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Discussion Starter #1
Today I got off the computer, put away the wallet, and started the construction of my track.

I mounted some support pieces for the legs (so that I could use longer screws to attach the legs), put a couple coats of primer/sealer on bottom of tables, and attached the folding table legs.

That's about it for today.

Next tasks will be to primer top and sides, add supports under table top to level the slight bowing, and design a method to 'draw' the 2 table pieces together insuring a level fit at the joint that will withstand being attached and detached frequently.

I also want to have height adjustments on the table legs, and possibly wheels with brakes.



 

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That first step is always the hardest -- now one thing will flow into another. Looks good so far!

'doba
 

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Now that you have the foundation set you can just start throwing stuff together. It took me a few hours to build my table but as soon as that was done the rest has been coming together like clockwork. Well, all except for the stuff I dont know how to do like lighting and wiring. Git-r-dun chief!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
scooter72167 said:
I guess that is what is called a "shorttrack" :wave:

Evan
You might say that. I was actually tempted to add a 9" curve, but I thought it might make the track look too 'busy', like I was just trying to use every piece of track I owned. I also think this will give me the room I need for landscaping.

If anyone is interested in copying this design, I have attached the Tracker 2000 design image. You can easily make this layout by combining a Super International set with the Big Block Battlers set.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Made a little progress tonight. I installed the Racor PHL-1R Heavy Lift to the garage ceiling. I figured I had to get this step moving forward, because I have no room for a permanent layout, and therefore needed to figure out what I am going to do with track when it is not being used.

My plan is to lose the 'shelf' that came with the rack system, run a couple 2x4's under one of the tables, and hook the ends of those 2x4's to the cables. Once that table is raised a couple inches, the other table will slide underneath, and again a couple 2x4's under it will hook to some additional short cables that are attached to the first tables' 2x4's.

This assembly is going to take more vertical headroom then I had anticipated. Not real pleased with that. I already have 2 bikes hanging down over the hood of my car on other side of garage, so now the previously open area of the garage will have a hanging obstruction.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
I added some inexpensive caster wheels today - they really help moving these tables around the garage.

I also got the tables up on the lift. :thumbsup: The lowest part of the bottom table is 6'3" from floor. I'm pretty sure I can raise it another 2-3 inches by adjusting eyebolt lengths, and reducing the distance between the tables. I think I have about 5 inches now between them. Unfortunatly, there won't be much (if any) elevation changes in my layout.





 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Today I decided to purty-up the look of the track tables when stored. I figure they are going to be in this position most of the time, so they should look decent.

Plus, maybe it will get friends/neighbors to inquire as to what I got hanging there...so I will need to take them down, set it up...and race. :)

Now, if I can ever get the topside to look as good as the bottom side....



Next step is to figure out how I am going to attach the tables to each other in an "L" shape. My garage floor is not perfectly level, plus the plywood tops have a little difference to them. I'm thinking a piece of wood on underside, attached to one half, and it would then be a shelf for the other table to sit on. Attaching the second table to the shelf would be by using bolts, countersunk on topside. I would locate these bolts underneath pieces of removable track that are spanning the table tops. The issue then is modifying the Tomy track so it can be dropped in from top, as oppossed to sliding together.

So, I think I will reverse the above steps, and design the drop-in track first, because if that doesn't pan out, I may need to rethink how I draw the tables together.
 

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Very nice Scaf!

Well....you could mount 2x4 on the edge so they meet....drill them through...then glue a dowl in one side for a pin and jioner style...

The "female" would need just a slight amount of play...

As for pulling them together...

How about some tie down clamps...like they style from a tool box...that draws the sides together as they clamp down...

You almost need to two people to do it though in order to get the track to connect at the same time...

UNLESS....you think about something I had come up with like a removable model train bridge...

all track would be static (secured)...and the bridge piece would just set into the space between them...

two ways to power the "bridge"....

either with a set of jumpers...

Or ...

Brass spring contacts set into the bottom of the "bridge"...hell...you could use a set up pick up shoes for each lane if you modified them...

You dont need to carry power "through" the joint if you wire the table sections with a quick disconnect.....you only need to power the bridge someway..

