simpler then doing it from scratch! And it will look great too!

If you still have work to do under the track... I really recommend getting one of those mechanics creeper carts. Your back will thank you!

You can probably find them at your local auto parts store... unless you already have one or can borrow one from a friend.

Here's one I just found online... :)


(photo lifted from http://www.samstagsales.com/hazet.htm)

Paul K @ OWH

11-05-2012, 06:02 PM
Finished laying the braid, connecting the drops, installing the driver stations, and begun the wiring process. I'm trying to take my time and do it right the 1st time! Enjoy the pics

11-05-2012, 08:40 PM
Finished the power station wiring tonight! I am happy with the results.........

11-06-2012, 02:42 PM
What is the toggle switch for on the drivers panel?

BTW: Very clean wiring job!

11-06-2012, 05:11 PM
We got the same panels at RED DEVIL RACEWAY ... Just a polarity ! switch :) Same power supply too ! & Your right ? thats some right purty wiring !!

11-06-2012, 06:53 PM
GearBear: it is a directional switch (check out Slot Car Corner)

Flyracing: how does the power supply run at Red Devil Raceway?

11-09-2012, 10:17 PM
Here is a short video of the RED lane and a BRM. RED and GREEN are wired need to finish the other 2.....should be about 5-6 hrs of work.

11-11-2012, 10:12 PM
Finished all lanes.....need to break each lane in. I have attached a video of a JK Indy car.....


11-11-2012, 10:16 PM
Walkthrough of track


11-12-2012, 12:16 AM
I was unable to view any of those there, not just yours though. Maybe I have Quicktime problem.

11-12-2012, 04:34 AM
Try these:

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8YoHroQ0MPY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sxUe38L_UQA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


11-13-2012, 10:05 PM
Finally spray glued the turns tonight, short video on the green lane


11-16-2012, 12:35 PM
Yeah Thanks Paul!!

RU having fun Sieder71??

11-16-2012, 02:25 PM
Awesome video! I still think you should run it going the other way. That will give you a smoother flow going onto the main straight.

11-16-2012, 08:56 PM
MentalKase: I am enjoying running the cars on each lane, just got the timing hooked up last night and tonight i ran some laps on each lane.....pretty even times and consistant!

GearBear: I really like driving the track in the other direction, i can go either way with a flip of a switch.

See screen shot of Trackmate and 70+ laps on each lane.

11-24-2012, 11:56 AM
Been in Phoenix for a week away from the keyboard. Glad you to hear you are reaping the benefits of your sweat and perseverance.
How did the wiring system go? Were there any hiccups or did all go pretty well/acceptable to you?

12-21-2012, 08:10 PM
Hot off the Mill.......my homemade tech-block. It is made out of 6061 cast tool & jig plate. The dimensions are 7.25” x 5” x ½”. What do you guys think?

12-21-2012, 08:11 PM
2 more pics:

12-22-2012, 01:05 PM
Nice radius work.
I'll be sending you my pistons and heads.....

06-15-2013, 08:36 PM
Officially named the track “Rubber Roaster Raceway”! See some updated images below…….Thanks for looking. Also, for a sense of size of the track, the monitor in front of the driver station is 39"