.

.

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 70

Thread: Scratchbuilding - Why?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Umatilla, Fl
    Posts
    1,199

    Scratchbuilding - Why?

    One of the first questions I always get is, “Why do you scratchbuild all of the slot cars that you play with? No, that is not just my wife, friends, neighbors and family. That is from just about anyone I run into, either at a slot car track or other places.

    To me the joy of slot car racing is taking that chassis that you spent time in designing, building and finally racing. Perhaps it is similar to what folks like Mickey Thompson, Andy Granatelli, Frank Kurtis, A.J. Watson and a whole host of others. Each year they came to The Indianapolis Motor Speedway with their very own ‘creation’ and started to run laps, hoping they had the car to sit on the pole and eventually win the Indy 500.

    Many times, once I get to the track and take a few laps, whatever happens after that, is not really important. When my car meets or exceeds the expectations I had for it, all is good in the world of slot car racing.

    Usually the second question I am asked is “Who makes the best slot car kit?” My normal answer is K&S Engineering out of Chicago, Illinois. They make all the supplies you will ever need to create your own chassis. They music wire, brass tubing, rod, sheet, strips and angles. The tubing comes in round, square, rectangular and streamlined. You can buy enough material to build a chassis for under $10. The rest comes from you, that is the effort required to take that pile of ‘scratch’ and build a chassis from it, then go and race it.

    What really is “Made from Scratch?” If you open a window with your browser, go to Google and enter “Made from Scratch” you will find that there are a whole host of things made from this stuff called scratch. I know my wife makes a lot of our meals from scratch. She also makes some of the best brownies you have ever tasted from the same material, scratch. There is a site that is called “made-from-scratch.com” that makes events from scratch. This must be pretty flexible and useful stuff. You can do a whole lot of things with this material known as scratch!

    Is it hard to scratchbuild? Nope, not really.

    Is scratchbuilding dangerous? Well I do have calluses on my hands, some burn marks, a few blood blisters, abrasions and contusions, but nothing that won’t go away.

    Can anyone be a scratchbuilder? In my opinion, yes. However there are some people that I have met in my life that I might suggest they find a much simpler and less complex hobby to enter into. One without sharp objects, hot things and stuff that can cut metal. I would not suggest this to anyone. If you are handy enough to change a light bulb without reading the directions, then you might just have what it takes to be a scratchbuilder!

    So, what’s the best way to get started? That’s up to you. Prior to letting pilot trainees fly the F-15, the USAF makes sure they can handle a trainer correctly, including landings!
    What do I need to get started? The desire to build your own cars and have fun doing that and then the ultimate – running them around a slot car track.

    What is the easiest scale to build in? I would have to say 12:1 or 12 inches to the foot. I find there is a lot of room there, but the materials are a bit more expensive. I would suggest starting out with something quite easy, like a Falcon Wing Car. If someone wants to build one of those, I would be more then happy to build one. The project is simple and it’s a whole lot of fun. You learn all the concepts of building and then the car is simple; very few moving parts and they’re a blast to drive. While they are usually no faster then a Falcon 7 powered slot car going down the straights, once they enter the turns, they really get to strut their stuff. At our local King track, a really good GT-1 car with Falcon 7 power will make laps in the 4.6 – 4.8 area. A really good Group-F car (Falcon 7 powered Wing Car) will turn the same lap in the 3.9 – 4.2 second time. If you watch the cars they will run side by side from the lead on to the Deadman on the track, but once the Group-F car enters the Deadman, it just pulls away from the GT-1 car.

    I have used Popsicle sticks (empty of course) to hold the front and rear axle at a set distance from each other. All you need is one of the twin Popsicle treats and you have all you need to build your first jig. The reason I say first, is that jigs are kind of like soldering irons. You never have too many of them.

    Graph paper and blue tape makes a super way of laying out your chassis. Once you layout the chassis, then it’s just a process of laying the parts on the lines, taping them in place and soldering them together.

    Soldering irons are something that I would strongly suggest getting a ‘decent’ one to begin with. No, you don’t have to incur the national debt to purchase a good, solid soldering iron. I use an Inland 100 Watt soldering iron. You can find them online for under $30. They have excellent tips and if you buy one, I strongly urge you to consider buying or building (yep, from scratch) a unit to control the heat of the iron with. I have an extension cord that has a duplex outlet on it. I cut the buss bar on the side and have wired it as two separate outlets. One of them in ON all the time at full power and the other one is controlled by a light dimmer switch. I run about half power all day long and the tip stays nice and clean. Plus you always have an extension cord.

    If there is any interest, let me know and we can build something here. Something nice and simple for the first time. But we need to build it from scratch, not from a kit.

    Any takers?
    Florida Slotter, aka Marty Stanley,
    A "Double 60's" Slot Racer
    Killer X Raceways Team Racer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Wesley Chapel, FL.
    Posts
    1,385

    Thumbs up

    WHY???

