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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am modifying a Tomy/AFX Tuckaway layout to make it 36 to 42 inches wide and 15 to 16 feet long to fit in a Florida basement, half of my two car garage. Half of my eight corners contain 6 inch radius corners. Is this too many tight corners? I want to race everything from T-Jets to RO cars on this layout. Thanks in advance for your help. I have enclosed pictures of the 3ft. X 7.5 ft. layout to give you an idea of what the layout looks like before I extend the straights by 8ft. I will post pictures of the new layout during construction.

Leo
 

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I hate anything smaller than a 12" radius, so I am NOT the guy to respond to this -- someone got any ideas for SC58? :confused:
 

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This started out as a Tuckaway 25 streched to a 4x8. The only six inch curves are the 4 in the ess/chicane in the infield. I like running it enough to investigate having one routed. The guy that runs our millshop and CNC router table has had the CAD drawings for months w/o a peep. Track builders that get ~ a grand for a 4x8 layout respond rather quickly. Others, not so much. It needs borders, which I have. It is on outdoor patio carpet that is going to have to go as it is not stable enough to attach the rubber border strips to.

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It's really a matter of personal preference. If you are looking for a fast and flowing track the 6" turns will put a damper on that theme. However, they do add technical complexity to the layout. The Tomy 6" turn is really more akin to a hairpin turn with the 1:64-ish sized HO slot cars, so if you are looking to bring in a Monaco style hairpin, they will suffice and still make for a very drivable layout.

I am definitely biased towards fast and flowing layouts when it comes to my own track designs. A large part of this is due to the fact that in my younger days the one thing that was always at a premium was long straightaways, mostly due to space limitations but track cost as well. Nowadays if you give me a set of dimensions I will always try to come up with a way to maximize the full extent of the dimensions in a way that yields more than its fair share of speed. Nothing saddens me more (in a non serious way) than to see a huge table with a track on it that is chopped up into lots of little straightaways and oodles of noodles. I'm not saying it has to be all drag strips with big turns connecting them, but I want more than just the requisite one long straight along the drivers stations. I also love carousel curves, especially when done up with large radius pieces. My least favorite thing on a track is square corners. These tend to proliferate due to the abundance of 9" radius quarter turns. Nest a 6" quarter turn inside a 9" quarter turn and I'm already twisting the choke up to halfway even before I put my car on the track. The new Tomy 18" radius turn is the best thing to happen to set track in 30 years. If they do a 21" it will be the next best thing.

Tight corners are not the only personal preference feature. Some people like over-unders and some people hate them. Same goes for elevation changes and banking. Some specialty track pieces, like squeezes, wiggles, the 3" hairpin, crossovers, etc., fall into the fringe area of desirability. But if you like them, anything goes.

Design your track to fit your personal desires and incorporate the features you really enjoy. Unless you go too far out to the extreme fringe areas it's highly likely that others will enjoy what you have created too.
 

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I've modified my small (7.5' x 5.5') layout a couple times looking for the right mix. It's a four laner, and because I want to fit as much track as possible into the existing table space, I needed to use a number of 6" curves. What I disovered is that it really matters where in the layout they are placed.

That may sound obvious, but it's more subtle. In the various configurations, there were/are some places where navigating a 6" curve caused no problems. There are other locations where a deslot on a 6" curve was almost a given. And there seems to be no way to know what's going to happen until you try it. It doesn't seem to follow a set pattern. Sometimes where you think a 6" curve will be a problem turns out to be no problem at all. Other times, a 6" curve in what you think is the perfect location becomes a spot of constant deslots.

I now have a configuration where the 6" curves are not a problem. Sure you have to be careful driving them, but you can navigate them successfully as long as you don't get careless.

One thing I did notice about 6" curves. Aurora Super Mags have very strong pickup shoe springs. They get compressed because of the magnetic downforce. On a 6" curve, the rail is curved tightly enough so that the magnets will move off the rails slightly (depending on the amount, or lack, of fishtailing), the pickup shoes decompress and the car pops out of the slot. A 6" curve located in the wrong spot causes this to happen a lot; in the right spot, it is a rare occurance.

Joe
 

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58 - I think that you have answered your own question. If you have considered taking your current 8' long layout and stretch it to 16', you obviously like the flow of it.
I don't think that it will be overdone with 6" turns because you are only adding straights. You have a nice carousel, and a technical area, but it looks good. I live in Jupiter and get up to Orlando once in a while. Would love a few laps on it.

You also very lucky to have a basement in Florida!

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tjetjim

Hi Tjetjim;

You make a very good point about me liking the flow of the track.

I was making a joke by saying a Florida basement. We joke, in our neighborhood, that the garage is our Florida basement.

There are some homes with basements on high ground in the Clermont and Lakeland areas though.

Once I get the track up, you are welcome to come race, just give me a shout on the e-mail and we will setup a time.
 
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