Do's and dont's of a routed track

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Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby btaylor » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:21 am

I thought I would share some rather unfortunate news, and hopefully shed some light on a don't when building a routed track. As some of you know, I built a 16x6 4 lane routed oval early this year. It had some pretty heavy banking all around, probably more than I needed. I have my track in an outside building that is not climate controlled, but it is in a dry (for Georgia) area. I had been noticing some shifting of the track sections (4x6) and I would have uneven joints from day to day, depending on the humidity. I was able to correct this by tightening or loosening the screws closest to the joints. a pain, but it worked. Lesson one: don't leave track section joints be unsupported at the seams, back them and glue them. Lesson two: don't heavily bank your track without FULL underneath support. My guide slot had started closing up to a point where they would pinch a parma guide till I sanded them a little. My track was becoming bowl shaped in the corners. this causes tire contact to be really strange, and can actually lift the guide out of the slot if it gets bad enough. lesson three: and this is the bad news! Last night while changing a bulb on the overhead lighting, I put my knee down in a place I shouldn't have. I usually pay very close attention when on the table, so as not to be on a seam, or step directly on a routed slot. This time however, it was hot, and I was in a bit of a hurry to get down off the table, I put to much weight on that knee, and cracked three lanes of turns 1 and 2. This section will have to be removed and re replaced. Since its a still in the upper 90's with high humidity here, it will be fall before the oval is repaired. at that time, I hope to correct all the things I did wrong the first time. Moral of this story, do it right the first time. an age old proverb that holds true still. hope this helps anyone about to build any routed track. Its not the wasted time or money that bothers me about this, its the fact that I knew better, and got in to big of a hurry to have a wood oval. Lesson learned.

Bob
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Re: Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby HomeRacingWorld » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:34 am

I think this has happened to all of us at one point or another.

You wanted a new track anyway. Maybe you will let someone come for a visit and lend a hand?
-Harry

"They didn't say you couldn't" - Smokey

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Re: Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby Ky.Slot Racer » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:27 am

good points Bob, when building my recent track I probably over built but I can walk/crawl all around my track when /if needed. I plan to do a oval as soon as I get the carrera track out of my basement, and will definatly over build it too. I like to build it in sections that can be easily disconnected, but still be very rigid.

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Re: Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby Pappy » Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:35 am

Bob,

If you could post some pictures of the damage someone might be able to give you some advise on how to fix it and how to improve your track overall while you are fixing it. This might be a good time to get some of the banking out of your track if you want to.

I've built a number of wood tracks. I once built a guy a small 4 lane tri-oval with to much banking and it was just a punch bowl, no fun at all. I usually try to keep a little space between the sheets of 1/2" MDF board to allow for swelling in hot weather (between 1/32 and 1/16 of an inch). If you don't, it can swell and raise up right at the joint.
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Re: Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby RichD » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:28 am

MDF will expand and contract with changes in humidity, you can minimize that problem if you paint every surface before you assemble the track.
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Re: Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby mattb » Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:32 am

Too much banking can really ruin what you expect from your track. Slight banks can really improve the drivability of a tight track for new people and even old thumbs. Having built a routed banked over and under figure 8 many years ago, I copied the commercial track builders design for the end sections with the banks on them. I built a stable flat section and then built the banked section over the flat table with risers every few inches. This track was 4' wide in the corners. I was able to make each end section on a 4 X 6 section with a solid infield, but with the outside cut in the same shape as the track outline. This track was built around 1986 and is still in operation today in another guys basement.

Over the years I have come to appreciate the plastic track and the ease and reliability it can offer. It also requires a good solid base. My track is in an unheated building and gaps change in it thru the different temps we have. With a solid base and patience assembling it, it can run smooth and without issues. I still like knowing it can beput in a box if it has to!!!
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Re: Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby btaylor » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:03 am

All good points Guy's. The bad thing is, I knew when I built it I was rushing the project. Harry had even warned me about the excessive banking, but I had already installed all the outer supports, and had the sheets down. It is a fun track, and you can get some serious speed going, but it did cause uneven tire wear, and a car that didn't have maximum traction, would slide a little downhill on the straights if it spun. I will address all these problems during the rebuild this fall/winter. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do learn from my mistakes! My 1:1 racing days taught me, when it breaks, build it stronger. Till then, We have discussed setting up the SSD track on the flat table to get it sorted out for its new home.

Bob
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Re: Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby Mitch58 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:20 am

When I set up my old Strombecker track I put it over a wooden base cut into the shape of the track so I could change the elevation. At some point I decided to bank every curved section 5 degrees. It made a huge difference in the drivability even the double supers (bridge building term) where two opposite curves are attached worked great.

So when we built a full routed track for my brother in law we wanted a bank at the end of his 16 foot straight. Using 1/2" MDF we found that we could go 10 degrees without feeling like we were forcing anything too much. It has been two years and so far have not had any problems, but we also supported it well all around the curve. At the time it was just to hold the shape we wanted. In the long run it has worked in our favor too.
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Re: Do's and dont's of a routed track

Postby mattb » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:24 am

The good news is that nobody ever builds one routed track. Just like our cars you learn as you go along and keep trying to use those lessons.
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