    Cause that what the 'real' racers did in the 60's. To go fast. Ya had to build it...not buy it like today

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Great Valley,NY
    Posts
    1,227
    I like racing way better than sitting at a worktable for hours.
    I spend too much time building my flexicars as it is.
    My satisfaction comes when my cars are fast and I manage to win.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    343
    It is rewarding to buy a chassis, blueprint it, and generally set up a car so it runs well. For some of the classes we race, that is still the routine. These chassis still need to be tweaked from time to time due to the rigors of racing, so there really is a personal craftsman/artisan component to using them. That said, having now scratch built a chassis or two, there is a different sense of accomplishment (at least for me) one gets from turning truly raw materials into a finely crafted work.

    I have a parallel to this in my life - woodworking. I've been at that for fifty years and have gone from simple glue-n-screw kits through projects made from plans produced by others to self-designed, self-executed labors of love. I used to sign each item in an out of the way place so that down the road when something was passed along, the recipient might find the signature and wonder about who built it. I only ever do that anymore with pieces that are entirely from scratch, including design.

    I don't have nearly the experience with chassis as with wood, but the thrill of turning out a good work feels the same so far. Bottom line - blueprinting a bagged chassis is - to me - similar to assembling a woodworking project from a kit. Learning how to build chassis's by copying others' designs is like building a woodworking project from plans drawn by others. Designing and building one's own chassis, I suspect, must be like designing and building one's own woodworking project. There is a continuum of satisfaction levels - I'm looking forward to further travel along that road.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Great Valley,NY
    Posts
    1,227
    I do other things besides race slot cars.

    I am better at slot car racing than most other things I do, so it`s important to me.

    I race FlexiCars because that is the only racing available to me within 2 1/2 hours from home
    I am able to compete at a fairly high level, so I get some satisfaction from racing FlexiCars.
    I would prefer to race WingCars or ISRA, but there is none of that in my neck of the woods.
    If I lived anywhere near some higher level racing, I would do it.

    What cracks me up is the arrogance of some of these retrosnobs on the 2 forums.
    Not all the guys, but a few.
    It`s obvious who they are.

    I have been to a few retro races over the past year.

    There are some great racers in retro, but some are just slow retrosnobs.
    The slow retrosnobs like to think of themselves as superior to flexi guys because they run scratchbuilt chassis.
    Often, they don`t build the chassis themselves, but some still have an attitude.

    The good racers will always rise to the top, no matter what kind of cars they race.
    I like racing with the good guys, no matter what they race, they know how to drive and race clean.
    It`s great and very satisfying to run with top notch racers.

    I have had a lot of fun over the past year.
    I just can`t believe the arrogance of the slow retrosnobs.

    What a joke.
    Last edited by La Cucaracha; 05-22-2011 at 03:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Geographically Brooklyn, politically Berkeley
    Posts
    211
    Quote Originally Posted by La Cucaracha View Post
    What cracks me up is the arrogance of some of these retroguys on the 2 forums. // There are some great racers in retro, but many are just slow retrosnobs
    The slow retrosnobs like to think of themselves as superior to flexi guys because they run scratchbuilt chassis. // Often, they don`t build the chassis themselves, but some still have an attitude.

    I just can`t believe the arrogance of the slow retrosnobs. What a joke.
    Flem, I don't think you see how arrogant you come across yourself in these posts. By expressing polar attitudes--"I just can't believe...what a joke"--you are expecting others to nod and smile in agreement, and some might; others might disagree, and will react to your statements in exactly the same way you do to the retrosnobs, and dismiss you.

    I don't think you can entirely discount the notion that, maybe, some of what you see as "arrogance" in others is actually a result of these guys stepping back from your preconceptions. There's only so much a guy will do to explain his position to a dismissive critic, especially when that critic has already dismissed his subject many, many times over.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,938
    Marty, try a simple project, then gauge the interest. I'm sure there is some around, although there might not be as much here as on the other board. I no longer have a local track to run at, but when I have the time, I want to build a wire chassis along the lines of one of Rick Moore's. A ton of his information is on here.
    I like long walks, especially when they're taken by people who annoy me.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Great Valley,NY
    Posts
    1,227
    Quote Originally Posted by duffy View Post
    Flem, I don't think you see how arrogant you come across yourself in these posts. By expressing polar attitudes--"I just can't believe...what a joke"--you are expecting others to nod and smile in agreement, and some might; others might disagree, and will react to your statements in exactly the same way you do to the retrosnobs, and dismiss you.

    I don't think you can entirely discount the notion that, maybe, some of what you see as "arrogance" in others is actually a result of these guys stepping back from your preconceptions. There's only so much a guy will do to explain his position to a dismissive critic, especially when that critic has already dismissed his subject many, many times over.
    I don`t really understand your message, but I am looking for a Retro Pro Chassis that works well on Flat King Tracks.
    I had fun racing down at Tom Thumb in the ORS and I would like to race at Mark`s in Canton.
    Penn-Ohio Retro Series is a joke though.
    That`s where I got a sour taste for retro.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, TN
    Posts
    709
    Quote Originally Posted by duffy View Post
    Flem, I don't think you see how arrogant you come across yourself in these posts. By expressing polar attitudes--"I just can't believe...what a joke"--you are expecting others to nod and smile in agreement, and some might; others might disagree, and will react to your statements in exactly the same way you do to the retrosnobs, and dismiss you.