This way...you could put the table together by yourself....then drop in the joiner pieces after wards...some simple holes in the table and pins glued on the bottom of the joiner section could ensure alinement..

Or maybe on the extreme...adapt to lock and joiner style just for the "bridge" between the tables...so you wouldnt have to hack the track ends flat...

Just an idea...I been thinking about how to do my future track in a modular form as well...and make it easy to set up...

I'd like to be able to set it up as an 8 lane long oval...or a 4 lane road coarse...

My big table would contain the 4 lane road coarse with an over pass etc...

And a short 3x3 , 8 lane curve set could be used instead of running onto the long table...to create a 18 ft long 8 lane oval...( my two narrow tables are 7'6" long and 38" wide)...

In other words...with the big table...the inside four lanes would run out and back...and the outside four lanes would run out and back...

With the short section...it would be an 8 lane..

It would take some extra wiring to keep the lanes separate...and some jumpers for use when a road course...but I really want to be able to take it and set it up other places sometime...

I would also need two separate timing interfaces....one on the big table as a four lane...

and one on the short curve section as an 8 lane...

When I have a minute (sure..LOL ) I'll add my thoughts to the "mid ohio" layout pics I posted a while ago...so you can see what I'm talking about...

*evil mad scientist laugh* :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think the 'bridge' piece will be the way to go. But, I think we can do it without having to create jumper wires or other some other means to connect the rails. I did a test tonight.

I screwed down 3 pcs of track, making sure they were a snug fit. I then removed them, remounted the 2 outside pieces, and started with the dremel on the removed center piece.

The 3" piece on the right in the photo below is the piece I dremeled.



You can get one side to of the track to 'slide in' like normal by attaching the piece on an angle.



The second side can drop in from top, but, you do need to use a small-tip screwdriver to help pry the angled rails out of the way to accept the other rail.

I admittedly did break a couple of the plastic pieces on the fixed mounted track during my attempts to drop in the middle piece, but I'm sure that could be resolved by allowing a small (like 1/16") gap between these track pieces. I had basically zero tolerance when I mounted the pieces, and this caused plastic to hit plastic when dropping in the middle piece.

Being careful, I think we can use drop in 'bridge' pieces, and utilize the rails to provide continuity of power.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Today I bought some of the wiring things I will need. Terminal strips and wire connectors. It doesn't look like $50 worth of stuff to me, but it was.



I decided to go all 16ga stranded wire. I ordered the wire through my company today, 500' ea of red and black (we only sell in 500' rolls). Hopefully that will be plenty.

I still need to figure out what I am going to do for driver stations, among other things, but I think I can mount these TB's, and if my wire comes in tomorrow, make my power-tap track pieces.

I called Racemasters (the distributor for AFX track) again today - they are local to me. Super International sets are on their way from China, and should hit the warehouses in next couple weeks. The new 4-Way Split set isn't going to be available until June/July. It will have new cars in it (I didn't ask what cars) but the new cars require new art-work for the box, and that is what is delaying things. I mention this because I need to buy one or the other of these sets plus additional track pieces to complete my current design.
 

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I think as long as you have a few slightly elevated sections for looks, even if its only 1-2", will really be a good start. I really dig the setup, I think in the end that will be really fun to race on with 4 lanes.
 

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I have been following along with your progress. Looking great so far. You are not going to want to hang that track in the ceiling once it is done. You will be having too much fun. You vehicle will be left out int he cold!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Bewstd: Once I get the track onto the table, I will look into getting some elevation changes. I agree that these can really enhance the look and fun of the track.

Duece: Thanks for following along. Ya know, I think I might be able to fit my 350Z in the garage will the table down, but her Element would have to stay outside. Nope - she won't go for that I can assure you.

I know that much what I am doing is old-hat to so many here, and I may even get too detailed on no-brainer things, but I hope that this process will be useful for others who may also just be starting out in this hobby.

This forum seems like a good place to post my 'blog' on building the track, since most of what I learned came from this forum, and details I don't touch on here are probably detailed in the many other threads at the forum.
 
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