    I don't think you can entirely discount the notion that, maybe, some of what you see as "arrogance" in others is actually a result of these guys stepping back from your preconceptions. There's only so much a guy will do to explain his position to a dismissive critic, especially when that critic has already dismissed his subject many, many times over.
    I agree !

    If slot cars are every going to thrive again it will be because of the many different choices that are available today and the people who are passionate about their particular style and level of interest.

    In the last 4-5 months(been away for long time) I have been looking at almost every style of slot cars available today. Each one has it's pro's and con's. Falcon Flexi's for example are a fairly competitive type of racing that is low budget and require very little "bench time". Retro,D3, offers a couple of ways to enjoy. if you are good at wire bending, the satisfaction of creating something from your own hands can be very cool. Or you can have someone else build your cars and race for very little cost. Wing cars require an aggressive motor program or buy them from someone. Modeling hobbies are about building, crating, customizing, and or tweaking to suit your own tastes.

    IMHO the things that will hinder and/or "ruin" this hobby will be people trying to get everyone else to subscribe to their taste. The more choices and opportunities available the better. Take a look at what Pacific Raceways in WA is doing and how much success they are having. Drag, scale, flexi, womp, wing. Weekly racing, monthly racing and a couple of big events every year.

    Now to the original post, how about a D3 type can am chassis. I have never been good at wire bending but would love to see someone walk through the steps

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Cleveland,Ohio
    Posts
    51
    Hi Mike,
    I'm a retro snob and Proud of it!

    Did you ever come up with a game plan to race the wing cars? Nope! I bet not, as you never answered my PM. You just want me to come up with a class to suite your idiotic needs. I told Flemster that he promotes a class,spend time to build some cars and MY raceway will hold a race for him. I bet he can't get SIX people from 3 different states to want to run these things.

    You come on here and want people to bow to your wishes but then you don't want to help your self into racing what you want.

    I would appreciate the fact that you leave the your comments about the Penn/Ohio Retro Series to yourself. These are a bunch of good guys,that have a FUN time playing with little toy cars. Unlike yourself,who always think that going faster is better.

    Marty, Please excuse my comments here to the Flaming Flem.

    I like your approach,and will give you a helping hand when needed.

    Thanks for all you do for us Retro Scratchbuilding Snobs across the good ole USA and the World!
    Brian McPherson
    REM Raceway

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    23
    You tell -em Brian...
    The truth hurts, ugh mike..

    Mr. Frank

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    by a Great Lake
    Posts
    603
    What Flem doesn't understand and never will, is we don't go on George Russell's Slot Racer thread when he's pontificating about his new Camen Gulliver setup with a Valiko arm and laminiatin growth. We don't go on there and give our oppinion and tell him retro is better. Flem is one of those people appears to think "I like this so it's the best thing since sliced bread, why doesn't everyone like this?" And "those things are slow and stupid so why do they like them, they must not have ever run what I like?" If you point this out to him then you're a "Retro Snob"

    I'm curious if he's going to make it to Pirro's race and run on the Mossetti Super 8?
    NONE

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Umatilla, Fl
    Posts
    1,199
    Well I do suppose those that know Mr. Fleming have commented about him.

    I'm not going to try and extinguish a fire by throwing gasoline on it.

    Let's keep going along the lines that the thread was intended to do and not hijack it to serve personal feelings or opinions about other people.

    Thanks.

    I see where Ingram made a very good suggestion, so let's try and take that project on.

    First of all, I think I might like a bit more of a description from Ingram as to what a "D3 type Can-Am Chassis" is. I am NOT trying to split hairs, but D3 and IRRA have some different rules. Most of the rules are NOT chassis specific, but rather as to the body type and motor type.

    We could build a Can-Am chassis that would be legal for both D3 or IRRA rules by using the appropriate motor and body. That is something we can do.

    To make it very easy for folks to gather the concept, what I would like to do is build a 'make from'. That would be one of the new R-Geo "Samurai 3" chassis plates. I just tested a design yesterday that worked very well and would like to use that for the build.

    Will that work for everyone, or at least most of you?
    Florida Slotter, aka Marty Stanley,
    A "Double 60's" Slot Racer
    Killer X Raceways Team Racer

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Cleveland,Ohio
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by fl_slotter View Post
    Will that work for everyone, or at least most of you?
    Hi Marty,
    That will work for me!

    Again,I'm so very sorry,but I just couldn't set back and be idle for any longer when people talk about my friends.
    Brian McPherson
    REM Raceway

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Cleveland, TN
    Posts
    709
    Hi Marty,

    That sounds good.

    Would it be possible to start with the basic and comment on what would be modified for motor and body changes ?

    I know very little about non air control chassis but very interested in learning.

    Thanks,
    Alan

Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •